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CA's Network Management Holy Grail

Computer Associates, in an effort to create the perfect management platform, has added three modules to its Unicenter management suite. And with a new wireless module, the company says it feels justified at last in claiming supremacy in its breadth of coverage. But in terms of letting IT professionals most efficiently manage a wide array of assets, does a one-man band really sound better than a full orchestra? Can a single product provide the depth of capabilities necessary to manage these assets?

This feels like déj vu. The last time we were promised a do-all management system for a heterogeneous network was in 1995. At that time, it was in the form of "frameworks" that would provide all the puzzle pieces. We soon learned that this approach left holes that needed to be augmented by specialized point products.

Management of wireless links, WANs, LANs and mainframes all from the same role-based portal is a worthy goal. If delivered as promised, it would reduce network-management costs, improve reliability and make management a whole lot easier. In reality, expect CA's new approach to provide only a little more incremental relief. What's still needed is a single asset-management data store that maintains configuration from wireless to mainframe, desktop
to router.

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