IBM integrates AIOps into license management

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March 23, 2022

Alex Woodie

IBM announced last week an extension to its partnership with Flexera that will see IBM’s AIOps solutions integrated with Flexera’s software asset management software. The integration will give customers more information about customers’ software licenses and SaaS subscription rights, from the cloud to Power servers and mainframes, IBM says.

The new integration specifically targets IBMTurbonomic’s Application Resource Management (ARM) software and Flexera One offering from Flexera. According to Dinesh Nirmal, Managing Director of IBM Automation, the integration will close the gap that existed between software and SaaS solutions that customers are entitled to run, which are provided by Flexera’s asset management software, and what they actually use, i.e. the information provided. by Turbonomic’s observability software.

“Flexera gives you a complete view of your software and software assets and gives you capabilities for managing that software, visualization, the past – all of those things,” Nirmal said. computer jungle. “But there’s a completely different aspect where you need observability to understand how your application uses this software. Let’s say you have 10 Oracle licenses. Does your application use all 10 Oracle licenses or does it only use five? Thus, this correlation between application and software license management becomes very critical. . . . This is what we can provide with observability.

Trying to match a customer’s actual application usage with their license entitlements today is mostly a manual effort, says Nirmal. The sheer volume of applications customers use today, the lack of IT control, and the wide variety of usage models – i.e. on-premises, cloud, hybrid deployments, use of virtual machines, use of containers, etc. – combine to make the task of determining compliance extremely difficult, he says.

“The complexity of managing software licenses and correlating with your application and optimization is not that simple. If anything, it’s next to impossible,” Nirmal says. “So you need a certain level of automation and machines to say: Here’s how you can optimize it, here’s how we can help you with compliance, here’s how we can help you manage resources with your licenses . Otherwise, it’s really hard to do it.

The advent of abstraction layers like virtual machines and containers and container orchestration systems, like Docker and Kubernetes, respectively, only amplifies the difficulty, says Nirmal.

“Software vendors are trying to manage it and understand it, and that’s why I said compliance and complexity only increases as these applications run between a hybrid model of VM and containers”, continues the general manager of IBM. “No one has fully migrated to containers and no one is sitting just on VMs yet. So it’s a fully hybrid view and how do you manage that hybrid view successfully so that your business can manage both VMs and containers?

To make matters worse (er, better), many companies are looking to further destroy old IT monoliths by breaking their applications into individual microservices that run in containers, giving users the ability to run them top-down and to update them on an individual. based. That’s the consensus view of the future of modern computing at this particular stage in the game, and that’s the direction a lot of IBM i-land is headed. But this raises a whole series of other problems, including the thorny issue of licensing.

“This is a true hybrid computing model and it will take some time for customers and software vendors to fully adopt the new model,” says Nirmal. “Unless you’ve taken your app and completely rewritten it for microservices – where we can completely track every app service that’s running as a microservice on top of the container on the pod -[but] I don’t think many software vendors are there yet. Even if you look at the public cloud, the public cloud is 10, 15, 20 years old, so they also run on virtual machines for the most part. They have not moved into the full space of the container.

IBM supports the ability to collect data app usage data from PowerVM running on Power, such as app usage data running on IBM Z, Nirmal explains.

“i, p clients, Z clients – they all have a wide variety of software running, so it becomes very critical to be able to peek into your complete infrastructure and understand how things work and how things are handled,” he says. “Whether it’s client i, client p, client Z of an IBM environment, or client ax, they all need to see how things work and have an essential tool to do so. .”

IBM acquired Turbonomic early 2021 for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition was designed to complement its earlier acquisition of Instana for computational observability.

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