IT goals for monitoring mainframe environments may not appear to have changed much over the years – except that you need to respond much faster to unexpected events, handle huge volumes of events unheard of a decade ago, handle events proactively before they become issues and do this in environments that grow more complex every day. Fortunately, OMEGAMON® capabilities have continued evolving along with the modern data center.
Let’s explore your z/OS® systems with Tivoli® OMEGAMON XE on z/OS. You’ll see how it can be used to monitor and alert you to potential problems and help solve real issues in large z196 and z/OS systems. Join us for this complimentary teleconference to learn in detail about the capabilities in OMEGAMON XE for z/OS for monitoring your System z® environment. As a key component of IBM’s overall Integrated Service Management portfolio on System z, OMEGAMON XE is a performance and availability solution to that can analyze, manage and optimize operating systems, databases or other environments. It detects and recovers potential problems in essential system resources automatically and offers advanced reporting.
In this session, you’ll come away with details on how OMEGAMON XE can help:
• Reduce the cost of administrating security on the mainframe by reducing complexity and using fewer staff resources • Automate security policy enforcement to implement best practices and compliance requirements • Analyze data to detect and respond rapidly to internal and external security events and threats • Proactively handle events with automated closed-loop remediation that closes exposures • Protect sensitive data and simplify the lifecycle management of encryption keys • Consolidate cloud security management for zEnterprise™
Speaker: Joe Winterton, OMEGAMON XE on z/OS Release Manager, IBM Software Group
Broadcast date: July 28, 2011, 11 a.m., EDT Developed for: IT and enterprise architects, IT managers, system analysts, system administrators, system programmers, and operations managers Register now for this teleconference by logging onto ibm.com/software/systemz/telecon/jul28 Join us after the teleconference for a live question-and-answer session. The teleconference will also be available for replay after the event.
Today, July 12th, IBM announced the new zEnterprise 114, a
new model of the zEnterprise systems that is designed for mid sized clients. We
began this journey last year with the launch of zEnterprise as a model for
hybrid computing.This marked a
significant shift from the traditional mainframe system by enabling our clients
to host mainframe and distributed workloads on one platform with a single
management system. It's also the fastest and most scalable system in the market
place today.Coupled with our software, including
designed to leverage the unique attributes of zEnterprise, our competitors can't
come close to matching the total zEnterprise solution.
software is a major part of this launch. Tivoli
has announced a Statement of Direction (http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca/1/897/ENUS211-271/ENUS211-271.PDF) for future support of the new zEnterprise Unified Resource
Manager API to provide enhancement to the current Integrated Service Management
support for System z provided.
Speaker: Kirk Bean, NetView® Product Manager, IBM Software Group
Date: July 7, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. CDT
As networks become more complex and IT shops integrate
their IBM® System z® and distributed platforms, improved network
automation is essential to both increased availability and improved
utilization. In this Webcast, we’ll discuss the value of increasing
network automation capabilities for System z, System p® and System x®
platforms across both SNA and IP networks. This improvement is a key
requirement in supporting new business opportunities, and new hardware
like the IBM zEnterprise™. You’ll learn how to set up your System z
environment to react quickly to events for increased availability, and
achieve operational efficiencies to free up needed business and IT
Canzlog, a combined network and system log, brings together years of
"wouldn't it be nice" ideas for browsing. See how 47 message
attributes are kept, displayed, and used for automation and by REXX
programs. Come learn simple steps for automatic archiving and seamless
browsing. Canzlog can be shared with IBM service or moved to a backing
store when needed.
IBM today announces a new version of the industry leading
Network Management for System zNetView product.NetView provides the automation, network and
systems management that System z customers require within their expanding
network requirements today.As network requirements, such as adding mobile devices, increases the need for a complete network management solution will be increasingly important.NetView provides the
visibility, control and automation across SNA and TCP/IP networks necessary for
IT to deal with all the changing network and system requirements that exist on
System z.In addition, NetView provides
extensive system and network automation support.
The new NetView, Version 6.1
is focused on:
Enhanced problem determination and
management to increase operations efficiency and effectiveness.
High Availability and
Automation for improving overall system availability.
Problem Solving with network and system log browsing supplied by the new Canzlog
Enhanced automation with new consolidated message logging using Canzlog.
Improved problem diagnostics and management with new packet tracking and analysis.
