BMC updates SmartDBA tools for Oracle

BMC Software Inc. has updated some of its tools for managing Oracle Corp. databases, promising to help companies cut data management costs and get more out of their time-strapped database administrators (DBAs).

The company has updated the space management module of its SmartDBA performance management suite, Space Expert 4.3, to include an online reorganization tool, which lets DBAs reorganize their databases without having to take applications off line.

Whereas some vendors charge for online reorganization products, BMC said it will add the capability to Space Expert for no extra charge. The feature is available initially for Oracle’s database, versions 8i and 9i, and BMC will include it with its tools for IBM Corp.’s DB2 database in the second half of the year, said Karl Chen, BMC vice president for enterprise data management.

BMC also said it has worked to integrate its SmartDBA tools with its broader family of systems management products, Patrol. When a systems administrator receives an alert from a Patrol module it can now also be automatically sent to the DBA via SmartDBA. When the problem is resolved, a notice to that effect is sent to both SmartDBA and Patrol users.

“This allows for better data management coordination between the system administrator using Patrol, and the DBA using SmartDBA,” Chen said.

Integrating the products also should allow a DBA to keep tabs on all the database instances throughout a company, and receive notifications more quickly about events that might affect database performance, he said.

One analyst said the move should help customers. Combining data from the Patrol and Smart DBA tools should give IT managers a better overall perspective on the systems they manage and help them find and solve problems more quickly, said Laura Koetzle, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Making DBAs more efficient is important because the amount of data being stored within organizations is growing all the time, while IT spending budgets remain low, which means companies need to make the IT staffs they have more productive.

“What we’re really trying to do is solve the problem of managing more data with less resources,” Chen said. “Data growth is outpacing the number of DBAs available; they need more tools and more automation.”

The first SmartDBA tools that have been integrated with Patrol will be available in July for Oracle databases, starting at $2,255. The integration capabilities will be brought to IBM DB2 in the second half of the year, with support for other databases to follow, a BMC spokeswoman said. Space Expert 4.3 is also due to be available in July, priced starting at $1,650.