Industry Solutions and Tivoli
One year ago, today, we acquired Encentuate, Inc. The team from Singapore and Redwood City, California brought best of class Single Sign-On technology to our security portfolio, which provides the ability to log in to internal applications, databases and other corporate systems with just one identity. This is one of the award winning technologies that serve as a building block for our Tivoli industry solutions. Happy Birtday Encentuate![Read More]
What weighs 35,000 lbs, rests 55 ft off the ground, and is can prevent 18 tons of carbon from being released into the air? A very green dragon that can hold it's breath?
Kind of...Ricoh has launched an eco-friendly billboard in Times Square. Instead of being connected to the electric grid, the 47x126 foot board is powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels. The billboard, will generate its own electricity, a first for Times Square.
When it comes to leadership by example, Ricoh is the real deal. Spend some time on their web site http://www.ricoh.com/environment/ to appreciate the extent of their commitment.[Read More]
Speaking of PCI, 11 people were charged yesterday with stealing more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers, cracking what appearedto be the largest hacking and identity theft ring ever exposed. Businesses affected included:DSW, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, BJs Wholesale Club, the Sports Authority and TJMaxx. Sound familiar?
Theyused a technique called "wardriving", which involves the simple act of cruising through shopping strips with a laptop looking for accessible wireless internet signals. When a vulnerable network is found, a"sniffer program" is deployed and bingo - credit and debit card numbers are captured as they move through the retailer's processing network.
Today ACI announced that the latest version of their software for online payments processing offers standard support for IBM's database, middleware and security capabilities on the IBM System z platform.
It also features enhanced security and a more flexible infrastructure to easily accommodate future updates and compliance regulations such as the latest Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)- an area our team has been focused on.
The strategic alliance announced by ACI and IBM in December 2007 is focused on technology solutions to help financial institutions. IBM's flagship mainframe capabilities together with ACI's payment engine enable complex and disparate networks for the industry's most powerful virtualization, security and scalability. This is key to the growth and security of Financial institutions.[Read More]
"In a rare public warning to the power and utility industry, a CIA analyst last week said that cyberattackers have hacked into the computer systems of utility companies outside the United States and made demands, in at least one case causing a power outage that affected multiple cities.
Our Tivoli Industry Solutions architecture team for the Intelligent Utility takes this kind of news seriously.
The Tivoli Security framework provide a comprehensive protection against isolating control networks in industrial environments such as power generating stations, water treatment plants and gas industries. Starting with operating systems, Tivoli products such as Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems provide a layer of authorization policy enforcement in addition to that provided by the UNIX(R) and Linux(R) operating systems. An administrator defines additional authorization policy by applying fine-grained access controls that restrict or permit access to key system resources. Controls are based on user identity, group membership, the type of operation, the time of day or the day of the week, and the accessing application.
User identity management and provisioning entitlements are managed through a robust role based access control product called Tivoli Identity Manager. Identities are vetted with a stringent process using a Trusted Identity framework to provide identity-proofing before enrolling contract laborers. Web applications managing utility controls can be finely tuned to adhere to strict separation of duties and role and rule-based access control policies. Tivoli's Federated Identity Manager establishes a circle-of-trust to ensure only the most stringently vetted identities from outside the utility company can come in through the IP networks to access secure resources such as switchgear control switching centers and equipment. To complement these enforcement products, Tivoli provides a range of audit and compliance management products such as Tivoli Security Operations Manager and Tivoli Compliance Insight Manager to track operational activity, correlate events generated by the security infrastructure as well as perform compliance monitoring analysis on privileged user activity.
Together, Tivoli's products reduce the risk of unauthorized entry into the utilities control networks.
As an aging asset myself, I am always on the lookout for good anti's... Anti-virus, anti-spam, antioxidants, antidotes, and even anti events.It seems to me that the ANTI
, a contemporary live-art festival held in Kuopio, Finland, would be a very cool rejuvenating experience.
Utility companies face a triple threat of aging assets, workforce, and IT systems which we are reminded of with every outage or degradation of service. The good news is there is antidote for these aging assets which can be found in software - specifically Tivoli Software. With a recent increased focus on industry solutions and service management and acquisitions such as Micromuse and MRO very effective antidotes are indeed emerging.