Extended enterprise resiliency for continuous availability and business continuity with
NetView is a key component of IBM's Integrated Service Management
on System z, and works with a number of other key products, including Tivoli
System Automation, OMEGAMON for Mainframe Networks and the new GDPS Active/Active
support. This announcement will help IBM customers gain improved system availability, enhanced productivity and easier problem management.
ASAP 2011 – This year, ASAP - the 23rd Annual Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS) User Education Seminar - was held in a sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 11-13, 2011. A large number of TWS Customers attended. 50 different companies coming from all over the world, joined together and met with IBM experts, to exchange knowledge around TWS, and to share ideas, best practices, issues and solutions. The ASAP was kicked off by Kendall Lock, Director of the IBM Rome Lab, who presented, with pleasant humor and great efficiency, the "key ingredients " of how to apply Workload Automation in ways in which business can be expanded and streamlined. "A Smart Workload Automation solution" he said" in the hands of Smart People, at the right maturity level, can help you getting relevance in the organization within a strategy for continued success at your business". The four-day conference continued with nearly 60 technical sessions, plus "birds of a feather " sessions, held by IBM Rome Software Development Lab, IBM Subject Matter Experts, Customers, and Business Partners. The sessions were organized into four tracks, focused on different areas of interest (mainframe, distributed systems, end-to-end solutions, and sponsors sessions) to provide topics addressed to all the different attendees. Also, sessions were targeted to all levels of experience, spanning from beginners to advanced experts. The opportunity to get a TWS certification was given as well, and had a lot of great participation. Finally, among sessions and informal exchange of information, we didn’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the place, and the warm evenings in Fort Lauderdale, in nice restaurants along the beach or in a travel boat kindly offered by a Sponsor. Submitted by Flora Tramontano.
Businesses today are
requiring new levels of agility, and the ability to quickly deploy new
applications and business services.In
addition, customers are battling growing IT infrastructure complexity with many
tiers and nodes of independent resources, such as smart phones and iPADs, spread
over the enterprise. Businesses have realized that system management
information currently available does not typically offer an end-to-end business
and IT view they require. Enterprises see this today
in many parts of their IT infrastructure.
* Automation policies that
are limited to tier and node boundaries.
of resources each speaking a different language with a different protocol.
* Server and Data redundancy
pervasive as they all create copies of data.
* Security concerns and
overhead needed to manage all the heterogeneous silos
And while other vendors are
focused on homogeneous virtualization to address expanding environments, IBM is
turning up the heat and its leadership by focusing on embracing heterogeneous
architectures that take part in the execution of the end-to-end transactions.
Imagine having tighter
integration between the database and the applications that need access to
System z data but run on a distributed platform. Imagine a new IT
infrastructure that is a mix of heterogeneous processors with the ability to
have many virtualized servers that can be managed as one. Welcome to a new
dimension in computing with zEnterprise System.
Moving to zEnterprise will
require expanding the IT Service Management capabilities.IBM’s has developed an end-to-end business/IT
Service Management approach called Integrated Service Management or ISM to
expand the concept of IT Service Management beyond the Datacenter.An integrated approach to service management
allows the interconnection of Datacenters with overall design & delivery
across the enterprise operations and lines of business.It includes specific support targeted at
Industries.ISM for zEnteprise focuses
on support for the heterogeneous platform environment across System z, p and x.
ISM looks at the entire IT
and business infrastructure, people and business processes to provide:
* Visibility to see your
business, so you can monitor your services, and measure service delivery
against key performance indicators
* Control of your business
services, so you can effectively manage change, security,compliance of Smarter Services, while
minimizing risks to the business
* Automation to improve your
business, by automating your business and IT processes and procedures so you
can speed delivery of innovative services and change the economics of service
For clients deploying fit
for purpose business services to a zEnterprise infrastructure and across the
Datacenter, IBM’s Integrated Service Management (ISM) approach extends the
capabilities of the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager with the visibility, control
and automation required to manage in the context of overall business service
objectives. IBM service management ensures service quality and integrity from
the next generation of data centers with:
* Visibility across smart
assets and information technology infrastructures
* Change, security and
storage management for improved control
* Automated delivery and
management of technology across virtualization & clouds
* Workload optimized systems
with integrated energy, systems and service management
* Flexible delivery models
Within a shared context of
the integrated service models and service objectives, businesses can realize
the maximum potential of improved operational advantages, optimized business
advantages, and realized organizational advantages required for competitive
The Tivoli portfolio for
Integrated Service Management extends the new dimension of technology
introduced by the zEnterprise hardware and contextually have launched four new
Tivoli solutions in order to address the main areas of the Services Management:
performance availability management, automation management, security and
compliance management and asset and financial management.
