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Data Center Management

Mainframes continue to represent the strong core of Data Center technology, while Virtualization and Cloud are also emerging as important technologies to support efficiency, scalability, and cost containment. Topics critical to Data Center Operations and Computing including hardware and software for Storage, Consolidation, High Availability, Backup & Recovery, and IT Optimization, as well as automated tools that help compensate for the growing Mainframe Skills Shortage.



Data Center Management Articles

SAP is planning to deliver six new SAP mobile apps for Windows 8. SAP also announced forthcoming support for Windows 8 development on the SAP Mobile Platform as well as security enhancements to the SAP Afaria mobile device management solution. Through these apps, platform support and security enhancements, SAP said it intends to extend business processes to Windows 8 to accelerate a business' ability to run better with devices of various form factors. The announcements were made at SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd in Madrid.

Posted November 28, 2012

SUSE has announced that as part of its ongoing alliance with SAP AG, SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension 11 Service Pack 2 is certified for integration with the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. The SAP certification scenario - called "SAP NetWeaver High Availability Cluster (NW-HA-CLU) 730" - establishes a reference architecture to help ensure compliant implementation of high-availability scenarios for running SAP solutions.

Posted November 28, 2012

IBM is now conducting an open beta for the latest version of its CICS Transaction Server, which adds cloud-style CICS development, deployment, and operations. IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) V5.1 offers new platform-as-a service (PaaS) capabilities that can be used to host software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based CICS applications.

Posted November 26, 2012

IBM introduced new mobile, management and storage components for its PureFlex and Flex System portfolios, including a new storage system to help improve storage utilization. The storage system is tightly integrated with IBM Flex System Manager and uses IBM Storwize family virtualization and IBM Real-time Compression technologies. This helps clients can run their most important workloads with no application performance degradation, IBM says.

Posted November 26, 2012

Cisco disclosed two impending acquisitions intended to boost its offerings in the cloud management space. The vendor announced its intent to acquire privately held Cloupia, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based software company, for $125 million. Cloupia automates converged data center infrastructure - enabling enterprises and service providers to simplify the deployment and configuration of physical and virtual resources from a single management console. In a separate announcement, Cisco also said it intended to acquire privately held Meraki Inc., a cloud networking provider, for $2.1 billion.

Posted November 26, 2012

Grid-Tools Ltd., a provider of test data management, test data generation and data masking software and solutions, has announced enhanced data masking solutions for mainframe users. The company's Enterprise Data Masking suite now provide full native support for data masking and subsetting for z/OS on DB2, VSAM, IMS and Non-Indexed Files.

Posted November 26, 2012

HP is shipping what it calls the industry's first server built to help companies operationalize Big Data. The new HP ProLiant SL4500 server series is purpose-built for Big Data environments, the vendor says. Built on HP Converged Infrastructure, the modular design of the HP ProLiant SL4500 server series offers varied compute and storage configurations that are aimed at enabling clients to optimize their infrastructure for a workload-specific application, removing the need to piece together incongruent hardware for the supporting infrastructure.

Posted November 26, 2012

As the acquisition announcements detailed in this week's issue of 5 Minute Briefing: Data Center attest, Cisco is increasingly evolving from network equipment provider to a data center leadership position. Accordingly, the vendor is also ramping up its data center skills support, acknowledging they are in short supply. To this end, Cisco announced a job-role-focused training and certification program that includes a comprehensive Career Certification portfolio consisting of the CiscoCCNADataCenter, CCNPDataCenter and CCIEDataCenter, as well as a product training portfolio. "Roles are transforming more quickly in the data center than any other space in IT," says Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager of Learning@Cisco.

Posted November 26, 2012

STORServer,a provider of data backup solutions for the mid-market, has introduced STORServer Console v3.0 (SSC), which allows IBM Tivoli Storage Manager users to operate their environment from an easy-to-use interface. The upgrade is free to all existing STORServer Backup Appliance and SSC customers.

Posted November 26, 2012

IT users and industry experts will present on today's most pressing enterprise technology topics at SHARE in San Francisco, February 3-8, 2013. The full session schedule is now available for you to explore the line-up of user-focused technical sessions.

