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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

Sybase, an SAP company, has announced the general availability of Sybase IQ 15.3, which aims to help enterprise IT departments overcome the scalability limitations of many data warehouse approaches. By implementing a business analytics information platform that allows sharing of computing and data resources through the new Sybase IQ PlexQ technology, the company says enterprises can break down user and information silos to increase analytics adoption throughout their entire organization. There is a lot of talk about big data, but how to manage it and analyze it is only half the problem, observes David Jonker, senior product marketing manager of Sybase IQ. "The other half is how do you make it more pervasive throughout the enterprise and from our perspective that is where a lot of the existing data warehousing solutions fall down."

Posted July 12, 2011

Cloud data centers need a lot of horsepower, which has been natural turf for IBM with its mainframes and supercomputers. Intel, with its roots in the distributed computing space, says the value proposition extends to its Xeon processors as well.

Posted July 11, 2011

Attachmate Corporation announced the availability of Attachmate Luminet 4.2, an enterprise fraud management solution that helps thwart insider fraud and abuse. Luminet's ability to reveal user activity across enterprise applications and score risk in real-time to flag questionable activity patterns helps transform data into actionable intelligence. The latest Luminet version offers the option of a new Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 validated cryptographic module to conform to certain federal government requirements. The FIPS module is critical for federal government installations for making sure that they are meeting FIPS requirements, and allows Attachmate to add to the product's specific vertical appeal," Christine Meyers, senior product marketing manager for Attachmate Luminet, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted July 11, 2011

CA Technologies announced a series of enhanced mainframe-oriented products and programs aimed at reducing costs, simplifying management and improving operational efficiency. The upgraded products include Application Performance Management, DB2 for z/OS management tools, CA IDMS database management, CA Endevor Software Change Management, CA Mainframe Software Manager (CA MSM) and 84 other new additions to the Mainframe 2.0-enabled Mainframe Software Stack. CA has recently seen a shift in its mainframe base to greater consolidation of IT resources, Mark Combs, distinguished SVP for mainframe at CA Technologies, tells 5 Minute Briefing. This is seen particularly with "consolidating from Unix and Linux on distributed platforms onto Linux for System z," he says. "For quite a while, some customers had been moving Linux on mainframe, but not in large numbers. In the last year to 18 months, we have starting to see many more actual funded projects resulting in production deployments on mainframe, particularly among some of our larger customers, along with interest in our infrastructure management solutions to manage that environment."

Posted July 11, 2011

Romonet introduced Prognose, what it calls one of the world's first predictive modeling software suites for designing, building, operating and managing data centers and IT facilities. "Data center operators around the world are under increasing pressure to reduce business risk, control operational cost and maximize capital asset utilization while at the same time facing rising energy costs and increasing compliance regulations," says Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet.

Posted July 11, 2011

Oracle has agreed to acquire Pillar Data Systems, a provider of scalable SAN Block I/O storage systems. The acquisition will help Oracle deliver a complete line of storage products that runs Oracle software faster and more efficiently, the company said. Oracle president Mark Hurd and John Fowler, executive vice president of Systems at Oracle, followed up the announcement with a webcast last week in which they elaborated on Oracle's storage strategy and the importance of the capabilities that Pillar adds. They were joined by Phil Bullinger, senior vice president, Storage, at Oracle.

Posted July 11, 2011

CA Technologies announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Interactive TKO, Inc. (ITKO), a provider of service simulation solutions for developing applications in composite and cloud environments, for $330 million in an all-cash transaction. "The addition of ITKO to CA Technologies will extend our ability to deliver a complete set of capabilities to help our customers and partners to increase their adoption and value from cloud-based applications," says David Dobson, executive vice president, Customer Solutions Group, CA Technologies.

Posted July 11, 2011

Simplification is important in today's era of increasing complexity and ever-changing software environments. A key component of simplification is to remember the basics and apply some elementary rules and practices to your database environment. Many problems arise because we don't keep track of the things most of us already know. I stumbled upon the idea for this month's column after recalling Malcolm Gladwell's excellent business book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. In this book, Gladwell offers up case studies and examples depicting the benefit of our "adaptive unconscious" - a powerful innate ability that provides us with instant and sophisticated information.

Posted July 07, 2011

Today, we operate in a global economy at internet speed. Globalization of our workforce has shifted the way work gets done. The explosion of wireless and edge technology has raised the expectations of consumers, who are more informed, educated, and knowledgeable about products and services. This changing landscape places immense pressure on business applications in organizations worldwide. Critical application outages caused by software defects can cost the business millions of dollars in revenue for every hour of downtime.

