Monday, 16 February 2009

When digital gets physical

IBM brightened up its Pulse conference in Las Vegas last week with a number of interesting announcements. Interesting for two reasons: it gives users some new useful products and it hints at the direction that IBM’s thinking is taking it.

In classic business-speak we found out that by providing clients with greater visibility into the performance of their businesses and control over the management of business processes, IBM helps them improve their ability to respond to changes, and gain greater command over their hardware, software, people, and information assets. Which, to be honest, actually sounds useful for many organizations. If the banks had only known that they were loaning so much money to so many people who couldn’t ever pay it back, we wouldn’t be in our current financial crisis!!

Here’s a brief list of the announcements.

The Tivoli Service Automation Manager software automates the design, deployment, and management of services such as middleware, applications, hardware, and networks.

The Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager software helps organizations simplify the life-cycle of encryption keys by enabling them to centralize, automate, and strengthen security through key management processes.

The ProtecTIER Deduplication Appliance helps eliminates redundant copies of the same data, reducing it to a single instance of the data, and eliminating duplicative copies. Thank you Diligent Technologies.

There are enhancements to the IBM XIV Storage System.

There is Full-Disk Encryption on IBM System Storage DS8000s, which can help increase security. By combining the DS8000 with its full-disk encrypting drives and the Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager, the DS8000 security solution can secure data and securely erase data from disk drives that are being retired or used for a different purpose.

IBM Internet Security System’s new data security services can help prevent information loss through: network extrusion prevention; implementing and managing encryption solutions to protect data even if lost or stolen; securing data more effectively; monitoring and controlling the use of external storage devices for storing and transporting data; and enhancing the security of inbound and outbound e-mails.

The InfoSphere Warehouse for System z beta software allows customers to more easily and cost effectively design and run a data warehouse that supports business intelligence applications.

The IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management software brings automation to the management and reporting of energy consumption by non-IT assets, eg an office building air conditioning system.

Quite a lot that will be useful to the business community. And IBM is clearly looking for a single point for the monitoring and control of much more than just the mainframe.

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