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IBM Preps Director Software Update

IBM is planning a significant update to its Director hardware management software that will broaden the number of hardware systems the application manages, as well as make it easier for solution providers to work with the software.

Director 5.1, which is due out in the
September/October time frame, will enable the management of all of IBM's server lines, including iSeries, pSeries and zSeries, said Rob Sauerwalt, IBM global brand manager for software and servers.

Currently, Director manages x86 systems not only from IBM, but also from Hewlett-Packard and Dell, he said.
Competing server management products, such as HP's Insight Manager, are vendor-specific, which means IBM's cross-platform support is a key differentiator for the product, said Bill Nemesi, xSeries brand executive for VAR Mainline Information Systems, Tallahassee, Fla.

"It's definitely an added benefit," he said. "What you want to do if you're the end user, you want to put in as few management programs as possible. If you have one management tool that can manage the whole environment, then that streamlines your support requirements."

Also as part of what IBM has dubbed Project Simplify, of which Director 5.1 is the flagship release, the new software will include user interface enhancements
that make it easier for solution providers to navigate the software. In particular, the update will include a view that looks much like a standard Microsoft
Windows interface to make it more familiar to users that are new to Director, Sauerwalt said.

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