Looking to overcome the tedious nature of software installation, IBM
has cooked up a technology and XML
self-configuring capabilities for on-demand infrastructures.
The Solution Installation for Autonomic Computing, which IBM has also
submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for approval as an industry
standard, makes it possible for developers to create packaged autonomic
software for disparate platforms.
Software vendors could then easily package, install and support software for
customers. The goal is to eliminate time-consuming, sometimes error-prone
Self-configuring technology joins self-healing, self-optimizing and
self-protecting as one of the four technology pillars in IBM’s broad
autonomic computing initiative, a cornerstone for the company’s
e-business on-demand strategy.
Autonomic computing is IBM’s strategy for improving the intuitiveness of
computers, allowing them to self-diagnose and fix themselves with as little
manual intervention as possible.
IBM and partners Novell
, InstallShield Software and Zero
G Software, feel strongly enough about the model that they have submitted
specifications for the Solution Installation schema to the W3C.
The goal is to one day make it free under a royalty free license, according
to David Bartlett, director of Autonomic Computing at IBM. The engineer said
IBM and others are calling for the formation of a standards working group to
formalize a specification for software packaging.
Bartlett told internetnews.com that an open format for the packaging
of applications and installation across various environments will help
customers get software in data centers up and running in quicker fashion.
The engineer said such technology has been a long-time coming in the
computing industry, which is why IBM is moving forward with support from
partners. InstallShield and Zero G have been working closely with IBM on the
new packaging schema and are incorporating it into their products, Bartlett
He said his team is also developing manageability interfaces that products
can use to relate packaging and configuration information to resources
across the infrastructure. The interfaces will extend the self-configuring
capabilities across heterogeneous environments.
Bartlett said there is no timetable for the Solution Installation for
Autonomic Computing schema but that IBM and its partners are in active
conversations with the W3C to drive the model forward.
He said IBM will look to standardize self-healing, self-optimizing and
self-protecting processes going forward.