By Jon Tullett
IBM's new Director software can identify and correct software errors before they cause server downtime.
IBM has announced IBM Director - a systems management software solution which includes an advanced self-healing computing feature called Software Rejuvenation, which will automatically reduce server downtime by predicting and repairing software failures before they happen, IBM says.GartnerGroup estimates that up to 40 percent of server failures are caused by software and that server downtime caused by software failures on Intel-based environment far exceeds downtime (more than 2X) associated with hardware failures. One of the major issues is that software often exhibits an increasing failure rate over time due to a process known as "aging." During the aging process, small programming errors accumulate and absorb ever-increasing amounts of a computer's resources, eventually leading to server downtime. As the name implies, IBM Software Rejuvenation identifies and predicts pending software problems and enables a system to automatically schedule a time to reset - or rejuvenate - its software, rather than allow the software to continue aging and potentially crash the server."Customers are looking for a ways to decrease server downtime without allocating huge amounts of time and staff," said Nick Bowen, VP of xSeries Software and Performance for IBM eServer. "With this next generation of IBM Director and Software Rejuvenation, businesses get easy deployment and proactive management to predict and correct problems before they even happen, helping eliminate downtime."Once deployed on Windows or Linux based operating systems, IBM Director allows users to link and control a number of servers and workstations from a single terminal, providing an easy to use solution which enables the management and storage of data from one central location. IBM Director is controlled by using a simple click, drag and drop icon-based interface and can even be linked to the server network - via the Internet - for a wireless server management solution.IBM Director can be used as a stand-alone product or incorporated into an existing enterprise or workgroup management environment. With IBM Director, IT administrators will be able to view the hardware configuration of remote systems in detail and monitor the usage and performance of critical components such as processors, disks and memory. IBM Director supports multiple operating systems, including Red Hat Linux as well as Microsoft Windows 2000, Millennium and NT, Windows 95/98, Netware, SCO UnixWare and OS/2. Also in the new IBM Director package are extensions or 'plug-ins' known as Life Cycle Tools (LCT), which are designed to lower the costs associated with deploying, managing and supporting Intel-based servers.