Posted November 26, 2012

Oracle said it has made a strategic minority investment in Engine Yard, a cloud development platform that supports popular web development languages, Ruby, PHP and Node.js. The Engine Yard platform-as-a-service (PaaS) automates the configuration, deployment and on-going maintenance of cloud environments to enable application developers to rapidly build, deploy and manage cloud applications.

Posted November 21, 2012

Companies are facing serious external challenges managing aging IT infrastructures and application portfolios. To decrease costs and risks while increasing flexibility and innovation, many are turning to cloud technologies. By adopting cloud platforms, companies enable the delivery of "everything as-a-service." This empowers the workforce with faster any-device access to solutions that are available, affordable and ready to use. However, in order to realize cloud computing benefits, organizations must first transform and modernize their applications portfolios. Modernization is a key to business success and a significant challenge for chief information officers (CIOs).

Posted November 13, 2012

Backup appliances now have some maturity. How mature are they really? Unfortunately, not very. Why? Backup appliance vendors have resorted to bundling rather than architecting purpose-built appliances. Bundling simply packages a server and storage with off-the-shelf software. And, now, these "immature" bundles are starting to crumble the appliance revolution.

Posted November 13, 2012

Across the Northeast U.S. at the end of October, hundreds, if not thousands, of disaster recovery and business continuity plans were dusted off and fired up as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the area. Power was out across much of the area. Many data centers were able to continue operations, but many businesses were closed due to concerns about employees' safety and their ability to get to work.

Posted November 12, 2012

IT process automation software company UC4 Software and CollabNet, a provider of enterprise cloud development and Agile ALM products and services, are jointly developing, marketing, selling and supporting a DevOps platform. The companies say the partnership supports their mutual goals of driving agility and collaboration across the entire IT organization by offering a single, common platform that manages all aspects of emerging DevOps and continuous delivery initiatives.

Posted November 12, 2012

iWave Software, a provider of storage automation software, has released a new version of its automation product that is intended to lower storage administration costs by allowing end users to provision, extend and reclaim enterprise storage, while enabling storage administrators to retain total control of the automated storage services through storage automation policies. "The whole idea behind Storage Automator is to automate some of the mundane tasks associated with enterprise storage management and to empower end users to actually perform those tasks. It is really attempting to help companies and organizations deliver storage as a service to storage users," Brent Rhymes, CEO of iWave Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted November 12, 2012

CA Technologies, an enterprise IT solutions provider, has updated its mainframe application tuning tool, which now provides a consolidated view of enterprise applications through a graphical interface. CA Mainframe Application Tuner 9.0 is designed to help administrators more quickly resolve performance inefficiencies in z/OS-based systems. "Any application program, no matter what platform it's running on, can experience performance problems," Mark Combs, distinguished senior vice president for CA Technologies' Mainframe Customer Solutions Unit, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted November 12, 2012

SOA Software, a provider of SOA governance, cloud and enterprise API management products, launched what it calls one of the industry's most scalable and capable API developer platforms. The new SOA Software Open platform brings app developers and API providers together to build apps with scalable APIs. The service enables companies to manage their APIs for either private or public developer communities.

Posted November 12, 2012

BMC Software announced a new enterprise software solution which it says enables employees to take personal control over the delivery of the IT services and information they need - anytime, anywhere, from any device. The BMC MyIT solution is designed to be used from any device, delivering a personalized portfolio of technology and services to each individual employee, including a content locker, mobile corporate app store and other location-aware services and solutions. MyIT integrates with the BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite.

Posted November 12, 2012

Agiliance, Inc., a provider of solutions for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs, is shipping a risk management solution that integrates the COBIT framework intended to enable organizations, in automated fashion, to link business goals to IT goals, use metrics and maturity models to measure their progress, and assign governance responsibilities to appropriate business and IT process owners. This new content pack also improves regulatory compliance monitoring and reporting.

Posted November 12, 2012

Micro Focus, a provider of enterprise application modernization solutions, is shipping a free-of-charge Enterprise Developer Personal Edition product. An integrated development environment (IDE) for IBM mainframe applications, Enterprise Developer Personal Edition is an entry-level version of the full Micro Focus Enterprise Developer product for IT development professionals and students. The toolset offers a choice of Eclipse or Visual Studio IDE to develop enterprise-class mainframe and distributed applications.

