Tivoli Systems Inc is doing its bit to relieve the burden of manually maintaining client software by offering a new release of its systems management application suite that uses self- installing and self-upgrading client agents to manage desktops. Tivoli chairman Jan Lindelow said the technology is essential as traditional client/server architectures have decreased availability and increased costs. The IBM Corp software unit has also reshuffled its server-based applications into Tivoli Server and Tivoli Gateway services and added new modules, affording it a new three-tier, more enterprise-oriented patina, part of the longer-term plan to cast Tivoli as broad-based solution for managing systems, applications and delivering desktop services. It’s calling the new suite, which it says it spent $300m developing, Tivoli Enterprise. It’s been in beta at 50 sites for nine months. The Tivoli Server incorporates the Tivoli management framework while Tivoli Gateway is designed to store and distribute services and software to clients grouped into domains. Tivoli figures it can attach as many as 10,000 clients and up to 200 Gateways to a single Tivoli server. It is designed for use where upwards of 5,000 clients are to managed and Tivoli says it will grow management capacity at twice the industry rate. Servers and gateways can be hosted on Unix, AS/400, NT, OS/2 or mainframes. For smaller sites, the Tivoli IT Director offers a cut-down implementation of the Enterprise offering (including the new agent work) which is hosted on NT. The new 350Kb agent technology uses Corba object services to report system and application activity and can co-opt local memory to serve as a cache for downloading application software upgrades delivered by Tivoli Courier. The agents – which themselves can be downloaded by Courier to existing devices – will be bundled with all IBM system software products, in Windows NT 5.0, on 3Com network cards, and with Intel’s Wired for Management suite which Tivoli says should encompass the majority of the PC industry. Although not a web or Java makeover in any sense, neither – according to VP enterprise business unit Mike O’Rourke – is robust enough for enterprise management tasks. The upgradeable agent technology in Tivoli Enterprise is a prelude to a new set of remote agent technologies Tivoli is creating using ObjectSpace Inc’s distributed Java object software. As we reported in yesterday’s issue (CI No 3,495), the ObjectSpace work enables agents to be moved around within a network without having to manually reconfigure either the agent or server information. Tivoli’s ERP application management program will be extended shortly with new modules to manage Baan, Peoplesoft and other environments in addition to SAP R/3. Tivoli says that with the Service Desk products from its Software Artistry acquisition and the Tivoli Enterprise decision support, remote control, security management, Y2K readiness, inventory, console, cross-site web management, distributed monitoring and software distribution modules the software enables companies to manage both their own IT environments and their customer relationships. Most of the new or upgraded modules are to ship by year-end.