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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

Posted January 24, 2013

With 2012 now in the rear-view mirror, it's time to look ahead at what 2013 may bring, writes Katherine Noyes in an article for PCWorld. From the excitement about the Raspberry Pi 2013 and the array of "tiny, inexpensive, Linux-powered PCs," to whether 2013 will be the "Year of Linux on the Desktop," Noyes gazes at her crystal ball in "Five Linux predictions for 2013."

Posted January 24, 2013

The explosion of big data has presented many challenges for today's database administrators (DBAs), who are responsible for managing far more data than ever before. And with more programs being developed and tested, more tools are needed to help optimize data and efficiency efforts. Using techniques such as DB2's Multi-Row Fetch (MRF), DBAs are able to cut down on CPU time - and improve application efficiency. MRF was introduced in DB2 version 8 in 2004. Stated simply, it is the ability for DB2 to send multiple rows back to a requesting program at once, rather than one row at a time.

Posted January 24, 2013

Oracle has introduced StorageTek LTO 6 Tape Drives with Fibre Channel connectivity for its StorageTek SL8500 and SL3000 Tape Libraries. The new drives offer increased capacity for better with 2.5 TB native storage capacity on a single tape cartridge, enabling customers to process more data in less time, while driving down the cost of tape operations.

Posted January 23, 2013

For the 20th year in a row, IBM topped an annual list of U.S. patent recipients. The company received 6,478 patents in 2012 for inventions that will enable advancements in areas including analytics, big data, cyber security, cloud, mobile, social networking and software defined environments, as well as industry solutions for retail, banking, healthcare, and transportation. IBM's motivation extends beyond simply achieving high numbers of patent filings, Graham Mackintosh, program executive for social analytics at IBM, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "We care about the innovation. The patent activity is a byproduct."

Posted January 22, 2013

OpenText, a provider of reporting software, says it is shipping a new interface that extends its enterprise information management reporting capabilities to mainframe-generated content by making it available to users of OpenText Content Server, OpenText eDOCS, and Microsoft SharePoint. "The Report & Output Management interface now allows mainframe output and content to be included as a source within the enterprise," Jason Likins, vice president of report and output at OpenText, tells 5 Minute Briefing. This includes business-centric information captured from mainframes, he says.

Posted January 22, 2013

Kroll Ontrack, a provider of information management tools, has announced a software tool that enables overwrite erasure of data on hard drives within VMware environments to ensure security and that drives can be repurposed. Version 4.0 of Ontrack Eraser provides expanded drive wiping capacity, VMware eraser capabilities, and new reporting and security management functionality. "The industry is struggling with being able to confirm that VMDKs (virtual machine disks) are wiped securely," Abhik Mitra, data recovery product manager at Kroll Ontrack, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "It is a very manual, mundane process today."

Posted January 22, 2013

Verizon Terremark announced it is enhancing its Enterprise Cloud service in terms of increased availability, security and flexibility. Enterprise Cloud computing platforms are being expanded in two of the company's data center facilities located in Dallas and London, Tony Savoy, senior director, Product Management, Verizon Terremark, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Verizon Terremark operates about 50 data centers worldwide, and of those a portion are what the company calls cloud-enabled to support its delivery of cloud family products to clients. The expansion in Dallas extends Verizon Terremark's presence in the central U.S., where it already has a Denver, Colorado, facility. The facility in London is Verizon Terremark's second in the EMEA region.

Posted January 22, 2013

Rocket Software announced the general availability of the latest version of its application modernization suite for user experience development, SOA integration, and enterprise mobile application development. LegaSuite 7.1 features LegaSuite Mobile, a new enterprise mobility product that enables organizations in any industry to facilitate mobile application development and integration with enterprise applications.

Posted January 22, 2013

CA Technologies, a provider of enterprise management tools, announced a new release of its cross-enterprise workload automation solution that includes an enhanced user interface and expanded application and platform support. CA Workload Automation is designed to support the delivery of integrated user experiences across distributed, mainframe and cloud platforms.

