Tivoli Subscription &Support: Get Faster, More Agile IT at Lower Annual Costs

Keeping IT current is an investment that pays many dividends

Tivoli Beat. A weekly IBM service management perspective.

Anyone reading Tivoli Beat is likely to be doing so because they have a significant investment in Tivoli solutions—and they want to get the best possible return on that investment over time.

Making that happen, of course, means keeping those solutions as current as possible. Consider the following benefits that typically stem from newly released Tivoli solutions:

When you consider things in this light, it's clear that the case for keeping Tivoli software up-to-date over time is just as strong as the case for investing in it in the first place. You’ll get better performance from the IT infrastructure, at lower costs and risks, yielding a better business outcome.

That said, the question still remains: What's the best way to stay current?

The answer is the IBM Tivoli Subscription and Support program. This program gives IT managers an exceptionally simple, straightforward, and cost-effective way to stay on top of the dynamically changing Tivoli portfolio: simply subscribe to Tivoli solutions, as they might subscribe to a magazine or cable channel.

When new releases emerge, IT will be notified immediately and given the opportunity to download and deploy them the same day, experiencing their benefits instantly—an incredibly convenient process.

The case for a subscription gets even stronger when you consider the potential cost savings. Because subscriptions are purchased at a flat rate annually and cover all upgrades released for a full year, organizations can project the costs of upgrading software to the penny—and the more upgrades are released, the lower those costs will be.

Outstanding new features of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center 5.1 demonstrate the value of a subscription and support renewal

Need a for-instance to see how these benefits might play out in the real world? Let's consider the specific case of IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC).

"This storage resource management solution is designed to give storage managers all the visibility, control and automation needed to understand just how the storage picture is changing—and what needs to be done to solve problems and deliver a better result."

This storage resource management solution is designed to give storage managers all the visibility, control and automation needed to understand just how the storage picture is changing—and what needs to be done to solve problems and deliver a better result.

Now, this is no simple task, for many reasons. One very common reason is the fact that most IT infrastructures have multiple, heterogeneous storage infrastructures, each typically involving its own management paradigm—for instance, one for SAN fabric and another for the hard drives attached to conventional, single-application servers. Orchestrating all information and all functions across such a diverse architecture is often a slow and complicated process.

Tivoli Storage Productivity Center improves on that situation by centralizing storage management. It delivers the insight IT managers really need, via discovery functions that determine where and how storage has been deployed, as well as reporting to establish how it's being utilized by different applications, systems, and processes. And everyday tasks—such as the configuration of storage arrays for new service, or replication of important data from point A to point B—can typically be handled inside the TPC console as well. In this way, storage becomes a more fluid resource that is more easily controlled in any way needed to drive up the business value it generates.

In version 5.1 of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, new compelling features and optimizations have been rolled in—and every one of them is available immediately, with an active S&S license.

What kinds of features and optimizations are we talking about? To begin with, a new graphical user interface (GUI) has been introduced that offers web-based access, easy icon-based navigation, and simplified management of both internal and external resources. The new dashboard view provides comprehensive, at-a-glance insight into the complete storage infrastructure—to monitor the condition, capacity, and relationships of the resources within the storage environment.

That means storage-related problems can be detected more quickly, their root causes can be established more easily, and the necessary fix can typically be applied in record time—all of which mean that the business impact created by those problems is minimized.

And because the new interface is Web-based, all of these benefits come with extra administrative convenience as well; any standard browser, used from any workstation or mobile device, can be used by storage managers to handle necessary tasks.

Uncover hidden trends and utilization patterns—and get incredible time-to-value

Reporting has also been improved significantly. This is a particular area of importance given the rapid increase of the size and scope of most storage infrastructures because it helps IT understand, in all the ways that matter most, how storage utilization is changing—and why.

If, for instance, a particular fraction of a disk array has the tendency to become a "hot spot," due to an unexpected spike in the business demand for a particular service, that's information that IT is certainly going to want to have as soon as possible, so that that service can be supported better and yield a better outcome over time.

In TPC 5.1, that seemingly complex task has gotten a whole lot easier. Thanks to integration with the IBM Cognos business intelligence suite, TPC 5.1. has new power to generate ad hoc, customized reports that are more accurate and provide more insight than ever. Those reports can be generated faster, too—up to 70% faster in some cases. The insight generated by the reports thus translates into a quicker and more effective response to business needs, helping to make the entire storage infrastructure, and all the services that rely on it, much more agile.

Additionally, IT managers will find that TPC 5.1 now offers simplified packaging and installation. While some enterprise-class storage management solutions require extensive time and trouble to deploy, integrate, and configure for business purposes, this is not the case for TPC 5.1. Instead, key features— discovery, device management, replication management, and performance monitoring—have been optimized to ensure that the solution can start delivering value to the organization as soon as possible, all from a single license.

Furthermore, TPC enables simplified installation with a wizard-based installation that provides a graphical user interface for the entire process.

If you add up these features:

...you can see why upgrading to TPC 5.1 is almost certainly a good idea, if you're using any earlier version.

And if you have an active subscription and support license to TPC, you can make that upgrade happen instantly and at no additional cost—an argument that just gets more compelling as future versions of TPC are released, each with their own array of must-have features and optimizations.

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