CA has upgraded 143 of its 166 mainframe management solutions and also introduced CA Mainframe Software Manager (MSM), a management solution to simplify the acquisition and implementation of CA software on the IBM z/OS platform.
These new offerings represent the first round of deliverables for "Mainframe 2.0," CA's initiative announced in November, intended to simplify the governance, management, and security of IBM's z/OS platform, Mark Combs, senior vice president and general manager for products in CA's Mainframe Business Unit, tells 5 Minute Briefing. By streamlining essential mainframe management tasks, Mainframe 2.0 is intended to enable customers to transition them to less experienced staff-while freeing valued, highly-experienced mainframe professionals for more demanding responsibilities.
"We know that our big customers are re-committing to and are increasing their use of the mainframe," says Combs. "There are many reasons for that. The mainframe is secure, it's resilient, it's green." However, an issue that is in the background is that the people who are actually responsible for the infrastructure tend to be older, and so, recognizing that the mainframe is not going away and is going to be a part of the IT infrastructure "more or less forever," companies are now realizing that they have risk associated with it and have to invest in rejuvenating that workforce, he notes.
CA MSM features a rich web-based user interface implemented using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) so it is "very modern," states Combs, noting its main purpose is to simplify and automate the acquisition and installation of initially CA's software products, but ultimately any software products from any vendor as long as they create their packaging in accordance with "some very simple standards."
In addition to CA MSM, CA's initial Mainframe 2.0 deliverables include a synchronized release stack that eliminates multiple learning curves by standardizing installation, planning, and implementation cycles across 45 CA mainframe solutions; more than 100 mainframe solution health checks that seamlessly integrate with the IBM Health Checker for z/OS framework; and enhanced electronic software delivery for 143 CA solutions that enables customers to electronically retrieve and install those solutions without having to build a physical tape.
The initial release of CA MSM provides the Product Acquisition Service that gives customers access to an inventory of tailored CA solutions and services in the form of electronically deliverable product packages and Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs); as well as the Software Installation Service that simplifies installation and maintenance of CA solutions based on the customer's local software inventory through an intuitive graphical user interface and an intelligent Installation Wizard. The Software Installation Service leverages the OASIS SDD metadata standard to describe how each CA software product is to be installed.
Mainframe 2.0 also features Out-Tasking, a turnkey offering from CA that combines software with management services in a single subscription-based package. For more information about CA's Mainframe 2.0 initiatives, go here.