IBM on Friday unveiled a new version of its data center automation software, Tivoli Provisioning Manager 5.1.1, InformationWeek reports. With several new enhancements, the latest program version automates the discovery, deployment, configuration and management of operating systems, patches, middleware and applications on physical and virtual servers. The software also can manage virtualization technologies; SAN- and NAS-based storage resources; and network devices acting as routers, switches, firewalls and load balancers, according to IBM. In addition, the program enables companies to automate data center procedures and processes by modifying out-of-the-box automation packages or creating new ones. For instance, the program includes Web Replay, in which a user can record the mouse clicks, data insertion, and other processes involved in any task. If the procedure is saved, the scenario can be automatically replayed to save time. The upgrades also include cross-platform patch support that helps customers automate steps in compliance efforts, allowing customers to manage patches on Windows, Linux, Solaris and AIX within the same effort, for example. Additionally, users can now create and maintain application infrastructure maps to improve compliance and remediation, speed up problem solving, and simplify daily resource management, according to the company. Finally, IBM has streamlined the installation process for faster deployment.
Meanwhile, IBM in November introduced software under the Tivoli brand called Netcool Customer Experience Management. With the product, cellular phone, Internet and other service providers can manage accounts by customer, location, device, time, grouping and service through a single portal, offering users a clearer picture of network usage patterns and customer behavior (Gonsalves, InformationWeek, 1/18/08).