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BMC revamps Patrol

BMC Software, the systems management software vendor, provided attendees of its Learning Universe user conference this week with a preview of the latest version of its flagship software suite, Patrol 7, and highlighted BMC's growing interest in storage management.

Patrol 7, which will be launched later this summer, features an improved user interface and easier to use installation and maintenance procedures, according to the company's CTO, Kirill Tatarinov. Tatarinov described the changes as incremental and claimed they were undertaken in response to user requests and reflected the shift of management tools into the business mainstream.

The CTO said that Patrol 7 provides users with a common installation process and a common way to share, store and perform advanced analysis on data across multiple applications. The product's console simplifies the daily administration and management of complex environments, he said.

Meanwhile, BMC's CEO, Bob Beauchamp, used his keynote speech to emphasize the importance of storage management in today's complex e-business environment. Beauchamp also revealed that, over the past two years, BMC's development budget for storage management products has been larger than those for its other products.

Among the new offerings to emerge from this effort is Mainview Storage Resource Manager, which is designed to extend BMC's Application-Centric Storage Management initiative to mainframe-based storage systems. The software allows customers to manage all the resources that can affect business processes, including application availability, performance and recoverability.

BMC also announced a new snap-in Patrol module, Patrol for Hitachi Freedom Storage, which extends BMC's business process storage management to the Hitachi Freedom Storage 7700 and Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 series. The new module provides a centralized view of all Hitachi storage systems and other supported storage devices and is designed to simplify storage management, increase application availability and performance, and provide the ability to quickly isolate and correct problems.

Among the other initiatives unveiled at the conference, BMC announced an enhanced partnership with Oracle. Under the terms of the agreement, BMC will embed the Oracle database technology in its Patrol products, and Oracle will use Patrol to complement its use of Oracle Enterprise Manager for managing its internal and hosted application customers.

Oracle's hosted application customers will appreciate the improved service levels that the relationship should bring, and Tatarinov said that Oracle's decision to use Patrol represented a clear endorsement of BMC's software. Closer links between BMC and Oracle make sense, not least because BMC's main rivals include Tivoli and Computer Associates.

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