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IBM brings management tools to mainframe

Bringing in Tivoli admin and security tools will let customers consolidate more applications on servers, IBM says.

IBM later this year plans to release management tools for its mainframe server, including a "federated" security application for logging onto several systems at once.

Al Zollar, general manager of IBM's Tivoli management software division, on Tuesday announced the product plans at the Share IBM user conference in Baltimore.

In the second half of the year, IBM plans to release Tivoli Federated Identity Manager for z/OS, a version of its single-sign security application for the mainframe z/OS operating system.

At that time, the company also will release Tivoli Composite Application Manager for the z/OS, which is designed to find glitches in so-called composite applications, where separate components run on different systems. In addition, Big Blue has developed a tool, based on technology it gained through its acquisition of Candle, to automatically diagnose problems on mainframe operating systems and databases.

By porting the management tools to the mainframe, IBM can provide more fine-grained troubleshooting to mainframe customers, said Bob Madey, vice president for strategy at IBM Tivoli. In addition, customers will be able to choose to run business applications and administrative tools on the same server, which can be a more cost-effective option, he said.

Although mainframe computers were once written off as too pricey, IBM continues to invest in the hardware platform. In addition to bringing more Tivoli management software to the mainframe, the company has created programming tools and middleware to keep the mainframe on par with other servers.