Posted July 07, 2011

As the economy shifts to expansion mode, and businesses start hiring again, a familiar challenge is rearing its head. Companies are scrambling to find the talent needed to effectively run, maintain, and expand their technology platforms. This is not a new problem by any means, but this time around, it is taking on a greater urgency, as just about every organization relies on information technology to be competitive and responsive to growth opportunities. A new survey of 376 employers finds a majority depend on the educational sector - universities and colleges - to provide key IT skills, often in conjunction with their own internal training efforts. However, few of the executives and managers hiring out of colleges are entirely satisfied with the readiness of graduates.

Posted July 07, 2011

IBM has announced new cloud services designed to enable clients to protect, store and retrieve their most critical data quickly after a disaster. The new IBM SmartCloud Resilience services enable companies to protect their data and applications in a more efficient manner than with traditional disaster recovery centers, the vendor says. "Now more than ever, companies are relying on a massive amount of data to run their businesses, storing it longer and retrieving it as needed," says Rick Ruiz, general manager of IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. "This creates a need for a business resilience strategy that will ensure continuous operation and create a competitive advantage to enable growth opportunities."

Posted June 27, 2011

IBM has released the latest version of its transaction server software for z/OS environments, which includes additional support for event processing, Java, and the CICS Explorer. The new update, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) V4.2, builds upon the new and enhanced capabilities developed and delivered in V4.1, to enable companies to compete in the marketplace, comply with standards and regulations, and control IT processes.

Posted June 27, 2011

Symantec Corp. has introduced the latest version of Symantec ApplicationHA, Symantec's high availability solution for VMware virtual environments that supports customers' ability to virtualize their business-critical applications. As customers move from virtualizing peripheral applications to more core mission-critical apps, virtualization adoption declines because they tend to be more cautious and risk-averse, Don Angspatt, vice president of product management for Symantec's Storage and Availability Management Group, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "No one wants to stake their career on whether SQL, Oracle, SAP, and Exchange can be running all the time and be up all the time in a virtualized environment."

Posted June 27, 2011

BMC Software has acquired the portfolio of IMS (Information Management System) database products and customers from NEON Enterprise Software, a mainframe management software company. According to BMC, adding NEON Enterprise Software's IMS products to its existing offerings will satisfy the critical need organizations have for industry-leading, high-performance solutions that not only help manage, optimize and support IMS environments, but also reduce operating costs and improve business service delivery. All told, BMC is acquiring more than 20 products through the acquisition, says Robin Reddick, director of MSM Solutions Marketing at BMC Software.

Posted June 27, 2011

HP has unveiled a new suite of software which it says is designed to rationalize, measure and improve IT performance called the HP IT Performance Suite. The suite provides CIOs insight from across a comprehensive range of solutions to manage and optimize application development, infrastructure and operations management, security, information management, and financial planning and administration. Each product in the HP Software portfolio improves the performance of the discrete IT functions addressed, while a new IT Executive Scorecard helps technology executives optimize overall IT investments and outcomes.

Posted June 24, 2011

Oracle has announced that it is has entered into an agreement to acquire FatWire Software, a provider of web experience management solutions. FatWire's solutions provide organizations with the ability to deliver relevant customer content, build community engagement and drive site stickiness and loyalty. "The addition of FatWire products will give Oracle the ability to provide a complete suite of software that empowers web marketers to engage visitors, converting more prospects to customers, and enhancing customer loyalty," says Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president at Oracle.

Posted June 22, 2011

When you think of mission-critical services, perhaps none is as critical as electrical service. Not much can happen in modern businesses, government offices, or even homes without it. Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) is the largest electric company in Vermont. More than 159,000 customers in 163 communities rely on the electrical service CVPS provides. And, according to J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing and surveying company, for overall customer satisfaction, CVPS continues to rank in the top tier of utilities in the eastern region, more than 50 points above the regional average.

Posted June 22, 2011

Is the day of reckoning for big data upon us? To many observers, the growth in data is nothing short of incomprehensible. Data is streaming into, out of, and through enterprises from a dizzying array of sources-transactions, remote devices, partner sites, websites, and nonstop user-generated content. Not only are the data stores resulting from this information driving databases to scale into the terabyte and petabyte range, but they occur in an unfathomable range of formats as well, from traditional structured, relational data to message documents, graphics, videos, and audio files.

