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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

CA Technologies has introduced a new version of its converged infrastructure management solution for enhancing customer experiences. CA Infrastructure Management (CA IM) integrates elements of CA Technologies Service Assurance portfolio, and is capable of translating volumes of disparate performance data into actionable insight delivered in unified, user-specific views, the vendor says.

Posted September 17, 2012

Percona, Inc. has announced the latest release of Percona Server, which it describes as its "enhanced drop-in replacement for MySQL." According to the company, Percona Server Version 5.5.27-28.0 includes new features that make it more valuable as an alternative for MySQL users. Offered free as an open source solution, Percona Server has self-tuning algorithms and support for high-performance hardware. In addition, the company is planning a two-day Percona Live Event for NYC in October and also for London in December, with speakers and tutorials spanning multiple tracks across the MySQL ecosystem. A more expansive, four-day conference, Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo 2013, is planned for Santa Clara in April.

Posted September 13, 2012

It seems easy to fall into a state where projects and activities assume such soft-focus that routine takes control, where one simply does necessary tasks automatically, no questions are raised regarding what is moving through the work-life production line and everyone is essentially asleep at the switch. Certainly, we may have one eye open ensuring that within a broad set of parameters all is well, but as long as events are basically coloring inside the borders we continue allowing things to just move along. In this semi-somnambulant state we can easily add columns to tables, or even add new entities and tables, or triggers and procedures to our databases, then eventually at some point down the road have someone turn to us and ask, "Why this?" or, "What does this really mean?" And at that point, we surprise ourselves with the discovery that the only answer we have is that someone else told us it was what we needed, but we do not really understand why it was needed.

Posted September 11, 2012

The first computer program I ever wrote (in 1979, if you must know) was in the statistical package SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), and the second computer platform I used was SAS (Statistical Analysis System). Both of these systems are still around today—SPSS was acquired by IBM as part of its BI portfolio, and SAS is now the world's largest privately held software company. The longevity of these platforms—they have essentially outlived almost all contemporary software packages—speaks to the perennial importance of data analysis to computing.

Posted September 11, 2012

If you have not heard the buzz around Oracle's Engineered Systems, then you must not be keeping up with Oracle's marketing promotions, reading any technical journals, or even just walking through any airports lately. While the marketing claims are impressive, the use of Marvel's characters was imaginative and Oracle's use of the slogan "Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together" is enticing, you may be asking yourself, "What does all of this mean to me?" Well, let's illustrate by example.

Posted September 11, 2012

In recent years, the networks of developers, integrators, consultants, and manufacturers committed to supporting database systems have morphed from one-on-one partnerships into huge ecosystems in which they have become interdependent on one another, and are subject to cross-winds of trends and shifts that are shaping their networks. Nowhere is this more apparent than the huge ecosystem that has developed around Oracle. With Oracle's never-ending string of acquisitions, new functionality, and widespread adoption by enterprises, trends that shape this ecosystem are certain to have far-reaching effects on the rest of the IT world. Concerns that percolate through the ecosystem reflect — and influence — broad business concerns. New paradigms — from cloud computing to big data to competing on analytics — are taking root within the Oracle ecosystem long before anywhere else.

Posted September 11, 2012

An educational and interactive webcast will review the findings of the 2012 IOUG Test, Development and QA Survey and discuss the best practices and issues that it highlights. This IOUG study was conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., and sponsored by IBM. Presented by Kimberly Madia, WW product marketing manager at IBM, and Thomas Wilson, president and CEO, Unisphere Research, the webcast will be held Thursday, September 27, from 12 - 1 PM CDT. Attendees to the webcast will receive a copy of the study report.

Posted September 11, 2012

Embarcadero Technologies announced a suite of major new releases to help developers rapidly build, migrate and maintain single-codebase native applications for Windows 8 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. "Today's mixed Windows and Mac environment poses unparalleled opportunities for ISVs and enterprises," says Michael Swindell, senior vice president of marketing and product management at Embarcadero. "Time pressure and R&D costs are the real barriers to reaping the Win/Mac benefits. Delphi XE3 and C++Builder XE3 enable development teams to code a project once, and deliver true native user experiences across multiple Mac and Windows OS versions and form factors."

