One of the advantages of virtualization is the ability to "grow" the data center without having to constnatly add new hardware. That said, those virtualized servers need to be managed efficiently, or the benefits are quickly lost.
Watch this video featuring IBM Senior Product Manager Robin Hernandez and learn how IBM tackles the complex problem of image management and how it impacts the business.
Good news from the Application Portfolio Monitoring (APM) team.
The 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has been released, Gartner has identified IBM as a leader.
I think I speak for everyone at IBM when I say, "W00T!" (which is leet, for "awesome!")
Talking to customers, this is no surprise. The APM portfolio is a "fan favorite" among companies worldwide and IBM is delivering solutions built on innovative technologies that provide superior value for our customers and their business.
For folks familiar with our APM portfolio and for new readers (welcome), I recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Garnter Magic Quadrant for APM and see what they have to say.
Next, there a number of useful pages about IBM Tivoli monitoring solutions on ibm.com.
And, of course, contact your IBM sales rep or one of our Business Partners using the Business Partner Locator website to talk about the Magic Quadrant and how the product portfolio can meet your business needs.
In the comments section below, please feel free to talk about the APM portfolio and how you are using the products in the portfolio.
Today, IBM has a number of exciting announcements around SmartCloud. It's such a big announcement that we might have to turn it into a national holiday (which wouldn't be cool for the one dude waiting by the mailboxes for his copy of Zookeeper on BluRay).
Why Cloud? Why Now?
When we listen to customers across industries, we hear them tell us about the bold moves they must make to stay ahead of their competition. They tell us about how they need to quickly and efficiently provide new and innovative services to their customers.
Speed to market. Efficiency. Reducing costs.
These are their watch words and they look at cloud computing as a technology that offers these advantages.
That said, there's also a requirement to ensure the same levels of governance they currently have set in place. They also want to ensure that they are reducing (not increasing) their level of risk. And, of course, it has to be done securely.
Can all of this be done with cloud computing?
I would not joke about delaying that dude's copy of Zookeeper if it wasn't.
In all seriousness, yes it can and IBM has been helping customers do this for a while now. We've been successful with a large number of customers already and these new announcements build upon our previous success and really enforce our message: "Rethink IT. Reinvent Business."
IBM offers clients the freedom of choice to find solutions that meet their business requirements ranging from a portfolio of cloud solutions targeted directly at the enterprise to a choice of delivery models (public, private and hybrid) as well as expertise and service management capabilities.
There are a number of announcements in this launch across every brand in IBM (all of which are on the website).
For this blog post, I'm going to focus on IBM SmartCloud Foundation.
IBM SmartCloud Foundation
There's a full press release on this, but basically the SmartCloud Foundation family of private cloud solutions help companies quickly design and deploy private cloud environments with a new level of control over cloud service delivery and management.
As organizations take the next step beyond virtualized data center and begin to expand their cloud environments, they are concerned with managing what has become known as "image sprawl."
The SmartCloud Foundation portfolio contains these offerings:
A new cloud ‘starter kit’ - IBM SmartCloud Entry is prepackaged, private-cloud software that provides simplified cloud administration, standardization of virtual machines and improved operations productivity with an easy-to-use, self-service interface (highly optimized for IBM Power and System x hardware).
A new powerful provisioning engine and image management system – At the heart of cloud computing is the ability to dynamically create or "provision" virtual machines. Called IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, the software can create hundreds of virtual machines in less than a minutes and scale to more than 4,000 virtual machines in less than an hour.
New cloud-based monitoring software – IBM has applied its industry-leading monitoring expertise to create cloud-specific software called IBM SmartCloud Monitoring. It provides greater visibility into the performance of virtual and physical environments: storage, network and server resources.
Rod Atkins (my General Manager back when I worked in pSeries and now Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group) has been using the term "tune to task" in place of "fit for purpose."
In her guest blog post on the Mainframe Zone, Mary Shacklett does an excellent job in explaining why words do matter.
What I took away from this is that, either way, it speaks to the need for Visibility, Control and Automation™ (VCA).
