BMC auto-discovers your IT
Anyone getting into business service management will need a configuration management database (CMDB), and that's what BMC Software's new Foundation Discovery and Topology Discovery tools are designed to create and maintain. The software is especially aimed at organisations implementing ITIL, and can map out the logical and physical relationships among IT systems and applications, BMC said.

The auto-discovery tools work with BMC's Atrium CMDB and its existing configuration and identity discovery software. The company claimed that they provide a unified and
automated process for identifying assets, asset configurations, application dependencies and end users in the environment, cataloguing them all in a common database and then keeping the data current by discovering changes and updating the CMDB.

Alcatel takes a NAP
Network access control (NAC) systems from Alcatel will support the NAP (network access protection) client which Microsoft has said it will build into future versions of Windows. Alcatel said that its Access Guardian and Quarantine Manager systems will be able to use information from NAP to decide whether a PC requesting access is sufficiently clean and up-to-date, or should instead be quarantined for remediation.

NAP is intended to warn if a system needs patching, for example, or if its firewall or anti-virus software requires updating. Alcatel said that this would allow its systems to provide proactive security, as well as reacting to intrusions or attacks. The company added that it will integrate NAP support as soon as Microsoft releases Longhorn, which is the next major release of Windows Server and is due in 2007.

Altiris diagnoses even faulty systems remotely
IT systems can be diagnosed and their software brought up to date remotely, without the need for them to run agent software, claimed Altiris as it announced support for Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT). Altiris said that its service desk software will be able to remotely manage and repair AMT-enabled systems, whatever state their hardware or software is in.

AMT embeds management capabilities into the hardware, and Altiris added that this enables its Real-Time System Manager Solution to reset and reboot systems, as well as carrying out work on systems that are off, locked or not working properly. The company said it has also built in other new features, such as a collection-based rollback scheme for faulty patches, and the ability to do a bare-metal system restore from a USB hard drive.