IBM’s new zEnterprise
represents the logical extension of Integrated Service Management (ISM) approach
to the hardware as matter of the fact that ISM objective is to simplify IT
complexity whether that is a zEnterprise system or a hybrid Datacenter composed
by physical and virtual servers.
A key component of the new
zEnterprise is the Unified Resource Manager, which is an integrated System z
management facility responsible for zEnterprise platform management.The Unified Resource Manager enables clients
to install, monitor, manage, optimize, diagnose, and service resources and
workloads across System z, Power and System x from a single point of control
while extending System z qualities of service across the entire infrastructure.The Unified Resource Manager is a key new
Platform and Hardware Management component of Integrated Service Management on
IT organizations recognize
they must move toward true end-to-end service management that allows them to
support their business needs and away from the managed silos that can’t provide
a single end-to-end view with a unified point of control.
The zEnterprise extends the
value of System z across multiple platforms to allow a fit for purpose approach
to optimize workloads to achieve the overall lowest cost approach for an Enterprise total business
environment. With the ability of the zEnterprise to support multiple operating
systems and hardware platforms, customers can now have one environment across
which Integrated Service Management provides visibility, control and automation.With these platforms as part of a single
system, ISM provides a single view across all of them and the flexibility to
automatically and securely monitor and manage workloads between them to address
With Visibility, Control and
Automation from Integrated Service Management for zEnterprise, customers will
be able to achieve the promise of value of a heterogeneous zEnterprise.
Judith, it is a pleasure to have you as a guest blogger for Integrated Service Management (ISM) on System z. You have written extensively on ISM, including my personal favorite, a short booklet titled “Service Management for Dummies” and the recent white paper “Bringing Automation to the Data Center”. Currently, Hurwitz and Associates is in the forefront of the analyst community that is assessing the potential impact of IBM’s new system zEnterprise.
I’d like to spend a few minutes with you to understand the importance of the revolutionary hybrid technology introduced with zEnterprise and the impact on Integrated Service Management.
But, first, in general, how can ISM help extend the value of mainframes to the rest of the data center?
A - At the core of what organizations now want from their data centers is predictability; predictable costs, predictable staffing levels and predictable performance levels for IT users and customers. Mainframe computing is predictable. It is the most reliable and the most scalable of technologies. And, with today’s specialty engines and virtualization capabilities, the cost is both predictable and manageable. The overall workload for the data center is increasing because new applications are added and new connections are demanded by partners, suppliers and customers. Many of these new requirements render the new technology in place obsolete and unable to keep up with demand.
Smart IT leaders are making it a priority to control the chaos that ensues when a vast array of distributed resources are managed in a disconnected and siloed manner. These executives are looking for a new way to unify the management of complex multi-platform environments to ensure the delivery of services to customers at the right time and for the right price. Implementing a cohesive service management strategy is one of the most effective techniques to begin managing highly distributed resources as though they were a single unit. It is imperative to have a single point of control for all computing resources including the centralized data center, departmental systems, networks, applications, middleware, virtualized environments, and cloud computing environments. Applying an Integrated Service Management vision and methodology to a data center configuration with the mainframe as the centralized hub for management creates an environment with the potential for the highest quality of predictable service.
Q - Will customers adopting zEnterprise be able to leverage service management to extend the value of the mainframe to the rest of their datacenter?
A - The IBM zEnterprise System is a computing platform designed to help enterprises simplify and consolidate large-scale data centers to improve the management of complex and diverse workloads. These workloads may reside in data centers, in virtualized environments, or in private and public clouds.
To have overall end-to-end service management, organizations need a uniform and consistent control mechanism that links all critical processes together across disparate platforms. Without the ability to have this consistent control mechanism, hidden cracks between processes that exist on different systems can and often do lead to business disruption. Even with the expansive capabilities of the zEnterprise, organizations need a higher level of service management designed to incorporate environments that are outside of the scope of the zEnterprise. While the zEnterprise provides tight integration to most efficiently manage workloads for the platform, organizations also require overall management for the heterogeneous systems level. This is where Tivoli’s Integrated Service Management provides key capabilities.
