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IBM demos provisioning software

Sep 11, 20032 mins

* IBM tool automates server provisioning

IBM has been showing off a product recently that automates the provisioning of server software and processing resources.

The Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator for Service Optimization allows an IT manager to automate the traditionally manual provisioning of servers for performance, capacity planning and deployment.

Based on policies set by the IT manager, the software automatically predicts resource requirements, manages service levels and deploys applications and operating systems on servers. Part of IBM’s OnDemand initiative, the product lets servers access resources when they need them, without the over-provisioning common with manually managed architectures. For servers that can be divided into several partitions, Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator can balance tasks among individual processors.

The product was used at the U.S. Open on IBM pSeries servers last week to score matches and gather statistics, as well as manage the servers that made up the Web site. The software, which will ship next month, is part of recently acquired Think Dynamics provisioning software.

On the U.S. Open’s Web site, traffic is variable; some days have more traffic than others. With Intelligent Orchestrator, IT managers were able to vary the number of servers hosting the Web site. Researchers at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Lab were also able to make use of spare processing cycles to perform computer simulations of protein behavior when the Web site was not heavily loaded.

Tivoli Intelligent Orchestration automatically adds and removes servers as applications require more or less processing power. Part of a suite of products code-named Symphony, the software can be used by companies to manage their data center resources.

For instance, IT managers could automatically add more servers to the network each time server utilization exceeded 70%. Conversely, servers could be removed and assigned to other applications when they are no longer needed.

The software runs on an Intel-based xSeries server and will ship at the end of September.

Other vendors such as Sun, HP and Veritas have been involved in utility computing initiatives of their own. Sun acquired CenterRun, Pirus and TerraSpring; HP acquired StorageApps, and Veritas acquired Jareva Technologies.

The product is priced by the number of servers it monitors and starts at $20,000 for 10 servers. The software runs on Intel and manages Unix servers. It will be enhanced to run on IBM’s mainframes, RS/6000 and AS/400 servers by year-end.