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Computer Associates Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Summary

CA’s Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite addresses day-to-day network operations, and availability and performance management requirements for mainframe-based TCP/IP and SNA environments. Table of Contents Overview Analysis Pricing Competitors Strengths Limitations Insight List Of Tables

Table 1: Overview: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Table 2: Features and Functions: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management Table 3: Price List: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

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Corporate Headquarters

Computer Associates International, Inc. One Computer Associates Plaza Islandia, NY 11749, U.S.A.

Tel: +1 631 342 6000; +1 800 225 5224 Fax: +1 631 342 6800

Internet: ca.com Overview

Table 1: Overview: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Product Name Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Product Type Mainframe-based: network operations, availability and performance management Function Analysis, tracking, logging, reporting, automation and facilitation of mainframe

Systems Network Architecture (SNA) and TCP/IP network activity

Platforms IBM OS/390 and z/OS, Virtual Machine/Enterprise Systems Architecture (VM/ESA) Base Price Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP: $36,000

Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance: $30,860

Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP: $18,000

Unicenter NetMaster Socket Management for Customer Information Control System (CICS): $9,000

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA: $37,300 Unicenter NetMaster Network Automation: $33,950

Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management: $28,500

Unicenter Network and Systems Management NetMaster Option: $3,634 Target Market Organizations running OS/390 and z/OS; mainframes utilizing SNA and TCP/IP

network communications

Table 2: Features and Functions: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Feature Function

Centralized Console Consolidates the command interfaces from Unicenter NetMaster Network

Management for SNA, Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP and Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance into one point of control. All commands, alert notifications and information to or from multiple systems can be handled simultaneously.

Web Interface Included with Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP and Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP, the WebCenter interface displays monitoring and diagnostic information for the SNA- or IP-connected resources across the entire enterprise from a standard Web browser. NetMaster also includes its own internal HTTP Web server for aiding in configuration and setup.

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Table 2: Features and Functions: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Feature Function

Web-Based Reporting

The Unicenter NetMaster ReportCenter feature provides Web-based reporting functionality The performance reports provide TCP/IP use and trending information to allow the network manager to monitor network performance and usage and make capacity-planning decisions, such as network balancing or scheduling upgrades. ReportCenter is included with Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP, Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP and Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management products and ultimately for the entire Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite.

Alert Monitoring Uses a color-coded 3270 or Java-based Web interface to notify users when performance thresholds have been exceeded. Sends Network Management Vector Transport Communications Network Management (NMVT CNM) alerts to the mainframe management facility or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps to the enterprise management platform. By doing this, it can trigger any automated actions to address or escalate the violation.

SNA and TCP/IP Activity Log

Logs all SNA and TCP/IP connection activity, including Telnet and FTP, with source and destination of file transfers. It also provides audit trails for network events and operator commands for better diagnosis of TCP/IP and SNA network problems. Network

Performance Management

The Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP and Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance products provide comprehensive response-time monitoring and performance management capabilities for both SNA and TCP/IP networks. Performance

Reporting

Real-time and historical performance reporting package. Real-time information is available from a Java or 3270 interface, while historical reports are available from the ReportCenter feature, which utilizes either a DB2 or Datacom Database to provide Web-based Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) reports.

Error Tracking and Alert

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA’s Network Error Warning System (NEWS) collects information from software and hardware systems and analyzes the data for any errors. Once it diagnoses an error, the system looks for its most probable cause and reports it to the user. It also facilitates the implementation of corrective actions.

Network Activity Tracking

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA’s Network Tracking System is designed to collect network connectivity data and traffic statistics for resources and sessions. It uses this data to build a viewable model of network activity across multiple SNA environments. It is also capable of identifying and tracking any detected network problems and recording trace session histories.

Detailed User Interface

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA’s Network Control Services utilizes a menu-driven 3270 or Web graphical user interface that displays network resources and their connected nodes and status. It is navigated via graphical point-and-click Web displays or single-key 3270 commands.

IP Diagnostics Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP provides mainframe-attached IP wide-area diagnostics, such as managing connections and the

applications that they are connected to, running and interpreting network traces, and providing a host-based Telnet capability that allows the operator to establish Telnet sessions with nodes in the IP network. The NetMaster Control Language (NCL) has

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Table 2: Features and Functions: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Feature Function

IP Node Monitoring Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP provides status and

response-time monitoring of IP devices. Response-time statistics can be reported in hourly or daily intervals.

TCP/IP Access Control

Inclusive and exclusive authorization of the mainframe TCP/IP stack based on port, IP address, user ID and time of day or week.