Posted January 22, 2013

NovaStor, a backup management software provider, announced it has redesigned its backup and restore software for data center administrators. NovaBACKUP DataCenter 5.0 features a new graphic user interface that provides greater access to all backup features.

Posted January 22, 2013

Does the cloud make a good backup environment for an on-premises data center? Or does an on-premises data center need to stand by as backup for cloud applications? In a recent post, Lars Evensen, an IBM certified IT architect, talks about the risks and rewards of using cloud as a backup. "If you manage your requirements and business needs correctly, backing up your data to a cloud-based solution can provide you with a flexible solution that performs as expected," he says. "However if you do not manage these requirements properly and simply assume that a cloud-based solution is the same as a traditional solution, you are heading into a possible hornet's nest." Evensen recommends a review of data policies, the cloud provider's service level agreement, and consideration of business needs. Also, current recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) requirements - which may be met by a current backup system or provider - may be more difficult to attain in the cloud.

Posted January 22, 2013

Fusion-io is extending the availability of its Fusion ioScale product line. Previously offered exclusively to Fusion-io customers outfitting thousands of servers, ioScale is now available for hyperscale and cloud companies in minimum order quantities of only one hundred units. According to Fusion-io, each ioScale provides up to 3.2 terabytes of Fusion ioMemory capacity that is performance tuned for the needs of webscale environments, and offered at pricing that will make it practical to architect an all-flash data center at scale. "The new ioScale product line is based on the same ioMemory architecture that our traditional ioDrive product line has been based on, but it has been specifically performance- and cost-optimized to target what we are calling the ‘hyperscale' segment of the market," Ajay Nilaver, senior director, Product Management, at Fusion-io, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted January 22, 2013

Coverage of Windows 8 has understandably focused on the revolutionary Metro interface. Many believe that this new interface, while fine for tablets and phones, is a step backwards for desktop productivity. By forcing users to switch between two modes of operation - desktop and Metro, Windows 8 diminishes productivity and imposes steep learning curve on new users. The Metro interface itself supports only very limited multi-tasking, so, serious work often must be done in the traditional Windows desktop. Microsoft implicitly acknowledges these limitations by providing the latest version of Microsoft Office, not in Metro format, but as traditional "desktop" applications.

Posted January 15, 2013

Kroll Ontrack, a provider of data recovery, e-discovery and information management, has introduced the latest version of Ontrack Eraser, a software tool that enables overwrite erasure of data on hard drives to ensure security and so that drives can be re-purposed. The new 4.0 release provides VMware eraser capabilities, expanded drive wiping capacity, and new reporting and security management functionality. "The one thing that the industry is struggling with today is being able to confirm that VMDKs (virtual machine disks), are wiped securely. It is a very manual mundane process today that we have made easier because we have essentially created a software product to help automate that process as well as easier for the customer to select specifically which virtual disks they want to wipe," Abhik Mitra, data recovery product manager at Kroll Ontrack, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted January 10, 2013

SAP announced a new option for SAP Business Suite customers — SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA — providing an integrated family of business applications that captures and analyzes transactional data in real time on a single in-memory platform. With Business Suite on HANA, "SAP has reinvented the software that reinvented businesses," stated Rob Enslin, member of the Global Executive Board and SAP head of sales, as part of his presentation during the company's recent launch event.

Posted January 10, 2013

Software AG has agreed to sell its SAP-service operations in Canada and the USA to itelligence, a full-service provider of IT solutions for the SAP market with approximately 2,700 employees in 21 countries. Its headquarters are in Bielefeld, Germany. The transaction closing is scheduled for January 16 and according to the companies the purchase price will not be disclosed. The transaction includes all of Software AG's SAP product-specific services in Canada and the U.S., which are coordinated from Toronto and Reston, Virginia respectively. In addition, itelligence plans to acquire the majority of around 80 employees as of January 16.

Posted January 09, 2013

One of the first compute jobs on record was for the U.S. Census, but now it seems computers are ready to handle other "senses" as well - all five of them. IBM researchers foresee the day when computers will provide touch sensations (smartphones already have touch capabilities), which will enhance online retailers; pick up on visual cues, which will enable remote medical diagnosis; enable speech recognition and real-time language translation; and even smell and taste. This is a far cry from the days when computers were just number-crunchers.

