IT Management

It’s good to see some positive financial results for the zSeries platform again, after some difficult months. IBM’s Systems and Technology Group recorded mainframe revenue growth of 5 percent year-to-year. MIPS grew 28 percent year-to-year, which was the company’s largest quarter of MIPS shipments on record and the highest revenue since fourth quarter 1998. Moreover, a handsome 60 percent of revenue was driven by new workloads such as Linux and Java. All of which is good news for the z/OS sector as a whole, though ISVs will continue to feel the squeeze if IBM has its way.

DB2 and data serving dominate the IBM announcements as we go into the early part of 2006. At the time of writing, Big Blue is previewing the next major release of DB2, building on the major re-write of the database that came in Version 8. Four main areas are addressed in the new version: support for compliance requirements through more granular security administration and improved audit support; improved development and porting capabilities, with default databases and tablespaces and native SQL stored procedures; cost and complexity reduction with fast table replacement, partitioning by growth and index compression; plus closer integration with XML and WebSphere. The overall aim is to improve the level of consistency between mainframe and distributed versions of UDB, and to leverage the z9’s superior security and autonomic strengths to make DB2 for z/OS the platform of choice for data sharing in enterprises struggling to meet regulatory compliance and scalability needs with distributed solutions.

Along with the software announcements, IBM also has announced a new specialty engine for selected DB2 applications, the Integrated Information Processor (zIIP). Like the zAAP co-processor for Java, which emerged with the z990, the new engine is clearly positioned to encourage new applications by providing a way to offload relevant workloads without incurring software charges for the additional capacity—essential for Java, of course, which is such an inefficient user of mainframe resources! Although there’s surprisingly little data available on zAAP cost savings, the co-processor has clearly had some impact in helping users cost-justify the porting of Java code to the mainframe, and the zIIP is likely to play a similar role in persuading customers to consolidate and expand DB2 resources.

More Enterprise Software Company Acquisitions

Recent weeks have seen a number of acquisitions in the enterprise space. IBM and CA have both expanded their system and network management functionality through takeovers; IBM by taking over multi-media network specialist Micromuse to enhance its provision of network- based voice, data and video services, and CA by absorbing application management company Wily Technology. NEON Systems, which acquired Clientsoft last year, is to become part of the DataDirect arm of Progress Software, creating in the process a formidable range of data access products.

Other News

  • CA continues to pledge support for VM/VSE users (as well as z/OS users consolidating Linux workloads under VM) and has announced day-one support for z/VM 5.2 across security, storage, and system management product lines.
  • CASI Software has announced GA of its Mail2ZOS and FTP Sweeper products. Mail2ZOS allows mainframe applications to receive information and instructions via e-mail and process the content. FTPSweeper automates the management of mainframe applications by sweeping FTP sites for processing information.
  • Mainstar tells us that IBM has further extended the terms of their strategic partnership, and now offers customers a broad range of catalog management, business resiliency, and DFSMShsm management products from the ISV.
  • Cybermation announced the latest release of its newly branded ESP 5, which provides an unprecedented level of cross-platform, event-based job scheduling as well as native support for Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server.
  • NEON Enterprise Software, Inc. (NESI) announced RealTime DBAExpert Version 5.1. The DB2 management tool reduces CPU costs and increases availability by using real-time statistics to monitor database status and automate database management, eliminating the CPU consumption experienced when using RUNSTATS. The product is developed by SOFTWARE ENGINEERING in Germany.

News, Please

I think 2006 will be a good year for the enterprise software business. Make sure I get details of any announcements at