At CA World 2008 in Las Vegas this week, software giantCA announced its Mainframe 2.0 iniative, which aims to untangle...
the complexity of mainframe management.
Chris O'Malley, the head of CA's mainframe business unit, said Mainframe 2.0 strives to make its mainframe management software easier to use for less experienced IT staff, to create greater uniformity among products, and to provide a service to remove mainframe burdens.
Rich Ptak, an analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates, believes that CA's initiative is a good idea.
"It's a step in the right direction," Ptak said. "CA is in competition with mainframe-focused tools from BMC and IBM. They're all working hard to make mainframe tools more automated and more user friendly. It's the right thing to be doing."
In addition to making its mainframe software easier to use, CA will offer a so-called out-tasking service that, in conjunction with CA service provider Acxiom Corp., will allows users to subscribe to a software service instead of buying the product outright, thus allowing the line item to be funded from operating budgets instead of capital budgets.Who created the mainframe complexity?
The fact that CA has made reducing complexity a high priority begs questions about how this complexity – and costliness -- arose. Certainly mainframe power players like IBM, CA and BMC had a hand in it.
"I wouldn't want it to sound like they intentionally created that complexity," said Ptak. "The complexity was a result of the state of technology at the time. A fair amount of it is simply a fact of life."
According to O'Malley, a lot of complexity came because of acquisitions by the big management players. That led to a cornucopia of mainframe management products that lacked cohesion.
"We've bought a lot of different products from a lot of different vendors," he said. "Part of what we're doing is standardizing those products."