Posted January 07, 2013

Imation Corp., a provider of storage and data security offerings, announced that it has acquired privately held Nexsan Corporation, a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based provider of disk-based storage systems, for about $120 million. As the company continues to execute its strategy, Imation is leveraging its deep data storage core, building a platform for long-term growth and improving operating margins in high-growth data storage and security solutions markets.

Posted January 07, 2013

Syncsort, a provider of data integration solutions, has self-certified Syncsort MFX high-performance mainframe sorting software with the EMC Disk Library for mainframe, a virtual tape library solution for mainframe environments. The combination of solutions is aimed at helping customers reduce mainframe CPU and elapsed time, resulting in improved system throughput and lower consumption of resources. The self-certification was completed through the EMC ISV Backup Recovery Systems Partner Program. There is great pressure on mainframe IT departments to reduce the amount of MIPS they are using and a result, mainframe customers continue to invest to try to reduce costs with new technologies, Harvey Tessler, co-founder and head of Mainframe Engineering, Syncsort, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted January 07, 2013

CA Technologies announced that 25 of its software offerings are now certified by VCE to run on Vblock Systems, furthering CA's support of converged infrastructure platforms. VCE, formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel, provides converged cloud infrastructure systems. The company's Vblock Systems are designed to accelerate the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models.

Posted January 07, 2013

Micro Focus International plc announced that one of its subsidiaries has reached a definitive agreement with Progress Software Corporation for the acquisition of Progress's Orbix, Orbacus and Artix software product lines, for a total of $15 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed by January 21.

Posted January 07, 2013

Oracle announced Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X3-2, the second hardware generation of the company's flagship engineered system for running business applications. Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is hardware and software engineered together to provide extreme performance, reliability and scalability for Java, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Applications, Re-hosted CICS/IMS TP and other business applications, while delivering lower TCO, reduced risk, higher user productivity and one-stop support.

Posted January 03, 2013

Red Hat, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ManageIQ for $104 million in cash. ManageIQ is a provider of enterprise cloud management and automation solutions that help organizations to deploy and manage private clouds, virtualized infrastructures and virtual desktops. With the addition of ManageIQ technologies to its portfolio, Red Hat says it will expand the reach of its hybrid cloud management solutions for enterprises.

Posted December 28, 2012

GT Software, a provider of enterprise modernization solutions has released Fujitsu NetCOBOL for .NET v5.0, which enables COBOL developers to work on the latest version of Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment with more flexibility and stability regardless of application. It also features updates that improve the user experience and deliver enhancements to the process of developing key business applications.

Posted December 20, 2012

For many years, enterprise data center managers have struggled to implement disaster recovery strategies that meet their RTO/RPOs and business continuity objectives while staying within their budget. While the challenges of moving, managing, and storing massive data volumes for effective disaster protection have not changed - exponential data growth and the advent of big data technologies, have made the challenge of disaster recovery protection more difficult than ever before.

Posted December 19, 2012

SAP MaxAttention support is now available for solutions individually designed and built by the SAP Custom Development organization. These customer-specific solutions are often mission-critical and complex, addressing unique and competitive business needs. The support option helps to proactively protect custom development investments, simplifies operations by providing access through the same support infrastructure as for standard SAP solutions and provides greater flexibility for how support is delivered. This ultimately can translate into higher adoption rates with reduced errors and improved user satisfaction

Posted December 19, 2012

ExtraHop Networks, a provider of network-based application performance management (APM) solutions, has launched an SAP Sybase IQ Module designed to give IT organizations operational intelligence into big data analytics and data warehousing environments. The new module is intended to allow IT teams to monitor the performance of all Sybase IQ queries in real time without profilers or other host-based instrumentation, which, the company says, can be costly and add performance overhead to system

Posted December 19, 2012

Compuware Corporation, a technology performance vendor, announced that REALTECH AG, a provider of software solutions for enterprise-wide IT management and SAP consultancy, is incorporating Compuware APM - dynaTrace Data Center Real User Monitoring (DC RUM) - into the latest release of its IT service management software, theGuard! ServiceManagementCenter. This will enable REALTECH to enhance application performance driven by end user experience across SAP, web, non-web and cloud applications. "With today's complex application environment, it is impossible to manage and control IT service quality with traditional operational management products," according to Blair Drenner, vice president of strategic business development for Compuware's APM business unit.