Posted June 22, 2011

Confio Software, maker of the Ignite8 performance analysis software tool, has introduced IgniteVM, targeted specifically at DBAs to monitor and ensure database performance in a VMware environment. IgniteVM provides visibility beyond the database and into the virtual server layers, reducing the risk of database performance issues and helping to enable a successful physical to virtual (P2V) transition. With IgniteVM, which is focused squarely on the DBA and the DBA management team, Confio aims to reduce risk and increase visibility by combining the essential database response monitoring available in Confio's Ignite8 tool with non-intrusive VMware visibility.

Posted June 15, 2011

Varonis Systems Inc., a provider of data governance software, has released a new version of its solution, targeted at Microsoft Exchange administrators seeking increased visibility and control over mailboxes and public folders. DatAdvantage for Exchange provides greater visibility into activities, such as who deleted a message or a folder; who changed permissions; who sent a message on behalf of someone else; who changed the content of an email and forwarded it as or on behalf of the original sender; who accessed an inbox, read emails and then marked them as unread. The challenge with the Microsoft Exchange native journaling and diagnostics tools is that they only capture a limited amount of data, according to Varonis. "With this latest update, our customers not only have a critical audit trail that they didn't have previously, but they also benefit from Varonis' automated analysis of that audit trail," David Gibson, director of strategic accounts and technical marketing for Varonis, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted June 14, 2011

A new global study of more than 3,000 chief information officers by IBM reveals that the top strategic technology investment over the next 5 years at outperforming midsize organizations is business analytics, with cloud computing emerging as the fastest growing technology area for CIOs.

Posted June 13, 2011

FairCom Corporation announced a new solution for COBOL environments, designed to expose previously inaccessible silos of COBOL data to open access methods. c-treeACE for COBOL is intended to "marry COBOL standard I/O routines and SQL," the vendor says. C-treeACE for COBOL is intended to be an alternative database solution for COBOL developers to use without making code changes. "From the pure COBOL point of view, c-treeACE for COBOL is just a straight, more advanced native COBOL file system, with no limitations imposed on the COBOL programmer," says Evaldo Oliveira, general manager of FairCom.

Posted June 13, 2011

Dell says it will resell RainStor's specialized data retention database to support solutions such as application retirement and retention of machine-generated data. RainStor, a data storage infrastructure software company, designs and sells technology that enables data to be de-duplicated and compressed, while still accessible online through standard SQL language and BI tools. "The RainStor-Dell solution combines the object storage capabilities of the Dell DX with RainStor's online data retention (OLDR) repository," Ramon Chen, vice president of product management at RainStor, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted June 13, 2011

Precise, a provider of transaction performance management (TPM) products and managed services, introduced an appliance intended to make it easier to get started with end-to-end management of enterprise systems. The downloadable Precise Virtual Appliance is built for managing new private cloud applications.

Posted June 13, 2011

Attachmate Corporation announced it has begun shipping Attachmate Reflection for the Web 2011 R1, the latest version of its web-to-host tool for connecting local and remote users to legacy applications on a variety of host platforms. The latest release includes new support for multiple platforms and browsers.

Posted June 13, 2011

At last week's INNOVATE 2011 conference, IBM announced new application development collaboration software built on its Jazz open source development platform. New features are designed to enable developers to interact quickly, share data from any source in the development process and connect teams and development communities. "A critical challenge facing businesses is how to innovate through fostering collaboration among teams and a complex array of partners and suppliers," says Dr. Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational.

Posted June 13, 2011

CiRBA Inc., a provider of data center analytics software, says it will soon be offering new cloud planning analytics that streamline and improve decision-making processes around cloud migration. To be made available with CiRBA Version 6.2, these new analytics will help support organizations in determining how to set up their internal cloud environments, as well as determine the optimal environment, placement, instance size and software profile to migrate individual workloads to."Cloud migration planning can be far more complex than pure virtualization planning, partly due to the added variables of instance sizing and costs, but primarily because policies take on an even more critical role in the decision of where to place workloads," says Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA.

Posted June 13, 2011

In recognition of World IPv6 day last week, Compuware released a free IPv6 website performance comparison test. The Gomez IPv6 Website Performance Comparison Test allows organizations to compare the speed of their IPv4- and IPv6-enabled web applications. "IPv6 will play an important role in the future of the Internet, and until now there was no way to test the performance of IPv6-ready websites or compare them to the currently deployed IPv4 sites," says Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware APM business unit.

