CA modernizes the mainframe with updated stack

CA Technologies has added fresh user interfaces to its stack of mainframe management tools

Addressing some of the chief problems faced by mainframe operators today, CA Technologies has updated its stack of mainframe management software to help cut costs and simplify management.

"I talk to hundreds of customers a year. I ask them what are the challenges they face," said Dayton Semerjian, general manager for mainframes for CA Technologies.

Semerjian listed three challenges he had repeatedly heard: controlling costs, maintaining skillsets as the older workforce retires and increasing the agility of the mainframes.

The new releases address all these concerns, Semerjian said.

Overall, 84 programs in CA's integrated stack of 234 mainframe programs have been updated.

One program that CA has updated is the CA Mainframe Software Manager (MSM), which is software that streamlines the process of installing other CA programs. The new edition radically simplifies the process of software configuration. In many cases, configuring new software on a mainframe can take up to a day or more, though this new software can cut that time to less than an hour, Semerjian said.

"We did an internal benchmark. We asked a mainframe expert to install 10 applications," Semerjian said. "Without using MSM, it took him six-and-a-half hours. When he used MSM, it took them less than an hour."

The new version of MSM is available at no cost for CA customers with active contracts.

CA ENDEVOR (Environment for Developers and Operations) Software Change Manager has been updated as well. ENDEVOR, which is software for managing the source code of applications, has been updated with a modern interface, one based on Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment).

"For years, programmers interfaced with ENDEVOR using a green screen. Now they can use Eclipse, both to do programming work and to manage the application itself," said Mark Combs, distinguished vice president of mainframes at CA.

Also updated is CA Sysview Performance Management, an application that monitors the performance of other mainframe applications. The new version offloads more of its processing to the zIIP specialty engine, a co-processor IBM has made available on its latest Z series mainframes. ZIIP can save organizations money, because its usage isn't billed by IBM on per-usage mainframe contracts. This release of Sysview uses 40 percent less CPU time.

"Since [billing] on the mainframe is primarily done based on capacity utilization, this speaks directly to the need of controlling costs," Combs explained.

CA also uses zIIP to cut the processor time on its database management software, IDMS (Integrated Database Management System). The new version offloads 50 percent of its workload to zIIP processing. The software also features more automatic tuning tools and reporting statistics.

Although mainframe computing is often thought to be a legacy technology, it maintains a stronghold in many enterprises. Semerjian characterized mainframe computing as a simple way to deploy a "private cloud." CA estimates that the total market from mainframe products and services will grow to US$11.4 billion in 2014, up from $10.6 billion in 2010.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CA TechnologiesserversmaintenanceUtilitieshardware systemssoftwareMainframes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?