Well a bit of vacation and catching up. A couple of things to let you all know
about. The OMEGAMON documentation has come up with some improvements about providing
an easier way to use the all the documentation that is provided. The OMEGAMON XE Integrated
Information Center is a redesigned way to access data. Instead of looking within one book about
something, when searching it covers the many books that are delivered with the product. Hopefully
this will make it easier to find what your looking for. It is worth going and looking
at the quick start section which provides some guidance on how to use the changes that have been
added. It has been vastly improved to help install and configure the products. So, recommend you all
check it out. .
This week is zExpo in Boston where it is a bit grey and rainy, much different then the SHARE week,
however I would say, great attendance with a lot of focus on zEnterprise. In discussions with the
attendees a lot of zOS background folks but not many z Networking folks. For the zEnterprise and
the new network connectivity through the OSAs, I would like to point out that for the customer
network and new connections, that OMEGAMON XE for Mainframe Networks has support for these
connections and performance monitoring and folks that are considering using and attaching the
blade extensions would benefit by understanding or monitoring these networks proactively versus
trying to debug with pings, etc when a performance degradation appears. Is it the network?
a constraint with the lpar or blades gets a bit more crucial when your managing by workload and
fit for purpose Providing the visibility into the OSA CHPID types as an example you can have a
connection from app server to CICS, knowing its on internal network and would set higher
expectations for throughput and faster response time so you might set lower threshold on
those connections with a situation to trigger an event sooner and then notify both the network
management folks as well as the folks in charge of the zHMC admin to debug what is going on
in virtual servers and internal network. A lot of customers today work on just making sure the
connections are available, but in the future, besides the connections, performance will be a key
kpi to monitor.
Mike E Goodman Ends with z
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  tivoli ism mfn omegamon management systems z netview 696 Visits
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  automation zenterprise ism netview tivoli management systems omegamon z/os 667 Visits
For those of you that are subscribed or those that haven't, the monthly electronic magazine zAdvisor is out.
You can catch up at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/systemz-advisor/ If you haven't subscribed, always
good things to review such as Rocky's corner for some performance tips. I was at SHARE earlier this month and
have been digesting information about the new zEnterprise. The good thing for those getting 196 machines is that
from what I can figure out, the Tivoli software your using today, will work just like it does today. Some new
things like the optimizer blades will be managed by OMEGAMON XE for DB2, etc as new functions are being exploited
for the fit for purpose workloads that the machine is designed for. For those folks that have added zOSMF to
the z, the OMEGAMON development team has added a technote and it should be posted shortly on the zOSMF website of
how to add a link for OMEGAMON from the performance links displayed on zOSMF. Some very cool discussions are
now going on as to how organizations will look at managing events, performance, operation views as either
different systems or as a system of systems. I have heard all types of discussions on this. Some are saying
that for the time being, we will manage it as components, yet they are also saying it will help them
step up and start managing based on service delivery. I think that the new frontier will be as service
delivery. Looking at the zEnterprise as something like a local machine, but then as a plex or group
of plexes or as a group of ensembles, managing as individual technologies will have to be coordinated across
a workload view of the fit for purpose workloads and applications. Changing something in a blade and not coordinating with
the rest of the ensemble could have a different impact if you don't understand the services being provided by
that piece of the systems of system technology. I believe it may get IT staff and strategy acting as one
component aligned with the business as it gets adopted. For those that say the z and systems management will
never change, it is what it is, then some new thinking is in line. As I get new info, I will post in my blog
some of the things that I am finding out about approaches and a pragmatic view of what you can expect. This
was just the general announcement #1, GA1 info, GA2 it sounds like is being updated and getting ready to
put on the truck. Next blog will cover some more details on the GA1 and the ISM approach
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  omegamon netview tivoli management systems icat zos smcz 882 Visits
For those of you that are subscribed or those that haven't, the monthly electronic magazine zAdvisor is out.
You can catch up at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/systemz-advisor/ Some tidbits in
this months magazine include a write up about the new alternative to installing and upgrading
the OMEGAMON product family with something other than ICAT. The ICAT tool has been around
and updated constantly since IBM acquired Candle. As part of the product management team
for the OMEGAMON family, I have traveled and discussed with customers how to improve their
experience with working with the product set. ICAT was something that either someone really
liked or someone really loathed. There was no middle ground. In March of this year, a first
phase of giving you sys prog's an alternative with what we are calling a parmlib approach
was released via some ptfs. In June, phase 2 was released which of course is more
of an autonomic way of gathering system metrics to build the RTEs. In the zAdvisor, a write up
on some of the details of what the new parmlib approach brings. For those with large
OMEGAMON installs, this will definitely save you time and effort and above all, make your
life easier especially if you found ICAT something you would have to retrain yourself on
each and every time you used it.
Also, for all those AF Oper customers, the Event Pump on z/OS now has a feed available so
messages that AF Oper sends to the syslog can be changed into EIF and sent to OMNIbus or TBSMz.
This comes along at a time when event management as a service is becoming a very important
part of what will be the cloud infrastructure service management. Being able to recognize from multiple
programs and management attributes that an impact can bring from a centralized and consolidated product is
key to understanding both what the architecture guys miss with the cloud architecture to avoid
a complete outage. Likewise if a bypass condition occurs and there is a failure somewhere in
the infrastructure that needs to be fixed prior to losing your N+1 setup. Finally if your about to miss your
SLAs for conditions that are not really an outage but a performance or degradation of a service
condition where an event has been generated from one of the many monitoring tools or systems. Lots
of reasons to get all these events to a single focal point.
