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IBM (Main)Frames Storage

Forty-two years after IBM introduced the mainframe computer to the world, the company maintains the platform is still relevant. Today, Big Blue took the wraps off a slew of new software products designed to manage storage and security from its System z mainframe.

The software, which was previewed at the SHARE user conference in Baltimore, includes a version of Tivoli's Federated Identity Manager designed specifically for the System z's z/OS operating system and Tivoli Omegamon XE, a system management tool based on technology from IBM's 2004 acquisition of Candle. (See Management Feeding Frenzy and IBM Holds a Candle.)

The Tivoli Federated Identity Manager runs under z/OS, unlike previous versions of the software, which ran under Linux, Windows, and the AIX operating system. According to Bob Madey, the software offers users a highly secure platform for checking end-user identities.

Omegamon XE, working in conjunction with another new software called Composite Application Manager, scans different operating systems, databases, and devices attached to the System z to check for problems. "They could easily identify if there is insufficient storage capacity that is causing a performance or availability problem," says Madey.

At least one analyst thinks IBM is right, that the robust mainframe is an ideal platform for this type of work, compared to say, a Windows system. "Z/OS is the most reliable and secure platform in the world. Get your security stuff inside the z/OS 'fence' and it is safe," says Phil Payne, principal at Sheffield, England-based Isham Research.

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