Posted November 12, 2012

In a new survey of 207 IT and data executives, respondents report that their organizations are behind the curve when it comes to managing the risks that could come from exposing live data to less secure settings—including development departments and outside contractors. This is an Achilles' heel that is being overlooked in data security efforts. The survey, which drew responses from the membership of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), was conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., and sponsored by IBM. The executive summary of the report titled "Testing the Bounds of Data Governance: 2012 IOUG Test Development & QA Survey" is publicly available - and IOUG members may access the full report from the IOUG website.

Posted November 07, 2012

Oracle has announced general availability of Oracle Solaris 11.1 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1. Oracle Solaris 11 is the first operating system built for cloud, Charlie Boyle, senior director of Solaris product marketing, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "We have taken lessons learned from our customers and feature requests and built those into Solaris 11.1 to enhance our cloud platform." In addition, Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 extends high availability and disaster recovery capabilities of Oracle Solaris and includes virtual cluster features supporting efficient application consolidation.

Posted November 07, 2012

Oracle announced the latest generation of its mainframe virtual tape system, which the company says is the first and only mainframe virtual tape storage system to provide a single point of management for the entire system that leverages the security of the mainframe environment. StorageTek Virtual Storage Manager 6 is designed to manage data and storage resources with automated, policy-driven management that simplifies deployment and streamlines ongoing tape operations for data protection, disaster recovery and archive.

Posted November 07, 2012

A new software as a service solution from HP, Service Anywhere, aims to help organizations more quickly resolve IT incidents, while ensuring availability of critical IT systems. HP Service Anywhere provides service desk capabilities, including handling of inbound requests and IT service configuration as well as incident, problem and change management.

Posted October 29, 2012

Sepaton, Inc. is shipping a next-generation data protection platform that features Hitachi Data Systems HUS 100 storage arrays for 25% more capacity, delivering what Sepaton says is 350% more single system capacity than other system on the market. Sepaton's S2100-ES3 series 2922 purpose-built appliance, with version 6.3 software, "is an extremely large system that is designed for the largest enterprises," Peter Quirk, director of product management, at Sepaton, tells 5 Minute Briefing.In addition, with the advanced capabilities provided in the new appliance, there is the advantage of being able to protect up to 2 petabytes of data, notes Florin Dejeu, director of production management for Sepaton.

Posted October 29, 2012

IBM announced a tough third-quarter 2012, with revenues down across most sectors, with the exception of Websphere. For the quarter, IBM saw $3.8 billion in net profit on total revenues of $24.7 billion. The company's revenues were down 5% from the third quarter of 2011. Currency negatively impacted revenue growth by nearly $1 billion, the company adds.

Posted October 29, 2012

GT Software, a provider of enterprise modernization solutions, announced that it has joined the partner program for Rackspace Hosting, a relationship that provides a cloud infrastructure and services program that enables organizations to take legacy mainframe applications, data and processing to the Rackspace cloud environment

Posted October 29, 2012

Avere Systems, a provider of optimized network attached storage (NAS), announced its intent to develop a new joint solution with Fujitsu to provide customers with 100TB of capacity and 100,000 IOPs for $100,000 (US). Labeled the "100/100/100" bundle, the new solution marries the Fujitsu Core filer with UDS NAS controllers and ETERNUS DX80 S2 Disk Storage System with a two-node Avere FXT 3100 Edge filer cluster. "Avere's Edge filers give customers the ability to easily scale performance for the most demanding application workloads, while the Fujitsu storage systems deliver high capacity along with rich data management functionality," says Bill King, executive vice president, Platform Products Group of Fujitsu America.

Posted October 29, 2012

Attachmate Corporation, a provider of web-to-host solutions, announced it has updated its family of terminal emulation and PC X server software for connecting desktop and mobile users to data center systems. Compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8 Certified, Attachmate's new terminal emulator software - Attachmate Reflection 2011 R3 - connects users to enterprise applications running on IBM mainframes (including the new IBM zEnterprise EC12), IBM System i, UNIX/Linux servers and HP NonStop.

