IBM Acquires Think Dynamics

Adds Leading Software for Automating the Use of Computing Resources to Meet Changing Business Conditions

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 14 May 2003: IBM today announced it has acquired Think Dynamics, a privately held company with headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

The acquisition closed today. Financial details were not disclosed.

Think Dynamics software accelerates a critical element of IBM's strategy to help customers respond more quickly to changing business conditions - such as peaks in demand and potential system failures - by dynamically allocating the right computing resources at the right time to the right processes.

This type of automated systems management tied to business needs is known as "orchestrated provisioning" and is a key component of IBM's e-business on-demand strategy. Orchestrated provisioning allows customers to respond quickly to business requirements and can free up a company's IT staff to focus more on its core business needs.

Based on autonomic technology, orchestrated provisioning obtains real-time feedback on the state of the IT environment, checks the status against business policies, and makes changes by dynamically re-allocating a broad variety of computing resources - including servers, middleware, applications, storage systems and network interfaces - in an orchestrated and coordinated manner. The software is extremely flexible, supports provisioning of multiple platforms - like Linux, Unix or Windows - and enables the provisioning of new systems and re-provisioning of existing IT resources.

"Think Dynamics product family is unique in the industry in that it is based on key standards, such as Web services and Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), which allow customers to automatically and dynamically provision resources based on the unique policies and processes of their business," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager e-business on demand. "By acquiring a leading provider of provisioning software, IBM will bring customers a platform-agnostic solution that further unlocks the value of an on demand infrastructure."

The Think Dynamics capability changes the business response from "just in case" provisioning, where expensive resources such as backup systems for disaster recovery sit idle "just in case" they are needed, to "on demand" provisioning, in which resources that support lower priority work can be dynamically re-allocated to meet urgent needs of higher priority work in minutes. The result for customers will be an on demand technology that aligns IT more closely with business priorities, reducing costs through increased efficiency and better utilization of current IT investments. In addition, it works with existing resources, so there is no need to "rip and replace" any of a customer's computing systems.

For example, a bank running an online financing promotion within a traditional IT environment might need to begin preparing months in advance for the potential surge in Web traffic. IT personnel would identify and manually prepare servers, middleware and other technology to manage resources according to IT policy, which dictates that when an IT system reaches its defined utilization threshold, additional resources must be brought online to balance the workload. Orchestrated provisioning can automate this process, eliminating guesswork. Sensing that a server has reached its peak utilization level, appropriate resources would be located and deployed, sharing the workload. New resources would be added as needed, and then re-deployed back to their normal state after the promotion ends and Web traffic decreases.

"The ability to automatically and dynamically manage IT resources will help customers get more value out of their technology investments," said Robert LeBlanc, general manager, IBM Tivoli Software. "With the acquisition of Think Dynamics, a leader in IT resource provisioning, IBM is continuing to deliver technologies that support our automation strategy, and that help our customers make the transformation into on demand businesses."

"With IBM's development strength and product support, we'll be able to take our product family to a new level and help customers manage their IT environments more efficiently than ever," said Duncan Hill, founder and chief strategist, Think Dynamics. "The blending of the Think Dynamics capability with IBM's presence, leadership and resources, will create a powerful combination in the provisioning space."

The Think Dynamics team will be integrated immediately into IBM Software Group under the Tivoli brand and leveraged by IBM Systems Group, TotalStorage and IBM Global Services.

IBM Global Services' incorporation of orchestrated provisioning capabilities will enable organizations to more rapidly achieve the promise of utility computing - accessing processing power and applications where and when a customer needs them. Customers may choose to build it on their own, have IBM build it for them or leverage IBM utility services on an ongoing basis to provide their company IT and business functions on demand. This capability will be supported via IGS' Utility Management Infrastructure (UMI), which allows companies to begin benefiting from utility computing today by enabling them to integrate and run e-business processes and related applications on a dynamic, consolidated infrastructure.

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