CA World 2010: CA unveils new mainframe management tools

Data centre

Recognising that the mainframe is still alive and well and delivering solid benefits for many businesses, CA Technologies has unveiled new management tools.

Dubbed CA Mainframe Chorus, the new software will give users a management workspace that integrates tools to boost productivity, according to CA. The first iteration of the tool, focused on DB2 databases, is currently in beta. Other mainframe technologies are expected to be supported in the future.

In its last user conference back in 2008, CA highlighted the ageing workforce supporting mission critical systems on the mainframe and warned of the problems ahead when these people leave the workforce. It hopes that the launch of Mainframe Chorus will help ensure new staff can get trained and up to speed quickly so that support worker retirement doesn't adversely affect the business.

"Many mainframe customers today are looking for ways to reduce the cost and complexity of managing mission critical workloads, and to reduce the risks associated with the looming skills shortage," said Dayton Semerjian, corporate senior vice president and general manager for CA Technologies' mainframe business unit, in a statement.

"With CA Mainframe Chorus, we are offering our customers a way to increase the leverage of their existing IT staffs, so their entire team can effectively assume mainframe responsibilities."

Back in November 2008, during the last CA World event, the company said that mainframe capacity had increased from 4.5 million MIPS back in 2001 to 14 million today. With around three-quarters of businesses relying on the mainframe for mission critical applications, it's key that the issue of support staff leaving through retirement or any other reason is addressed quickly.

The new arrival, which supports CA Technologies' Mainframe 2.0 strategy, has received praise from the industry.

"The effectiveness of mainframe IT specialists is being hampered by the complexity and disconnected nature of the tools in use today. While the focus of every CIO is on delivering quality applications to the business, stand-alone tools consume support resources and perpetuate silo-based support practices. This impairs IT's efficiency in delivering new technologies and services to the business", said Julie Craig, research director for Enterprise Management Associates, in a statement.

"I believe the workspace and collaborative capabilities that CA is bringing to the table with CA Mainframe Chorus is an innovative way to address these issues, and see potential for significant productivity benefits for CA customers."

Read on for more news from CA World 2010.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.