Neugents Come to the Mainframe

While the mainframe may be the nerve center of many organizations, it has taken until this week for CA's neural network technology to come to the platform. Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) announced Unicenter Performance Management Predictor for z/OS and OS/390, bringing Neugents to the mainframe.

“We're just expanding the technology to another platform,” says Nancy Newfield, vice president of product marketing, mainframe solutions at CA. The Neugents technology has been available for Windows and Unix environments since last year.

Neugents diverge from traditional monitoring programs, which use thresholds to notify administrators of potential problems. Instead, they take a holistic view of a system and note when a machine is acting strangely. If a system is behaving oddly, the Neugent sends a signal to a monitoring framework like CA's NetSpy or SysView, which relates the information to an administrator.

In addition, Neugents treat each machine as an individual, cutting down on false alarms. “It really learns about your computing environment,” says George Cusson, divisional vice president, enterprise server solutions, at CA. The software learns what is a normal state and what is an unstable state over time, allowing it to better sense when a machine will do something strange.

Despite the lag in getting Neugents to the mainframe, Cusson and Newfield say the mainframe is a crucial platform for CA. “The mainframe is a key part of our business,” Cusson says. He notes that it's a growing part of the business as well. “We see existing mainframe shops getting more MIPS in,” he says.