IBM Simplifies Business Policy Management for e-business

Systems Run More Securely; Business Policy Decisions made 25 Times Faster at Lower Costs

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Research Triangle Park, NC - 20 Apr 1999: . . . IBM today announced the first technologies to consolidate policy management at the system level, significantly enhancing e-business performance, security and control.

Within a company's information system, data must be identified, prioritized and routed to the appropriate destination. The process of assigning certain rules to that traffic, such as who is able to view what information, is an example of policy management. In a typical environment, policy management decisions have been made at multiple points in the network, making control difficult and creating traffic congestion and security concerns.

As part of today's announcement, Application Driven Networking (AppDrvN) is a new IBM network policy management architecture, designed to substantially reduce the complexity of establishing policies, while adding security and streamlining network traffic. With AppDrvN, the policy decisions can be consolidated at the application system management level. This allows the system manager to make all policy decisions once, from a single system level interface.

This innovative approach eliminates the need for the many policy servers previously required on the network, enabling business policy decisions to be made 25 times faster while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in maintenance costs for a typical enterprise network.

"Applications are something users already know how to manage, and application relationships with desktop system users are really at the heart of most user security and performance management objectives," said Tom Nolle, President of CIMI, Corp. "Networks are a part of an enterprise information processing system, and policy management has to envelope that whole system to be effective. IBM's unique position in the desktop, server, software, and network space makes its offering uniquely credible and powerful."

e-businesses require predictable and repeatable application performance with secure access. This becomes especially critical as networks become larger and more complex and as businesses connect online with their customers, suppliers, business partners and the world-at-large via the Internet. As more people are connected to a system more policy and decisionmaking is required to ensure quality of service and security. Traditionally, this has been managed at multiple points and with multiple devices across the network, which is complex and can create bottlenecks.

IBM's new Application Driven Networking architecture greatly simplifies the policy management process. This unique approach, allows customers to control the performance and security of their network by giving them the opportunity to assign policies that are enforced at the application and network level. High priority applications may be given top priority, while less critical applications would be assigned a lower quality of service. Simultaneously, cryptographically strong security may be specified and enforced for applications carrying sensitive data.

Innovations Unique to IBM

IBM's breakthrough Common Policy Engine will be available in the company's access devices including the 2210 Nways Multiprotocol Router, the 2212 Access Utility, the 2216 Nways Multiaccess Connector and Network Utility. Eliminating the need for expensive external policy servers, the Common Policy Engine:

Forming an integrated network management approach to Application Driven Networking, IBM's Nways Manager includes the following new capabilities:

Policy repository directory servers, such as the industry-leading IBM S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, integrates users and application data with network policies. The S/390 server, along with extensive LDAP directory and client features, forms an essential platform for Application Driven Networks, integrated closely with network devices to interpret and enforce policies.

Pricing and Availability

The Common Policy Engine is an upgrade available at no charge to IBM 2210/2212/2216 and Network Utility customers. The new enhancements will be available in June 1999.