BMC Brings IMS Into the SmartDBA Fold

The latest SmartDBA tool lets DBAs manage IMS from the same console they use for Oracle or DB2

In October of 2002, BMC Software Inc. announced Project Golden Gate, a would-be philosopher’s console of a management environment that centralizes the administration of both distributed and mainframe databases.

Now, 23 months later, BMC has delivered on what amounts to the final piece of Project Golden Gate—support for IBM’s venerable IMS data store. Last week, Houston, Texas-based BMC announced SmartDBA System Administration for IMS, a management product that—as its name implies—plugs into its SmartDBA console. SmartDBA supports most of the major database platforms in use in the enterprise today: IBM’s DB2 and DB2 Universal Database, IMS, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Sybase.

Devon Shows, director of strategic initiatives with BMC, says the latest SmartDBA offering addresses two salient needs in many organizations: A mandate to simplify and consolidate management tools, and a need to address (or otherwise offset) the graying of the mainframe workforce. A lot of mainframe DBAs are at, or close to, retirement age, says Shows, and companies can’t reasonably expect to replace them with DBAs who cut their teeth managing database platforms in distributed environments. This is particularly true for the venerable IMS, a hierarchical data store that—unlike Big Blue’s DB2 database—has no real analogue in the distributed space.

As a result, Shows says, BMC designed its new IMS-ready SmartDBA product to function as a replacement, if need be, for the bread-and-butter 3270 terminal. While old IMS hands will probably continue to opt for the 3270 display as their preferred management view, Shows says they can use the graphical SmartDBA console view to train their DBA colleagues and—in some cases, IT staff—on the rudiments of IMS administration.

Shows stressed, however, that SmartDBA System Administration for IMS is not intended as an IMS DBA replacement tool. Instead, he says, the new offering—like the other products in BMC’s SmartDBA product family—is designed to cross-train DBAs and IT staff on the administration of different database platforms.

BMC is preparing several additional IMS management offerings for release by the end of the year. These include:

  • SmartDBA Database Performance for IMS Online, designed to provide continuous availability for IMS high availability large databases (HALDB)

  • SmartDBA Database Performance for IMS Express, which produces high-speed reorganization for increased availability for IMS HALDB

  • SmartDBA Database Performance for IMS Fast Path for managing data entry databases (DEDBs) through the SmartDBA interface

  • SmartDBA Recovery Management for IMS, a product that can reduce or eliminate planned outages for backups, along with unplanned outages resulting from local or disaster recovery

  • MAXM Database Advisor for IMS, a solution for managing HALDB and full-function databases through SmartDBA integration; MAXM Database Advisor for IMS is said to simplify views by supporting the grouping of databases by CA, DBD or user defined thresholds.

About the Author

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