Q - What are the characteristics of management software that will exploit the cost savings and simplification zEnterprise offers?
A- As we pointed out in the paper you referenced, a holistic approach to data center management is imperative for the success of today’s large enterprises. A number of factors clearly demonstrate the need for a more holistic approach to management: Compliance and security requirements from multiple sources The need to improve the efficiency of power consumption and resource utilization The need to implement and manage virtualization technologies in order to improve resource productivity Automation of business process across highly distributed environments And The need to improve the way these processes are managed.
If each service component works well in isolation there is no guarantee that the customer experience is satisfactory. All of the components have to be managed from a quality of service perspective. For example, services delivered in a department, in the data center and in the cloud all have to work in unison to meet customer expectations.
Q – The new zEnterprise introduces a level of management for workloads executed within the new environment. Can you please discuss the relationship of ISM and the new Unified Resource Manager?
A - Back to basics. Ultimately the goal is to manage any kind of workload and to do so we can identify 6 software components involved: Governance, IT process automation, workload automation, change management, configuration control and dynamic provisioning. Governance and IT process automation rely heavily on organizing operational staff to make them as effective as possible. Workload automation and change management apply specifically to business application software. And, configuration control and dynamic provisioning deal primarily with hardware and how software is deployed on the available hardware. It is also valid to view these six components in two groups of 3. Governance, IT process automation and workload automation involve organizing the workloads that run in the data center. Change management, configuration control and dynamic provisioning involve managing the environment to keep the hardware, operational software and the application software working together coherently and efficiently.
The zEnterprise is designed to support customer requirements to improve the management of complex and diverse workloads. Workload management firmware, called the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager, has been created to simplify the integration and automation of these environments. The Unified Resource Manager can manage the hardware and virtualization layers that are built in to the zEnterprise platform in a consistent, secure, and efficient way.
Even with the expansive capabilities of the zEnterprise, organizations need a higher level of service management designed to incorporate environments that are outside of the scope of the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager. For example, there is a need to manage the environment that is closest to the customer. This includes the actual operating systems (in the case of zEnterprise this includes both zOS and Linux), the middleware, and the applications and solutions.
It is imperative to connect the operations of the physical and virtual systems to the company’s applications to ensure business services are sustained at the level of quality demanded by all constituents. An organization needs to think about overall manageability from the perspective of the impact on the business and how the level of service relates to overall business practices.
All of the components have to be managed from a quality of service perspective. For example, services delivered in a department, in the data center and in the cloud all have to work in unison to meet customer expectations. Workloads have to be optimized, overall performance has to be monitored, and security has to be assured. Integrated service management that is based on automation of business policy and rules is the only way to minimize mistakes that impact the quality of service for customers, suppliers, and partners. It simply doesn’t matter if each individual component is best of breed if the overall environment does not meet or exceed customer expectations. In this type of complex enterprise environment there needs to be a single point of control for the entire heterogeneous computing environment
IBM is a client of Hurwitz & Associates and has provided compensation to Hurwitz and Associates for participation in this interview.
Have you seen this video? It's fun. It was produced to help celebrate the 10th birthday of Linux on System z. It is System z focused, but later in the clip, you'll notice a very familiar screen. It looks like Tivoli Enterprise Portal.
Link to Video http://www.youtube.com/user/IBMLabGermany#p/u/0/0i7kBnhN3Lg
did April go?Seems everyone crawled out
from the blanket of winter and stepped into a very hectic schedule.I know I did.Among the events were two key user conferences which are summarized
below. In case we did not see you this
year, we hope you will plan to attend next April.
- Automated Operations Technical Council
2010 Automated Operations Technical Council (AOTC'10) occurred in PhiladelphiaApril 12-17, 2010
and was a great success.AOTC is the
annual event for people who are interested in maximizing their investment in
automation, high availability, and business continuity.It's focus is on technical presentations
delivered by both IBM
technical specialists and automation customers that provide practical how-to
knowledge that customers can take back to the office and use.Customers from around the world shared their
experience using automation to enhance their business, along with best
practices and questions about automation.Experts from the product development lab in Germany
and the US,
the Software Migration Project Office, and other technical organizations shared
product details, demonstrations, and automation tools and techniques.The agenda included detailed information
about upcoming product vision, briefings about operating system and hardware
directions, numerous customer experience presentations, and the very popular
live version of the online user forum, which allowed participants the
opportunity to ask questions of developers and fellow automation specialists in
an open and lively format.Attendee
feedback included: "It’s the most beneficial event in the automated
operations field to get first hand information and best practices in automated
conference with good speakers, interesting subjects, and good people to discuss
with. I found many topics to take back and reassess how we have used System
Automation."For more information
about this year's event, see www.ibm.com/training/conf/us/aotc. Planning is
already underway for AOTC in 2011 and we hope that you will plan to join then.
