In July, Computer Associates announced a major revision to its Unicenter product. Called Unicenter/The Next Generation, or Unicenter/TNG, this new version will differ from the current release in three main areas:
1. End-to-end management. Unicenter/TNG will be a complete end-to-end solution that encompasses client/server connections regardless of the type of client or network in use. It will interoperate with other system- and network-management products, including Microsoft's SMS and Hewlett-Packard's OpenView.
2. Business process views. Unicenter/TNG will enable you to manage your network based on logical business functions instead of physical network topology. For example, you can define a financial business view and manage all the clients, servers, systems, and networks that are involved in financial-business processing, regardless of the physical location of the components. Similarly, you can define a business view for manufacturing, or North American sales, or whatever breakdown makes sense to your business applications.
3. Real-world graphical interface. Unicenter's current management interface will be replaced with a new GUI that employs 3D rendering, animation, and virtual-reality techniques. For example, a problem may appear as a blinking red light on a geographical map of a business view. You can see that you have a problem in a particular city, drill down to isolate the problem to a specific location or building, and drill down again to pinpoint the problem to a specific computer (see screen). You can then use the systems-management tools available for that kind of system to fix or further diagnose the problem.