BMC Solutions to Centralize Database Management

Project Golden Gate to facilitate administration of distributed, mainframe databases from a single console.

BMC Software Corp. recently announced an initiative, dubbed Project Golden Gate, to develop a management console that centralizes the administration of databases in distributed and mainframe environments.

Project Golden Gate, which describes a set of tools that BMC expects to deliver over the next 18 months, will exploit the company's SmartDBA Web-based management console. SmartDBA currently supports Oracle, IBM, Informix, Microsoft and Sybase databases in the distributed space, along with IMS on the mainframe. It facilitates a single-paned view of BMC's database management tools, such as DBXray for Oracle. BMC expects to deliver SmartDBA support for DB2 on S/390 and z/OS in the next 12 months.

In addition, BMC will introduce a number of other products—including Application Restart control for IMS/DB2, a batch processing tool for IBM's IMS mainframe database—over the next 18 months. Other new products slated for introduction are Energizer for IMS Connect, along with SQL Backtrack for Oracle and Smart Recover tools for Siebel and Oracle.

The goal, says Karl Chen, vice president of BMC's EDM marketing group, is to consolidate mainframe and distributed management tools in a common environment so that "DBAs can be more productive and CIOs will be able to reduce costs by having one integrated set of management tools as opposed to purchasing the tools from DBA vendors or other third parties."

The catch, Chen acknowledges, is that customers must be using BMC's own database management tools. As currently conceived, Project Golden Gate doesn't work with database management tools from other vendors.

According to BMC, IT organizations can exploit Project Golden Gate technologies to realize substantial cost savings. That's because, Chen suggests, a centralized database management environment can make it possible for DBAs in both distributed and mainframe systems to share knowledge with and learn from one another. "The expertise [between the two environments] should overlap, even if the management tools are different. The goal is to have the distributed and mainframe DBA teams be able to share knowledge," he says.

As a case in point, Chen observes that most Oracle DBAs "would have no idea" how to manage an IMS or DB2 database "by looking at a terminal." But because many of the concepts overlap, he contends, "if you bring [IMS or DB2 for S/390 or z/OS] into a Web-based environment, some of the concepts could make sense to them right off the bat."

The idea, Chen notes, is that IT organizations could eventually make do with fewer DBAs and other support personnel.

When BMC makes delivery of all of its planned Project Golden Gate technologies, Chen says the company will include integrated Web and application servers as well. "If customers want to use their own [application server], such as WebSphere, that's fine, too."

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.