Friday, May 15, 2015

BMC simplifies complexity with Cloud Lifecycle Management

It’s no secret that moving to a Cloud environment is the right thing to do for many organizations, services and applications. And, there are no end of vendors, consultants, SME’s ready to tell you how great it’s going to be after you’ve made the move. They’ll even point out the myriad of detailed decisions and choices you’ll have to go through as you choose a supplier. And, there is plenty of advice and support to help when choosing this or that supplier.

There has been much less focus on what happens AFTER purchase. Where’s the help when you’re faced with maintaining, supporting, monitoring, administering, tracking, provisioning, de-provisioning, etc., in short operating and managing the Cloud. And, whether fully public, totally private or a mix, in most cases, significant, pre-existing infrastructure doesn’t go away and will still be in use.

The problem isn’t simply managing the new infrastructure. It is monitoring, managing and operating the total infrastructure to optimize operations to meet organization needs. Inevitably, a task much more complex and challenging than it appeared during the pre-sales presentations. 

The problem isn’t managing individual elements; plenty of solutions exist that are able to handle all the servers, apps, etc. It’s making it all work together in a coherent, integrated manner. What’s missing is an end-to-end, integrated solution. What’s needed is a solution that smoothly handles a multi-cloud, heterogeneous, end-to-end environment. One designed to assure optimal operation across the platforms to assure that compliance policies are enforced while infrastructure capacities scale up and down.

BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management 4.5 (CLM) tackles the challenges of integrated infrastructure and cloud management and compliance.  It addresses the need for integrated management to assure that the enterprise will actually realize the value that motivated not only the move to the Cloud, but the purchase of the entire IT infrastructure.  Let’s look at this new release.

What sets BMC apart?

Figure 1 Multi-cloud Automation & Governance
BMC was a ground-breaking leader in automating infrastructure management. In keeping with this tradition, they set their goals for this new release very high. They are delivering “multi-cloud automation and governance” extending from the corporate datacenter though Clouds private and public (Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure). (See Figure 1.) All under the guidance and control of corporate IT while offering all users extensive access thru self-service portals.  CLM has been designed for environments that include multiple different cloud implementations to manage and monitor both physical and virtual devices. It includes monitoring and policy-driven management for reliable, secure compliance with operational and regulatory rules, comprehensive change management and CMDB administration.

How is this done?

Cloud Lifecycle Management 4.5 delivers new functionality in three areas:
  1.  Digital Service Innovation – using BMC’s MyIT provides users direct, easy access to a wide-range of services and service definitions using catalogs. The goal is to provide an exceptional user experience using the latest in technology. With access across all available infrastructure using a consistent, common interface, Service consumption and usage can be tracked and costs monitored for efficient control.
  2. Trusted Cloud – Analyze and manage your cloud and datacenter operations on easily customizable health monitoring and value tracking dashboards. Only BMC provides fully integrated CMDB and change management support allowing for detailed collection of data on all changes so you can track  what is being used, by whom and how frequently, etc. , this facilitates the management of  the cost and consumption of services as well as overall operations in the cloud and datacenter environments; easily integrates with Remedy and other ITSM solutions
  3. Simplified Complexity – one of the strongest aspects in this release is BMC’s focus on simplifying complex tasks, e.g. aiding developers as they adopt container technologies. The Service Blueprint Designer allows definition and creation of a multi-tiered application using a graphical representation to generate a reusable model of the services, resources, and relationships which can be   saved, and displayed in a services catalog for reuse.

 CLM provides a lot more functionality, visit BMC’s CLM website[1] for the details.


BMC has provided an impressive set of new and leading edge technology to manage Cloud as an integral, integrated piece of heterogeneous data center and enterprise operations. They focus on putting together solutions to simplify complex tasks. They aren’t alone in that effort.   But, BMC’s focus is on solving the daily challenges that confront their operations and development staffs.  They want to create and deliver solutions that accelerate and improve the ability of IT to complete its tasks, and provide visibility to the ways IT contributes to successful enterprise operations.

The difference between the crowd and BMC is that BMC is delivering products that deliver as promised and appear to be getting better at it every time. Take a look for yourself.

Monday, May 4, 2015

BMC brings radical improvement to Database Solutions with Next Generation Technology for DB2 for z Systems®

By Rich Ptak

BMC is stirring up the mainframe solutions market with a radically new approach that promises to dramatically reduce the costs, effort and time spent on managing data on the mainframe.  This announcement[1] focuses on one of the most prosaic of tasks, i.e. data base management and reorganization to optimize performance and retrieval times. This allows the enterprise to successfully meet service delivery commitments and assuring an exceptional customer experience. Explosive growth in the amounts and variety of data collected, analyzed and reported has been escalating the cost, complexity and importance of this function.

Several generations of improvements in the mainframe architecture itself, largely outpaced the capabilities of existing utilities to economically deal with current problems. A new foundation was needed, built around the latest in technology, able to exploit the power of the latest z Systems and speedily deal with massive amounts of every format and data configuration imaginable. And, this had to be available now.

BMC’s Next Generation Technology (NGT) for DB2 for z Systems® provides that foundation as it combines the best of BMC’s existing products with the newest technology developed from recently acquired CDB (see blog[2]). This release includes DB2 for z Systems includes BMC Utility Manager for process management and BMC LOBMaster to “find and fix problems with unstructured data before they impact…digital customers.”

The savings described in BMC’s press release include “reductions in CPU and elapsed times of 65-75% and storage savings of as much as 85% through advanced processing techniques”. The immediate reaction is skepticism which disappears as BMC walks through the details of completely updated technology operating and leveraging the latest mainframe improvements. Let’s look at reorgs.

Integrating new technology with leading edge applications allows for full, truly automated real-time reorgs (from process definition and creation to continuous process optimization) that can run 24x7 on large data bases. The management and optimization is done without interrupting the operation of applications using the data base. The traditional lag between problem determination – process definition – process creation – reorg implementation is eliminated. Operations staff defines what they want to accomplish. The BMC Utility Manager automatically generates processes, timing and task workflows to achieve the desired end. All management and optimization follows predefined policies. The intelligent management includes on-going analysis so adjustments can be made to assure optimization and management tasks are done in the most efficient and effective manner.

We discuss more about the capabilities in our commentary entitled “BMC’s NGT = DB2 utilities for the 21st Century[3]”. We think you will want to follow-up with BMC to get the technical details.
BMC is offering this as an optional upgrade to customer’s with their management products. They provide customers a gradual path to this next generation of technology.

There must be something about being privately owned that stirs a company to action. At last year’s analyst event, CEO Bob Beauchamp promised that they were going to move faster and innovate more freely than was possible before. He’s kept his word. They are introducing solutions faster and more radically improved than have been seen in years. This past quarter has seen a number of announcements for cost management and reduction in the mainframe space from all the big time players in that management space.

BMC is redefining IT solutions for the management and optimization of not only data bases but IT infrastructure. Their move can be expected to provide long-lasting benefit to both the business and IT. They are raising the expectations of IT staff for management solutions that are easier to use, more comprehensively integrated and cost effective.

It’s a real challenge to other vendors. We look forward with great interest to future developments and offerings!