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IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM)

IBM recently unveiled IBM* Tivoli* Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM) - also known as IBM Usage and Accounting Manager (IUAM) - a new product for comprehensive, consolidated IT-resource accounting and billing. TUAM is designed to provide the information that businesses need to understand their resource utilization and costs accurately, allowing them to make better decisions regarding cost allocation, service delivery, capacity planning and billing/chargeback to departmental or external users.

Using its many "collectors," TUAM gathers detailed resource-usage information from heterogeneous platforms and applications throughout the entire enterprise, including UNIX*, Linux*, Windows* and mainframe platforms, networks, storage devices and applications, such as databases. Using TUAM, administrators can measure and track resource utilization of multiple workloads and a variety of resources in a shared infrastructure for chargeback and capacity planning activities.

TUAM then consolidates and interprets this information at the TUAM server, creating summary reports that detail the total use for each resource by each user. Finally, TUAM generates invoices for each user/customer based on the specified charges for each resource. TUAM's flexibility permits different pricing for different departments or customers, shifts (e.g., prime-time and off-hours), systems (e.g., faster and slower), applications and so forth.

TUAM's Web-based reporting tool offers many different views of invoice data, including both graphs and tabular reports. More importantly, the web-based reports allow users to instantly drill down on any item to get more detailed information on individual charges, resources or users.

Figure 1 shows a graph of the invoice data displays IT costs for each account. The selections in the left-hand pane provide many other views of the account information. Resource usage and costs can also be graphed over time to identify trends.

Figure 2 shows invoice reports at the ATM transaction level. By clicking on the "Unix Process Charges" total at the bottom, the user can drill down into the details based on any of several attributes.

TUAM is designed to allow businesspeople and financial managers to work directly with the system, such as updating resource charges and drilling down into invoices, rather than having to request changes or detailed queries from technical staff.

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