The Challenge of ITM v6.3 and Jazz for SM

IBM Tivoli Monitoring v6.3 has introduced a number of new components to the ITM solution based around Jazz for Service Management and “The Dashboard Application Service Hub”, i.e. the renamed Tivoli Integrated Portal. So is this all just a case of rebadging? What is Jazz for SM and how does it shape up?

The combination of new components shipped with ITM v6.3 provides a variety of additional functionality:

  • A browser based read-only “Dashboard” view of the ITM environment including OS Agent metrics and situation event lists
  • Profile based access to the Dashboard based on specific Managed Systems and/or Managed System Groups
  • A central registry of Service Monitoring data using an open standard (OSLC) to facilitate data sharing between Tivoli and OEM solutions (see Dave Web’s excellent video demonstration on YouTube for more information)

Familiar functions are also shipped with the solution, for example Tivoli Common Reporting.

ITM v6.3 Dashboard Application Services Hub Logon

ITM v6.3 Dashboard Application Services Hub Logon

Focusing on the Dashboard functionality (as the registry service is distinct and independent), this new user interface is designed for operations teams responsible for reviewing the health of systems and providing the administrators with the ability to restrict the access operations those teams have to specific server groups.

This new functionality is based on Jazz for Service Management, this is a bundling of various IBM applications designed to facilitate the provisioning of common visualisation, reporting and security services to Tivoli applications and the sharing of data between Tivoli solutions and OEM applications. This bundling includes WebSphere Application Server, DB2, TCR and some specific Jazz for SM components. Three ITM v6.3 components are shipped that are installed on the Jazz for SM server.

So what were my thoughts?

Firstly, the installation was a challenge. Satisfying all the system requirements, documented in a variety of installation manuals, needed some attention to detail. The product does ship with a “pre-requisite scanner”, certainly useful, but it failed to highlight all the Linux library requirements in my test environment. I was installing onto Cent OS v6.3 64-bit minimal, hence, only core libraries were available by default. A number of 32-bit libraries needed to be installed in addition to 64-bit libraries.

The install is two phase, install “Jazz for SM” followed by the ITM components. The hardware requirements (CPU, Memory and Disk) were beefy for a single server install [DB2 and WebSphere Application Server on the same system], a cost that may restrict the take-up in a pure ITM environment?

ITM v6.3 Dashboard

ITM v6.3 Dashboard

Post installation and configuration, those who have experience of the Tivoli Integrated Portal will have a head start as the Dashboard Application Service Hub, one of the Jazz for SM components, is effectively the Tivoli Integrated Portal [TIP] but with a GUI make-over. Most of the expected TIP administration options can be found, somewhere.

The ITM specific GUI component, the concisely named IBM Management Dashboards for Servers, provides a more up-to-date and smooth navigation than the TEP client and one that is accessible without battling with Java version compatibilities [a welcome relief]. Although on the surface there is less detail available, the interface being more focused on situation events, there are some neat features, for example drilling through a situation for a graphical view of the recent history of the triggering attributes. The interface is read-only, hence only suitable for operators or line management, but that restriction, and the ability to limit access based on managed systems or managed system groups, is a definite plus point within an enterprise environment.

ITM v6.3 Dashboard Historical View

ITM v6.3 Dashboard Historical View

Jazz for SM is now shipping with a number of the Tivoli solutions, including Impact v6.1.1 and TBSM v6.1.1. That integration has the potential to make it an immensely powerful tool for presenting data from multiple solutions through a single view. An exciting prospect…more testing required…more to come…