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IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management

Many IT process integrations to date have focused primarily on processes for IT Operations, as well as interlinked Service Desk and Operations processes. IBM’s recent Dynamic Infrastructure for Service Management announcements extends IBM’s service management capabilities not only within the data center, but IBM continues to expand its reach to monitor and manage business assets in selected industries (energy and utilities, healthcare, banking, and chemicals and petroleum). In addition, IBM also broadens its span of service management capabilities with integrations aimed at helping service desk, operations, testing and development staffs manage the Service Lifecycle, which they Management.

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The term “integration” is used ubiquitously for a wide range of functionality in our industry today. A high level review of IBM’s new functionality included a list of new integrations in Service Lifecycle Management. In order to understand what these integrations are, PNA investigated further by viewing demos of a few of IBM’s new integrations. Some are enhancement to already existing integrations, while others actually extend the Service Lifecycle from service desk, to IT operations, to Testing and Development teams. What’s interesting is it allows each group to use the tools that they use to do their day-to-day jobs, and IBM is providing the integration between the tools to enable smoother handoffs and communication. Let’s look at a sample of IBM’s new service lifecycle management integrations.

Enhancing the Software and Hardware Connection
The first steps toward a more Dynamic Infrastructure require that the various software tools supporting the infrastructure are integrated with each other, and in many cases with the hardware. The operations group in the datacenter gets bombarded with information from different software tools and they have the task of putting it all together to solve any problems that might arise. One key point is that the software that discovers a problem might not control the resource necessary to fix the problem. In this case, the operations staff must understand enough about the problem to decide which software product controls the resources and can fix the problem. Then, they need to communicate what the problem is and decide on a fix. A good example of this is the interaction between a hypervisor like VMware, IBM Systems Director and IBM Tivoli Monitoring. The hypervisor may discover a problem but it may not have the ability to fix it. IBM’s integration of VMware, the IBM Systems Director and IBM Tivoli Monitoring shows how software integration can ease this problem for operations staff. When VMware discovers a problem with a virtual machine, the Tivoli software is able to detect the problem and suggest a

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the development team uses a unique defect tracking number in its defect tracking system to track the status of a software issue.IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management Page 2 solution. such as change management and trouble ticket tracking. For example. This sharing of tracking information across service desk. operations and development staffs by synchronizing the two tracking systems. and then to another group. a component of Linux) hypervisor. And conversely. But what happens when the issue reported to the Service Desk is an application software issue that the development team needs to work on? The service desk and operations team uses a trouble ticket number to track the status of a reported incident. Connecting Service Desk and Development IT processes requiring cooperation between Service Desk and Operations teams. It is error prone and time consuming to expect the operations staff to manually provide the link between different software products needed to analyze and remediate problems occurring in a dynamic data center. Operations and Development teams typically operate in distinctly separate silos. using their own tools and processes. enterprise Service Desk. In our experience. On the other hand. operations and development aids in better communication and coordination as they work together to resolve the issue. with IBM Rational ClearQuest to help the service desk. have been streamlined through integrations between Service Desk and Operations tools. We believe this case illustrates how the road toward a dynamic infrastructure will require more integration of the software in the data center. the situation can be easily passed to the IBM Systems Director to be fixed. it includes the defect tracking number in the trouble ticket for better coordination between the teams. Noel & Associates LLC ----------- . Today. It automatically includes the trouble ticket number with the associated defect tracking record. if the problem is related to the use of memory by the virtual machine. IBM integrated its service desk solution. IBM’s integration of these products streamlines the resolution of problems discovered by the hypervisor but requires the IBM Systems Director to perform the actual fix. IBM supports VMware and IBM Power in this combination but shortly they plan to support Microsoft’s Hyper-V and IBM’s KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine.© 2009 Ptak. IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager. it could have an impact on the productivity of organizations with internally developed applications. Other hardware-related problems detected by the hypervisor can be handled in a similar fashion. Then. Although IBM’s integration may seem like a small change. As an incident gets handed over from one group to another. IBM Systems Director can power off the server and then power it up with more memory to correct the problem. the communication and coordination can become confusing and frustrating when several groups are using different numbers to track the same issue. If you are ----------. Users should note that this integration is out-of-the-box for organizations using both IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager (service desk) and IBM Rational ClearQuest.

IBM is extending the life-cycle of managing applications outside of the Operations group to Development and Testing groups while catering to the unique aspects of each group’s responsibilities. What IBM is trying to do with its new integration between Rational Performance Tester and IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager is to simplify and automate the information handoffs between Test and Operations. However. trying to get Operations’ attention to run a set of test transactions during a real problem resolution situation is like shouting into a gale force wind. resulting in real-time and by-any-means-necessary aspects to their approach to solving problems. testers should have data about the behavior of test transactions under different types of normal and abnormal production conditions. the Testing group’s view of solving application problems is different from Operations. IBM informs us that this integration was done using the open API available with these solutions. For example. The Operations team is under the gun to fix application problems immediately. This situation is only exacerbated if the groups are also separated by a wide gulf of nonintegrated tools where staff must play manual conversion games between different data formats. for it to be done effectively.  The length of time between data request and analysis. This is a fundamentally different job than real-time problem solving. Noel & Associates LLC ----------- . So those customers using another vendor’s solution with one of these two products can use the open APIs to integrate their tools.© 2009 Ptak. However. to minimize:  The manual effort to massage the data into a format their tools understand so that the tester can get to doing their real job -. When testing groups become involved in application problem solving they are often tasked with determining how to eliminate recurring problems. recreating problematic conditions in a lab environment and performing gap analyses. even as the actual production environment changes over time. Connecting Operations and Test/Development In this case.IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management Page 3 using another service desk or defect tracking solution. and  The number of person-to-person requests needed to get the info that people need. However. you will have to build your own integration. Their pressures come from trying to understand baseline application behaviors. We believe that part of the value of doing this is ratcheting down the level of frustration that occurs when working with people outside of your particular realm of expertise -when this friction is eased the business benefits with productivity gains that span the ----------. Operations experiences similar frustrations when the Testing team is unable to recreate problems based on data provided. naming and categorization conventions.