The realities of the business today are based on heterogenous environments that continue to transform and evolve and becoming increasingly complex as you start to build private clouds and then as you start to pull public cloud resources into your organization to then create a "hybrid" cloud environment.
Much like what we discussed in the security video, the fundamentals are still the same. This becomes a conversation multiple platforms. "Tuned to task." Requiring the same levels of VCA as you use to maintain the levels of governance and reduce risk and for your business before you embarked on this journey.
"Have it to you by lunch, boss!" I'm sure is not the answer that you give. Right?
Here's the thing: it's not all doom and gloom. By any means.
Bowman Hall and Barbara Korte are back to talk about some of the challenges our customers are facing managing heterogeneous and hybrid environments in the Cloud, and what IBM can do to assist.
They discuss a broad range of questions you might be thinking about (like managing multiple hypervisors) but more importantly they discuss the approach that only IBM has for providing VCA as the cornerstone for your service management practice.
As a marketing guy, I can tell you that we planned it so that VCA was the central theme for all of our videos (YouTube playlist).
Take time to watch the video (and the others in our playlist) and contact your IBM sales rep or one of our Business Partners using the Business Partner Locator website to talk about VCA and what you're doing with cloud in your organization and get cloud ready!.
A few years ago, I worked on organizing an analyst summit for IBM where we announced the (then new) IBM Security Framework.*
Cut to today and the IBM Security Framework is still at the foundation of Smarter security solutions from IBM.
The IBM Security Framework. Visibility, Control and Automation.™
when we talk to customers about how to address their business pains, the fundamentals remain the same even though the technology continues to advance in new directions.
With Cloud and Virtualization in particular, the technology is certainly changing at a pretty fast clip.
Take a look at the fourth video in our series, "Cloud Enabling Your Data Center: Security and the Cloud" where Joe Anthony, IBM Director, Security, Risk & Compliance Product Management, talks about the IBM Security Framework and how it addresses the Cloud and business pains our customers are trying ot address.
The message and the focus of security and the Cloud is still very much rooted in the IBM Security Framework.
As a reminder, the entire video series can be seen using the YouTube Playlist (Get Cloud Ready).
* To be clear, I had nothing to do with building the IBM Security Framework. I was just the project manager for the event. Like Jarvis in the Avengers. (as a side note: one thing I learned about event planning - coffee, coffee, coffee!)
The excitement and amazing performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics bring to mind the importance of getting a great start "off the blocks." Whether you're Michael Phelps, striving for your record eighth gold medal in a single Olympic games, or Usain Bolt smashing the world records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints, how you start is often the difference between gold and silver, between winning and not.
Similarly, getting a great start with IBM Service Management can help our clients deliver gold medal service quality with surprising speed. We've all talked to our clients about how IBM service management enables them to deliver quality service, operational efficiency and innovation through visibility, control, and automation. Our clients "get it," yet many of them face the same challenge: "How can we get started?"
To help you answer that question and get your clients off to that fast start that they're looking for, we've developed the IBM service management entry points. The entry points are documented "starter projects" based on actual customer usage and previous implementation experiences. IBM Service Management professionals worked extensively with customers and key industry analysts to create this set of five entry points that, upon completion, minimize time to value and achieve practical business benefits.
The five IBM Service Management entry points are:
Discover: Understanding infrastructure and business dependencies Monitor: Tracking infrastructure health and compliance Protect: Ensuring infrastructure security and resilience against threats and disaster Industrialize: Streamlining workflows and processes for repeatable, scalable and consistent results Integrate: Aligning and integrating IT and business operations and objectives for optimal impact
Be sure catch the replay of the August 26 IBM Service Management Jam webcast, "Where to Begin: The Five Entry Points" featuring Zarina Stanford, Director, Tivoli Marketing. Zarina discusses how implementing one or more of the entry point projects can help clients get a great start "off the blocks" and address with urgency the high priorities of cost reduction and operational inefficiencies, improving their service quality and positioning themselves not only in the lead, but with the absolute best chance to win.