Posted December 19, 2012

Oracle has announced new software enhancements to the Oracle SPARC SuperCluster engineered system that are intended to enable customers to consolidate any combination of mission-critical enterprise databases, middleware and applications on a single system and rapidly deploy secure, self-service cloud services.

Posted December 12, 2012

The year 2012 is closing, and it has been an active and stimulating year for data center managers. Never before have there been so many opportunities to play a direct role in building the business to compete in today's competitive, digitized economy. Data center managers now play major roles in supporting access for consumer mobile devices within the enterprise. Cloud computing is also opening up a vast array of new resources to enhance the operations and offerings of today's data centers. The increasing consolidation of data center assets also puts data center managers at the forefront of delivering enormous efficiencies and new ways of doing business.

Posted December 10, 2012

Xerox and Cisco have announced a collaboration in which Xerox will employ Cisco's Unified Computing System to deliver its cloud based managed print services (MPS) offering. Cisco reports that its system supports hundreds of thousands of transactions per second on behalf of Xerox. "By using Cisco UCS to support our global MPS delivery network, we can quickly respond to the changing needs of our customers and offer them simplified data, new applications, and faster service," says Andrew Morrison, senior vice president for Xerox MPS Business.

Posted December 10, 2012

Maintec Technologies has opened a new data center in North Carolina, providing mainframe co-location, mainframe raised floor space, and mainframe managed services. According to Maintec, its new mainframe co-location data center, situated 200 miles inland on the second floor of a brick building, is well-suited for companies in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville and Cary region. And, for New York and Washington, D.C. companies seeking an inland data center, the Maintec mainframe co-location data center is accessible via the nearby Raleigh/Durham International Airport.

Posted December 10, 2012

VMware, Inc., a provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure products, announced it is shipping two sets of management toolsets intended to better simplify and automate the management of clouds and applications. VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6 and VMware vFabric Application Director 5.0 are included in the VMware vCloud Suite 5.1. "With the VMware vCloud Suite, we bring together what customers need to build and manage a cloud infrastructure, as well as new and existing applications by automating infrastructure operations to help IT evolve into a broker of services to the business," says Ramin Sayar, vice president and general manager of cloud infrastructure and management for VMware.

Posted December 10, 2012

Micro Focus, a provider of enterprise application modernization solutions, announced it is shipping a new release of its COBOL application migration toolset, with support for Microsoft's latest operating system and integrated development environment. Visual COBOL 2.1 also includes many enhancements designed to facilitate an improved application developer experience, as well as deliver an upgrade path for core business applications. "With support for the Windows 8 platform, Visual COBOL provides even greater developer productivity, collaboration, and quality improvements while reducing their costs and time to market," Ed Airey, Micro Focus product marketing director for COBOL Products, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted December 10, 2012

HP announced a range of new enhancements to its Converged Storage portfolio, intended to address storage management issues within virtualized, cloud and big data archive environments. The refresh of the company's storage portfolio includes new HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, HP StoreAll Storage, and HP StoreOnce Backup product offerings. With the understanding that the storage sprawl at many organizations is unsustainable, the goal of the updated HP storage portfolio is to simplify the overall experience within customer environments, Craig Nunes, vice president of worldwide marketing, HP Storage, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted December 10, 2012

Oracle Sun Storage Archive Manager 5.3 and Sun QFS 5.3 have been released, providing customers with end to end data integrity so that they can simplify and shorten the process of verifying their digital archives are uncorrupted and accessible. When used with Oracle's StorageTek T10000C Tape Drives, a command from SAM-QFS initiates data verification within the tape drive itself, with no need to transfer the data back to the server.

Posted December 05, 2012

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

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