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Cisco, IBM strengthen ties over network management tools

Merged technology will provide network fault monitoring, trouble isolation and real-time service-level event management

IBM and Cisco Systems Inc. said Thursday they are expanding their alliance to provide centralized service management for their service provider customers.

Cisco next month plans to combine its Active Network Abstraction (ANA) technology with IBM’s Tivoli management software to create the Cisco Assurance Management Solution. The new technology will provide network fault monitoring, trouble isolation and real-time service-level event management for large networks.

The new approach means that service providers will be able to change network devices or the way they are configured without needing to change their service management and operations support systems applications, the companies said.

Currently, every device can have its own management system, but “this is exciting technology and has great potential,” said Alan Ganek, IBM Tivoli’s chief technology officer.

Initially, Cisco Assurance Management Solution will integrate with IBM Tivoli’s Netcool/Omnibus and Netcool/Precision management software, and sometime in the future will work with IBM’s Configuration Management Database, “which will allow for a much more robust platform,” Ganek said.

Also, Tivoli monitoring tools for centralized system management will be connected. No timeline has been established, however, he said. Pricing was not announced.

The companies said that about 25,000 joint customers already use the network and systems management products, based on a relationship started in 1999.