CA offers mainframe Linux management

Computer Associates International Inc. this week at LinuxWorld announced offerings for helping businesses better manage Linux Virtual Machine instances deployed on IBM Corp. mainframe systems.

CA's Unicenter Software Delivery for Linux on the mainframe could help mainframe administrators update and patch Linux server instances on an IBM zSeries server, or mainframe. A version of Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk for Linux on the mainframe could also help businesses automate how helpdesk issues are handled with virtual Linux servers on a mainframe.

Unicenter Software Delivery could be used to provision mass operating system updates to Linux instances running on a mainframe. With ability to run thousands of Linux instances on a zSeries box, CA says the software could help users ensure that servers consolidated onto a single mainframe remain secure and stable. In addition to the Software Delivery product, CA also released a version of its Unicenter Asset Management product for Linux, for tracking hardware and software deployed in an enterprise.

ServicePlus Service Desk is CA's automated helpdesk suite that allows for the automation of support processes and management of end user trouble tickers. Porting the software to Linux on the mainframe could help administrators get a better hold on supporting users attached to virtual Linux servers.

Also released in beta form is CA's BrightStor Enterprise Backup software for Linux on the mainframe, which could be used to protect virtual Linux server data stored on mainframe systems.

"Our customers who have mainframes say that adding Linux to their systems instead of installing new [standalone] Linux servers just makes sense," says Nancy Newfield, divisional vice president of marketing for CA. Newfield says she expects almost half of CA's mainframe-using customers will have some Linux on their Big Irons by the end of the year, thus the new push for mainframe Linux management tools.

"Many customers are finding that they have the additional space on their mainframes, and that adding Linux is much easier than they thought," she adds.

Unicenter Software Delivery and Unicenter Asset Management for mainframe Linux are available now. Pricing is structured on a "per-engine" scheme, where users pay for the software based on how many mainframe engines Linux software occupies on a system. A general release date for Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk and BrightStor Enterprise Backup for the Linux on the mainframe has not yet been set.

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