Sunday, 14 August 2011

We’re all friends now

There used to be a time when selling software was a cut-throat game. A salesman would turn up saying how good their product was and quietly poison the prospective client’s mind against alternative products from other vendors – listing their weaknesses and down-playing their strengths. In fact, I’ve even been paid to write documents for sales teams to use doing exactly that!

But now there is a much more grown-up approach to business. It seems that nowadays sales people are working together to move products. And where their own product may be gappy in some way, they are recommending the software of an erstwhile competitor. The benefits of this cooperative approach means that the customer gets a better service from vendors and a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the products. And it also means that those companies are able to sell more products – which, after all, is how you stay in business!

So what prompted these thoughts? At this week’s SHARE in Orlando, Florida CA Technologies started off by announcing a new release of the CA VM:Manager Suite for Linux on System z and a new capability for CA Solve Operations Automation. There have been lots of anecdotes appearing on the Internet of organisations benefitting hugely from virtualizing their Linux servers on System z and eliminating the server sprawl that preceded it. And, clearly, Linux continues (after its slow start) to be one of the fastest growing segments of the mainframe market. So anything that helps to make zLinux users’ lives easier has got to be a good thing.

According to CA’s press release: “The new release of the CA VM:Manager Suite includes enhancements across product areas, which extend integrated management capabilities designed to control costs, improve performance, increase user productivity, and more efficiently manage and secure z/VM systems that support Linux on System z.. It also adds tape management capabilities for Linux on System z, along with improvements that help CA Technologies customers install, deploy, and service their CA z/VM products quickly and more effectively.”

The new capability in CA Solve Operations Automation means Linux applications can be managed as if they were System z applications, which reduces the need for mainframe Linux operations expertise.

The synergy comes with the announcement of a partnerships between CA and INNOVATION Data Processing and Velocity Software, which, they claim, are designed to help customers increase cost savings by optimizing Linux management. CA will distribute INNOVATION Data Processing’s UPSTREAM for Linux on Z and UPSTREAM for UNIX on Z, and Velocity Software’s zVPS Performance Suite.

UPSTREAM for Linux on Z is, they say, an intuitive, easy-to-use, data protection solution for what was once distributed data that is now the foundation for Linux applications being consolidated on the mainframe. UPSTREAM for Linux on Z can help reduce backup, restore, and disaster recovery costs, while increasing business resiliency by enabling customers to leverage the use of existing mainframe resources to meet their enterprise data protection needs. The UPSTREAM for Linux on Z solution is designed so that users can easily schedule timely backups and still meet the need for immediate reliable recovery; of a file, disk volume, or an entire data centre with confidence.

zVPS offers, again according to their press release, easy-to-use graphical and Web-based tools to help analyse capacity requirements, establish operational alerts, and determine chargeback usage. Its detailed information helps IT staff optimize performance and effectively manage the cost of their Linux on System z environment. By gathering data from Linux on System z and distributed environments, such as VMWare, Microsoft, Linux, and Unix servers, zVPS supports server consolidation projects and facilitates decisions on the most cost-effective placement of workloads.

Cynical observers, who are slightly longer in the tooth, will remember a time when Computer Associates would have bought the company (in that Victor Kiam, Remington Rand sort of way!). Clearly, CA Technologies is now all about ‘working with’ other vendors. 

1 comment:

zMarcel said...

Trevor, as a CA Technologies Employee, allow me to say something non-Marketing..

As you stated, Linux on System z (is there a way we can make a 3-4 letter acronym for that?) is slowly proving to be one of the solutions mainframe users are using to consolidate.
The main comment I heard from our customers was: Linux is good enough, but the tools to manage it are NOT industrial strength. Not like anything we have on the Mainframe.

And their demands were very clear: some Linux tools just need to be better, other functionality should be managed from zOs so Linux can be managed as part of the whole, instead of another (fenced) part of the mainframe.

This means to me that many of the Linux applications moved to the Mainframe are integrated with zOS applications and people want to be able to manage them as 1 single entity. On the Mainframe, and where possible from zOS.
Since the Linux on System z market is growing at such a pace, the decision to work with both Velocity and INNOVATION was a business decision. Our customers demanded Industry Strength "Mainframe Like" solutions to manage Linux.