2010 -- the 22nd Annual Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS) User Education Seminar
-- was held in Carefree, Arizona
on April 18-21, 2010.
This year ASAP was all about making the quantum leap to Tivoli Workload
Scheduler (TWS) 8.5.The four-day
conference kicked off with a keynote presentation by Kendall Lock, Director of
Rome Lab, who engaged the conference audience with examples and challenges
about how workload automation can be applied to cutting edge business projects
and act as the key driver for business processes.The conference continued with nearly 70
technical sessions about workload automation and related topics that were
presented by technical specialists from the IBM
Rome lab, customers, and business partners.Some of the attendees had this to say about the ASAP conference:
"[Just one] conversation probably save me 20 hours of work.That class alone made the conference worth
[participating in ASAP]", "The presentations were certainly relevant,
covering several things from the basics of best practices to new features and
useful hints such as the agentless 'agents'.", and "I came away with
three aha's that I could apply immediately to my TWS packages."Mark your calendar now and plan to join us at
the next ASAP on April
10-13, 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Watch the www.twsusers.org web site for more
If you missed Pulse 2010, you missed quite a lot -
Pulse 2010 hosted over 5,000 attendees from around the world and most were customers and business partners. Over 300 customers were featured speakers. Presentations, panels, discussions, workshops, hands on learning and demonstrations vied for time and attention with launches, announcements, industry roundtables, certifications and opportunities to meet the executives. Analysts summed up several key points: "Very valuable; great interactions with IBM executives, partners and customers. Messages were well articulated." -IDC, Jean Bozman "Agree that an integrated architecture view is critical for complex systems. Cloud will change that picture." -Forrester, Mike Gualtieri "Customer panel was the highlight of Pulse. Great stories from State Street, UPMC, Region of Denmark, and Unilever in particular." -Forrester, Robert Whiteley
This year, System z was everywhere. 22 breakout sessions specifically highlighted System z, with such topics as end to end transaction tracking, the cloud and system z, managing complexity and reducing costs with Tivoli. System z was prominent throughout the conference as integrated Service Management was a key conference theme. Panel sessions were very well received and encouraged discussion. System z Birds of a Feather Sessions, Expo Theater presentations, live demonstrations, “Meet the Experts” sessions began with Sunday’s Business Partner Summit which also featured a z track
View a short Pulse summary with Al Zollar:
And please plan to attend Pulse Comes to You in a city near you soon.
IBM Tivoli is hosting a seminar focused on state of the art storage management in the mainframe environment. This briefing will review the latest announcements in mainframe storage and the financial advantages of using IBM Tivoli software to manage stored data. Current storage trends, along with IBM software solutions for z/OS storage and catalog management, will be discussed. Come and join this session to see how Tivoli Enterprise Portal empowers storage administrators to monitor their storage subsystems using a browser based interface.
This technical seminar is targeted for management, technical specialists, and I/T Architects who are responsible for managing a consistent, predictable and effective storage environment on mainframe systems. No prerequisite knowledge is required, although the attendee should have an understanding of their System z storage environment.
This session is complimentary. I hope to see you there! Register for Minneapolis on April 6th @ https://www-950.ibm.com/events/wwe/grp/grp004.nsf/v16_agenda?openform&seminar=ZZZA3YES&locale=en_US
Register for Chicago on April 7th @ https://www-950.ibm.com/events/wwe/grp/grp004.nsf/v16_agenda?openform&seminar=4Q2ABUES&locale=en_US
Register for Hazelwood on April 8th @ https://www-950.ibm.com/events/wwe/grp/grp004.nsf/v16_agenda?openform&seminar=CEBG3VES&locale=en_US
Agenda: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Registration 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Mainframe Storage Hardware Trends and Directions 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM IBM Tivoli Solutions for Storage and Catalog Mgmt 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM Lunch (complimentary) 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Common z/OS Storage and Catalog Scenarios, Problem Diagnosis & Product Demonstrations Locations: Minneapolis – IBM Offices, 650 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402 Chicago – Hyatt Building, IBM Offices – Sixth Floor, 71 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606 Hazelwood – IBM Offices, 325 James S McDonnell Blvd, Building 300, Hazelwood, MO 63042
One of the challenges in reporting on large amounts of data is, well, reporting on large amounts of data! The process of collecting, storing, and subsequently displaying thousands of objects is a daunting task for any performance management tool. Certain types of data lend themselves to this quandary, and WebSphere MQ queues in large Z/OS queue managers is certainly one of those cases.
