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IBM’s Tivoli management software brand on Monday launched the latest round of automation capabilities at Forrester Research Inc.’s GigaWorld IT Forum.

IBM extended automation functions in its IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager to cover its own storage products and also made it possible for customers with other vendors’ storage gear to integrate those products in order to extend the automation outside IBM products, according to Steve Wojtowecz, director of strategy at IBM/Tivoli in Austin, Texas.

“We didn’t embed [EMC or other third-party storage support] in the product because we don’t have the license [to do that],” Wojtowecz said. “We put the actual steps one through five in the read-me [file]. Any operations or storage manager knows what they have and can do [the integration],” he said.

Click here to read more about IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager and other on-demand provisioning tools.

Along with IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager 2.1’s support for storage, IBM created a suite of storage management and provisioning tools, dubbed IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center with Advanced Provisioning.

It includes the Provisioning Manager with the recently launched IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center, IBM Tivoli Storage Resource Manager, IBM Tivoli SAN Manager and IBM TotalStorage Multiple Device Manager. It is intended to provide a central point of control to monitor and maintain storage resources.

IBM also made it possible in the new Provisioning Manager Version 2.1 to provision Windows-based eServer xSeries servers with the single click of a mouse. The plan is to extend that one-click provisioning to servers running other operating systems, such as Linux or Solaris, in the second half of this year. It is possible in the new release to provision Linux SuSE 8 and Solaris Version 9 through multiple steps.

In another on-demand computing announcement, IBM’s Orchestration and Provisioning Library (OPAL) initiative is expanding to include 13 new partners.

New ISVs, systems integrators and resellers joining the OPAL program include Alterpoint Inc., Aurema Inc., Deloitte Consulting, Elyzium, E.Piphany Inc., Evident Software Inc., Inkra Networks Corp., Intelliden Corp., Nortel Networks Ltd., Peregrine Systems Inc., SAP AG, Temenos USA Inc. and Voyence Inc.

The OPAL initiative is intended to extend the ability to create workflows for automatically provisioning specific vendor environments beyond those supported directly by IBM. The latest round of partners, in addition to existing partners such as Citrix and VMware, brings the total to 22 participants.

Workflows are the logical series of steps required to install, configure and deploy infrastructure elements in a way that allows them to automatically detect and respond to changing business conditions.

The aim is to reduce the amount of manual effort, increase resource utilization and make it possible to update infrastructures in a few hours, instead of a few weeks.

Workflows also can be developed to automate processes for certain vertical industries, such as banking or health care.

IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager Version 2.1 is due out by the end of June.

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