Posted September 10, 2012

IBM's zEC12 announcement resulted in the predictable spate of headlines invoking dinosaurs. Examples of headlines that popped up include "Mammoth mainframe computers far from extinct," and "Mainframes dead? Not on your Nelly." Actually, mainframes have never gone away, and have continuously been expanding in reach across the globe. Maybe comparisons to the large reptiles that once roamed the earth are meant as compliments. It is important to remember, as one industry observer once remarked, "that dinosaurs were on the planet for more than 160 million years." That's a lot of staying power.

Posted September 04, 2012

GT Software, a provider of technology solutions for enterprise modernization, has announced the general availability of its latest releases of the NetCOBOL compiler solutions - NetCOBOL for Windows v10.4 x64 and NetCOBOL for Linux v10.4 x64.NetCOBOL is a COBOL compiler and development environment used to create standalone COBOL applications and/or COBOL components. The latest release of NetCOBOL v10.4 brings new levels of flexibility, removes file size restrictions, and provides updated support for the growing Linux COBOL community. It can be used to create 64-bit server applications or applications that need the power of easy to maintain COBOL business logic.

Posted September 04, 2012

IBM announced an updated mainframe server configured to meet the heightened performance demands of cloud computing, as well as providing enhanced security. The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server also offers support for operational analytics that can help clients sift through large volumes of raw data and transform it to gain knowledge that can be used for competitive advantage. The EC12 is the result of an investment of over $1 billion in IBM R&D, and the work of more than 2,500 development engineers across 18 labs worldwide, says Rod Adkins, senior VP of IBM's Systems and Technology Group.

Posted September 04, 2012

Luminex Software, a virtual tape solutions vendor, and Nirvanix, a provider of cloud storage, have teamed up to provide a new cloud-based tape vaulting solution designed specifically for mainframe environments. As a result, the companies say, mainframe customers are no longer limited to open or distributed systems, and can securely store mainframe tape volumes in the Nirvanix Cloud Storage Network and access them globally.

Posted September 04, 2012

William Data Systems (WDS) has introduced a new gateway server intended to help data centers move to the IPv6 protocol. According to WDS, transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 is a challenge for many customers, since there are costs and risks of changes to applications, networks and hardware. The vendor's ZEN Application Gateway (ZAG) is a software solution designed to help implement IPv6 under z/OS by minimizing the need to make changes to applications, hardware or networks. "Our ZEN Application Gateway can be used for either production or testing, it depends on the shop's agenda," Graham Storey, vice president of marketing at WDS, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted September 04, 2012

Neebula Systems, a provider of service modeling and management solutions, has unveiled a preview of its latest cloud management solution, the Neebula ServiceWatch solution in the cloud. The offering is intended to provide IT managers access to a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based product to discover and map IT resources - hardware and software - that make up a specific business service. This eliminates the long, labor-intensive process of installing on-premise software and then manually discovering and mapping IT resources, the vendor says.

Posted September 04, 2012

The Big Data Spotlight at SHARE in Anaheim included two full days that addressed SHARE attendees' most pressing Big Data questions and concerns. Everyone from the keynote speakers to daily technical session speakers (including a full Big Data hot topic track) discussed why Big Data is so important today.

Posted September 04, 2012

EnterpriseDB, provider of PostegreSQL and Oracle database compatibility products and services, has released a public beta of its new Multi-Master Replication (MMR) capability in Postgres Plus xDB Replication Server. According to EnterpriseDB, this will provide database administrators with improved write-availability and read-scalability, customization, database performance, as well as a cost reduction in Oracle licensing.

Posted August 28, 2012

Miami-Dade provides its county agencies an easily accessible and robust IT environment to support three million citizens and host millions of Miami's visitors. It needed a smarter way to improve business processes and lower costs. IBM has worked with Miami-Dade to support all of Miami's County Municipal agencies with IBM's Business Analytics.