File Transfer Management

Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management provides file transfer management for scheduled and nonscheduled transfers, including Advantage CA-XCOM Data Transport, CONNECT:Direct and FTP.

Management Information Base (MIB) Management

MIBinsight delivers a Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) MIB compiler, a MIB-II browser and MIB-II attribute monitoring. MIBinsight ships with a number of compiled MIB definitions, and additional MIBs can be compiled and loaded by the customer as required. The MIB browser can view the MIB on any IP device using pre-loaded MIB definitions. The product also monitors MIB attributes or values and can execute actions based on pre-defined thresholds or state changes. Also included is a Web interface.

Enterprise Management Integration

The Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite integrates with CA’s Unicenter Network Management and Systems Management products via the Unicenter NSM NetMaster Option to provide an integrated end-to-end network management solution.

Analysis

After Computer Associates acquired Sterling Software in 2000, it began the daunting process of integrating the plethora of Sterling product families into CA’s own portfolio. An early success is the work that CA has done with Sterling’s NetMaster family of products. Now collectively referred to as Unicenter Mainframe Network Management, the suite addresses the network operations and availability and performance management requirements of mainframe-connected SNA and TCP/IP networks. For mainframe network management, CA enhanced, re-branded and integrated Sterling’s NetMaster products for TCP/IP and SNA as well as its NetSpy software. Referred to collectively as Unicenter Mainframe Network Management, this suite offers monitoring, simplified problem diagnosis, network automation and performance management for both mainframe TCP/IP and SNA networks. CA has extended these capabilities by integrating support for its Unicenter NSM enterprise management platform.

Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP (IBM z/OS and OS/390)

The flagship product in the Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite, Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP, was the market’s first product designed to address the management issues of mixed SNA and TCP/IP environments by providing monitoring, diagnostic and performance management capabilities for mainframe-based TCP/IP stacks and their attached networks and devices. It also audits FTP, TN3270 and other socket connections. Additionally, advanced features — such as multiwindowing techniques and click-and-drag screen modifications — are provided to deliver a graphical, intuitive and granular presentation of alerts. The Java-based WebCenter user interface allows the product to appeal to a broader audience. First delivered in 1996, Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP includes:

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• Diagnostic capabilities that focus on problem resolution efficiency for the help desk, network operations and systems programming staff. Unicenter NetMaster Network Management (NM) for TCP/IP’s diagnostics features use proactive alerting, automation and advanced diagnostics capabilities.

• Unicenter NetMaster contains its own internal HTTP Web server environment that is used to power the WebCenter and ReportCenter features. It aids in setup as it avoids complex external Web-server dependencies and is designed to render interactive, real-time management pages.

• Graphical Performance Management techniques are employed to address the accumulation and display of TCP/IP network performance information relating to use and capacity of network devices, events and sessions. Unicenter NetMaster NM for TCP/IP’s performance capabilities provide real-time graphs, and the ReportCenter feature provides historical Web-based performance reports, useful in making decisions about the TCP/IP network infrastructure usage and growth requirements. NetMaster’s Web-based ReporterCenter utilizes a mainframe-resident JDBC reporting engine and SQL Database to provide reports based on complex queries and correlation of information as well as consolidation of performance information from multiple Unicenter NetMaster regions. By making it Web-based, the product integrates multiple management points via a standardized user interface, reducing the need to maintain and support each region individually. From this Web-browser interface, managers and technicians can view a variety of network performance and usage reports, including TCP/IP use and trending information.

• Automatic discovery of TCP/IP network resources helps populate the network management database. It will also rediscover monitored network components following major network changes to better maintain accuracy in the management database.

• The code-free approach to network automation and performance monitoring uses menu selections and fill-in templates to define when and how resources should be monitored and managed. Along with desired-state resource automation, other exception criteria, such as performance and use thresholds, can be used to trigger automated actions.

• Unicenter NetMaster NM for TCP/IP also provides policy-based access management for IP transactions, both within the enterprise server domain and across the wide-area network. Unicenter NetMaster NM for TCP/IP’s access-control capability allows IT management to control who has access to establish TCP/IP sessions to the mainframe, from where and at what time they are authorized. This provides the same controls that are available for SNA sessions.

• Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance is now included as a feature of Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP. Agents from Unicenter NetSpy and Unicenter NetMaster are integrated. Unicenter NetSpy also enables TCP/IP management capabilities such as TN3270e Response Time Monitoring (RTM) monitoring as well as delivering all the SNA performance information that is expected in a mainframe Network Performance management package.

Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance (IBM z/OS, OS/390 and VM)

Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance provides an integrated view of both TCP/IP and SNA mainframe network performance. These metrics can be used to detect and correct problems before they can impact e-business activity. It assists in identifying network problems, evaluating network efficiency, monitoring service levels, analyzing network capacity and planning for future expansion. The product’s extensive TCP/IP performance instrumentation displays network use and monitors service levels. Users can

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and FTP. Integration with Unicenter TCPaccess Telnet server provides reliable TCP/IP telnet TN3270e RTM and reporting capabilities. This integration was delivered in response to customer requirements for correct end-user response-time information to use in capacity-planning and service-level reports.

Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP (IBM z/OS and OS/390)

Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP is a companion product to Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance, providing diagnosis, access control functionality, the NetMaster WebCenter interface and ReportCenter Web-based reporting capabilities for the enhanced management of mainframe-based TCP/IP networks. Complemented with the performance capabilities of Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance, it provides an organization with the capability to manage TCP/IP resources, alerts and connections to the mainframe.

Unicenter NetMaster Socket Management for CICS (IBM z/OS, OS/390)

Unicenter NetMaster Socket Management for CICS is an add-on product to Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP and Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP. It analyzes CICS sockets-based network connections, providing information on and correlation between a TCP/IP socket’s connection and specific CICS information. This information includes the application identifier, transaction identifier, terminal identifier and user ID. Additional CICS information on session type, server statistics, session statistics, transaction statistics, verb statistics and response time data is available. This information can be used when debugging CICS sockets application issues, such as slow response time or hung connections.

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA (IBM z/OS, OS/390 and VM)

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA is host-based network management software that delivers automated command and control of SNA networks and network operations. It is designed to address network availability and end-user service levels. Its basic functions are monitoring and controlling network devices and providing extensive error warnings and status information. The software uses standard SNA communications interfaces to acquire and process all relevant network error information. Unicenter NetMaster Network Automation (IBM z/OS, OS/390 and VM)

Unicenter NetMaster Network Automation integrates real-time monitoring and code-free desired-state automation in one tool to streamline network operations and time to automation. Exception-based processing prioritizes events so problems can be intercepted, prioritized according to business impact and responded to automatically. No specialized skill sets are required to harness the benefits of a new level of network service visibility that costs less to implement and maintain than any other product of its kind. Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management (IBM z/OS and OS/390)

Today, file transfer remains the corner tone of internal and intracompany data processing for the exchange and synchronization of information. Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management increases the reliability of business-critical file transfers to and from the mainframe from a variety of file transfer products on multiple platforms, including FTP, Advantage CA-XCOM Data Transport, CONNECT:Direct and CONNECT:Mailbox. Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management helps users receive notification of failed or anticipated failed transfers and to manage by business relationship or critical resource, all from a single view.

The product’s ability to notify users about file transfer problems can reduce problem resolution time and retains key diagnostic information. Operators centrally manage file transfers in real time, and automated recovery actions can be executed to resolve problems before they are reported. Standard ReportCenter

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Web-based reporting capabilities provide new levels of management visibility over for the enhanced management.

In its management of mainframe-based FTP, Unicenter NetMaster FTM utilizes Unicenter TCPaccess FTP Server to provide heightened awareness of an organization’s FTP activity, allowing for knowledge of when an FTP starts, stops and fails while additionally allowing for status queries for transfers in progress. Unicenter Network and Systems Management NetMaster Option (Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000) Unicenter NSM NetMaster Option integrates CA’s NetMaster with its Unicenter Network and Systems Management products. This coordinates NetMaster’s mainframe information with Unicenter NSM’s distributed object repository and manager/agent architecture, allowing the user to manage mainframe resources and events from the centralized management platform.

Pricing

Table 3: Price List: Unicenter Mainframe Network Management

Product Base Price Maximum Price

Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for TCP/IP

$36,000 CA has implemented a

flexible pricing structure based on the term, CPU group processor or millions of instructions per second (MIPS) size

Unicenter NetSpy Network Performance $30,860 Flexible pricing structure based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter NetMaster Network Operations for TCP/IP $18,000 Flexible pricing structure

based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter NetMaster Socket Management for CICS $9,000 Flexible pricing structure

based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter NetMaster Network Management for SNA $37,300 Flexible pricing structure

based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter NetMaster Network Automation $33,950 Flexible pricing structure

based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter NetMaster File Transfer Management $28,500 Flexible pricing structure

based on the term, group processor or MIPS size Unicenter Network and Systems Management

NetMaster Option

$3,634 Flexible pricing structure based on MIPS size

Education Discount Yes —

Leasing Yes —

Multicopy Discount Yes —

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GSA Pricing

Yes.

