Archive for the 'Tivoli' Category

70% of something is better than..

70% of nothing at all. [With apologies to Double Exposure]

As I’ve said before, I’m an avid reader of Robin Bloors Have Mac Will Blog, blog. I also follow him on twitter where he is @robinbloor. Sadly his blog doesn’t accept trackbacks, but I’ll leave a short comment so he gets to see this.

His latest blog entry, CA:Dancing with dinosaurs comes across as a bit of a puff piece in support of Computer Associates.

On the CA involvement with mainframes, Bloor seems to have overlooked the fact that CA has John Swainson as CEO, and Don Ferguson as Chief Architect. John was previously an IBM VP, Don an IBM Fellow and both Don and John were variously in charge of significant IBM Software Group projects/products.

Personally I’d like to see someone from IBM find/quote a source for that 70% data number. It’s been used for years and years with little or no foundation. Jim Porell quoted this number in some of his excellent and more recent System Z strategy presentations, It’s dated from, I think, 1995.

Secondly, I’d guess it depends what you can business critical data these days. If Google collapsed or had their data centers in Silicon Valley interrupted with the loss of Google docs, YouTube, Google search, Maps and similarly Microsoft and/or Yahoo went offline… I’d suspect the whole notion that 70% of business critical data resides of mainframes would be laughable. Yes, a large percentage of purely text based transactional data is on mainframes and yes the value of those transactions exceeds any other platform, but that is far from 70% of anything much these days… Increasingly these days startups, SME’s and Web 2.0 business don’t use mainframes for even their text based transactional data.

Finally on the Bloor/CA assertion that installing mainframe software is arcane. That maybe, but here I’m still in full agreement of the mainframe folks, especially if you are talking about real mainframe software as IBM would have it, installed by SMP/E. One of my few claims to fame was reverse engineering key parts of the IBM Mainframe VM service process nearly 20-years now. It was then, and SMP/E is now, still is years ahead of anything in the Windows and UNIX space for pre-req, co-req, if-req processing; the ability to build and maintain multiple non-trivial systems from a single data store using binary only program objects. CA are not the first to spot the need to provide an interface other than ISPF and JCL to build these jobs streams.

But really, continuing to label mainframes as dinosaurs is so 1990’s, it’s like describing Lance Armstrong as a push bike rider.

Simon Perry, Principal Associate Analyst – Sustainability, Quocirca, has written a similar piece with a little more detail entitled Mainframe management gets its swagger.

Robin Bloor asks what is dynamic infrastructure

Over on his have mac will blog blog, Robin Bloor asks What Does IBM Mean By Dynamic Infrastructure?

Rather than burden his comments section with a long trail of corrections, based on my suppositions, I thought I’d post my answer here and correct it as appropriate.

Robin, You might want to google for IBM Dynamic Infrastructure for MY SAP. or similar, or go look at this redbook. There is also a useful overview PowerPoint from Gerd Breiter, one of the architects and development leads, here

I’d guess the architects/development team for IDI have been moved internally from Systems Group to Tivoli. IDI was an early implementation of on demand and was developed in Boeblingen. As initially envisaged, IDI was a Systems Group initive and the bulk of the early implementation done before on demand, and then carried over and modified as and when possible.

Of course, I’m sure now that this mission is over in Tivoli the thinking and delivery will have evolved. Obviously cloud computing has become as major focus area in the industry since then, and would have to be factored in.

Unless you know better 😉

BarCampESM in Austin

BarCampESMI just put my name on the attendees list for BarCampESM, it’s an excellent idea to get together in an informal attendee driven agenda. There is not date set yet for barcampESM so I really hope it will be when I can attend.

I have a lot to learn in this area, but hopefully will be able to make some useful contributions based on my background with the whole Grid services evolution and the work being done on the Server group management platform and interfaces.

[Update:] Here is a good description of Summer Camp for Systems Management, from William Hurley, one of the organizers/coordinators.

WSDM Collectors and Tivoli Agents

One of the emerging and in-use technologies for doing both systems and platform management is Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM). In this article on IBM Developerworks, Kyle Croutwater gives a good intro and example of how to use the IBM Tivoli® Monitoring (ITM) Universal Agent® to consume and monitor a Web Services for Distributed Management (WSDM)-compliant interface for a manageable resource using the WSDM Generic Collector Engine (WGCE).

Kyles’ article can be found on developerworks here .


About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society (bsc.org) I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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