My bosses gave me a very simple task, "Solve the confusion surrounding some of the questions our customers have around cloud computing and service management."
I told them I'd have it done before lunch.
And if you believe that, you have way too much faith in my marketing abilities (hi, mom!).
In all seriousness, you have questions about cloud computing. Lots of questions.
Cloud is everywhere and there's a lot of information that our customers are having to sift and sort through.
Which is why back in May, I assembled a group of sales leads, marketing peers, development executives...literaly a "who's who" of cloud computing at IBM and asked them this:
What are the questions our customers have around cloud?
That started a series of conversations that led us to several core questions, and we got to work.
We enlisted some of our top people working on cloud and we asked them to get in front of a video camera and talk directly to you about these questions.
The result is a video series we call, "Cloud Enabling Your Data Center."
Today, we are releasing the first video: "Achieving Greater Efficiencies With Virtualization And Cloud Computing (Service Management Across The Entire Infrastructure)"
This video features two of our top sales executives; Bowman Hall and Barbara Korte. Barbara is a sales executive for Integrated Service Management and you might remember Bowman Hall from the Cloud demo during the Pulse General Session.
As I said, this is the first of the video series. Future videos will be released in the next few weeks.
We also have a short URL that goes to a landing page we've put togther with additional cloud materials and (most importantly) a full list of Pulse Comes To You and Impact Comes To You events that are happening in your area.
Even if you went to Pulse or Impact in Las Vegas this past year, these local events are great opportunities to deep-dive into a topic like cloud computing as well as meet your peers and local subject matter experts.
More to come and please feel free to comment below about your thoughts on Cloud.
PS also this week, we announced a new version of IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager (Announcement Letter 211-256). The new release allows IT service providers to onboard multiple customers, deploy IT services very quickly across multiple platforms and hypervisors, maximize resource utilization and drive cloud operations effectiveness and efficiency by adding storage support and expanding on network integration. Learn more about the new features and the product on the product page.
Last week, I attended my first IBM Pulse conference. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Vegas, and met many of my Tivoli colleagues for the first time. I also probably walked the equivalent of 15 miles over the five days within the mammoth MGM facility. But what I found most valuable over the five days were my interactions with our customers and business partners.
On Day 1 of the conference, my focus was the ISM Simulator workshop that I helped coordinate. Given that the workshop was: a) taking place prior to any other Pulse activities, b) located in the bowels of the MGM hotel, and
c) three hours in duration...
...I was a bit apprehensive that all the customers and business partners who had RSVP'd would actually show up. But when people started rolling in 30 minutes before the start time, I was confident that this workshop was going to be a success.
When we got started, we had 21 participants sitting around four tables, which is all but ideal for this role playing workshop. Like other simulator workshops that I have attended, it started out a bit chaotic, as participants tried to process the firehose of information that was being thrust upon them. By the end of the three hours, they had come full circle, and were effectively working together to the tune of a $5 million profit for their hypothetical shipping company.
As I chatted with some of them after the session, and listened in on some of their video testimonials, the words I heard most often were "eye-opening", "outstanding" and "insightful".
On Monday and Tuesday, I worked on the expo floor and showed off our cool new ISM Simulator video game. The game allowed users to experience various issues affecting service management and corporate profitability in a simulated organization. At the ped, I got great feedback from customers and partners, who, by virtue of playing the game, were able to get a better grasp of the sometimes abstract concepts of service management.
You can play the IBM Service Management Mission game here.
All in all, it was a great conference, and stay tuned for the video from the workshop!
It started out a bit frenetic and confusing. Nobody knew what to do or where to go, and panic seemed to set in every time the loud horn blared, indicating another failure had occurred.
No, I wasn't attending a Green Mountain Derby Dames roller derby tournament.
Rather, I was present at an ISM Simulator Workshop session in Washington DC.
My role was to videotape the workshop, with the intent of scaling it down into a 2-3 minute snippet that captures the essence of the session. And as I observed the 16 participants in 'Round 1', it all started to make sense.
