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Mainframe management continues to evolve

Jun 18, 20032 mins
Data CenterMainframes

* Management software for mainframes still a thriving business

When client-server architectures leapt onto the scene, many pundits proclaimed the end of the mainframe. Years later, the mainframe is still alive and well – and even running with Linux. While management tools for the mainframe have matured, there still is room for making them better and easier to use.

Management software vendors are focusing on mainframe users in their latest releases, and they’re integrating mainframe management data with management data from client-server and Web-based architectures.

Automation is also improving on mainframes. For example, Candle’s AF product provides automated capabilities and ties in with its Omegamon management software to provide across-the-board management and automation. IBM/Tivoli is developing automation for its zSeries line and integrating its mainframe management capabilities more closely with its capabilities for other systems. Adding more automation to mainframe management tools is important, as many people with mainframe skills are approaching retirement – which will reduce the skill base for managing mainframes.

BMC is addressing this issue with its System Advisor product family. It’s intended to reduce the skill level requirement of administrators by building more intelligence into software.

The pressure is on to reduce the cost of maintaining and managing mainframes. Besides adding intelligence into the software, IBM is looking to provide management tools that are less expensive. In addition, IBM is adding flexibility to the price of zSeries mainframes – so that users pay for what they use, even on a per-day basis.

Scheduling tools are another area where management vendors are improving their tools. Scheduling used to be a realm unto itself, but many scheduling tools are now able to schedule across client-server and mainframe infrastructures.

Finally, Tivoli is focusing on performance management and managing from a business perspective in the mainframe arena. Its software can correlate end-to-end, from mainframes to servers and clients, through Tivoli Enterprise Console.

Development and improvement of tools for the mainframe continues to flourish. Take a look at some of the new improvements that management tool vendors are making. The mainframe is far from dead.