Mainframe Propeller Head

Mar 9 2009   9:47PM GMT

CA attacks the mainframe velociraptors

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Oftentimes when I talk to CA users — whether they’re running a mainframe, distributed systems or most often, both — they’re not sure of everything they have. That’s one of the oft-cited criticisms of CA and other large third-party mainframe software vendors, that they’re so bulky and difficult to manage.

Over the past year, CA has taken steps to alleviate that problem with its so-called Mainframe 2.0 initiative. Forget the fact that putting 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever.0 on a product name or trend is passe and really doesn’t mean much anymore (another example: Cisco’s Data Center 3.0). what is it? Basically, it is CA’s attempt to clear up all the CA software clutter in so many mainframe shops.

Scott Fagen, CA’s vice president of enterprise systems management, said that in May, CA will come out with a “CA mainframe software stack,” a group of 45 CA software products grouped together for easier purchase, installation, patches, maintenance, etc.

“You’ll be able to log on and have a view of all the products you have from CA,” Fagen said at the Share mainframe user group conference in Austin, Tex. last week. “It will remind people that the products are there and they are there to be used.”

Fagen added that CA will continue to offer its Mainframe Value Program, which is a free service for CA customers where a CA rep will come in and tell you about all the CA software you have, what you use and what you don’t, and produce a report on how to improve performance.

Some users might say that CA talking up Mainframe 2.0 is akin to scientists at Jurassic Park bragging about finally getting rid of the velociraptors. In other words, is CA fixing a problem that it created? But at least there is now an option out there for those users I talk to who are looking to make more sense of their CA software portfolio.

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