Sunnyvale, California-based Boole & Babbage Inc is attempting to refocus its image. Casting off the slough of software developer for IBM mainframes, the $100m company is aiming to metamorphose as a systems management developer for heterogeneous environments. This potential multi-million dollar area would seem to be a better bet than a shrinking main-frame market. As […]
Sunnyvale, California-based Boole & Babbage Inc is attempting to refocus its image. Casting off the slough of software developer for IBM mainframes, the $100m company is aiming to metamorphose as a systems management developer for heterogeneous environments. This potential multi-million dollar area would seem to be a better bet than a shrinking main-frame market. As a result, a new base technology has been launched, BBI 3.0, or Boole & Babbage Intercommunication Level 3. BBI 3.0 architecture is said to correlate and analyse data from multiple, heterogenous sources in order to measure and manage operations at different service levels. Derived from Boole & Babbage’s joint development of SystemView for CICS with IBM, it supports IBM’s Plex environment. From IBM’s point of view, Sysplex is a processor complex formed by loosely coupling up eight MVS/ESA SP4 processors into a single unit. Boole & Babbage’s definition of Plex is used more freely to mean the linking of processors across an enterprise. After an extremely confusing press conference, it eventually came to light that Boole & Babbage’s only real concession to the open systems market was Net/Commmand 3.0 (CI No 1,917). This is a fault management system for heterogeneous networks. A single Sun Microsystems Inc workstation is used to monitor for problems. When a snag occurs, error messages are sent back to the workstation, which subsequently selects a suitable tool to deal with it. Although not based on BBI 3.0, Net/Command 3.0 does use the new architecture and differs from its predecessor, version 2.1.5, in several ways. Release 3.0 uses X Window and offers strengthened recovery procedures by mirroring local disks. Automation has been extended to make use of REXX in an Unix environment. In addition, 3279 colour screens are supported for use with the IBM mainframe. Version 2.1.5 of Net/Command is currently operating at EuroDisney in France. However, as Disneyland in the US refused to give journalists the necessary authorisation to view the product in action, no comment can be made on its performance. Three other products mentioned at the conference were IBM-specific. Although based on BBI 3.0 architecture, they were merely enhancements of the current MainView product set. These were MainView Manager for MVS, NetAvail and a Comprehensive Measurement Facility, or CMF, monitor. Being based on the new architecture, the monitor has been re-launched as a new product. The MainView Manager manages the performance and operations of MVS/XA and MVS/ESA systems. Again only one screen is used to pinpoint problems in the system and subsystems as a result of integration of the MainView components and a common data repository. NetAvail is an IBM mainframe performance monitor and the CMF monitor is a network availability log. The MainView Manager will ship in a few weeks, the company says, while both NetAvail and the CMF monitor will ship by the autumn, and Net/Command 3.0 will be available in the summer. No prices were given for any of the products.