A couple months after announcing it was buying Micromuse, IBM Corp has closed the deal and announced a product roadmap.
The deal helps IBM’s Tivoli fill a large product gap in network node management, and will play a key role in making up ground with HP OpenView, which invented much of distributed network node management technology.
In most respects, the business plan will follow a similar scenario as Candle, which was also absorbed into Tivoli, but with the Omegamon mainframe monitoring brand largely intact.
In effect, the Micromuse product will become a major Tivoli sub-brand. While IBM plans to absorb Micromuse into Tivoli, it will retain the NetCool product brand. That’s in recognition of the fact that NetCool, which has over 1900 installs worldwide, is a widely recognized brand that has is known for network management, whereas the Tivoli brand is not.
That means that while IBM’s Tivoli sales force will start cross-selling NetCool, IBM also intends to grow the NetCool product sales force itself by 25%. And, said Al Zollar, head of the IBM Tivoli unit, IBM promised will continue supporting existing NetCool standalone products for a long time.
In the next six months, IBM will have a Tivoli version of the product that will fit into Tivoli Enterprise Portal. Then, around 18 – 24 months down the road, there will be more extensive integration with Tivoli.
According to Al Zollar, who heads the Tivoli business unit, the integration will be conducted in a manner similar to that with the Candle Omegamon products.
Specifically, IBM will incorporate NetCool’s in-memory network node database into Tivoli’s change and configuration management database (CCMDB). The eventual goal is an integrated suite of capabilities, spanning Tivoli’s IT distributed and composite application management with the Candle Omegamon mainframe management, and NetCool’s network management.
For instance, IBM will integrate NetCool’s device discovery capabilities with Tivoli’s provisioning and change management. Consequently, when NetCool does the deep dive to check a network device’s configuration, Tivoli’s configuration management and provisioning can be used to update or correct the device’s configuration.
That entails folding Tivoli’s distributed IT management (ITM), Omegamon mainframe monitoring, and composite application management (ITCAM) with the NetCool monitoring capabilities. The whole bundle will become Tivoli’s monitoring family of products.
In turn, IBM will continue to offer several product families for network monitoring. The existing Tivoli mainframe product, NetView for z/OS, will remain unchanged. Similarly, NetCool Precision, will also continue to be available as a standalone product.
But IBM will also offer a new entry level version of Precision that will absorb Tivoli NetView Express, which is the product for monitoring distributed systems. Similarly, in the network security area, IBM’s existing Risk manager product will become part of the NetCool NeuSecure product.
With both entities having shared roughly 500 joint customers prior to the acquisition, some of the integration will leverage existing work. Today, those customers already see network node data within Tivoli Enterprise Portal. IBM’s goal is to make the integration more than skin deep.