in fairness to IBM. and especially automating this sharing. At first glance. One limitation of these lifecycle integrations is that they are only out-of-the-box between the selected IBM solutions. test and development teams. This could be significant. they cannot be expected to include integrations for all possible OEM solutions. As such. to development teams. particularly as organizations use web and composite applications with shorter and more frequent refresh development cycles. storage. It is also possible that other vendors may choose to support integration with IBM’s product.reducing the number of times people HAVE to interact to get what they need to function can improve the quality of interactions that ARE conducted. is less about technology and more about streamlining processes as they are handed off from one self-contained group to another. virtual servers. Will IBM be successful this time? Only time will tell. perhaps the walls will crumble slowly. Sharing information between these disparate teams. Dynamic Infrastructure conjures up images solely of virtualized servers. Reducing frustration and friction between groups by smoothing the bumpy road that interconnects one group from another can actually increase the dynamism of an organization. particularly when it comes to user adoption. cloud computing or other provisioning-specific technologies. And those technologies are certainly part of IBM’s Dynamic Infrastructure. what we find most interesting is IBM’s extending of the service lifecycle to include processes that span more broadly across service desk. Dynamic Infrastructure does mean more than quickly-provisioned. Bridging the gap between operations and the test/development teams have always been a challenge for IT management vendors. However. PNA Perspective IBM’s latest Service Lifecycle Management integrations. facilitates these groups to begin working together or working together more effectively. customers with non-IBM solutions will not immediately reap the full benefits. If this is the case. operations. The Final Word IBM extends the service lifecycle from service desk. released as part of their Dynamic Infrastructure announcements. We hope to see more of these wall crumbling integrations and enhancements in months to come. However. – it should also include all of the processes that extend across the entire service lifecycle.© 2009 Ptak. to operations. It is an interesting paradox -. networks. and that includes software development and testing. Noel & Associates LLC ----------- . However. customers can use the integrations that IBM has done as models for writing their own integrations using IBM’s open APIs. ----------. through their automatically shared information. to testing. etc.IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management Page 4 organization. If IBM customers can begin bridging the gap without the teams knowing it.

business All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.ptaknoel. which combine into unique insights into the information technology industry. eWeek. where her responsibilities included technology trend analysis in the network and systems management space. Audrey was also co-author of the Network World Fusion Network and Systems Management newsletter for several years. and NetworkWorld. Noel holds a bachelor of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master of science from the University of Southern California. InformationWeek. Audrey served as vice president at Enterprise Management Associates.IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management Page 5 Publication Date: November 10 2009 This document is subject to copyright. Noel is regularly quoted in publications such as CIO Magazine. Noel & Associates LLC We help IT organizations become “solution initiators” in using IT management technology to business problems. Our customers recognize the meaningful breadth and objectively of our research in IT management technology and process. InformationWeek. We do that by translating vendor strategy & deliverables into a business context that is communicable and actionable by the IT manager. where she formulated and managed the company’s research agenda. where she focused on systems and application management. Brown ----------. Noel & Associates LLC ----------- . She was also a systems engineer at IBM. the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. InfoWorld. Hyperlinks included in this paper were available at publication time.H. www. She also has contributed articles to several leading publications on various IT management topics. and by helping our clients understand how other IT organizations are effectively implementing solutions with their business counterparts. jnoel@ptaknoel. About Ptak. Audrey holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration/finance from the University of Southern California arasmussen@ptaknoel. Previously. to help her clients as they navigate through the accelerating changes in the information technology industry. Computerworld and eWeek. To obtain reprint rights contact associates@ptaknoel. where she supported customers with smallto-medium sized distributed systems. industry Jasmine Noel has 10 years experience as analyst and researcher. While every care has been taken during the preparation of this document to ensure accurate information. and she is widely quoted in publications such as Network World. Noel served previously as director of systems and applications management at Hurwitz Group. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any method whatsoever without the prior written consent of Ptak Noel & Associates LLC. as well as industry th About the Authors Audrey Rasmussen leverages her experience of over 30 years in the information technology industry. working with very small companies to very large corporations.© 2009 Ptak. Over the years. she had developed experiences in various contexts (expertise in systems and application management. She was also a senior analyst at D. and technical focus).

However. Bill was responsible for delivering consulting projects for the company’s clients which included IBM. bmoran@ptaknoel. He taught these classes on a worldwide basis for clients. Brown Associates he managed teams of instructors in developing classes on a range of topics for the company’s clients. he has published white papers on a range of technical topics. H. Coopers and Lybrand and most recently for D. Bill worked with the clients to determine their requirements and structure the project.H. Bill has a Bachelor of Science from Fordham University with a major in Mathematics and is a graduate of IBM’s Systems Research Institute. Sun. He has also presented to major organizations in the computer industry like Share and Guide. Noel & Associates LLC ----------- . Microsoft.© 2009 Ptak. etc. As a Senior Vice President for research at Ideas. Bill is currently Research Director at Ptak Noel Associates. Bill managed other consultants to deliver results for these companies. Brown Associates and Ideas International. HP. For Ideas. he was also “hand-on” on many of the projects to guarantee client satisfaction and on time delivery.IBM’s Service Lifecycle Management Page 6 Bill Moran is an experienced IT analyst with more than 35 years experience in business. He has managed projects in several companies including ----------. Earlier at D.