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Issue of October 2002 
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‘Manage impact on your business’
Mitch Young

Traditional network management applications and tools have mostly been reactive in nature. Which means that the management software can only issue a warning after an unforeseen event occurs. The event may be a server going down, a link breaking down, a virus outbreak, extremely high CPU usage, and sudden reduction in memory levels, among others. This 'reactive' nature has long been a drawback for enterprises that look for complete network management.

Lately, most network management software makers have been working to develop their products in order to make them more 'proactive'. The idea is to build a network management system that can let the administrator know about events in advance, so that they can be prepared with an alternative plan.

Mitch Young, Regional Manager, ASEAN/SA, Tivoli Software, IBM Software Group, said that Tivoli management software now comes with a new functionality called Business Impact Management (BIM). "At the core, BIM is about managing availability of business systems and business services. It's about linking IT infrastructure to business processes. It allows you to identify in advance an incident which may affect the continuity of business and lets you figure out ways to prevent it."

There are four BIM solution sets available for customers in the form of modules or as a single integrated solution. The first presents a common user interface. It offers the ability to create a centralized administrative console to manage all enterprise applications. Over time it can be migrated to a portal-based application where the users can customize the information they want to view and manage.

The second solution set is about Web technology. It's about how to leverage the Web and manage dynamic e-business services. The third solution set is about directory services. "This allows flexible administration, and you can administer your network from a remote site," said Young.

The fourth solution set is a data warehouse. Tivoli creates an open data repository for systems management information. So all the management information is automatically put into the data warehouse. "You can create data marts that will help customers make better decisions about resource utilization and capacity planning," said Young.

"Tivoli can also put the data warehouse information into a Service Level Advisor. The Service Level Advisor looks at the information and uses linear regression techniques to predict service levels for the future," adds Young.

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