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IBM Software Enables Virtualized Computing Across PCs, Wireless Devices and Servers


ARMONK, NY - 07 Sep 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new virtualization software that enables companies to deploy and install software on tens of thousands of laptops, desktop PCs, wireless devices and servers. The new technology, Tivoli Provisioning Manager, helps clients reduce the time it takes to manage and upgrade systems by hours or days, depending on the size of the infrastructure.

The software senses when the network can handle software upgrades and automatically begins those upgrades when there is sufficient network bandwidth. It also runs automatic compliance checks -- such as validating that antivirus software is up-to-date -- and deploys the software across the infrastructure.

Tivoli Provisioning Manager incorporates technology IBM acquired from Rembo Technologies just three months ago, in June 2006. Software such as Tivoli Provisioning Manager demonstrates how IBM is combining its software capabilities -- both internally-developed and through acquisitions such as Rembo -- to convert time-consuming, labor-intensive processes into automated, repeatable services that streamline business operations.

Managing IT services has become more challenging as technology grows more complex. According to IBM estimates, costs related to changing and deploying software on servers accounts for 70 percent of an organization’s total IT costs, and at least half the people in an organization’s IT staff manage and support existing technology instead of developing and maintaining applications. Automating changes to IT systems -- such as application upgrades and security patches -- improves the lengthy, error-laden process of making changes, which frees up system administrators to handle other tasks.

For example, a bank could use Tivoli Provisioning Manager to sense when there is enough network bandwidth available to deploy an email software upgrade without having to worry about allocating extra servers, scheduling software changes when network traffic is slow, or monitoring network traffic. Tivoli Provisioning Manager software intuitively knows to send out the software when enough bandwidth is available, giving other business needs a priority, such as peaks in demand driven by a special online promotion.

“Automation is key to making virtualized environments efficient,” said Dave Lindquist, IBM Tivoli chief architect. “The ability to modulate how network bandwidth is utilized allows customers to deploy truly flexible, dynamic infrastructures in a way that supports business goals.”

Tivoli Provisioning Manager software includes two new virtualization technologies:

* “Adaptive bandwidth control” gives important business operations priority but allows administrative IT tasks, like anti-virus updates, to be handled whenever network space is available. For example, this eliminates the need for a bank to reserve extra servers or network space solely for administrative tasks such as updating applications across their ATMs.

* “Peering,” which is a new grid computing-based approach to distributing software over long distances. It allows files, such as email applications or video clips, to be downloaded from a local server or a nearby desktop. Software is delivered faster to computer users while network traffic and hardware required to support high-traffic volumes are reduced.

The software runs as part of a services-oriented architecture, or SOA, which is a way of reusing a company’s existing technology to more closely align with business goals, which results in greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity. The software’s support for SOA helps customers comply with governance models across laptops, desktops and wireless devices -- for example, when government healthcare mandates change, the software ensures that all devices are running software that complies with the latest regulations.

If customers have not yet moved to an SOA, the software can work alongside their existing architecture, giving them the flexibility to migrate to an SOA at their own pace. Tivoli Provisioning Manager is integrated with the IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database, which allows the technologies to share information about the status of IT services.

The software is part of IBM’s IT service management offerings, which automate some of the most challenging processes associated with managing complex IT environments. These include managing storage devices, addressing IT failures and deploying new software releases and patches. The software helps customers fight rising IT costs, manage constant change and meet the demand to stay competitive in the marketplace.

The full suite of Tivoli Provisioning software will be available in September.

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