BMC Tweaks MainView, InTune

MainView enhancements support priority-based IP traffic pacing, FTP tracing and tracking features, and improved availability for CICS during upgrades.

BMC Sotware Corp. yesterday updated its MainView product line with enhancements that support new capabilities such as priority-based IP traffic “pacing” and availability enhancements for CICS.

In addition, the Houston, Texas-based vendor unveiled updates for its InTune application tuning and performance management tool, introducing new performance metrics for WebSphere MQ and SAP applications.

Jonathan Adams, director of research and development for MainView with BMC, says that in many cases, TCP/IP has displaced SNA as the transaction protocol of choice in many mainframe environments. At the same time, Adams claims, the quality-of-service (QoS) features that SNA has for years supported have been lacking in IP. Enter version 2.2 of BMC’s MainView for IP, which Adams says features new IP pacing technology that can prioritize IP traffic.

“SNA years ago had quality-of-service built into it … and yet that’s been somewhat lacking in the IP world, and so our MainView for IP product allows customers to pull up a panel and allow certain types of traffic to be paced, if you will, to a lower-class service, whereas other things that are more critical will get first nod for bandwidth,” he explains.

The revamped MainView for IP offering also features an enhanced real-time tracing capability that helps operators diagnose problems quickly, Adams says, along with other improvements. “There’s enhanced tracing capabilities, but also more metrics and statistics regarding FTP. Some bank customers were saying how important it is to lock down FTP at their sites because of the very sensitive nature of their data, so MainView for IP 2.2 features new FTP tracing and tracking features that can log who did what with when, so if there’s ever a question, they’ll be able to go to the logs.”

Elsewhere, new enhancements to BMC’s MainView for CICS 5.7 tool let users perform maintenance upgrades without affecting service of CICS applications. Adams is quick to point out, however, that this applies only to BMC’s products, and not to fixpacks from IBM or maintenance releases from other vendors. “If they receive a new fixpack or a new version from IBM, obviously, it’s going to affect CICS, but what we’re doing is allowing them to upgrade us,” he explains. “When they go from [MainView for CICS] 5.7 to 5.8, which is planned in the not-too-distant future, they won’t have to worry about recycling the CICS regions they were managing and monitoring.”

BMC has also introduced application delay analysis – on both a real-time and historical basis – which helps to identify delays in CICS applications that could affect business services.

Finally, BMC has revamped its InTune application-tuning tool with additional support for WebSphere MQ and SAP. InTune now provides detailed performance statistics about WebSphere MQ queues and queue managers, and manages application quality for batch SAP applications. In the latter case, Adams says, InTune provides performance statistics on the delays that SAP application servers experience while connecting to z/OS.

“A lot of customers have a need for CICS transactions to interact with SAP, or batch programs to interact with SAP, and yet they had no tools to interact with and try to figure out why some of these things were taking longer than others,” he says. “So InTune’s bringing out the ability to see SAP interaction and bridge that gap between the mainframe guys (who are watching their side of it) and the SAP guys (who are watching their side of it).”

About the Author

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