BMC Bolsters zSeries Tools

System advisor eases mainframe operations.

BMC Software Inc. is betting that mainframes will not be replaced by distributed systems any time soon, even as the shortage of assembly language expertise grows.

The Houston-based company last week outlined its strategy to help IT lower the cost of ownership for IBM zSeries mainframes and increase the productivity of mainframe system programmers by bringing simpler management to z/OS and OS/390 systems.

"We want to make sure we can lower [costs] by incorporating standard functions in systems management," said Calvin Guidry, vice president and general manager for BMCs enterprise systems management business unit. "We want to be able to manage file systems the same way and get the same results, regardless [of hardware]."

Toward that end, BMC announced the System Advisor family of integrated configuration and management tools, which componentize low-level operating system services and use a common look and feel to mask the complexity of the mainframe operating system, Guidry said.

The foundation product in the family, System Explorer for z/OS, provides a Java-based graphical interface, similar to Windows Explorer, that provides a drag-and-drop interaction with basic management functions, such as managing and editing files, moving data sets, submitting jobs, and scheduling output.

The system "provides text and expert advise to the end user," said Will Bauman, vice president of BMCs Mainview product line, in San Jose, Calif. System Advisor will act as a plug-in for other System Advisor products that will follow.


BMCs mainframe tools simplify z/OS and OS/390 management
  • Offer a topological view of vital system resources
  • Feature Windows-like drag-and-drop interaction for management and file editing
  • Provide text and expert advice to end users
To provide intuitive interaction, BMC created a run-time component system infrastructure using Simple Object Access Protocol and XML, which allows system developers to access management functions through Web services.

Future products in the System Advisor family will include Configuration Advisors and Application Advisors. Configuration Advisors, which will include some 20 new tools, will help system engineers to configure and administer the complexities of managing zSeries components.

System Explorer for z/OS is available now with a starting price of $11,700.

Separately, BMC made several enhancements to its Mainview mainframe operations line, including its Mainview for IP, Mainview AutoOperator for OS/390, Mainview AutoOperator for SAP High Availability and Mainview Storage Resource Manager.