CA Technologies Delivers Series of 'Mainframe 2.0' Products and Programs

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."

CA Mainframe Software Manager, which CA says is already used by more than 400 customers now includes extended Install Shield-like capabilities and automated processes geared to streamline software configuration. CA Endevor Software Change Manager includes new capabilities designed to simplify management and increase efficiency of IT staff, featuring enhanced CA MSM support, a modernized user interface and integration via web services to distributed solutions such as CA Clarity, CA Service Desk and smart phones.

CA SYSVIEW Performance Management is designed to help conserve system resources and improve cross-enterprise and mainframe efficiency via zIIP specialty engine exploitation and performance improvements. CA SYSVIEW enhancements extend to the CA Technologies cross-enterprise Application Performance Management solution that integrates CA SYSVIEW with CA Introscope. CA IDMS is also configured with expanded zIIP specialty engine exploitation and full CA MSM support.

The CA Mainframe Software Stack adds 84 new or refreshed products, including 14 new product families, bringing the total number of products that leverage CA MSM and IBM hardware and operating system capabilities to enhance platform serviceability to 234. The stack offers customers improved operational efficiency and helps them maximize the value from their mainframe systems.

The Mainframe 2.0 program also enhances CA's Mainframe Software Rationalization Program, to help IT organizations who are consolidating software vendors achieve cost and efficiency savings without impacting service levels or losing management capabilities. The program also extends CA's Mainframe Value Program (MVP) to its distributed products, thus increasing the value of this no-charge consulting service to help customers optimize the use of existing CA products across the enterprise and recommending how they can maximize ROI.

Challenges in securing mainframe-specific skills, and technology skills from other platforms is also a concern Mainframe 2.0 seeks to address, says Combs. "One recent study we commissioned showed that the most pressing workforce issues for IT organizations in the next 12 months are an increased demand for training, cited by 54% of respondents, and hiring new IT staff, cited by 38%. It comes up as a topic in almost every mainframe strategy discussion we have with our customers, large and small."

Mainframe skills challenges "was also the driver for us to create the CA Mainframe Academy, which helps customers do exactly that: train technicians who are experienced in managing other platforms to manage mainframes, filling in the mainframe-specific gaps in their knowledge," says Combs.

More information is available from CA Technologies.