Aldon Touts Single Change Management App for All i5 Platforms
July 13, 2004 Alex Woodie
For some people, it can be difficult to get excited about software change management (SCM) software, but Dan Magid is not one of them. Magid, president of SCM vendor Aldon, is energized about his company’s new product, the Application Lifetime Management Suite, which he says is the culmination of six years of work and will help put the eServer i5 firmly in control of code management and deployment of OS/400, Linux, AIX, and Windows applications.
Magid remembers going to a presentation by IBM‘s chief iSeries scientist, Frank Soltis, six or seven years ago, when Soltis spoke about a day when a single technology layer, something called a “hypervisor,” would manage multiple operating systems running on the same server. Magid remembers thinking, “How would we manage that kind of application environment?” he says. “That’s the strategy we’ve been pursuing for several years.”
Later this summer (on August 31, to be exact), Aldon’s cross-platform strategy will come to fruition when the eServer i5 officially gets support for running AIX Versions 5.2 and 5.3. At that time, users of the Application Lifetime Management Suite will be able to manage and deploy AIX code (as well as OS/400, Linux, and Windows code), all without ever leaving the friendly and familiar confines of the i5 environment. This is a big change for Aldon, Magid says. “Before, we could manage your Unix code but you would have to deploy somewhere else,” he says. “You would have needed separate [SCM] modules or a separate box.”
These cross-platform capabilities were put in place in March, when Aldon launched Affiniti Version 4.1 (see “Aldon Eases Project Management with Update to Affiniti”). In May, the Bay Area company changed the name of its SCM products (Aldon/CMS and Affiniti gave way to Aldon’s Lifecycle Manager, Deployment Manager, and Community Manager components) and consolidated them under the Application Lifetime Management Suite banner. It also shortened its name from Aldon Computer Group.
Magid says these changes and the underlying capabilities of the Application Lifetime Management Suite reflect the desire of companies to simplify and consolidate their IT environments. “The companies we’re working with no longer want there to be these walls between the platforms,” he says. “Instead of having all these different fiefdoms, we’re going to have an enterprise view of what’s going on, a single point of management and control.”
The path to the Application Lifetime Management Suite could have been different. Several years ago, when Aldon was developing its cross-platform SCM strategy in the late 1990s, it approached some of the predominant SCM vendors in the Unix and Windows space with the idea of developing partnerships and integration between their products. “They had very little interest in it,” Magid says. They thought the AS/400 “was a proprietary, dead-end architecture, and they paid no attention to it.”
So, instead of partnering, Aldon developed its own Windows and Unix capabilities, and now it has no need for the other vendors. In fact, Magid foresees the Application Lifetime Management Suite displacing Unix and Windows SCM products. And everything will be managed from an iSeries point of view. “The big difference is, we actually built this multiplatform system,” he says. “We actually built the multiplatform architecture on the same platform as our iSeries tool, so the two are managed in exactly the same way. So iSeries developers will feel very comfortable.”
Putting the iSeries in control of code management and deployment makes sense. IBM’s strategy for the iSeries is, after all, to make it the linchpin for Linux and Windows server consolidation, a strategy that seems to be paying off. So why should a company bring in a separate SCM product (such as PVCS, from Merant, which was recently acquired by Serena) to manage the Integrated xSeries component? To hear Magid tell it, you wouldn’t want to.
“We’re hoping that iSeries users see this as the huge opportunity that it is,” he says. “The iSeries lost control of Web and Windows. Everybody thought of this as proprietary backwater area. The i5 announcement is way out in front of the market. It makes the iSeries very attractive for being the central control point for the organization.”