News Briefs and Product Shorts
AutoMate Job Scheduling Tool Automates 5250 and 3270 Applications
New iSeries job scheduling capabilities have been added to the Windows-oriented AutoMate suite of tools from Network Automation (formerly Unisyn Software), the company announced yesterday. With AutoMate version 6.0.5, the Los Angeles company added the capability to automate terminal-based systems through the Enterprise Terminal Actions feature, which provides support for zSeries and iSeries servers through the TN3270 and TN5250 emulation protocols. AutoMate is primarily used to automate the management of Windows applications, including Web servers, FTP servers, SQL Server database transactions, and batch data processing, as well as taking some of the grunt work out of regression testing. The software is programmed using "plain-English" sentences, which the company says makes it easy to use the product's library of 160 actions. Other new features introduced with this release include the capability to use SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases as an external logging databases. AutoMate Professional costs $795, while AutoMate Enterprise (required for 5250 and 3270 application support) costs $2,495.
UC4 Updates Mainframe Job Scheduler with New Java Agent
UC4 Software recently unveiled a new version of its UC4:global job scheduling tool, which is designed for, and primarily used by, mainframe shops, but which also supports OS/400, Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. With UC4:global 05, which was unveiled at UC4's user conference in San Diego earlier this month, the company has delivered a new Java agent called UC4.Executor for JMX, which monitors and actively controls Java applications, and which UC4 announced in July. Other enhancements delivered with UC4:global 05 include improvements to the GUI console, better support for ERP applications from SAP, and new "dynamic calendars" and "critical path" analysis job scheduling functions. The company refused to provide pricing.
Stonesoft's New Firewall/VPN Provides Lots of Throughput
Stonesoft recently unveiled its biggest network security appliance to date, the SG-4000. Designed to provide firewall and virtual private networking (VPN) for data centers and large central network sites, the SG-4000 scales up to 3.1 Gbps of firewall-protected throughput (including packet filtering, stateful inspection, and application-level inspection) through 22 Ethernet ports, and offers up to 500 Mbps of IPsec-compliant VPN coverage. "Business continuity and client satisfaction are number one," says Ilkka Hiidenheimo, chief executive officer for Finland-based Stonesoft. "Stonesoft has designed the 4000 to exceed the stringent uptime requirements of our valued client base." The SG-4000 employs Stonesoft's centralized management software, called StoneGate Management Center, and supports load balancing, clustering, and multi-link capabilities to ensure the constant availability of network assets. The 3U rack-mounted device also offers hot-swappable components, including power supplies, fans, and RAID drives.
IBM Partners with Univa to Support eServers with Globus Grid Tools
IBM and open-source grid software developer Univa last week unveiled a new partnership that will bring new grid tools to the iSeries and other eServer platforms--although not the OS/400 server you have come to know and love. As part of the agreement, Univa will deliver a commercially supported and enterprise-ready release of software built around Globus Alliance's open-source Globus Toolkit for use across iSeries, pSeries, xSeries, zSeries, and BladeCenter systems running AIX and Linux. (It would have been nice to have native OS/400 support with Globus grid tools, but we're not entirely surprised by this move). IBM also plans to use Univa's grid software for internal IT projects, and has taken to comparing the development of grid tools with Linux distros. "We will work closely with Univa on delivery of enterprise- ready implementations of Globus for IBM platforms in much the same way that IBM works with Red Hat and Novell to ensure Linux distributions on IBM platforms are at the forefront of the industry," says Ken King, vice president of grid computing at IBM. Univa was formed in 2004 to provide commercial software, technical support, and professional services for grid infrastructure based on open source Globus Toolkit. Univa's grid software is deployed at more than 1,000 sites around the world, comprising more than 40,000 CPUs and 10TB of storage, which Univa says makes it the most widely used grid middleware on the market.
Lawson Sells OS/400 ERP Software to Two Banks
Lawson Software is an OS/400 software developer, and wants you to remember that. Last week the Minnesota developer of midmarket ERP announced two customers--both of them banks--that are implementing Lawson's software on OS/400 servers. The first, Arvest Bank Operations, will implement Lawson's Human Resources suite, including payroll and employee and manager self-service applications, on an iSeries server. The self-service applications will allow employees to view and select benefits over the network, while the payroll application will provide better tracking of paid-time-off and absence accrual tracking for workers. Centralization is a necessity for efficiently operating the $7.5-billion bank, which employs 4,500 people at 200 branches in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Empire Corporate, meanwhile, is undergoing an overhaul of its money management system. The $4.4 billion company, which provides wholesale investment, credit, payment, and correspondent services to more than 1,000 credit unions primarily in the Northeast, needed to consolidate a slew of disparate financial systems, including general ledger, accounts payable, asset management, activity management, budgeting reporting, and cash ledger systems. Empire Corporate evaluated five vendors before selecting Lawson in late 2004, and completed the implementation of Lawson software on an iSeries server in April. The next step for Empire Corporate comes next March, when it begins implementing Lawson's Reporting Suite, which will provide more advanced reporting functionality and proactive notifications.
IBM Adds LTO-2 Drive to 7212 Model 102 Storage Enclosures
IBM last week announced a new "half-high" LTO drive that will enable iSeries and pSeries users to install LTO Ultrium 2 tape drives in their two-bay IBM 7212 Model 102 enclosures. The new LTO-2 drive, which becomes available on Friday for $4,350, provides up to 200 GB of native storage and data transfer rates of up to 24 Mbps, twice that with 2:1 compression turned on. The addition of the half-high LTO-2 drive gives iSeries users more options when it comes to provisioning their 7212 Model 102 enclosures, which occupy 1U of space in a 19-inch rack and accommodate any two of a number of various tape and optical drive features, including VXA-2, DAT72, SLR60, and SLR100 tape drives, and DVD-ROM Drive, and DVD-RAM 2 optical drives (pSeries users have slightly more options). The 7212 Model 102 may also be installed on a desktop.