For example, consider IP addressable assets communicating via wireless protocols to cell relays that in turn communicate via broadband powerline connected to customer information systems, geospatial informations systems and it monitoring systems. Whether you are talking about power, water, or multi-media services, more and more of the underlying infrastructure is becoming IP addressable and that means they can be monitored and managed as a network device. The combination of Maximo and Netcool technologies with Tivoli core capabilities creates a powerful antidote to drive down cost and increase automation in the aging infrastructure.[Read More]
IBM Service management(ISM) can ensure the performance, reliability and security for manufacturing based solutions. Let's look at the automotive industry for example. There is a transformational restructuring occurring within all auto companies to stop market share losses that have also resulted in failures of lower tier suppliers, and in turn threaten large suppliers and raise the cost of manufacturing, overall. ISM for Manufacturing Productivity Software Solution(MPSS) can help.
First let's take a look at MPSS. IBM's MPSS is a solution enablement framework, intended to accelerate and facilitate the creation of manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry that integrates the factory floor with suppliers and other systems in the company(such as order management, inventory management and quality systems.) MPSS does this by providing a framework, templates, and tools for integration of existing applications and creation of new applications based on a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA).
What value does ISM add to MPSS? ISM provides the ability to define and automate key processes. The Change and Configuration Database(CCMDB), for example, provides the ability to discover all configuration items and their relationships, a platform for designing and implementing workflows, and best practice processes for change and configuration management. Another example is the The Tivoli Availability Process Manager, that can add best practices workflows for availability management, incident management, and problem management which are key to managing the performance, reliability and security for manufacturing based solutions.
Playing dodge with 50,000 foot cumulonimbus thunderheads is not really my idea of fun but
It was 1:00 AM in the morning when a neighborhood in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was hammered
Later that night the doorbell rang. An electric company technician, standing in the driving
rain, explained that half of the community was without power and that they suspected that
the problem was in the backyard of this particular house.
As it turns out, the explosions were caused by a tree falling into the utility power pole.
Most power company monitoring systems are unable to pinpoint exactly where problems
originate, but can only narrow it down to a probable area. Good old fashion footwork and
visual inspection of poles is how the source of the problem is often determined. The power
was restored by 6AM but not with out a few more explosions and some very dangerous repairs
in the pouring rain by a crew of four men up on the poles.
There is no shortage of appreciation from me for those utility technicians that are dispatched in
I visited the Open last week and was served more rain than tennis but that meant more time spent studying the on-site IT infastructure which is the biggest grand slam going on - if you are into the geekier side of tennis anyways....
Maximum performance at the US Tennis Open is exactly what IBM is all about. Every tennis web site surfer can rely on every IBM web site server to collect all the data from all of the matches and display it fast. To help everyone get the information they are looking for this year, you can count on the fact that the deployment of new virtualization and autonomic computing solutions delivers results that are more scalable and available than ever.
For this year, IBM worked to consolidate the USTA’s existing infrastructure from 60 servers down to just 9 servers. To meet peak site traffic, geographically dispersed server farms can be virtualized as one. Virtualization enables improved use of IT, information and staff by treating resources as a single pool; this helps provide more efficient access and management of resources by effect and need rather than physical location.
IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager, used for application and system provisioning, is yet another way autonomic computing lowers cost, and delivers ace after ace.[Read More]
In addition to improving the organization, navigation, and IBM.com web standards compliance, you will find the following new content:
- About Autonomic Computing/Integration section describing how AC integrates with ITSM
- About Autonomic Computing/Get Started section
- What we offer section with our Problem Determination content, Software & Hardware offerings, and AC Tools
- Industry standards section featuring WSDM, SDD, and Open Source
- Enhanced AC Business Partner section
- Events section
- Innovation section with information on our involvement with University Programs
Let me know what you think about our
href="http://www-03.ibm.com/autonomic/"> new and improved autonomic web site ![Read More]
The fastest tennis service according to
So Andy Murray(UK) was, in his own words," obviously pretty chuffed " yesterday having just beat Roddick on day 6 of Wimbledon. The lesson here is that server speed isn't everything, it is also about performance optimization. (hey - just like the value autonomic computing provides!)
IBM is also 'obviously pretty chuffed' too about having worked for the past 17 consecutive years to create an annual state-of-the-art Web site that gives tennis fans around the globe a “virtual seat” at the tournament. IBM provides a flexible, cross-platform infrastructure, powered by self-managing autonomic technology, that scales up to handle hundreds of times the normal All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) traffic, and then scales down when the tournament is over.