Posted June 13, 2011

As recent graduates begin to seek employment leveraging new college degrees, IBM and JobTarget, LLC, a provider of job opportunity technology, announced Systemzjobs.com. This new employment resource directly links students and experienced professionals with IBM clients, making it easier to hire the best available talent. "Systemzjobs.com completes the IBM System z Academic Initiative circle in working with universities to help develop the top talent IBM clients require to be successful," says Don Resnik, IBM System z Academic Initiative and Client Skills Leader. "This new resource introduces new, young talent directly to IBM clients and makes it easier for them to hire the best available talent in the industry."

Posted June 13, 2011

Unisys Corporation has introduced new ClearPath Dorado and ClearPath Libra 800 Series which feature improvements to handle customers' growing mission-critical workloads. The new offerings feature more powerful processors and I/O capabilities, as well as enhancements to the ClearPath software operating environments - such as support for Apple iPad tablets and Android and BlackBerry smartphones - are key elements of the new offerings.

Posted June 06, 2011

About 100 attendees traveled to the UNITE 2011 Technology Conference and Exhibition, which was held last month at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, California. Highlights included a keynote by Ann Thureen, Unisys vice president of engineering and supply chain technology and infrastructure services, and Wayne Carpenter, Unisys vice president of sales, application modernization, and North American technology. Thureen and Carpenter laid out the long-term strategy for the ClearPath product line, which is an important topic for customers who have made significant investment in the technology, Jim Shelton, UNITE board chairman, tells 5 Minute Briefing. In addition, Unisys CEO Ed Coleman stopped by the conference and spoke for about 15 minutes, emphasizing the importance of users and customers as well as the value UNITE as an organization provides.

Posted June 06, 2011

Compuware Corporation announced a new release of its integrated application performance management (APM) solution, the Compuware Gomez platform. This release introduces solutions designed to help companies optimize mobile and web application performance across the application delivery chain, from data centers, through the cloud, to the edge of the internet.

Posted May 31, 2011

Sepaton, a provider of enterprise-class disk-based data protection platforms, announced the extension of its enterprise data protection platform. The company's Sepaton S2100-DS3 Series 1000 and 2000 systems are designed to meet the needs of large enterprises with multiple remote locations, the DS3 provides enterprises the ability to deliver the same standard of data protection to remote offices that has previously only been available to primary data centers.

Posted May 31, 2011

CA Technologies says it is working to help IT organizations and employees meet workforce needs and address sustainability challenges with core programming skills training offered through its Mainframe Academy and Mainframe Associate Software Engineering Program (MASEP). The training is necessary to support customers who rely on the mainframe as a critical component of their data centers, according to CA. The goal of the Mainframe Academy and MASEP is to certify graduates in the mastery of mainframe skills across hardware, applications and environments.

Posted May 31, 2011

Red Hat, a provider of open-source-based platforms, announced the availability of the beta version of the seventh update for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. This beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (version 5.7) contains a number of enhancements for enterprise management and virtualization performance. Also included are updates to the drivers and kernel to support Intel, AMD, POWER and IBM mainframe hardware updates.

Posted May 31, 2011

Temenos, a provider of banking software, launched a new Java and component-based version of its flagship TEMENOS T24 software (T24), designed for use by large banks. As part of this launch, Temenos announced results of a major benchmark which illustrate the high performance of the new product running natively on IBM' System z servers, leveraging advanced features of the System z.

Posted May 31, 2011

Maintec Technologies, an infrastructure support vendor, has launched a service it calls "Graveyard Shift Service," which offers companies running IBM mainframe data centers capability to outsource their night shift operations to be supported from Maintec's Bangalore-based Network Operations center.

Posted May 31, 2011

The Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 and X2-8 with the Solaris option began shipping just this month. Now in its third generation, the Database Machine combines all the components to create what the company describes as the best platform for running the Oracle Database. Here, Tim Shetler, vice president of Product Management, Oracle, talks about the performance innovations that differentiate Oracle's offering, how customers are using the system today for business advantage, and also — what's ahead.

Posted May 26, 2011

HP has announced a new financing offer to help organizations accelerate decision making with SAP In-Memory Appliance software (SAP HANA) running on HP Converged Infrastructure. The financing program from HP includes HP infrastructure and services as well as SAP HANA software licenses.

Posted May 25, 2011

The service management world of today is all about linking business services to the underlying IT infrastructure, creating an effective bridge between the business and technology. In theory, this provides a clear window into the IT environment to increase accountability, productivity and efficiency. Effective service management also provides business context, so IT can take action to avert service-impacting events by understanding business priority. However, current business service management (BSM) does not provide enough guidance about how to manage services proactively and effectively. This issue is now more important than ever, because on the horizon lurks an exciting new arena for service management-virtualization and cloud computing.

Posted May 25, 2011

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