The growth of the digital economy is forcing companies of all sizes and all industries to re-evaluate how they provision, manage and pay for IT resources. With 68% of the world’s production workloads and 87% of all credit card transactions involving the mainframe in some part, the challenge for many IBM Z clients is how they modernize in order to compete in a less predictable application-centric world whilst maintaining the service level standards they have traditionally supported.
The capabilities of the IBM IT Service Management products are aligned to solve these issues.
Introducing Service Management Suite and the IBM solution for IT Service Management on z/OS
IBM’s offerings for monitoring and automation are available as standalone products, or as part of series of suites that deliver advantages not just on cost but also increased integration between offerings that aids problem solving and proactive systems management.
The premier offering is IBM Service Management Suite for z/OS. It provides the following features:
- Automation capabilities and application control
Using the capabilities of System Automation on z/OS and Netview for z/OS, clients can improve efficiency and availability of critical systems, define policies for availability management and provide capabilities for shutdown, recovery, and response to problems
The most recent update to System Automation delivered enhancements to automate applications and resources across multiple sysplexes without the need to manage dependencies manually, improved expert guidance to operators, and interface improvements that reduces the skills barrier for new operations staff to be productive.
- Proactive performance monitoring of system and application resources
The OMEGAMON family of products have long delivered resource monitoring and alerting of z/OS and key subsystems. Recent updates have focused on simplifying the process to monitor and manage. As application and transactions cross system boundaries, closer integration of the OMEGAMON monitors through, for example, the OMEGAMON Enhanced 3270UI allows a user to track a problem that might originate as a symptom in CICS but has a root cause in a Db2 database lock. One tool to identify, diagnose and fix.
With many new workloads on z/OS written in Java, the OMEGAMON for JVM agent delivers the capability to auto-discover all online Java runtimes and provide deep-dive monitoring of modern Java-based applications including z/OS Connect EE.
- Asset discovery
Tivoli Asset Discovery provides discovery and usage reporting to understand z/OS product inventory and application usage. It automatically discovers and identifies both IBM and third-party software running on z/OS, then monitors its usage and help lowers costs by removing unused and obsolete software.
- Integrated dashboards for complete operation management
With an evolving mainframe skill base there is a need for powerful but easy to learn interfaces for relatively new users. Service Management Unite delivers a fully featured user interface that supports both operators and domain experts (more of this later).
Most products within Service Management Suite have received a major update within the past 12 months that includes toleration and exploitation support for the latest levels of the Z hardware, operating system, and key subsystems. This means clients can move forward with their own Z modernizations plans confident that their management tools are ready to support it.
Under the Service Management Suite there are other smaller suites available. OMEGAMON for z/OS Management Suite provides a core set of monitoring capabilities for z/OS, networking, storage and Java runtime monitoring. OMEGAMON Performance Management Suite for z/OS includes all products in the core set but also includes monitoring for major z/OS based subsystems (CICS, IMS, Db2, MQ and WebSphere Application Server).
Pulling it all together with Service Management Unite
Service Management Unite (SMU) is customizable web-based user interface that integrates data from both monitoring and automation sources into a single dashboard that enables operations staff, even those who may lack deep mainframe domain experience, react quickly to alerts, diagnose problems and take corrective action.
SMU delivers a number of dashboards that focus on the guiding the user in addressing common real-world problem scenarios. The enterprise overview shows the current system alerts or situations generated by System Automation and OMEGAMON. From looking at the alert, the user is guided to the affected resources and the key performance indicators that will verify the problem with the resource. At this point the operator may be able to fix the issue directly by issuing the appropriate recommended action directly to the system.
Automation tasks, such as scheduling maintenance, are also easier to address through SMU. When making changes to an automation policy for a sysplex, you can visually understand the relationships and dependencies of resources plus the ability to execute operational tasks. Finally, you can pull all the systems management processes together through SMU to improve the availability of critical resources when workloads change. For example, using OMEGAMON situations to detect when systems are overcommitted and defining automation policies to take effect and start additional resources to handle the workload.
The automation functionalities of SMU is now available as part of System Automation for z/OS V4, while the monitoring dashboards that are fed from OMEGAMON monitoring agents is available as part of the Service Management Suite.
What next? Learn more and try it for yourself
I hope this overview has given you some insight into the functions of the IBM Service Management Suite, the latest updates to the products that are part of it, and how it is possible to integrate monitoring and automation for more effective systems management. We’ll cover some of the products in more detail is subsequent blogs, in the meantime you can learn more about the complete IBM IT Service Management portfolio and subscribe to our bi-monthly ITSM on Z newsletter. Please also reach out to me if you have questions on the current functions or are interested in a demonstration. Be sure to also try out the latest version of IBM DocBuddy on your mobile device which now includes top industry news, thought leadership articles, and more.