The wimbledon website provides realtime scores in traditional HTML format without refreshing the whole page and an On Demand Scoreboard, a downloadable, application that “pushes” scoring information to users. This application provides statistics on the live matches, and a view of current scores on all courts. New for 2006, an updated PointTracker feature which offers animated 3D graphics of each shot hit during a point for selected singles matches.
IBM provides a Cisco wireless LAN Solution using Cisco Aironet 1200 Access Points using 802.11g technology to handle the expected increase in traffic not only from members and players but the media for example, wireless hotspots in the photographers' pit enable relay of photos using file transfer protocol (FTP) in seconds. The 'Pocket Wimbledon' solution provides access to a wide range of content from the Wimbledon intranet to mobile users via Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Wimbledon also uses an automated retail system, provided by IBM Retail Store Solutions and a Real Time Identification (RTID) application is used at perimeter gates. Some interesting facts:
SW19 is not only where you will find Wimbledon and the AELTC but also where you will find us serving up some of the fastest and most reliable technology on the planet to our customers this week.
*IBM provides a courtside radar system which displays the serve speed on the IBM courtside display and sends the serve speed and directional data to the IBM scoring system.[Read More]
It is Saturday, June 17, and I am back on the plane leaving an unusually sunny Ireland and the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing. The list of particpants was really impressive and a testament to the fast growing wide recognition of the importance of Autonomic Computing. The greater research community of the world's leading IT companies came together at UCD (University College at Dublin) along with prominent universities from around the globe to share the latest findings on self-managing systems. The IBM AC team was there to share recent advances on WSDM(Web Services Distributed Management) and WSDM enabling tooling and self-healing technologies. Other high points: Fujitsu demonstrated ground-breaking WSDM enabled interoperability between Fujitsu and IBM; and Enigmatic, an AC business partner, demonstrated new AC based ideas on how to better manage the world's stock markets! I spoke to ENN News Ireland who published this linked story while I was there.
Yesterday The IEEE International Conference on Self-Managed Systems also held their 2nd annual meeting at UCD in the school of veterinary science. I presented how we are eating our own 'dogfood' (haha) by using self-managing technologies within IBM as well as customer adoption successes. I also participated in a panel along with Cisco, British Telecom, and Ericsson on the state of the industry and outlook for self-managed networks.
We used the opportunity the conference prrovided to announce IBM's new contribution of WSDM-based code to the Apache Open Source Foundation to help advance adoption of data center automation by customers. The code provides a framework for building WSDM interfaces, making it easier for businesses to incorporate the standard into their systems. The code helps integrate management applications so they can automatically find and fix problems in their IT infrastructure, such as frozen applications and system bottlenecks. See eWeek article by Paula Musich of eWeek IBM Releases Autonomic Software to Open Source.[Read More]
The AC mission to reduce complexity and create the ability to build self-managing systems just took a major step forward. IBM, together with BMC, HP, Fujitsu, and CA announced that they will be working to develop a specification for a standards proposal for the federation of CMDBs.
As you may know, a CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is a repository that captures the interrelationships and history of changes across all components of the environment, ranging from incidents and problems, to changes, to information about the system users. The plan for working together on this specification is motivated primarily by the customers’ need to implement IT processes in an environment with multiple and often overlapping data sources and tools. Tools will achieve ITIL-like CMDB function by adding management processes (e.g., Identify Configuration Items, Audit Configuration Items) that operate on the data in the federated CMDB. So the capability for customers to implement a virtual CMDB is critical for them to be able to move their IT infrastructure toward a more AUTONOMIC, self-healing environment.
How significant is this? Important enough to bring major IT industry players, competitors in many ways, together in another critical autonomic standards initiative to address the issue of reducing complexity in the customer environment. It's great to see that itSMF - a well-known international organization working hand-in-hand with ITIL to promote best industry best practices in the service management arena - is stongly endorsing this effort as well.[Read More]
The latest in a steady stream of 'HAL' analogies to Autonomic Computing can be found in an article in this month's edition of Insight Magazine which is a publication targeted at the financial community. The article is titled: 'Technologies to Know and Learn' with the byline 'These 10 technologies and tech areas are helping to drive the finance industry advancement. Know them. Learn them. Use them.'
