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APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER
 

Welcome to the Elyzium Advisor - a bi-monthly bulletin from Elyzium, the UK’s leading Workload Automation experts.

 
 
“Elyzium Advisor” aims to inform and educate, by providing a roundup of the latest Workload Automation, IBM and Elyzium news. In this issue we share highlights from Interconnect, & how configuring ILMT is something you can’t afford to get wrong. Plus advice on TWS security vulnerabilities and the chance to win a free Workload or ILMT assessment.
 
 
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HOT TOPIC
 
A ROUNDUP OF ELYZIUM'S HIGHLIGHTS FROM INTERCONNECT 2015

The end of February saw three of IBM’s popular conferences - Impact, Innovate and Pulse – combined to create Interconnect, the most comprehensive and collaborative IBM event ever.
 
 
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Elyzium was delighted to have been able to exhibit at Interconnect 2015 – The Premier Cloud & Mobile Conference – and contribute to its huge success. Over 20,000 attendees witnessed the future, reinvention and innovations of cloud, mobile, DevOps, security and more. With over 2,000 technical sessions, 42 tracks, 8 streams, 3 general sessions, and the largest and most comprehensive Solution Expo we have ever witnessed at an event, there was something for everyone. Here’s a few of Elyzium’s highlights from this highly successful event.

IBM CLOUD & SMARTER INFRASTRUCTURE AWARDS, & BEST OF SHOW

Elyzium is very pleased to announce that we were named as runner-up in the “Service Management Innovation” category for our WorkloadMigrator.com solution. Elyzium’s Workload Migrator service provides seamless migration from distributed legacy schedulers (including, but not limited to BMC, CA, UC4 and Redwood) to IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler, in a fast, 100% accurate, and highly cost effective manner.

Additionally, we were one of a handful of IBM Business Partners selected for the Solution Expo “Best of Show” Tour, and enjoyed the company of IBM’s Senior Vice President for Cloud & Software solutions – Robert LeBlanc – at our stand for a demo of Workload Migrator. For further information about Workload Migrator, please visit our website or download the datasheet. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

ELYZIUM SESSIONS

As the most accredited TWS/Workload Automation Business Partner Worldwide, we were asked to present a session about how we have helped our clients to optimise processes with Workload Automation, as well as be part of the panel for a session covering hybrid collaborative service management in terms of its ability to enhance efficiency and innovation. We were lucky enough to enjoy good attendance for both sessions, highly engaged audiences, and many great questions. If you weren’t able to make it to Vegas, then we’ll be running the sessions again at the UK Tivoli User Group on May 14th in London – please scroll down to our “Have Your Say” section for more information.

STOP HUNGER NOW

Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to vulnerable children and families around the world, and works to help end world hunger. The Elyzium Team, along with thousands more Interconnect delegates were able to support this incredibly worthwhile cause by preparing and packaging in excess of 125k meals. For further information, or to make a donation please visit the Stop Hunger Now website.

AEROSMITH!!!

It was such a treat getting to see the mighty Aerosmith live for the main evening event, and they certainly didn’t disappoint! It was great to see a packed arena of IT geeks (or “little megabytes” as Stephen Tyler put it) rocking out to the tunes of the legend that is Aerosmith – simply phenomenal, thanks IBM!

       

If you weren’t lucky enough to be able to make it to Vegas for Interconnect this year, then you can still take advantage by accessing resources, separated by stream on the Interconnect website, or by watching video content of the key sessions and highlights at InterconnectGo. We are already looking forward to Interconnect 2016, which is taking place in Las Vegas 21st - 25th Feb - be sure to save the date!

 
 
 
 
 
BREAKING NEWS
 
ILMT - ARE YOU COMPLIANT?

IBM requires all software customers to demonstrate compliance with Passport Advantage T’s & C’s via ILMT reporting, but experience demonstrates that many organisations have incorrect configurations.
 
 

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To celebrate the launch of our new website, Elyzium is offering 10 organisations a free ILMT assessment. To be one of them, follow this link and add your details to the on-screen pop-up. The first 10 to do so will win a free assessment.

WHY DO I NEED ILMT?

The IBM Licence Metric Tool (ILMT) helps you maintain an inventory of the PVU based software deployed for your Full Capacity or Virtualised (Sub Capacity) environment, and measures the PVU licences required by software Product. It is intended to help you manage your IBM software licensing requirements, and help you maintain an audit ready posture.

In fact, ILMT must be installed, configured and maintained in order for organisations running any IBM software in a virtualised environment to achieve, and maintain, compliance with their IBM Passport Advantage license agreement.

ILMT offers the following features and benefits:

  • Assists in achieving compliance with Passport Advantage license terms which require users to create, verify, adjust, sign, and save ILMT reports on a regular basis.
  • Lowers liability risks by ensuring compliance with licensing terms, and avoiding the expense of unplanned license compliance purchases.
  • Centrally tracks your IBM PVU-based software inventory. 
  • Optimises software licence usage.
  • Provides the ability to accurately forecast future software licensing requirements by tracking previous and current usage.

WHY SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO ELYZIUM ABOUT ILMT?

