The Tivoli Software division of IBM's Software Group on Tuesday is expected to unveil a more fully integrated version of its Tivoli Storage Manager application with the goal of bringing its capabilities, including disaster preparation and recovery, to the upper end of the SMB market.
The organization also plans new initiatives to improve its engagement of the channel.
Tivoli Storage Manager 5.1 will now be available in two versions and comes with five options, instead of the multitude of options previously available, said Jose Iglesias, Tivoli storage director.
For instance, while previous versions of Tivoli Storage Manager could be enhanced with options such as tape library sharing, managed libraries, SANergy storage management, disaster recovery, and so on, these options have all been packaged into a single enterprise edition, said Iglesias.
In addition, the Lotus Domino and Exchange data protection options have been combined into a single IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Mail. Data protection options for Informix, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL have been combined into a single add-on. The WebSphere option has been expanded to cover other application servers, and the SAP option has been expanded to cover other enterprise resource applications. Specific options for EMC, Symmetrix and IBM Shark arrays have been combined into a single IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Hardware, Iglesias said.
Along with simplifying the purchase of the various options, Tivoli has cut installation time to as low as 20 minutes, compared with previous installation time of about four hours, said Iglesias. "For the SMB space, customers are not experts in everything," he said.
Backup and restore speeds have also been enhanced, Iglesias said. The new version can now make instantaneous copies of the "storage containers" generated by Microsoft XP and .Net. It also offers journal-based backups for multiple Unix environments, which allows backups to restart from where they left off in the event of a system crash, he said.
IBM is also making it easier for channel partners to work with Tivoli Storage Manager and bring its disaster-recovery capabilities to the SMB space, said Brenda Zawatski, vice president of storage management software for the vendor.
While about 60 percent of revenue from the application currently comes from the channel, IBM is looking to increase that percentage by providing incentives to its direct-sales staff to work with partners, Zawatski said.
Furthermore, all the Tivoli storage products will now be sold under IBM's Passport Advantage, which gives partners access to the vendor's Value Rebate, Market Growth Rebate, Performance Rebate and Top Contributor Initiative programs. Co-marketing funds will now also be available to partners under the company's Top Contributor Initiative program, Zawatski said.
IBM will make it easier to get certified for Tivoli Storage Manager by offering Web-based classes as well as half-day and full-day classes on specific topics as requested by partners, she said.
Sometime during this year, IBM plans to offer a full-function Tivoli Storage Manager Server and a number of application and database protection modules for Linux, she said.
The last six weeks have seen a marked improvement in how sales efforts for IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager have been improved in the channel, said Stewart Booden, president of Aspen Consulting, an Itasca, Ill.-based solution provider.
"Tivoli has moved towards more of a channel strategy," said Booden. "We're meeting more with Tivoli storage reps. They are trying to move partners to focus on the mid-market. . . . It's great news for us."
Tivoli Storage Manager 5.1 is expected to be available Friday. Pricing has been simplified via a new per-processor plan, but actual prices have yet to be revealed.