BMC to Ride Capacity Planning Wave

With capacity planning back in vogue now, BMC is moving to beef up its performance mgmt. and capacity planning tools.

With capacity planning back in vogue now, thanks to tight IT budgets, BMC Software is moving to beef up its performance management and capacity planning tools to attract new business.

The Houston, Texas, enterprise management software provider earlier this week launched a new Enterprise Performance Assurance initiative that cuts across its mainframe and distributed systems performance management tools.

Leading the new and enhanced offerings is a new low-end offering, dubbed Patrol Perceive, that works with existing Patrol predictive analysis tools to "feed the expertise of the performance analyst to a broader constituency," said Dave Wagner, director of product management at BMC in Waltham, Mass.

"Capacity planning is considered an art, and you have specific experts inside Fortune 500 companies who do it. But they (often) end up doing simple things instead of using their knowledge well in answering questions for other IT operators," described Wagner.

Perceive, which can be configured in 20 minutes, provides a range of "best practices" views of performance data for other IT operators, such as database administrators who want to track database performance over time or application managers looking for application performance metrics.

Perceive provides such views of performance data from real-time agents and BMC historical performance databases to a browser-based interface. The data can be presented in documents, graphs and spreadsheets that can be exported to Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, XML or other formats.

Perform Predict, intended for capacity planners and performance managers, takes at least 24 hours to configure and updates collected data once a day. Perceive updates every 10 minutes, Wagner said.

Patrol Perceive, available now, works with any application on Windows NT/XP/2000 and Linux, HP-UX, Sun Microsystems Solaris and IBMs AIX. The software, priced at $20 for Windows and $40 for Unix systems, will later add support for AS/400 and IBM mainframe environments.

BMC also added a new capacity planning tool for IBM AS/400 minicomputers. The new Patrol for iSeries—Predict. The PC-based modeling tool can predict the impact of changes on iSeries response times, allowing operators to avoid processor upgrades until they are necessary. It is due at the end of the month and starts at $350.

Also due at the end of the month is a new release of BMCs Mainview Performance Assurance for IBM OS/390 mainframes that extends predictive analysis to Linux running on IBM zSeries hosts. The new release also adds a PC-based graphical user interface.

The whole Performance Assurance product family allows users to measure, track and identify usage patters; analyze performance and identify problem areas; and perform "what if" scenarios to determine the impact of changes on response time. In December the product line will add new Web services and support for agentless management technologies.

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