IBM this week announced a significant update to one management tool, and talked up another that it recently shipped.
Both products are aimed at simplifying management of the company's System z mainframes. The announcement came at the 2007 Governance and Risk Management Summit in Sanya, China.
The new and updated products are part of IBM's five-year, $100 million "Mainframe Simplification" initiative, according to company officials. The simplification initiative, which was announced just over a year ago, aims to make IBM's System z mainframes easier to use and to speed the roll out of applications, making the computers more popular with new and existing customers.
"The main point is lowering the cost of ownership for customers," John Steigerwald, director of market management at IBM Tivoli, told InternetNews.com.
Targeted for availability in December, Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) Version 6.1 monitors, manages and controls the Web services layer of IT architectures. It is designed to help locate bottlenecks and failures and to identify which services consume the most time or resources in composite SOA applications.
Composite Application Manager for SOA identifies Web service performance problems, alerts administrators and provides metrics for comparison. The tool is a core component of IBM's SOA Foundation Management Essentials, a combination of software, best practices, patterns and skills resources for SOAs, according to IBM.
Version 6.1 adds support for WebSphere Message Broker, AXIS 1.2, SAP NetWeaver, IBM WebSphere CE and SCA infrastructure, JBoss and DataPower proxy, and Web browser launch, the company said.
Although it was originally released in July, Tivoli Omegamon XE for CICS Transaction Gateway is a new addition to Big Blue's Omegamon XE line of System z monitoring products. It is designed to aid customers in managing "critical workloads and resources while increasing productivity and safeguarding data security," company statements said.
Additionally, the product demonstrates IBM's commitment to make System z mainframes easier to use and manage, Steigerwald said.
The product provides automatic discovery of active CICS Transaction Gateway regions, identifies them by their job names and helps administrators identify transactions and their associated transaction servers. It provides statistics and monitors the activity of IBM's CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS as well as provides a central point of management control for administrators.
Earlier this month, IBM also announced a series of updates for its Rational line of developer tools as part of the simplification initiative.
IBM's moves toward simplifying System z management are welcome, according to one observer.
"Mainframe administration is not quite rocket science, but it's not like managing a bank of x86 servers either," Charles King, principle analyst at analysis firm Pund-IT, told InternetNews.com. "This aims to take some critical mainframe management practices and make them easy to manage."
This article was originally published on InternetNews.com.