Large Z/OS queue managers can easily accommodate 1000’s of WMQ objects. I have seen customer environments which are in excess of 10,000 objects in a single queue manager. Obviously, there is a significant cost in retrieving and displaying such a large amount of data.
Understanding the requirement to reduce the TCO of system management tools, Tivoli R&D has recently delivered functionality which significantly decreases the CPU required to process large amounts of data. CPU reductions of up to 85% have been observed when executing user requests returning a result set of 16mb.
This enhancement is available for Z/OS and distributed system based OMEGAMON / ITM / ITCAM agents. The following table outlines PTFs delivering this function.
OMEGAMON V420 and XE MSG V7 Solutions APAR PTF All OMEGAMON V420 require ITM 6.2.2 FP1 IZ57703
OMEGAMON V410 and ITM 6.1 Solutions APAR PTF OM XE on z/OS OA31017 UA51634 OM XE for z/MC OA31025 UA51606 OM XE for CICS TG OA31016 UA51592 OM XE for IMS OA31020 UA52123 OM XE for Storage OA31023 UA51964 OM XE for CICS OA31015 UA51593 OM XE for MFN OA31022 UA52539 OM XE for DB2 PM00695 NetView V53 OA31027 OM XE for Websphere MQ Mon V6 OA31029 OM XE for Websphere MQ Config V6 OA31030 OM XE for Websphere MQ Msg Bkr Mon V6 OA31031
Surely you have heard the buzz around Pulse. We are now 10 days from the opening bell and hopefully you all will be there to meet in person, share best practices, and learn something. Just a few of the “special for this event” highlights:
Meet the Experts! Talk one-on-one with Product Experts Architects Developers Services Support Product Management Session Speakers Two Experts on hand at all times Walk up during open hours Schedule a Meeting Submit a question to a Kiosk Schedule Sunday, 2/21/10 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Monday, 2/22/10 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm Tuesday, 2/23/10 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Expos will include a live z10 with demos dedicated to System z software. New, improved and integrated software will be demonstrated to see and discuss. Our business partners will be actively sharing successes and capabilities.
There are 22 sessions within the Pulse curriculum with system z content, many presented by businesses like yours. There will also be 2 z Expo theatre session, and 2 Birds of a Feather sessions. AND, a system z reception on Monday evening.
Perils, pitfalls and problems need solutions. So, I asked Jasmine Noel to continue her discussion and to focus on what an enterprise might do to address the issues. Jasmine -
Tools to Tame Heterogeneous Virtualization Management
As I mentioned in my initial blog, virtualization is elevating the daily stress for over-extended datacenter administrators to alarming levels. Higher business agility and lower capital costs through virtualization can’t be achieved without sophisticated, complete, and always-on management of heterogenous virtual computing resources. In other words, agile management of heterogeneous virtualization is critical for business agility and profitability. Hence, the reason administrator stress levels are going through the roof is that they don’t have agile management of heterogeneous virtualization.
It is vital, and not optional then, that IT organizations become adept at matching increasingly dynamic needs (be they automated workload schedules or on-demand service requests) with the resource flexibility afforded by virtualization’s rapid provisioning strengths. As such, system administrators are quickly realizing that they need to look for a different type of management solution. So what are the characteristics of this new solution type?
A policy-based approach is a key characteristic of this new solution type. Virtualization enables application images to move to different virtual machines very quickly (in some cases before admins get a chance to check their emailed service tickets). Policies enable IT to introduce some necessary controls around those moves and changes. Policies can also simplify the workload to resource matching process. For example, policies can ensure that multiple workloads all run on the same virtual machine in a particular datacenter location, or incorporate time of day requirements so that a workload spans ten virtual machines during the day but thirty virtual machines at night.
