I consider my professional life with TIM and TAM to be a constant learning experience. With all the middleware included inside the Tivoli Security software you may never completely learn it all. Some people are good at writing code. Others are good at recognizing how to fit business processes into Tivoli Security solutions. Yet other people are good at communicating the value of Tivoli software to customers. Within the Tivoli Security suite of software there are many complex areas to develop skills. I find that in the field some people lean more towards TIM skills and others lean more towards TAM. In either case you will get exposed to TDS, TDI, WebSphere App Server, and DB2. It's quite a challenge. If you are like me you may be involved in both TIM and TAM at the same time and this is fine, but you may find your skills developing more in one over the other simply because of time and personal preference.
I've been in the process over the last several weeks of building a sandbox on my lap top. This is a place where I can prototype things I need to do in the field and serves as a place to learn. Since this software will require many hours of experience in order to learn it there is no better place to have all the components installed than on your personal machine. Obviously you will need a smoking fast machine to do this, but it can be done.
I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T60p (Core 2 Duo and 3GB RAM). So far I'm using three virtual machines in VMWare Workstation 5.5.3. The VM's:
1.) Host Name: tim
OS: SUSE Linux Enterprise 9 SP3
Note: Obviously you would not put all this on one
server in production, but this works fine
2.) Host Name: tam
OS: SUSE Linux Enterprise 9 SP 3
RAM: 512MB - 768MB
* I'm running TDI on each of these servers because
of some adapter testing. TDI is providing the feeds to
TIM which is why I'm running TDI there. However
I plan to test the new TAM connector for TDI which
must be installed where there is a TAM Java Runtime
so I also installed TDI on the TAM server.
3.) Host Name: web1
OS: SUSE Linux Enterprise 9 SP 3
RAM: 512MB - 1GB
* To test TAM WebSEAL I wanted to have a web server
with some applications to protect behind TAM. This
server is a good place for Web Portal Manager
(PDAdmin) and the IBM Trade 6 App as well as
possibly Portal (not sure if I really have enough RAM
for that though)
I don't always run all 3 VM's at the same time. If I'm working on Feed type stuff then I may only run the TIM server. If I'm dealing with provisioning to TAM then I would need both TIM and TAM up and running. If I'm testing security between WebSEAL and some web applications then I would need TAM and Web1 up and running. I have run all 3 VM's at the same time so as long as I don't have to be reading and PDF's or email or anything else at the same time this is no problem. This design works well for me because it's flexible and covers a lot of testing options for me. Some future VM's I will be working on include Active Directory for provisioning users to AD as well as Lotus Notes. I will probably run a Domino server on the same box as AD so that I can test both using the same VM. At 10GB of disk space per VM I think that I may soon run into disk space limitations so it may be near time to purchase a portable USB drive. We'll see.