The participants were playing the roles of employees at a hypothetical shipping company. They were broken out into four teams, representing four different parts of the company - senior management, line of business owners, service desk personnel
and technical services.
On the screen at the front of the room was a birds-eye projection of the company, including a series of dashboards and schedules, which provided the participants with essential real-time information such as service level data, shipments completed, locations where outages were occurring, and the amount of money that the company was making (or losing!) at any given moment.
The goal of the 'game' was to maximize profits for the company in the face of systems that were continuously breaking down. To do so, each team had to establish its own processes, and effectively collaborate with the other teams so as to create an efficient overall system.
The first round was anything but efficient, as the teams tried desperately to get their own houses in order while they watched all the missed shipments, unresolved outages, and lost revenue on the screen. The sense of frustration was obvious, but the group pressed on.
At the end of the round, the facilitator conducted an assessment of the business by reviewing bottom line data with the group, and discussed best and worst practices that the teams had implemented. Clearly, there was a better way to run this business, and the group was determined to figure it out in short order.
Somewhere in the middle of Round 2, I began to sense that the group was turning the corner. There were a lot more 'aha" moments, a lot less shouting across the room, flip charts were being utilized, and there seemed to be a great deal of relevant information being shared across the different teams.
After three hours and three rounds, the group was both exhausted and exhilarated. They were able to implement an efficient process that yielded a positive bottom line.
But more importantly, they now had a much more tangible understanding of the role that Service Management plays in aligning IT with the business.
I had a chance to interview several of the participants after the session, and they were all effusive in their praise for the workshop. Clearly, the workshop far exceeded their expectations, and they were anxious to share their experience, and apply some of the best practices at their own organizations.
As a new member of the ISM marketing team, the workshop was also a great experience for me. Besides meeting some very interesting IBM customers and partners, I now have a much firmer grasp of the value of Service Management.
Incidentally, we will be running a simulator workshop for customers at Pulse on Sunday, February 27th. If you are interested in attending, please contact David Ojalvo as soon as possible, because seating is limited to the first 20 respondents.
If you are not able to get with us at Pulse, fear not...the ISM Simulator Workshop is portable in nature, and can be hosted at any customer site for a group of your employees. It's a great educational and team building exercise! For more information on this, visit our web page, and contact your local sales rep.
A few years ago, IBM began talking about Visibility, Control and Automation™ (VCA).
VCA is the cornerstone of Integrated Service Management. It's how we help clients achieve success.
VCA is not only critical for optimizing return on Virtualization and Cloud, it also applied to end-to-end business services.
To steal a phrase: it's about the service.
The third video in our series is "Cloud Enabling Your Data Center: The Importance of Integrated Service Management In The Cloud" and it is presented once again by Bowman Hall and Barbara Korte.
Bowman and Barbara do two things in this video: they give a great overview of Integrated Service Management and its concepts as well as talk to how that aligns with technologies such as Virtualization and Cloud.
Achieving world-class business services for your organization does not mean abandoning the tenants of your service management practice.
Visibility, Control and Automation™. In a cloud computing environment.
I am going to tell you a story, and the truth is it's probably pretty familiar to you already.
Here goes: in today's competitive market, your services are what make your organization innovative. They are what set you apart from your competition.
They are what have taken your IT from being seen as a "cost center" to playing a role as one of the most crucial parts of your organization's success (or failure).
The services you provide are what make your organization innovative. Failure on the part of IT can mean failure for everyone.
(No pressure. Am I right?)
By definition, a competitive market is one that is in constant states of change. New customer demands. Competitive maneuvers. New service offerings. Industry or government regulations.
Speed is of the essence. But, of course there's the need to ensure that everything stays within the governance you've put in place, your security policies and of course you're trying to be as risk adverse as possible.
Doing all of this while navigating the complexity of your IT.
(Like I said. No pressure.)
This is the story you already are pretty familiar with. So now, let's talk about what we do about this.