Centralized management of dense computing infrastructures (be they Blades, packaged Cloud systems, or mainframes) appears to be a natural extension of this phenomena because for the first time, administrators truly need a centralized management platform to manage virtual systems. Many IT organizations are learning the hard way about the sprawl created when virtual images are deployed at will with minimal oversight or visibility into how the environment is changing. System administrators need management solutions that make oversight and resource visibility as quick and seamless as deploying the virtual images. Solutions which afford centralized control over all virtualization options and extend across a diverse infrastructure enable optimal use of administrators’ time.
Besides centralization, the solution should also have a workflow-based approach to automation embedded in its design. Automating the many other tasks (patching, security checks, compliance checks, etc.) that surround virtual image deployment drive down the business risk of high-speed image deployment. When these tasks are orchestrated as complete workflows, IT productivity skyrockets, which gives administrators the time to focus on policy design and decision-related resource analysis.
There is no escaping these solution requirements. The system management status quo can’t deliver the agile management of heterogeneous virtualization that is essential for business agility and profitability. What administrators can do is demand that management vendors prove how they deliver on these requirements.
IBM is a client of Ptak Noel and has provided compensation to Ptak Noel for
participation in this interview.
Perils, pitfalls and problems of managing heterogeneous virtualization
Recently I spoke with Jasmine Noel, founding partner of Ptak Noel and Associates, LLC, regarding her research on the increasing drive for virtualization. What follows are some interesting observations -
"Enterprises keep asking for more agility (i.e. deploy more stuff even faster) and lower capital costs (i.e. minimize idle resources). Virtualization seems like the perfect answer. Virtual images can be deployed faster to provide more agility. More virtual images can be packed onto fewer physical systems to lower capital costs.
If only that were the end of the story.
Datacenter operations teams are realizing that virtualization is not a homogeneous, one-size-fits-all solution. Enterprises seem intent on acquiring different virtualization platforms as well as heterogeneous hardware platforms. This heterogenous virtualization is changing systems administration in some very fundamental ways: • Virtualization decouples the traditional server and OS management from the physical hardware. This means administrators are being given a bunch of new, overlapping tools to manage the different virtual systems, which increases the potential for errors that impact business services. • Virtual image management becomes more important (because someone will have to clean out the inevitable virtual sprawl) and more complex (because someone will have to minimize the business risk of high-speed image deployment). • Matching dynamic workloads to virtual resources that can be easily and automatically added, deleted, moved or changed can’t be done manually. Imagine trying to hitch a bucking rodeo bronco to a wagon that changes size every few minutes -- which doesn’t bode well for guaranteed completion of critical business workloads.
There is no escaping these issues. Every enterprise has virtualization strategies for different types of infrastructure and applications. No single form of virtualization fits every aspect of those strategies. Thus there will be different hypervisors in the enterprise -- heterogeneity will persist. So what can be done about it? • Start educating the executives that a virtual image needs proactive administration to keep it healthy They also need to understand that managing a roster of hundreds of virtual images is vastly different from keeping a spreadsheet list of 10-20 golden configurations. IT staff will need a major productivity boost keep up. • Start seriously thinking about managing resources via policies, since it’s the only way to control changes that can happen automatically. • Start evaluating which of the repetitive administrative activities can be done in a cross-platform, cross-VM manner. The more those tasks can be automated, the more time there’ll be to spend on avoiding the perils, pitfalls and problems of managing heterogeneous virtualization."
IBM is a client of Ptak Noel and has provided compensation to Ptak Noel for participation in this interview.
As you consider moving workloads to Linux on System z, you will want to evaluate which workloads are the best fit. Ideally, data intensive or mixed workloads are best suited for System z whereas CPU intensive workloads may be better run on other platforms. On a recent webcast where I was co-presenting with Bill Reeder (IBM Linux Enterprise Servers), we discussed best workloads for Linux on System z which leverages the strengths of System z like WebSphere MQ, Domino, SAP. We also talked about good workloads for Linux on System z which run well on Linux on System z but can also run on other platforms. So, there are other factors (e.g. organizational politics) which must be evaluated in deciding the ideal platform for workloads.
OMEGAMON XE for Messaging on Z/OS provides comprehensive statistical information on application workloads using the MQI. When transaction response time degrades, it is helpful to isolate the delay to the offending subsystem. The Application Statistics feature facilitates problem identification, providing clocks and counts by MQI request type, for all monitored applications.