Sun and Microsoft Going Autonomic, Too
Analysts also give nods to both Sun and Microsoft for making forays into autonomic computing. Sun's N1 initiative, though, is still limited to provisioning and storage management, according to Sturm. "What Sun is doing is less mature than the IBM and HP initiatives."
In Mason's opinion, Microsoft's announcement at its recent Management Summit was largely a statement of direction. "There will be some limited autonomic capabilities in the next edition of Microsoft's OS. Microsoft is looking to a high degree of integration. At this point, however, the integration will be done in typical Microsoft style," according to the IDC analyst.
Tivoli's Wojtowecz says he's impressed with the Microsoft initiative. "It's too bad, though, that we made more or less the same announcement last fall," he quips. Turning serious again, Wojtowecz acknowledges that Tivoli might encapsulate some of Microsoft's autonomic processes for Windows into its products at some point.
Tivoli Leads in Crossplatform Management, Including Linux
Among systems vendors, IBM Tivoli is widely regarded as the leader in business process re-engineering (BPR) and as one of the top two players -- along with HP -- in crossplatform management.
Aside from its other functions, Tivoli's new Autonomic Assessment Tool will let ISVs integrate best practices for autonomic computing into their applications.
"We've done a lot of work with vertical markets," states Wojtowecz. The new Configuration Manager for ATMs reflects IBM's work with financial institutions.
About 50 percent of Tivoli's current lineup runs on Linux servers, according to the Tivoli strategy manager. Another 80 percent supports Linux clients. The only Tivoli offerings that won't get Linux support are legacy products.
Among products being announced this week, zSeries Performance Management will add mainframes to the list of platforms getting "end-to-end performance management." The new Enterprise Console 3.9 will include a Web console, auto-discovery and problem diagnosis, and preconfigured rules for event management.
Tivoli Remote Control 3.8 will add support across firewalls, along with full datastream encryption. The Web console and central logging have also been enhanced. Tivoli SLA Advisor 1.2.1 offers a new SLA Wizard, enhanced visualization of SLA reports, and other ease-of-use improvements.
IBM will also announce integration between Tivoli Configuration Manager and network application installation software from third-party vendors Wise Solutions and InstallShield.