Today, Tivoli along with Rational and WebSphere are a part of a larger IBM Software Group launch around Business Agility.
There are a number of announcements around Business Agility - about providing you with "business agility levers" that assist with combinations of technology capabilities that accelerate the path to agility with reduced cost and greater efficiency.
This is the start of a series of blogs where we'll be discussing a number of the business agility levers. Today, I'm going to talk about one; Predictive Business Service Management. My next blog will focus on Collaborative Development & Operations.
Predictive Business Service Management
With Business Service Management solutions from IBM, organizations are able to put services in the proper business context so that both IT and the business teams can accurately see the complex relationships their services and supporting technology infrastructure have with each other.
On Tuesday, IBM announced a new version of the Tivoli Business Service Manager solution. Key to this new version (Announcement 211-444) are role-based dashboards with easy self-service, drag & drop capabilities to customize a user’s visibility into key service health indicators, KPIs, and business or IT detail required for their role or tackling a current issue.
That level of "Visibility" can be taken to a new level when organizations leverage Predictive Analytics.
Business service disruptions and outages cost organizations millions of dollars per year. Even with existing investments in infrastructure monitoring and performance management solutions, organizations are often unaware of an impending service issue…until it is too late.
Predictive Business Service Management identifies performance issues in an organization's IT and network infrastructure prior to these costly service disruptions or outages. With this type of early warning system, detection is done early enough that mitigating steps can be taken to stop the issue from ever negatively impacting critical application or business services. Put simply: it finds problems before the organization knows to look for them.
Also on Tuesday, IBM previewed a new solution for predictive business service management that will address predictive business service management (Announcement 211-468).
For more information around everything that is happening around the Business Agility launch contact your IBM sales rep or one of our Business Partners using the Business Partner Locator website.
Also, we're doing something a bit new with this announcement. The IBM Software Group Blog, Impact Blog, Rational Blog and this blog are all telling the story together. You'll be able to click across the different blogs and get more information about all aspects of this launch.
The group is made up of a very diverse audience, including IT professionals, analysts, IBM Business Partners and of course, IBMers.
Members of this group share knowledge, news, training, and events around Service Management solutions, including Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Information Management, Storage, Security, DevOps, Smarter Planet, Green IT and Cloud Computing!
So join our group, and initiate a discussion, or weigh on on an existing discussion!
New z114 designed to consolidate workloads from hundreds of x86 servers
Costs 25% less and offers up to 25% performance improvements over IBM z10 BC Servers
High-end mainframe features now available at entry level price of $75,000
Ability to manage workloads on select System x blades now available
Designed to deliver Smarter Computing capabilities
Many of the analysts have focused on the $75,000 entry price point. And that's cool.
There are customers who on Monday didn't think that they could afford a mainframe and are today putting it on their short list. What they will find is a platform that is highly reliable and will help them achieve the levels of innovation needed to drive their business.
Of course, I'm an Integrated Service Management guy and at the end of the day it's all about the service.
Which is why the good news is that we provide a Integrated Service Management capabilities and portfolio solutions for the mainframe.
Fill Bowen wrote up a good blog on the subject and we published a statement of direction* (Announcement Letter: 211-271) to support the announcement.
For more information contact your IBM sales rep or one of our Business Partners using the Business Partner Locator website and feel free to leave comments below about your positive experiences with the mainframe.
* Statement of direction is intended to provide insight into IBM plans and direction. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.
All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice
Impact 2011 joins Pulse* in the rear view mirror as IBM continues to truck through 2011.
The next stop in the convoy is Innovate. June 5-9 in Orlando, FL.
What is Innovate? Well, one of my fellow marketing folks worked very hard on this description of Innovate, so I'm just going to paste it in the section below:
Innovate 2011 is the event that recognizes, celebrates and enables software and systems innovation. It is the conference totally focused on helping you dramatically improve software economics.
Translation: if you work with software, and especially if you work with Rational, this is your show!
The Integrated Service Management team will be there in full force, focusing on design and delivery.
