IBM's eLiza finally arrives

Meredith B. Derby, assistant news editor

Six months after revealing its eLiza Project, IBM Corp. is showing off the first eLiza services. On Oct. 31, IBM introduced three new e-business services and strategic technology partnerships that will foster eLiza's goal of helping servers and networks manage themselves.

Project eLiza's objective is to create self-managing servers and networks in four ways: self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing and self-protecting. Autonomic, or automatic diagnosis and healing, computing will greatly reduce system management costs for companies that use mixed vendor solutions, said Mike Nelson, director for Internet technology and strategy at White Plains, NY-based IBM.

The three new e-business management services, part of the Project eLiza framework, are now available for the IBM eServer business line. The three services include an IT infrastructure and core business processes analysis and monitoring service; new self-management software products for the eServer family; and two new Tivoli products.

These services will begin the evolution toward more reliable, secure, and robust computing systems, said Nelson.

The first new e-business service includes an IBM Global Services assessment of a client's IT infrastructure and core business processes, focusing on the mission critical applications that optimize Web site performance. IBM is targeting the financial, e-commerce, tourism and transportation markets for now. "Any market where you can't have

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downtime" is ripe for eLiza, said Nelson. The initial assessment will cost around $1 million for the largest of companies.

IBM-installed software that allows for continuous monitoring of Web site performance is included in the service. IBM Global Services' consultants will then monitor the systems 24x7 from IBM locations and provide troubleshooting services, working with clients when necessary, said Nelson.

Over 20 new eServer self-management features will provide better workload management and ensure better security on the server platforms, Nelson said. The new features fit into one of the four eLiza focus areas. For example, the eServer Security Wizard is a self-configuring technology that speeds up security policy implementation. Chipkill Memory, a self-healing feature, recognizes, removes and replaces failing storage components. In the self-optimizing area, Capacity Manager tracks resources, such as disk capacity, memory usage. It identifies possible bottlenecks and makes recommendations to fix them.

Tivoli's two new products, falling under eLiza's self-protecting area, are Risk Manager and Policy Director. Risk Manager will assess the vulnerabilities of the IT infrastructure irrespective of hardware and software running, said Nelson. Policy Director will centralize and streamline user information to databases through workload management, also for heterogeneous environments.

Through IBM's Active Middleware Information Technology, the e-business management services are able to monitor IT infrastructures, according to Nelson.

In the announcement, IBM also touted its eLiza team of technology companies and pilot customers. Its partnerships with BMC Software, Candle Corporation and Nortel Networks are currently helping IBM deliver on the self-managing technology promise, Nelson said. Merrill Lynch and Terra Lycos are two of the 20 customers and partners also working with IBM.

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