Unisys Corporation has announced new enhancements to its ClearPath family of mainframe servers to make it easier for clients to modernize their application environments and to enable workers to access and manage ClearPath systems more efficiently through smartphones and other end-user devices.
Key enhancements include integrated support for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, plus enhanced mobile security; support for additional open source development tools to extend ClearPath applications; and ClearPath Libra Model 750, a new mid-range system.
"Last year we introduced the initial rollout of mobile device support and what we are dong with this release is really adding feature content within ClearPath itself to provide much more of an enterprise class transaction path for mobile devices," Bill Maclean, vice president, ClearPath portfolio management, Unisys, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
The new Release 13.0 of the ClearPath MCP software environment provides secure support for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, with planned support for additional mobile devices. This feature enhances the utility of the ClearPath ePortal Specialty Engine, a co-processor that manages web services and mobile-device access.
The new capabilities include dynamic application support, which makes it easier for mainframe applications to handle mobile workers' frequent logging on and off. Also, MCP now provides enhanced support for hybrid applications, giving mobile-device users a single, graphical view of data from multiple ClearPath transaction sources and making it easier for IT executives to view and manage system resources remotely.
New mobile security enhancements to MCP include encryption to protect data crossing the network from being accessed by unauthorized users. Also, support for the Locum RealTime Monitor, from Unisys solution partner Locum Software Services Limited, enables system managers to react quickly to security violations based on data from multiple systems - a crucial requirement for mobile environments. This minimizes potential risk to business information and improves regulatory compliance and management reporting.
To enrich support for users on the go, Unisys also plans an optional help desk service so support representatives can remotely resolve service incidents on mobile devices connected to the ClearPath system.
In another major area of innovation, there is additional support for open source technology in the ClearPath environment. "We introduced more than a year ago the JProcessor which provided a high performance vehicle for implementation of Java applications and supplements in many cases to existing ClearPath applications; we also support XML in that environment," says Maclean. "What we are doing in this release is adding a new scripting language called PHP which is very popular for web application interactions and we not just qualified the scripting language but we have actually instrumented it in such a fashion that it will interact with DMSII databases transparently."
PHP and other open development tools, such as Java and XML, enable ClearPath clients to create a modernized application environment that bridges technology generations and extends the value of their investments in strategic software. To accelerate application modernization, ClearPath clients can also take advantage of Unisys Application Advisory Services.
"Our application Advisory Services would be what you would expect to find at a management consultancy," notes Jeff Irby, vice president of portfolio solutions for technology consulting integration solutions (TCIS). Unisys has created a repeatable framework process across all its portfolios, and specifically around application advisory. "This is aimed at helping the client align their application needs with their business initiatives and making sure that financially it is practical." The application Advisory Services help determine how best to streamline the environment for maximum return on investment - answering questions such as which applications to enable for SOA, wireless or web access; which to modernize with enhanced functionality such as social-media or smartphone access; and which to consolidate on premises or outsource.
ClearPath Libra Model 750
And in another major area of innovation, Unisys has launched a new platform, the Libra 750. Based on a Unisys proprietary CMOS processor, the ClearPath Libra Model 750 provides a new entry point in the mid-range ClearPath Libra 700 series. It is designed to accommodate medium-to-large transaction processing environments - especially those requiring continuous availability. It provides a 35% improvement in single-processor performance over the predecessor Libra Models 585/595. "It isn't as large as the high end Libra 780/790, but it does provide a lower entry point for the proprietary processor environment for Libra 700 family," explains Maclean. "It addresses a specific set of customers that aren't big enough to move into a 790 but who do want the higher single thread performance that is delivered by the CMOS platform."
Like other members of the ClearPath family, the ClearPath Libra Model 750 provides metering, a pay-for-use system software licensing capability that enables clients to match IT resources to business requirements and pay for the processing power they use, as they use it.
"We believe this release along with those that have occurred over the last couple of years really do position our customers to keep pace with the dynamics of their environments, the kind of demands they are seeing from their end users, the ability to keep up with the mobile requirements, is all there with this particular launch," says Maclean. "We believe that the additional open technologies that we have introduced make the system more cost-effective and provide the customers with a lot of new options in terms of how they enhance their existing applications and modernize them to meet new business requirements within their own environment. And we do all that without compromising the underlying mission-critical foundation. "
For more information on ClearPath systems and solutions, go here.