Gina Poole, VP Marketing, IBM Rational is hosting the show and if I haven't convinced you already then maybe this will. Keynote speaker, two words: Felicia Day!
For those unfamiliar, take a moment to listen to her keynote at SXSW and you'll start to understand why she's one of the most innovative and successful creators working in the entertainment industry. (and, on a personal note. I got to meet her briefly at SXSW and she's one of the nicest people on the planet)
Registration is open. Put it in fifth gear and get to the Innovate page to register and we look forward to seeing you there.
And, of course, more news on where to find us at Innovate the closer we get to the conference. In the meantime, you can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ibminnovate.
Impact gives us a chance to talk to our customers about how Integrated Service Management aligns with Business Process Management and SOA as well as gives us another opportunity to show some amazing joint Cloud solutions (see the press release from Pulse, "IBM Advances Cloud Computing with New Software").
If you're at Impact (and even if you're not...more on that later in the post), here's how to find us:
Tivoli At Impact? There's a Web Page For That
The "Tivoli At Impact" web page, courtesy of David Ojalvo (@David_Ojalvo), is the offical page for everything that's going on at Impact for Tivoli software.
The Cool Kid's Table In The Solution Expo
There are many things that you'll be able to see in the Solution Expo, but if you want to know where all the cool kids (aka the Integrated Service Management folks) are then take note of the list below:
'Integrated Service Management' ped (Automation, Image Management and Security).
'Private Clouds' ped within the Smarter Computing zone (Ped SC3).
Integrated Service Management for IBM zEnterprise' (Ped Z8).
'IBM Solutions for Smarter Communications' (CSP2) ped.
The Tivoli Security for Healthcare demo will beshown at the 'Healthcare and Life Sciences' ped.
Sessions, We've Got Sessions...
It will be very difficult not to see Integrated Service Management since we'll be hosting a number of sessions and we'll have "shout outs" and material in even more sessions across the agenda.
The Impact Smart Site is the best way to create your schedule and keep an eye out for the following sessions:
Automating SOA Policy Service Level Agreements (1569)
Enabling secure application deployment with centralized security policy management (2778)
Enhancing Cloud Strategy and Architecture with IBM's Integrated Service Management
Hybrid Cloud Integration (1380)
Hybrid Cloud Management: An Integrated Approach (1347)
IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (2307)
ITCAM for Transactions: End-to-end Transaction Tracking across WebSphere Middleware (2678)
Leverage Application Performance Management Capitalize on Complexities* (1343)
Monitoring BPM Solutions with Tivoli: Future Directions (2960)
Running Your Business Application With WebSphere and Tivoli joint session with WebSphere, overlaps with 2296 and 2329 (1374)
Securing Your Agile Business - IBM Data & Application Security Strategy* (3037A)
SOA Policy Reference Architecture What it is & How to use it (1568)
Utilizing ITCAM to monitor WebSphere in complex topology environments (2329)
Do Not Wait To Register For The Tivoli Lunch Reception
On Wednesday, April 13 from 12:00 - 1:30pm we will be hosting a luncheon reception where you will be able to meet some of our subject matter experts and executives.
Space is extremely limited, so if you want to attend then you need to register on the website (only registered attendees will be able to get in).
It's Not Just TV, It's Impact TV
Much like we did at Pulse, Impact keynotes and a ton of interviews will be broadcast live on Livestream. Keep an eye on the Impact TV channel for all sorts of great interviews, including Jamie Thomas (VP of Tivoli Strategy and Development) on Monday, April 11 at 3pm PST (UTC/GMT -8 hours).
Jamie is one of my personal favorite people to hear talk about Integrated Service Management. She gave a killer keynote at Pulse and you'll she also had a great conversation with Scott Laningham at Pulse (along with our VP of Sales, Joao Perez) which puts her on my "must see TV" list for Impact and you should make plans to check it out too.
The Social At IBM Impact Portal is great for both attendees and folks sitting at their desks. Much like what we did for Pulse, this site has the latest Twitter and blog posts as well as a window to the LiveStream.