IBM has introduced new software in its Tivoli line of products for automating datacentres, adding features for sharing automation procedures, delivering large content downloads and automating compliance efforts.

The new version of Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM), 5.1.1, is intended to bring datacentres into the world of "cloud computing," a concept aimed at making server resources more flexible to manage. IBM's notion of the concept, which it calls "Blue Cloud," is aimed at large-scale, globally accessible datacentres.

The new software is specifically intended to help automate discovery, deployment, configuration and management of operating systems, patches, middleware and applications on physical and virtual servers.

TPM can put servers into standby mode when not in use, saving energy, and restoring them to active mode when they're needed, IBM said. The software can also dynamically allocate resources as needed, avoiding problems where some of an organisation's resources are strained while others lay idle.

Among the new features is Web Replay, which allows administrators to record the mouse clicks, data insertion and other processes involved in any complex datacentre management task, allowing other users to later replay the recorded scenario. The "recordings" can be used and altered as needed, IBM said.

Several new features are aimed at easing compliance efforts, for instance giving users an integrated way to manage patches on Windows, Linux, Solaris and AIX, helping to avoid errors.

The software improves integration with the Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager (TADDM), which creates application infrastructure maps in order to speed up problem solving and routine resource management tasks.

The software includes a streamlined installer and a mechanism for efficiently delivering large data payloads such as high-resolution video, IBM said.

The company claims some datacentre building processes which previously took weeks under manual processes can be completed in under a day with TPM.

Last month IBM released a new version of its Tivoli Identity Manager software, its first major update in more than two and a half years. TIM 5.0 is used to manage user access rights and password information, automating new account setups, password resets and other tasks, with an eye to speeding up deployment.

Earlier this month IBM warned that a security flaw in its Tivoli Storage Manager Express backup and recovery system could enable unauthorised access to data.

The company recommended that users should immediately download and install a patch to fix an uncovered heap overflow security hole in Express Server. If left unprotected, the flaw could enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code on at risk systems to compromise TSM Express, said IBM.