Mainframes are expensive to acquire and costly to manage. They also require a fair number of people with some very specific skill sets to run them.
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce some of these costs, this week CA Technologies extended its CA Chorus tools for managing mainframes to now include the underlying mainframe infrastructure and attached networks.
According to Mark Combs, senior vice president for mainframe at CA Technologies, in addition to allowing mainframe IT administrators to work more collaboratively, the CA Chorus suite of tools is designed to make managing mainframes more accessible. Instead of having to master an arcane set of tools, CA Chorus provides a graphical user interface that is more commonly associated with managing distributed computing platforms.
Combs acknowledges that while the low end of the mainframe market is being replaced by distributed systems, organizations are concentrating more workloads than ever on higher-end mainframes that are rapidly becoming private clouds. The challenge, says Combs, is finding people with the skill sets needed to manage these environments at a time when many of the people with that level of expertise and experience are retiring. By making it simpler to manage the environment using CA Chorus, more organizations can train a new generation of mainframe administrators without having to wait years for them to master complex tools.
There’s no doubt that mainframes are at the core of some of the most sophisticated operations in all of IT, and they’ll likely remain there for years to come. What most organizations are struggling with is how to reduce the cost of operating those environments. In some cases, that solution is replacing the mainframe with a distributed system. But in the majority of organizations, it really means modernizing the mainframe environment using new software that is less costly to deploy and simpler to manage.