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,
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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.)
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