As we approach the middle of the year, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the updates that have occurred over the past 6 months across the OMEGAMON family of monitoring products on z/OS. There have been significant deliveries that build up on our major updates in 2017 and represent nearly a dozen customer raised requests for enhancements. In addition, we have also delivered our first completely free, zero install trial version of OMEGAMON for anyone to sign-up to. So, let’s take a closer look…

Several enhancements have been introduced covering workload manager details at both the system and sysplex levels, plus updated JES spool utilization details.

A new attribute table, WLM Class Sysplex Metrics (KM5WLMCLPX), has been introduced and used as a source for both the OMEGAMON enhanced 3270 user interface (enhanced 3270UI) and Tivoli Enterprise Portal (TEP) workspaces. There are 64 new attributes added – from WLM performance index to I/O and transaction rates – to augment the existing workspaces and provide detailed workload manager information.

These workspaces aggregate or filter these metrics based on WLM class type (Service or Report) and Scope (Sysplex or System). Additionally, Sysplex metrics are displayed at a summary level with all systems’ class metrics in the Sysplex aggregated OR at a detailed level with each system having a separate row displayed for each system in the Sysplex.

JES spool information is now provided in a new workspace (“JES Spool Utilization”) in the enhanced 3270UI that builds on the details previously added to the Classic UI. Both JES2 and JES3 are supported. This workspace is available as an option from the z/OS System Resources menu for the selected LPAR.

These updates are have been delivered via APAR OA55274 (PTF UA96025) and fix pack 5.5.0-TIV-KM5-FP0002

Several updates are provided with V550 PTF UA95610 together with fix pack 1. These include:

  • Application trace summary: a breakdown of the time spent in EXEC CICS commands.
  • Terminals added as resources to the Enhanced 3270 UI.
  • Greater accuracy when changing DSA limits by providing information about the largest free size of OS storage.
  • A sortable Task History view allows the customer to more quickly locate specific tasks.

OMEGAMON for CICS provides the user the ability to trace specific tasks. This trace records each EXEC or RMI call the transaction makes. With this new capability OMEGAMON provides a summary of that trace which gives the user a better understanding of where the transaction is spending its time. For an active task the time will continue to accumulate, such that with each refresh you can determine if a function is continuing to delay the task.

The following trace summary panel shows the summary of response time for each EXEC call. The user can easily see which function may be abnormal with a quick glance at the percent of total bar chart.

The ability to define a non-expiring trace filter has been added to the global to allow the feature to be more effectively used for certain transactions.

Secondly, CICS has long removed the need to define all terminals that might connect. However, this does not mean that there are not issues related to terminal definitions. It is possible that a printer is out of service and needs to be set in service, or a terminal is causing a problem such that the best option is to release it. With this enhancement we provide the ability to view the terminals that CICS knows about. We provide details about who is logged on, the current task, and the number of AIDs related to this terminal. The workspace which is accessible from the resources tab for a CICS region, but also as a link from active task display or task history.

A new “CICS Terminal Summary” workspace has been created with 2 tabs: one for acquired terminals and the other for all terminals including those in released status. Actions such as setting the terminal in and out of service, releasing or acquiring the terminal, and the ability to view and remove AIDs for the device are also added. This allows a user to take actions quickly if they determine a terminal is generating an abnormal volume of work.

Thirdly, OSCOR is an old term used to describe the z/OS below-the-line memory. In the Menu system (Classic), the current free OSCOR and largest free OSCOR can be displayed. But the feature is limited to below-the-line storage.
This enhancement allows the enhanced 3270UI to display available storage and ‘Largest Contiguous Available’ of both OSCOR below- and above-the-line in the “Storage Summary” workspace.

Finally, the “Task History” workspace in the enhanced 3270UI is updated. The default display will show all the tasks for a region and can be filtered. However, due to the fact OMEGAMON only returns the data to fill a screen, sorting is not available. This can make it difficult when looking for a specific or rogue task. To alleviate this, we have provided the ability to specify, via filters, a time range to retrieve. When a time range is in effect the data is now finite and as such sorting can be used to detect transactions that are not performing normally.

It is possible by changing a user’s profile to make this sortable view the default for a user. The default amount of time of history shown for a region can be varied too (default is 20 minutes).

The latest updates principally build upon the delivery of the IMS Commander function in V5.5.0. You can now define an archive schedule for the IMS console output, including what and when to store in a dataset so output is not lost. Additionally, new command shortcuts have been added to the enhanced 3270UI to simplify common actions that might be required by an operator to modify the IMS system behavior.

Finally, a new enhanced 3270UI workspace has be added (“Unavailable Resources”) to provide a single screen to show the various transaction, PSB, database and terminal resources that uninitialized or not found for a given IMS instance.

OMEGAMON for Messaging on z/OS
Multiple PTFs have been delivered that cover improvements in function within both the enhanced 3270UI and TEP. PTF UA94686 delivers support to provide the user an option to keep the dead letter header in a message when forwarding a message from one queue to another or retrying a message on the dead letter queue.

PTF UA95566 provides some additional enhanced 3270UI updates. Remote queue and queue manager names from transmission queue header are displayed with message header contents when message is on a transmission queue. This is shown anon a new workspace (“Message Descriptor Details”) while the “Message Contents” workspace is updated, and the “MQ Events” workspace is updated with a new Event Archive tab

Z Trial for OMEGAMON for JVM on z/OS
Have you heard of Z Trial yet? It provides you with the ability to get hands-on experience with the latest IBM Z software at zero cost and no need to install any software in your environment. You simply sign up for the trial you want and a virtual system is provisioned for a short period of time to work though. Each trial comes with fully documented tutorials to guide you through the trial in minutes.

We’re pleased that OMEGAMON for JVM is the first offering in our portfolio to be made available on Z Trial. If you have Java-based applications or runtimes in your environment, or looking to expose existing applications as APIs through z/OS Connect EE this trial is for your operations team to work through four scenarios on how to monitor and manage these new workloads taking no more than an hour in total to complete.

End of Support announcement of OMEGAMON V5.1 and V5.2 levels
In February, we formally announced we will be ending support for the V5.1 and V5.2 levels of OMEGAMON offerings. This will take effect after October 31, 2019 so there is plenty time to migrate to a later supported level. By moving to the latest levels you will get richer support in the OMEGAMON Enhanced 3270UI together with performance improvements across many of the products and exploitation of new functions in the latest levels of monitored subsystems.

What’s next?
What’s coming in the second half of the year? I can’t reveal everything but there is plenty in the pipeline. One alert all existing OMEGAMON customers that make use of the Tivoli Enterprise Portal (TEP) should be aware of is the need to refresh the Java certificates used to sign the application support installed into the TEP. The current certificates expire on November 1, 2018 and the OMEGAMON products will be issuing fixpacks that should be applied in advance of this date to avoid problems. Alternatively, you can open a PMR against ITM to get all Java re-certified. See this technote for more information.

If you’re interested in learning more the latest OMEGAMON updates, feel free to reach out to me, or sign up for our quarterly newsletter covering all aspects of systems management on Z.

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