IT Management

I must admit I was a little sad to hear about the takeover of Candle by IBM. I know there is a tendency in the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) sector for smaller players to be swallowed up by the big fish, and the result can be positive for customers—if the acquisition guarantees the future of a vulnerable product or assists with cross-vendor integration. (Of course, takeovers can also be disastrous for product support, but I don’t imagine IBM will struggle to fulfill existing commitments!)

On the other hand, Candle was one of the early pioneers in the S/360 software market, and has remained an innovator in many areas of systems management and messaging middleware ever since. We can only hope some of this spirit remains following the merger.

IBM Markets Isogon SAM Tools

One of the effects of Sarbanes-Oxley and other new corporate governance legislation is that companies are now under intense pressure to examine their Software Asset Management (SAM) procedures more closely. SAM has enormous benefits, particularly for large organizations that have a complex inventory of software products (often amassed during mergers and acquisitions).

Responding to this strong focus on SAM, IBM has announced that it will be selling a number of SAM tools from Isogon, including SoftAudit for z/OS (a mainframe auto-discovery product) and Vista (a tool for managing IT contracts and legal documents).

IBM intends to market the Isogon products in conjunction with Tivoli License Manager, to help customers identify unused and underused software, and develop a closer correlation between inventory management and software license and contract negotiation.

Corigin Gets FICON Support

Corigin, the data integration specialist, has made a significant step forward by announcing native-speed FICON access to mainframe data from its open systems platform.

The vendor has been carving a healthy market for itself in recent months by helping customers pull down OS/390 and z/OS data for use in Unix-based data warehousing and CRM applications. Its products allow access to mainframe-attached storage with minimal host processing and also offer a way to download large databases (typically DB2) for processing by distributed systems.

Corigin’s main obstacle to date has been the lack of a standard storage access protocol. FICON support now gives the company access to IBM storage devices as well as Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and EMC.

BMC Teams Up With Consul for Identity Management

BMC is partnering with mainframe security tool specialist Consul on a new identity management offering. “Insight for CONTROL-SA by Consul” (a product name in need of abbreviation if ever I saw one!) is intended to help customers meet regulatory requirements by providing detailed audit and exception reports and event-based alerts. Consul’s reputation has been forged in the RACF environment, but over the last two years it has diversified strongly into event-based auditing. Building on the success of BMC’s CONTROL-SA in the Identity Management (IM) market, the product allows users considerable scope in automating the tracking and auditing of IM events.

Around the Vendors

Other recent announcements in the z/OS market:

  • Mainstar has unveiled Version 6.2.02 of Catalog RecoveryPlus, the ICF catalog management tool. The new release builds on the “REORG While Open” feature, allowing users to repair catalogs while they are in use.
  • Eurekify has announced Sage Discovery and Audit for RACF, allowing administrators to analyze and audit existing privileges and groups.
  • Compute (Bridgend) has a new working environment, CBLi, incorporating a built-in editor with support for REXX macros.
  • CA has announced Advantage CA-IDMS R16 for z/OS, with higher performance and more flexible access to logical volumes.

Any News?

Remember to send me details of any third-party z/OS, OS/390, or mainframe integration announcements for this column. There’s plenty going on in the mainframe environment—but it doesn’t always reach the headlines!