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Commentary: Putting meat on eLiza's bones

If IBM executes its road map for eLiza, the project that provides the self-healing technologies that are a part of its new Regatta server, it may well beat out its competitors.

    By James Cassell and Charles Burns, Gartner Analysts

    If IBM executes its road map for eLiza, the project that provides the self-healing technologies that are a part of its new Regatta server, it will provide meaningful differentiation in a very competitive market.

    With its eLiza initiative, announced in March, IBM promised to make complex heterogeneous environments easier to manage,

    See news story:
    IBM server counts on brains over brawn
    to improve availability and security, and possibly to lower total cost of ownership. Although IBM had a fine concept, the lack of real products at that time made it difficult to assess eLiza's value to companies. With the announcement of Regatta, also known as the p690, IBM has begun to deliver on its eLiza vision.

    IBM has demonstrated its commitment to delivering autonomic functions across all its e-server platforms. eLiza focuses on four system capabilities: self optimization, self configuration, self protection and self healing.

    New models of e-Server xSeries (Summit architecture) and pSeries (Regatta) contain new features and functions that begin to implement eLiza capabilities. Clearly, IBM's mainframe experience--particularly with its zSeries/zOS--will allow the company to minimize the effort needed for invention and to port eLiza functions to the other platforms. These capabilities could yield time-to-market and cost advantages.

    eLiza is not just about hardware, such as partitioning, but has a great deal of software function as well, including clustering, workload management and security. This announcement has begun to fill in the gaps for software functions across the e-Server platforms.

    IBM also provided a road map for eLiza functions to 2003 and beyond. Functions such as end-to-end automation, authentication and management of distributed-applications performance will not become available across all the platforms until 2003. IBM intends to announce and deliver new eLiza functions every six months. If it can deliver on this promise and market these products well, eLiza will provide real value to businesses and differentiate IBM from its competitors.

    eLiza is a lot of good things; however, it will not guarantee a win against the competition, which is working to deliver many of the same functions.

    (For a related commentary on Gartner's initial assessment of eLiza, see Gartner.com.)

    Entire contents, Copyright © 2001 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.