Tivoli Subscriptions: Get the Latest and
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Keep the infrastructure current and reap many impressive benefits

Tivoli Beat - A weekly IBM service management perspective.Just how up to date is your infrastructure? That's a difficult question for most IT managers to answer, but it's an important one to be able to answer nonetheless. This is because the more current the infrastructure, the greater the business value it generates over time.

Among other significant considerations to bear in mind:

The argument for infrastructural currency only gets more powerful when you consider the increasing extent to which IT is responsible for internal and external services at most organizations. Today, IT is already the de facto nervous system, the service that underlies and enables all other services; it's clearly no place for compromise.

Tivoli subscriptions help you drive down costs with the latest solutions

As new iterations or major releases come out, time-challenged IT managers aren't always aware of that fact. Worse, even if they are aware, they may lack the discretionary budget to purchase new versions, given today's challenging and unpredictable economic conditions. For IT managers confronted by these all-too-common problems, an excellent solution is available: IBM Tivoli subscriptions.Keeping IT solutions entirely current, however, is a complicated affair in most cases. As new iterations or major releases come out, time-challenged IT managers aren't always aware of that fact. Worse, even if they are aware, they may lack the discretionary budget to purchase new versions, given today's challenging and unpredictable economic conditions. All the same, the need to keep the infrastructure up to date remains greater than ever.

For IT managers confronted by this all-too-common problem, an excellent solution is available: IBM Tivoli subscriptions. Tivoli subscriptions work very much like magazine subscriptions in that once purchased, any new solution releases—however many there may be—are available for no extra charge over the entire duration of the subscription. Furthermore, managers are also automatically notified of the new releases, making it easy to stay on top of a rapidly changing market. Once new versions are acquired over the Internet, installation and deployment is then a simple matter, usually requiring less than one business day.

Tivoli subscriptions thus deliver an accelerated way to keep the IT infrastructure completely current which is also cost-effective and budget conscious. Each year, managers know precisely how much they'll need to spend on management solutions—to the penny. Meanwhile, the total time the infrastructure spends in an out-of-date state is minimized.

ITCAM for Transactions: Isolating and resolving composite application problems

Every time new solution versions are released, Tivoli subscriptions justify themselves all over again—and that's particularly evident in the case of IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Transactions (ITCAM for Transactions), recently updated to version 7.3 and chock-full of impressive new features that translate directly into real-world value.

That's because today's organizations increasingly rely on composite applications to handle key tasks in IT, yet composite applications also imply a special diagnostic challenge when problems turn up. Composite applications are built from different IT resources ranging from systems to Java applications to databases—essentially, a chain of dependencies that is only as strong as its weakest link.

This design means that if the composite application as a whole exhibits unexpectedly poor performance, isolating the root cause of the issue is far from easy; it might involve any one, or several, of the links in the chain. Unfortunately, those links are typically associated with different IT asset groups or business domains, and monitored and managed correspondingly. In a worst case scenario, it might be necessary to confer with multiple managers, each of whom uses a dedicated management solution for his or her domain, combining the information from each in order to arrive at a best-guess evaluation of the problem.

ITCAM for Transactions offers a superior approach. This powerful solution automatically generates topology maps that reflect a composite application's complete dependency chain. It also establishes transaction performance at every link along the way by comparing current performance against historical performance. Combined, these features give IT managers a bird's eye view of composite application performance—rapidly establishing just where issues lie and empowering a speedy and effective response. In many cases, in fact, problems can be addressed by IT before they're even noticed by end users.

Subscribe to ITCAM to learn compelling new features and functions

In the latest version of ITCAM for Transactions—version 7.3—this impressive feature set was augmented still further to extend the solution's capabilities into new areas. These new features were created in direct acknowledgement of customer requests and their common architectural needs and goals.

For instance, ITCAM for Transactions now supports agentless tracking. This spares IT the time and trouble needed to deploy dedicated software agents to some of the assets that play a part in composite applications—that agent being one fewer element of the IT infrastructure they have to keep current. It also means that, for those who are just getting started with ITCAM for Transactions, they can get much faster time-to-value, because agents won't always have to be distributed before the solution begins to solve problems.

ITCAM for Transactions also boasts an improved interface that significantly simplifies oversight of composite application chains. The new interface achieves this by combining data coming from both agented and non-agented assets. The simpler, unified topology map that results is easier to understand and interpret than the two topology maps created by previous versions, and helps managers identify and eliminate technical problems more swiftly and comprehensively.

Monitoring functionality is also enhanced via improved scalability. For even the most complex and distributed application chains, ITCAM for Transactions can now scale to handle their full scope—giving the largest enterprises even more insight into, and control over, their most demanding application-driven services.

Finally, ITCAM for Transactions now supports a broader range of application domains and environments than ever before. Among other new environments supported are Microsoft .Net, Distributed (WebSphere, J2EEE, and others), and mainframe systems. Managers can thus use this single solution to oversee key application performance in more business and technological contexts—and reduce the time and effort needed to ensure that that performance meets user expectations at all times.

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