Posted October 29, 2012

Power Analytics Corporation has completed a software integration and license agreement with Envirotrol, a provider of building management systems. Power Analytics integrated its software, Paladin Gateway and Paladin DesignView, with Envirotrol's Niagara-based open platform to present visualization of automation projects and process environments

Posted October 29, 2012

Compuware Corporation, a technology performance company, announced pricing for what it says is the industry's first deep transaction management solution for optimizing performance of Apache Hadoop applications. Compuware APM's dynaTrace Enterprise for Hadoop will be offered starting at just $1,000 per Hadoop Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Posted October 29, 2012

Nastel's Richard Nikula recently posted some interesting observations about managing the mainframe skills shortages. There are tools that help automate mainframe ops, and professionals on the distributed side that can help manage data center operations. However, "System z experts" are few and far between. Nikula proposes greater efforts to move more applications and functionality to middleware tiers, where the talent exists. "Rather than focusing on green-screen applications that isolate mainframe data and expertise, these new solutions will combine the required data to diagnose and predict problems without regard to platform boundaries ... By incorporating the best of both worlds, organizations will continue to leverage their mainframe investments and adapt to the decline in System z experts, while not overwhelming those who remain and still providing their customers with the best service possible regardless of the technology used."

Posted October 29, 2012

The recent explosion of mobile applications has dramatically altered the consumer landscape, making it the norm for users and customers alike to expect access and support anytime, anywhere. With Cisco recently reporting that mobile-connected devices are set to exceed the world's population this year, it's no surprise that the surge is overflowing into the enterprise. While there are a few leading innovators in enterprise mobility, the vast majority of businesses are still struggling to take the first steps towards a streamlined strategy. The question is no longer "Do we?" but "How do we?"

Posted October 24, 2012

Application performance management (APM) software provider Precise has announced the availability of Precise 9.5, a major product release designed to help organizations deliver a better experience for customers using their cloud and mobile applications. Precise 9.5 rapidly detects and analyzes application problems resulting from server and storage virtualization resource contention, and also addresses the challenge of managing mobile traffic growth. The new release focuses on three key themes, all with the common goal of identifying and resolving potential problems before they can affect the customer experience or cause an outage, Sherman Wood, vice president of product at Precise, tells DBTA.

Posted October 24, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 was recently introduced with capabilities for deploying and managing business applications in an enterprise private cloud, such as Java platform-as-a-service (PaaS), enhanced business application management, and integrated hardware-software management for Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. According to Oracle, "engineered-together management" is especially important for a consolidation platform such as Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, where multiple business applications need to run reliably and securely. In addition, as a result of demand from customers leveraging Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, a new IOUG Management Special Interest Group (SIG) has been created.

Posted October 16, 2012

Research teams from CornellUniversity and Microsoft are setting forth a proposal for building data centers without wires or cables. "Conventional data centers, based on wired networks, entail high wiring costs, suffer from performance bottlenecks, and have low resilience to network failures," the researchers say. Instead, they propose a new methodology for building wire-free data centers based on emerging 60GHz RF technology. Ultimately, they claim, wireless data centers can deliver "higher aggregate bandwidth, lower latency, and substantially higher fault tolerance than a conventional wired datacenter while improving ease of construction and maintenance." Interestingly, the proposal draws upon schematics laid out in a paper written in 1889 by mathematician Arthur Cayley

Posted October 15, 2012

AT&T and IBM announced a business agreement to deliver a "network-enabled" cloud service that uses private networks rather than the public Internet. The companies are combining AT&T virtual private networking, new technology from AT&T Labs, and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities to create what they say is a faster and more secure shared cloud service. "As more organizations realize that cloud can be secure, easily managed, and a key part of their business strategy, cloud will quickly evolve as a tool for innovation rather than just for infrastructure," says Erich Clementi, senior vice president for IBM Global Technology Services.