End-users are responsible firstly for supplying the hardware and installation services required for installing ILMT. Secondly they must ensure it is configured correctly and maintained at all times, and finally create, verify, sign and save ILMT reports regularly. We work extensively with our clients to help them ensure compliance with ILMT, and whilst the software is always installed, it is rarely configured correctly! Common issues:

  1. TWS ships with IBM Websphere. However since Websphere is also a separately licensed product, ILMT must be configured to confirm that this particular instance of Websphere actually belongs with TWS. If configured incorrectly, then organisations become liable for an additional Websphere license at an additional cost.
  2. ILMT is also required if you are using AIX Express Edition, but many organisations are unaware of this. AIX Express Edition is specifically limited in vertical scalability by the license, but since there is no hard coded limit that programmatically prevents its use to partition more than 4 cores/8 GB of memory per core, clients can easily - and unintentionally - exceed the license restriction.

IBM regularly audits organisations at random to ensure there are compliant with the terms of their Passport Advantage agreements, and that usage does not exceed entitlement. This often leads to organisations having to pull IT budget from important projects for unplanned software purchases.

Elyzium’s ILMT Software-as-a-Service offering provides an easy solution. We remove the need for our clients to purchase, install, configure and maintain their own infrastructure to run ILMT by locating the server component remotely at our secure datacentre. We then deploy agents within the customer infrastructure as usual, generating ILMT reports every 60 days to ensure compliance with IBM's Virtualisation Capacity Agreement is maintained, and mitigating the risk of unexpected licence purchases.

If you need any further information or have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask.

 
 
 
 
 
ELYZIUM UPDATE
 
CLIENT REFERENCE - NISA

UK retailer Nisa select Elyzium to run their Tivoli Workload Scheduler environment as a fully managed service.
 
 

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THE CHALLENGE

Nisa, a leading member owned organisation which supports independent food and drink retailers, had been successfully using Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS) to manage the organisations job scheduling requirements for a number of years. Increased demands on the business however meant that Nisa had outgrown their existing implementation. This, coupled with the imminent end of support date for their original TWS installation, and growing pressure on internal resources to be more strategically focused, led Nisa to approach Elyzium to investigate the possibility of a fully managed service for Workload Automation.

THE SOLUTION

Elyzium worked closely with Nisa's outsourced infrastructure provider, and 3rd party applications team, to design and implement a future-proof Tivoli Workload Scheduler solution with an architecture capable of supporting their continually growing business. Elyzium has now been successfully running Nisa's Workload Automation environment as a fully managed service for two years under its XpertCare offering.

“We needed to free-up internal resources to enable greater focus on business growth. As the leading experts in Workload Automation in the UK, and IBM’s most accredited Business Partner for Tivoli Workload Scheduler, we knew that Elyzium were a safe pair of hands to take care of our scheduling environment. Plus we had worked with Elyzium for many years, and they consistently proved their skills and expertise in Workload Automation, so taking the relationship a step further by selecting Elyzium to provide a fully managed service, was an easy decision for us.”
- Nisa IT Team.

THE BUSINESS OUTCOME

  • Provides internal resources with increased time to focus on the business
  • Delivers a more flexible, agile and resilient IT Workload Automation solution
  • Has the ability to easily cater for existing and future Workload Automation needs

If you have any questions or would like to hear more, then just give us a call or drop us a line.

 
 
 
 
 
TWS INTELLIGENCE
 
POTENTIAL SECURITY VULNERABILITIES WITHIN TWS

IBM has recently announced a number of security vulnerabilities in the GSKit and OpenSSL components used by TWS. Users should be aware and take action where necessary.
 
 

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GSKIT VULNERABILITIES

GSKit is an IBM component that is used by Tivoli Workload Scheduler. The GSKit shipped with Tivoli Workload Scheduler contains multiple security vulnerabilities including the “FREAK: Factoring Attack on RSA-EXPORT keys" TLS/SSL client and server vulnerability.

Affected products and versions:

  • Tivoli Workload Scheduler Distributed 8.5.1 FP05 and earlier
  • Tivoli Workload Scheduler Distributed 8.6.0 FP03 and earlier
  • Tivoli Workload Scheduler Distributed 9.1.0 FP01 and earlier
  • Tivoli Workload Scheduler Distributed 9.2.0 FP01 and earlier

Further details regarding the three individual security vulnerabilities related to GSKit, along with remediation instructions and patches can be found here.

OPENSSL VULNERABILITIES

OpenSSL vulnerabilities were disclosed on January 8, 2015 by the OpenSSL Project, again including the FREAK TLS/SSL client and server vulnerability. OpenSSL is used by Tivoli Workload Scheduler, and IBM has now released fixes for the vulnerabilities. In addition to those listed above, the OpenSSL vulnerabilities also potentially affect TWS Distributed 8.4.0 (FP07 and earlier) and TWS Distributed 8.5.0 (FP05 and earlier). Full details, including remediation information can be found on the IBM support website.

If you are unsure whether your organisation is affected by these vulnerabilities, have any questions, or require assistance in remediation, then please call 44 (0)8452 696536 or email support@elyzium.co.uk.

 
 
 
 
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HAVE YOUR SAY IN OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER...
 
 
 
 
 

Following on from our involvement with the most successful UK Tivoli User Group ever in November 2014, Elyzium is pleased to have been asked to arrange and run the scheduling track for the May 15 meeting. We want to ensure the day is as informative as possible for delegates, and would be pleased to hear from TWS users - both from a mainframe and distributed perspective - as to what they would like to see on the agenda. Please submit your suggestions to claire.boxer@elyzium.co.uk, and thanks to those who have already contributed.

The User Group meeting is taking place at IBM Southbank on the 14th of May, for further details and to register please visit the Tivoli User Community website.

 
 
 
 
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