'2001: A Space Odyssey' goes down in my book(any many other people's books) as one of those movies that left quite the impression when it first came out(68?). Other movies that really impressed me when they first hit the box office (yes I am >29:) include: Star Wars(the first two ) Matrix (the first episode) Terminator I and II, and the first really good Vactors (Virtual Actors) such as Gollum/Smeagol and I,Robot. More than fantastic ground-breaking special effects, they challenged the established boundaries between technology and humans.
Self-managing autonomic technologies are also challenging the line between what IT professionals must do versus what technology can do for them. However, there is no HAL saying "I'm sorry Dave, I am going to have take over now" in the Autonomic strategy. This is all about a transformation to a better and more sensible balance between people and the technology they wrestle with.
The article in Insight actually does a good job of addressing this point. Here is an excerpt from the article by Clare Fitzgerald who recently talked with me. She writes...Rather than replacing the human element, however, automatic technologies are changing the nature of the partnership between systems administrators and the systems themselves. This technology is about making the systems work and reducing the number of times you have to call the help desk. For administrators, this means less time micromanaging their machines and more time thinking about solutions to real business technology issues.....
I will sign off now based on a message that I am receiving from the system that is currently monitoring me.'...Dave, Dave, turn off the light now...time to sleep...'[Read More]
The IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program was announced last week and Autonomic Business Partners Corente , Macrovision Corporation , nLayers Inc., and Singlestep Technologies are already signed on. This program enables qualified independent software vendors to include the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology mark on their product packaging and marketing materials. (See also this week's press release from Singlestep Technologies. )
What is really hitting the mark, however, is the quantifiable business value that this new and exciting program is delivering to IT shops such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. MOMA has recently undergone extensive renovation and if you haven't toured its galleries lately I highly recommend it! The recently completed building project represents MoMA's most extensive redefinition since its founding seventy-five years ago. MOMA is also a leader in the arts when it comes to applying the latest technologies to enable web based commerce and online collection viewings for its' members. Read what Steve Peltzman, MOMA CIO, has to say about his collaboration with nLayers and IBM in this week's Computerworld article IBM Adds Autonomic Tools to Speed Up Error Detection. He compares the MOMA autonomic project to having intelligent robots around to do the mundane tasks for you. And the 'robots' are able to alert IT staff to problems before the help desk gets the call. The author of this Computerworld article, Patrick Thibodeau, also spoke with Peter Stone, a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, who was one of the speakers at the second International Conference on Autonomic Computing last month in Seattle. Peter makes the point that given where IT infrastructures are headed, autonomic computing "just has to happen!"
There have been numerous other success stories from others as well, such as Carey Capaldi from Technicolor, another leading edge company benefiting from autonomic technology that supported Steven Spielberg's recent release 'War of the Worlds.' I saw this movie last weekend and really enjoyed it. It is a classic completely redone with superb digital effects, acting, and direction. It stars Tom Cruise as a deadbeat dad that (after hiding under the kitchen table with his kids) really rose to the challenge in delivering his daughter and his son from the jaws of aliens to the arms of MOMA. Technicolor labs in North Hollywood and New York provided all of the front end lab processing for Paramount and DreamWorks' 'War of the Worlds.' Technicolor services included front end dailies processing utilizing the ENR process to convey the film's futuristic look... And supporting Technicolor's intensive digital archive runs is our latest autonomic computing problem determination technology! Capaldi describes the autonomic technology as able to tie all the logs together, to view relationships between system technologies and pinpoint where problems occur. The next stage of our project at Technicolor is to build in control loops to drive automated response to problems. This will help to enable Technicolor to meet agressive movie production schedules more reliably and predictably with less cost.
Each business partner has worked with us to demonstrate clear business value with a customer, which is one of the prerequisites of using the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark, in addition to adoption of autonomic standards and technology. This mark provides a clear differentiator for products that are focused on reducing complexity and providing self-managing capabilities. Andrew Cunningham, Head of Shared Infrastructure, Reuters, spoke about the mark stating "This assures us the product will fit smoothly and seamlessly into Reuters' plans for a more self-managing IT environment ensuring the service quality and availability of our own solutions and thus help give us a competitive edge in the market place."
When we work together in this way to help business be successful with technology then we know we are really hitting the mark and winning the war on complexity![Read More]