By eweek  |  Posted 2006-09-18 Print this article Print

Along with the MCC, CA has significantly revised the underpinnings of Unicenter NSM by building the product on a common MDB (Management Database). CA is playing catch-up here to a certain extent, using a centralized database that allows various CA components to share and leverage information about IT assets—from storage and security to job scheduling to application and database performance.

The MDB provides a single integrated schema for the management data stored by all CA products in the r11 family. Previously, Unicenter products used individual databases to store this information. Aside from the management complexity of administering these individual data stores, the older model often created nearly redundant workloads for IT operations by collecting and reporting on similar data.

Our tests show that the MDB may cause some disruption for current Unicenter users as data is migrated to the new centralized system. However, we think that the interruption to established IT operations will be worth it, as the administrative overhead associated with older versions of Unicenter will be reduced. New implementers of Unicenter will see a management system that works as they likely would expect.

Click here to read a review of Centeris Likewise Management Suite 2.0. While using Unicenter NSM r11.1, we were able to see the integration provided by the MDB. For example, the asset discovery process, itself much improved in this release of Unicenter NSM, was tightly integrated through a common schema with information about backup and storage management areas of IT for which CA has separate products.

The MDB also sets the stage for sharing information among CA Unicenter enterprise management installations running on mixed Windows, Linux and Unix platforms. Right now, there are limitations—for example, some Windows-specific actions are ignored on Linux systems, and vice versa. As Unicenter NSM grows into the use of MDB, we hope to see it translate commands among platforms in the same way that Centeris Likewise Management Suite does.

To its credit, Unicenter NSM monitors and manages a broad range of systems—far more than Windows- and Linux-based machines. In our tests, we were able to monitor systems based on Sun Microsystems and Novell operating systems, while also keeping tabs on our Cisco Systems switches and routers using SNMP.

In addition, the enhanced message record actions make it simpler than in previous versions of Unicenter NSM to customize agents to report on specific traps. In earlier versions of the product, we would have had to wait for the event to be created before having all the information needed to customize our alerts.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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