Posted August 24, 2012

In this paper, ITIC examines IBM's PowerLinux strategy and delivers a verdict. It concludes that PowerLinux offers current and prospective IBM customers high performance and reliability for physical and virtualized environments at an extremely aggressive price point, and that it's the right solution at the right time to disrupt the market's inertia towards "good enough" computing.

Posted August 24, 2012

Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) member company Abyres has successfully transitioned several Malaysian government agencies to open virtualization environments running Microsoft Windows applications powered by KVM. As a result, the agencies have a cost-effective, user-friendly platform that is easy to manage and maximizes utilization, reliability and availability of the high-performance virtual machines Abyres delivers.

Posted August 24, 2012

The Red Hat EMEA Partner Road Tour 2012 will take place between September and November 2012 in various cities across Europe. IBM is a platinum sponsor of the event which is designed for business partners, distributors, resellers, solution providers, global and local system integrators, as well as for independent software vendors, who have an interest in solutions around virtualization, infrastructure, cloud, middleware, and storage. In addition, the Red Hat Asia Pacific Partner Conference is an annual event at which partners across Asia Pacific gather to learn about the latest and greatest from Red Hat and its alliance partners, as well as gain insight about the direction and strategy moving forward.

Posted August 24, 2012

SUSECon is the first annual global conference for SUSE customers, partners and community enthusiasts, enabling SUSE users to learn about the latest developments in enterprise-class Linux. SUSECon will be held from September 18-21, 2012 in the Grand Caribe Convention Center at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Posted August 24, 2012

This year's OpenSUSE conference will take place at the Czech Technical University in Prague. The campus is located in the district Dejvice and is next to an underground station that gets you directly to the historic city center. The conference will run from October 20 through October 23. More information is available from the openSUSE Conference website.

Posted August 24, 2012

Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., an insurance company with a presence in 14 states, was facing out of control server sprawl and difficulties with air flow and rack space, writes Jim Utsler in the August issue of IBM Systems Magazine. To deal with the problem, Shelter opted to move many of its applications to IFL processors running on its mainframe, slowing the growth rate of the existing Intel technology-based boxes. As an added bonus, the company's applications are now running faster on its zEnterprise 114 (z114) platform than they had in the past, notes Utsler.

Posted August 24, 2012

IBM is seeing growing momentum of IBM PureSystems among global clients and business partners, as organizations increasingly look for ways to reduce IT complexity and overcome the worldwide skills shortage. According to industry experts, approximately three-quarters of global employers cite a lack of experience, skills or knowledge as the primary reason for the difficulty filling IT positions. As a result, organizations are searching for new computing models that don't require a significant commitment of resources or employee training to set up and maintain. IBM PureSystems is addressing this issue by providing patterns of expertise - a new technology model that builds on the experience of thousands of IBM clients and streamlines the set-up and management of hardware and software resources.

Posted August 24, 2012

As we enter into the next chapter of x86 virtualization, KVM is poised to redefine the market with superior performance and an impressive ROI via commercial implementations such as Red Hat's RHEV3. The key to the success of RHEV3 lies within its manageability, which includes proper instrumentation and monitoring of the entire infrastructure within dynamic and converged infrastructures. Zenoss and the Open Virtualization Alliance invite you to explore this topic further during a live webinar on Wednesday, August 29, at 2 pm ET.

Posted August 24, 2012

In a new blog, Ian Robinson, virtualization product line manager, IBM Systems Software, STG, writes about the complexity that comes with the managing physical and virtualized servers, and the increasing need to manage more than one hypervisor. That's where IBM Systems Director with VMControl comes in, he says. "Generally, when we think about new technology we tend to focus on all the advantages it adds. And, in the case of server virtualization - a technology that has been strongly embraced over the past decade as it expanded beyond the mainframe into the realm of x86 servers - the advantages are many. Virtualization is being widely embraced in the enterprise because it enables greater utilization of an existing infrastructure, flexibility in terms of reallocating resources when they are needed and where, and not incidentally, significant cost savings due to a smaller physical footprint, energy efficiency and the ability to avoid or postpone new hardware purchases."