Posted October 15, 2012

BMC Software delivered major updates to its IT Service Management portfolio, that enable organizations to transform their service desk into a flexible, proactive "genius bar" experience. This new approach, to be built into a number of BMC's ITSM products, helps IT organizations transition from passive, infrastructure-oriented support functions to ones that deliver more proactive, personalized enablement to today's highly mobile workforce. "Enterprise IT organizations and service providers want to deliver a differentiated, modern service experience," says Kia Behnia, BMC's chief technology officer.

Posted October 15, 2012

SnapLogic, a provider of enterprise cloud integration tools, announced new enterprise platform features intended to help lower the effort to integrate with traditional data sources. Meeting the needs of enterprise IT architects, the latest release of the SnapLogic Integration Platform provides high availability and rollback support, smarter server shutdown options, and a more intuitive interface for administrative tasks. "This release, like most other SnapLogic releases, is for both private and public clouds," Zeb Mahmood, principal of product management for SnapLogic, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted October 15, 2012

GT Software, provider of technology solutions for enterprise modernization, has rolled out Ivory Hub, a product suite targeted at mainframe enterprises seeking to address the demands for rapid application delivery for mobile, web, and cloud. Ivory Hub is designed to help organizations modernize their mainframe investment in a secure and low-maintenance environment. "The overall purpose and intent of the technology is to simplify accessing resources on the mainframe that are valuable, yet in many ways hidden due to the lack of skilled resources in the marketplace today," Chris Garner, senior vice president of the products group at GT Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing. GT Software will also present a webcast about Ivory Hub Thursday, Oct. 18 at 11 am ET.

Posted October 15, 2012

Technology performance company Compuware announced two new solutions aimed at reducing complexity in the data center and the cloud. Compuware APM for Mainframe provides transaction management capabilities, intended to help administrators more rapidly resolve performance problems, reduce MIPS costs, postpone hardware upgrades and accelerate time-to-market for new applications. In addition, a second new solution, Outage Analyzer, tracks cloud and third-party web service outages with instant notification of cause and impact. Outage Analyzer is available now as a free service.

Posted October 10, 2012

Progress Software Corporation announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Rocket Software for Rocket to acquire the Shadow product. According to the companies, Shadow middleware software is complementary to Rocket Software's existing product portfolio and will offer Rocket customers improvements in total cost of ownership and performance of integration projects that involve mainframe assets.

Posted October 09, 2012

Real-time IT management company ManageEngine, a division of ZoHo Corp., debuted key product portfolio enhancements at Oracle OpenWorld 2012. In addition to its flagship network monitoring software (NMS), OpManager, the company has upgraded its network configuration and change management (NCCM) solution, DeviceExpert, and enterprise password management software, Password Manager Pro. "Historically, IT has been more of a batch-oriented organization, where you submit a problem and wait for some resolution but as businesses make technology more ingrained in their overall revenue generation and profit generation functions, you just can't have that. It has got to move with the pace of business, and so a lot of the product announcement and development focus for us has been to deliver more real-time capabilities," Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted October 09, 2012

ExtraHop Networks, a provider of network-based application performance management (APM) solutions, has introduced ExtraHop Discovery Edition, a new 60-day, free trial version of the ExtraHop Application Delivery Assurance system, and the EH2000v, a more powerful version of its EH1000v virtual appliance. The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is aimed at helping IT teams to easily explore the benefits of network-based APM, while the EH2000v supports enterprises' increasingly virtualized and distributed IT environments, providing up to a sustained 3Gbps throughput capacity and support for over 1,000 hosts or VMs.

Posted October 08, 2012

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the former IBM senior VP widely credited with helping to transition the computer giant into the internet era, recently reflected on how the new zEnterprise EC12 speaks to the longevity of the IBM mainframe. The "emerging cloud-based model of computing requires systems that are able to provide very fast response times to huge volumes of requests," he points out. "And, mission-critical services in healthcare, finance, transportation, electric utilities, and other industries require very high levels of availability, security and other industrial strength capabilities. The new zEC12 mainframes are particularly designed to support such mission-critical cloud-based workloads. It shows that given the proper investment, commitment to innovation and management focus, a company's core legacy assets - infrastructures, platforms, products and services - can be a major source of competitive advantage and solid financial returns well into the future."

Posted October 01, 2012

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