Competitors

• IBM/Tivoli NetView Strengths

GUI and Web Interface

The interfaces provided with Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite are one of the company’s biggest selling points. Rather than the typical command-line-style interface, the user interface for the mainframe Solution Suite of products is graphics-based. It offers a hierarchical ranking structure of the monitored elements. This interface presents information to the technical and nontechnical users in a manner that is easy to understand and navigate. Therefore, the users do not need to be SNA or TCP/IP experts to operate the product, nor do they have to enter line commands until they find what they are looking for. The fact that the system is also Web-enabled makes the product even more appealing. The WebCenter interface keeps up with the trend in the client/server market to make management products more conveniently accessible from anywhere in the world. It is a natural progression for the GUI, and CA has enabled it to reflect all of the functionality of the standard GUI. Additionally, the ReportCenter features Web-based graphical reporting and improves the distribution, accessibility and understanding of generated reports.

Out-of-the-Box Installation

The Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite is designed to be easy to install and operate out of the box. The use of advanced network discovery techniques and prompted customization screens allows the suite to be up and running in as little as one day. Computer Associates also offers installation services for those who want them. There are several customization options in the setup program that enable the users to configure the products nearly any way they want.

Automation of Routine Functions

Once installed, the software automatically takes care of some of the more routine management processes (logging, scheduling, backups) as well as automating responses to specified events. This takes the responsibility off of the network administrator, who is now able to focus on more important issues regarding mainframe performance. The products also integrate well with CA’s Unicenter OPS/MVS Event Management and Automation and with Unicenter SOLVE:Operations Automation for expanding its functionality to systems automation.

Sole Vendor

CA’s biggest strength is that it is really the only vendor to offer prepackaged TCP/IP and SNA management software that does not require a great deal of technical experience to operate. IBM has the framework for TCP/IP protocol management in Tivoli NetView for OS/390, but its basic display commands and command-line interface do not provide the depth and breadth of coverage of CA’s products (that is, real-time graphs of router information).

Extensive Mainframe Network Management

While CA is addressing a specific z/OS and OS/390 Network Management market segment with Unicenter Mainframe Network Management’s functionality, the software has been further developed to enable consolidated network management across the enterprise. Unicenter NSM NetMaster Option

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provides resource-level and alert-based management capabilities from the Unicenter NSM platform, complementing CA’s extensive distributed network management capabilities. The Unicenter Mainframe Network Management solution suite delivers a broad range of products that reach more of the network’s events (that is, check Web-server availability, check port functionality, check an applications network response time) to monitor how well the network is delivering on its business service commitments.

Limitations

Partially Dependent on IBM’s Development Plans

The Computer Associates Unicenter Mainframe Network Management products operate as Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM) application programs in an IBM operating system environment and are therefore susceptible to any changes in that environment. As third-party products, CA’s network management products will nearly always be slightly behind the offerings of designers/developers and about equal to other third-party support vendors. IBM’s aggressive movement into open systems architectures and strong entry into TCP/IP network and management support indicated that it would leave CA slightly out of sync; however, NetMaster for TCP/IP offered the first TCP/IP management in an MVS environment ahead of any IBM NetView OS/390 offering. CA, so far, has been diligent in closing development gaps quickly by leveraging the object-oriented programming models to develop more of its product offerings; however, as part of IBM’s Early Release Program, CA does gain value from its partnership with IBM. Also, as CA develops its own mainframe networking infrastructure products, such as its TCP/IP Stack — Unicenter TCPaccess Communications Server — it will always be first in supporting this stack and associated initiatives.

Insight

The Unicenter Mainframe Network Management suite offers more than simple event management for the mainframe environment. Its GUI and Web interfaces simplify the operation and administration of the products and its managed environment to the point where the user does not have to be an expert of SNA or TCP/IP to use it. For mainframe products, there is a good number of automation features normally found in client/server management products. CA continues to bring the time-saving benefits of point-and-click commands, graphical reports and automation to the mainframe environment. This fills a gap left by IBM’s TCP/IP and SNA management products that are centered around a very technical command-line interface. The original NetMaster family’s long history in the market and its good reputation for solid mainframe products will be a comfort to potential customers, especially those looking to invest considerable amounts of money and other resources into these Network Management products.

References

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