A range of bundling deals for Unicenter TNG, which Computer Associates announced at its annual CA World conference in New Orleans, takes a leaf out of the Microsoft book.
The deals, with Sun, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, are intended to extend the reach of the enterprise management platform.
HP and Sun will integrate the Unicenter TNG framework — a pared-down version of the management platform announced at the conference — into their HP-UX and Sun Solaris Unix implementations, respectively. HP says it will bundle the framework with all of its servers; Sun stopped short of such an endorsement, leaving the framework’s delivery mechanism for Solaris to be hammered out in the future.
“It’s very much how Microsoft made Windows ubiquitous,” says Mark Sokol, CA senior vice-president of advanced technologies. “We’ll have more than 1.5 million copies shipping next year.”
The framework version of Unicenter TNG includes all the interfaces and services currently embedded in the full-blown product. But it is now open to third-party applications, something that will appeal to ISVs. The framework manages application interactions with other applications or system resources, while providing a graphical view of the enterprise.
IBM’s Tivoli is the major oppositon. According to conference attendee Kim Sobel, a senior analyst with the Hurwitz Group, the bundling option will put real pressure on IBM.
CA handed out more than 20,000 free copies of the framework at the conference. In all, 13 vendors have announced support for the framework. They include Data General, Digital, Fujitsu, NCR, Sequent and Tandem. The announcements left observers wondering what such integration deals will mean for the future of HP’s OpenView and Sun’s Solstice management offerings. Under its global agreement, Hewlett-Packard will not only bundle the framework with all HP-UX servers and workstations but will also resell Unicenter TNG — the full product — and provide services and support.
Sun CEO Scott McNealy endorses the idea of choice.
“We will continue to invest heavily in network and system management capabilities and partner with CA, and may the best product win in the market,” he says.
On the client side, Macs will be pulled into the Uni-center TNG fold with the year-end release of an agent for the Mac OS and later an agent for Rhapsody. Users of Yellow Box, Rhapsody’s application development and run-time environment, will also be able to build programs for CA’s Jasmine pure-object database. Jasmine is scheduled to ship within 90 days; Rhapsody is expected by mid-1998. CA says it will deliver a Unicenter TNG management agent written in Java within 90 days. The agent is designed to run on devices such as NCs and set-top boxes. Web browsers that implement version 1.1 of the Java virtual machine will be able to act as remote consoles for the management system. Browsers will be able to implement all functions of the existing NT version, including Unicenter TNG’s “real-world” 3D interface.
The framework bundling strategy will certainly give Unicenter TNG broader exposure but it’s not quite the same as Windows penetration because when Windows comes bundled on a PC, the user can’t operate the system without it — unlike TNG.