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Server Specs: BMC Software releases configuration management database update

BMC Software releases CMDB update; CA, Sun continue executive shuffle.

BMC Software releases configuration management database update
BMC Software Inc. has released a new version of its configuration management database (CMDB) . Atrium CMDB 2.0 is the Houston software company's new release meant to help companies organize their IT departments. It has also released Automated Discovery, which is supposed to help Atrium model all IT elements.

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A CMDB is a database that contains relevant information about an IT department's components, including hardware, software and staff, and how those pieces interact with one another.

The company says that the update includes a more graphical view of the IT infrastructure that allows data center managers to more easily view what's going on in their department. It also boasts of a new software library and software dictionary.

"We understand that customers want a robust, practical, fault-tolerant CMDB that won't be a single point of risk in their data center like the 'frameworks' of 10 years ago," said Tom Bishop, BMC chief technology officer (CTO) in a statement.

BMC says continued advancement of Atrium will lead to additional new CMDB functionality that depicts the IT environment with graphics or analog data, providing clear illustrations for how the department works together.

BMC., Fujitsu Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM recently announced plans to create a new CMDB interoperability specification designed to enable customers to federate and access information for from multivendor IT infrastructures. The companies plan to submit a draft specification to an industry standards organization later this year.

CA, Sun continue executive shuffle
It has been a swinging door lately at Sun Microsystems Inc. and CA Inc., with several executives leaving and appointments being made in the last week.

The latest news is the departure of CA executive vice president and chief financial officer Robert Davis, who said this week that he was leaving after being in the job for just over a year. His departure follows similar announcements last month by CTO Mark Barrenechea last week and chief operating officer Jeff Clarke that they would be leaving CA.

CA said that senior vice president and corporate controller Robert Cirabisi would fill in for the missing Davis while the company started an external search for his permanent replacement.

"When we began the task of transforming CA, we knew that we would encounter many challenges and understood that in an undertaking of this scale and scope, changes were to be expected," CA president and CEO John Swainson said in a statement. "Eighteen months into the process, it is clear that although we still have a way to go, we have made progress."

Also this week, Sun underwent another corporate reshuffling, announcing John Fowler and David Yen to new positions as executive vice presidents of systems and storage, respectively. Mark Canepa, former Sun head of data management, is leaving Sun after 10 years with the company.

Sun's news followed other recent announcements, the most notable being Jonathan Schwartz taking over as CEO from Sun co-founder Scott McNealy. Other changes at Sun have included the appointments of Richard Green to executive vice president of software; David Douglas to vice president of eco-responsibility; Don Grantham to executive vice president of global sales and services; Greg Papadopoulos to CTO and executive vice president of research and development.

With CA and its multibillion dollar accounting scandal, Charles King, principal analyst for Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT, said the company may want to show the market that it was starting fresh with new people from outside company doors.

Sun, meanwhile, has been pushing innovation on its Opteron processor-based x86 servers, and King said the return of some former employees to the company signal that they may see new opportunities there.

"I think they could be rejoining the company because there's a sense that Sun is moving in a new direction, and there's the opportunity to go back and do some new work," he said.

IBM, AMD pitch in for center that could lead to advanced chip development
IBM and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), along with semiconductor software company Cadence Design Systems, are helping to build a research center that could lead to processor development, making them smaller and faster.

The center will be built at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., and is expected to cost $100 million. According to an RPI press release, the center will be one of the top 10 supercomputing centers in the world and will be called the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations.

Its goal is to improve the shrinking of computer chips and extend the model to other industries interested in nanotechnology. The center will include Blue Gene supercomputers, power-based Linux servers and AMD Opteron processor-based servers, and is expected to be open by the end of this year.

"(The center) will help enable the semiconductor industry to bridge the gaps between fundamental device science, design and manufacturing at the nanoscale," said Omkaram Nalamasu, RPI's vice president of research.

Security breach at Ohio University
A network security breach at Athens, Ohio-based Ohio University, which may have caused hundreds of thousands of Social Security numbers and health records to be compromised, is just the latest in a string of attacks on university and college data centers.

The school has said that servers for at least three different departments -- technology transfer, alumni relations and health -- were hacked into in recent weeks and that personal information for about 200,000 people were on the machines.

The school has contacted the FBI and is looking for assistance from other colleges, such as the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame, which had similar security breaches.

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