Tivoli Software Subscriptions Keep IT Services Up-to-Date

A fast, cost-conscious way to ensure your infrastructure is up-to-date

Tivoli Beat. A weekly IBM service management perspective.

Keeping the IT infrastructure current is crucial for business success today. As IT increasingly becomes the central nervous system through which core services are created and delivered, it's increasingly important for that central nervous system to be as efficient, cost-effective, and versatile as possible.

Staying on top of the rapidly-changing marketplace of IT solutions and services, however, is easier said than done.

For IT professionals who may already be time-challenged, it's not always a simple matter to know when new versions of critical solutions have been released—let alone purchase them, deploy them, and verify they're integrated in the intended fashion.

Even the subject of purchasing itself will give many IT professionals pause. As the economy has continued to be unpredictable and even downright gloomy, IT budgets have not climbed the way they did in sunnier economic times. Cost-effective strategies of keeping the infrastructure current, therefore, are more appealing than ever.

Fortunately, there's a fantastic way to get the latest and greatest from IBM Tivoli—a way that acknowledges both the need to stay current while also minimizing the associated costs. This is a magazine-style subscription option, available for many leading Tivoli service management solutions. When new versions are released, organizations that have purchased a subscription are notified automatically, and can download the new versions immediately and at no cost.

This applies no matter how many new versions come out; as long as the subscription is maintained, the software will be free. And because the infrastructure is continually current, the organization continually benefits via new features, bug fixes, improved security, innovative cross-solution integrations—all of which, added up, make IT an increasingly optimized, cost-efficient engine of business services.

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"By subscribing to Tivoli Directory Server, organizations can maximize the business value they get from it. IT managers will always be aware when new versions come out, and they can take advantage of the latest fixes and features at no new cost."

One particularly good example of how a Tivoli software subscription can benefit your organization: IBM Tivoli Directory Server (TDS).

TDS is essentially an identity foundation—a base of user information that (typically via a Service Oriented Architecture) can be applied and reapplied in as many ways as the organization needs. This delivers a broad array of compelling business benefits that gets bigger and more impressive the more users and the more services an organization has.

To illustrate just some of the possibilities, TDS might be used as a core part of identity verification/authentication in services ranging from e-mail to database access to Web-based business applications to an internal cloud. Instead of having to create a separate pool of identity information for each service, and then maintain them all over time, the organization can rely on TDS as a trusted, centralized foundation that can be utilized for those and other services.

Changes to that foundation are also centralized. This translates into much more simplified, accelerated management over time. If a user should get married, for instance, and change her last name, that change can be implemented in TDS only once; it will then be reflected in every service that invokes TDS as part of the authentication process.

And as the organization creates more services over time—or extends service beyond the company walls to clients, customers, and business partners—much the same argument applies. The business value TDS creates becomes multiplied, and the organization can accomplish more, more quickly, yet at lower costs.

Compelling new features & enhancements make the business case for subscribing to TDS

Of course, fully taking advantage of TDS also means always having the latest version deployed in the IT infrastructure. Because TDS provides a foundational service—one that enables or supports many other services—it's crucially important to be sure that any known issues have been patched, and any new opportunities to integrate it have been exploited.

It's for this reason that a Tivoli subscription to TDS is especially compelling. By subscribing to TDS, organizations can maximize the business value they get from it. IT managers will always be aware when new versions come out, and they can take advantage of the latest fixes and features at no new cost.

And those new features, in turn, will help to improve all the services that rely on TDS.

To get some idea of the possibilities implied by the phrase "new features," one need only consider the latest version of TDS (6.3) and the impressive list of upgrades that arrived with it.

Java 6 and IBM Embedded WebSphere Application Server 7.0—which together, represent a great way to enhance Java application performance—are now supported as well. And so is the Global Secure Toolkit 8 (an application programming interface designed to make it easy to modify an application to enable Secure Socket Layer encryption).

Also helpful: the user interface can be redesigned to suit specific requirements. And in TDS 6.3, more tasks can be executed via the GUI than ever before; documentation is provided via online help.

For this reason, TDS 6.3 has been upgraded to include support for 64-bit Linux servers running on System z mainframes, IBM POWER Systems, System x, AIX (IBM's flavor of UNIX), Solaris, HP-UX, and Microsoft Windows (both Intel's and AMD's 64-bit processor architectures).

AIX Workload Partition support delivers a secured, isolated environment for the hosted application in every case. And under Solaris, a virtualized OS can now be created within a single instance, to isolate processes more securely. Finally, Linux virtualization is now far more extensive, including both Xen and kernel-based virtual machines (KVMs).

Together, these upgrades combine to make TDS a much more powerful, flexible, and effective identity foundation organizations can leverage to render their core services only to the right people—and then, with the right privileges.

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