CA's Neugents to Ease Net Admins' Busywork

Computer Associates next week plans to make its Unicenter TNG enterprise management platform significantly smarter with the delivery of much-anticipated artificial intelligence modules.

Called Neugents (neural networking agents), these modules were first announced at CA World '98 last spring and are based on technology CA acquired last December from AIWare.

The first round of Neugents are called Performance Evaluation Neugents (PENs), and will be focused on the performance monitoring of Windows NT 4.x systems, according to sources. PENs will use historical trending and analysis to predict and notify administrators of potential systems failures or performance degradations.

Future Neugents offerings will be multiplatform and will offer "intelligent" management -- including recommended steps to take to prevent failures -- in the additional areas of anti-virus, network performance, capacity planning, bandwidth management, data analysis, and information management, according to CA officials.

At least one industry analyst said that CA's Neugents will have significant impact on the lives of network administrators over the long term.

"If you ask any IS managers how they feel about their life, they'll say, 'Well, I'm in a white collar job making big bucks, but boy am I doing some serious clerical work,'" said Peter Kastner, chief research officer at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston.

According to Kastner, the artificial intelligence of PENs and CA's future Neugents offerings will greatly reduce these administrative headaches by enabling "management by exception," or the need to manually monitor systems only when their performance is out of step with parameters set by historical trending.

CA's Performance Enhancement Neugents will be generally available next week as add-on modules to Unicenter TNG 2.1 and 2.2. Neugents will be incorporated as a core piece of CA's Unicenter TND (The Next Dimension), which is slated for a 1999 delivery.

Computer Associates International Inc., in Islandia, N.Y., can be reached at www.cai.com.

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