Posted August 24, 2012

LinuxCon is the leading annual technical conference in North America. Launched in 2009, LinuxCon has become known for offering top speaking talent, a cross-section of the leading players in the Linux community, innovative and timely content, a wide variety of opportunities for attendee collaboration and a place for smaller groups to co-locate for topic-specific mini-summits and workgroups. Co-located with CloudOpen, the Linux Kernel Summit and the Linux Plumbers Conference, LinuxCon North America 2012 will take place August 29-31 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego.

Posted August 24, 2012

Mike Day, distinguished engineer and chief virtualization architect, Open Systems Development, IBM, dispels some persistent myths about KVM in his new blog. "KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is gaining traction in the enterprise as a virtualization solution that provides high performance, scalability, and cost efficiency," writes Day. "But misconceptions still abound about this open source hypervisor. Some falsehoods continue to be perpetuated by organizations offering competing products, and others because KVM is maturing quickly and the up-to-date, correct information is not yet widely known. Here, we tackle some of the most persistent myths about KVM - because it's time to set the record straight."

Posted August 24, 2012

The oVirt Project develops and distributes an open source virtualization management platform that combines the KVM hypervisor with advanced capabilities for hosts and guests, including high availability, live migration, storage management, system scheduling, and more. As part of its community's efforts to provide education about oVirt and to bring more contributors into the fold, oVirt is hosting workshops at LinuxCon North America and LinuxCon Europe. Interested parties are invited to attend these workshops free of charge, and all workshop participants are eligible for a $200 discount on their LinuxCon registration courtesy of The Linux Foundation.

Posted August 24, 2012

TransLattice, a provider of distributed databases and application platforms for enterprise, cloud and hybrid environments, has released TransLattice Elastic Database (TED), which the company describes as the world's first geographically distributed relational database management system (RDBMS). A single database can run on multiple TransLattice nodes around the world, allowing for greater data availability, performance, and scalability at a lower cost than traditional databases. "Since we have the ability to pre-position the data close to end users and have a node that's operating on their behalf in distributed queries, we can offer a much higher level of user experience than conventional systems," Michael Lyle, CTO of TransLattice, explains to DBTA. Additionally, TED makes it easier for global enterprises to comply with data jurisdiction policy requirements.

Posted August 23, 2012

Quest Software has announced that vRanger 6.0, the latest version of its virtual data protection solution which provides backup, replication, and recovery for VMware, now also enables customers to back up and restore physical Windows servers. Providing a single source of protection for both virtual and physical environments, vRanger 6.0 is VMware Ready certified for vSphere 5, provides OS support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and also will support Windows Server 2012 upon its release to market. "We feel that we can reduce the complexity and reduce the number of tools used in a Windows environment that is using VMware," Greg Davoll, senior director, product marketing, data protection business, at Quest, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted August 21, 2012

VMware, Inc., a provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure, says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nicira, Inc., a network virtualization vendor. VMware will acquire Nicira for approximately $1.05 billion in cash plus approximately $210 million of assumed unvested equity awards. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the acquisition to close during the second half of 2012, according to VMware. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both VMware and Nicira and the stockholders of Nicira.

Posted August 20, 2012

Symantec has introduced Veritas Operations Manager 5.0 and Veritas Operations Manager Advanced 5.0. Veritas Operations Manager provides a centralized management console that bridges the gap across servers and storage and enables organizations to get end to end visibility not just from the application to the storage spindles themselves but also in a heterogeneous environment, Don Angspatt, vice president of product management, Storage and Availability Management Group, Symantec Corp., tells 5 Minute Briefing. The Advanced version is an add-on offering that provides additional capabilities for reporting, enables an enterprise-wide multi-site view, and also allows users to verify utilization for network attached storage as well.

Posted August 20, 2012

Nastel Technologies, a provider of application performance monitoring solutions for mission-critical applications, announced the release of a free tool for isolating faults in and measuring baseline performance of applications based on IBM's WebSphere MQ (WMQ). Nastel's MQSonar, available as a free download, can generate particularly valuable insight for enterprises using home-grown monitoring and management applications for WebSphere MQ.

Posted August 20, 2012

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