For those that are heading to SHARE in Boston, look me up, I will be there.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  systems discovery z omnibus events omegamon management service tivoli taddm 903 Visits
As I discussed in my last blog, Systems management or Service Management. What is the
level of interaction from z IT groups in integrating the z platform and systems. I see this
being addressed in 3 distinct directions. The first one is pretty simple. A centralized
focal point for event management. This seems so simple to do, yet because of a deep seated
history of how events are managed or technologies that are in place, many customers today
still have no enterprise view of what would be deemed an "enterprise" event where all of IT
should have awareness. This lack of visibility and roadblock of not being able to track
events impedes the ability to do service management. Systems management might have several
event management systems, but the lack of integration of these event management systems
basically is costing the business in time, dollars and additional processes. The second
is the understanding or discovery of the systems and subsystems and their relationships or
dependencies that are running on the z platform and being loaded into CMDBs. To provide a
service such as Internet Banking and managing Internet Banking, you must have a total
inventory of all the "stuff" and the relationships of the "stuff" that makes this service
available for the clients. For example, you need a web service available 24 x 7 as part
of this service. You would need to provide, TCP/IP, HTTP, DNS, DHCP all bolted up and
running all the time, plus access security, even before defining what transaction engine
and databases are being used. If you can't define what the total inventory of "stuff"
including the transactions of Internet Banking as a service and what needs to be up and
running. Again, that is going to cost you time, dollars and additional processes.
Both of these IT functions can be done today and are the base building blocks on
moving to Service Management which enables, Cloud, SaaS and other computing models.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  z management smcz tivoli omegamon systems tco itil 614 Visits
So my last discussion here on my blog was about conferences and which ones as
z focused folks that we attend. I was at zExpo in Berlin last week with about
400-450 other z oriented folks. A lot of interactions and networking going on
most of the week. I thought the conference was great. Many sessions were repeated
and that gave a lot of us who always fear that we will pick the wrong session to
go to when you have options to actually see both. The next big conference I guess
would be back to Boston and SHARE in August. At zExpo I spent time talking about
the concept of moving from systems management which for z folks is old hat, to
moving to service management. Seems simple, but talking with the folks in attendance
it was easy to see that many of us are still very focused on ensuring that the
technology that we are responsible for is still how we manage. So, if you are
responsible for the z/OS operating system, that is your focus. When you talk
Cloud computing, SaaS, other new service oriented focused solutions, the idea
of just managing the system or z applications kinda falls flat. A service being
offered in a Cloud could depend on more than one application, security, storage,
networks and all of those items need to be managed as a coordinated action by IT and
measured all together as the service. As z folks, it is understanding that your
SME skills are just part of the team that enables the business to deliver the
service that the clients are paying for. That is what I believe ITIL 3 is about as
we try to enable IT to move out of the silos and establish the service definition
that makes the business successful. I was surprised at the conference that many
of my conversations with the attendees were along the lines of, "yes, I understand
that but my group or dept have not been involved in any of these discussions." Now
that to me was pretty disturbing that the backend systems are generating all this
business value via transactions but when involving a service delivery organization
that the z folks are somewhat participating. It would be nice to see some presentations
from IT folks on how they get organized for service management and are being successful.
Anyway, this is a short thread on the concept of up lifting systems management to the
next level, service management which is what will deliver Cloud, reduce TCO, improve
ROI and create a leaner IT that works smarter and not harder. That is something
we can all rally around.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  management stg tivoli systems automation netview omegamon z 852 Visits
Spent time at the Automated Operations Technical conference in Philadelphia last
week. Some pretty good updates on the Automation portfolio including Systems Automation
and AF Oper. Also some good details on Netview 5.4 release and all of it included some
down the road thinking. Which made me wonder, for us z folks, which is the conference
where, if we have approval, we would attend? I have some of my own opinions
here on this but I would really like to understand where the subject matter experts on
z systems and subsystems go. There is of course SHARE. They have the early spring
session, just had it in Seattle and the summer SHARE session (the voting one) in Boston
in July. Which one if you had to attend one, would you go to. Then again, would you
go to zExpo as a conference which is an STG sponsored event? That runs once in Europe in
late spring or in NA in early fall. There are also choices like Impact, Pulse for
conferences and like I said, AOTC here in the states or EOTC sponsored by the GSE group in
Europe. Are conferences not worth it? Can we get the info we need from the WWW or forum
discussions or linked in groups? Certainly the networking is better at a conference but
if you had to pick one, which one? I would be interested in hearing or reading any posted
comments on this. There are probably conferences that I have not listed. CMG for one, but
is that where you would go to get a broad view on what is happening on the z platform? I know
with some conferences you could get a deep view of say, workload schedulers, or security, etc.
but where, in your opinion, do you go to get a deep view of what is happening on the z.
Let me know,
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  systems omegamon management tivoli share event z 824 Visits
I have been trying to catch up on things but simply seem to never have
enough time. Last week, I was out at SHARE in Seattle. It seemed to be
about the same size and attendance that was in Austin. The key note on z
this year was Tom Rosamilia from IBM and STG in particular. He spent time
going over the game plan on how the z platform and operating system are
constantly changing to handle new workloads, applications and data. Some
great charts on 13 customer scenarios where customers have decided that for
some reason, an application is more cost effective to run on a distributed
open systems platform. I get asked this question all the time in my travels.
I was just in the Total solutions on system z event in Amsterdam where
a system programmer asked for help with this business justification. The
question seems to be asked at least several times a year with the idea that
it would be a cost savings. So the chart gave 13 examples from different
customers where an analysis was done on this concept. The answer was not
much of surprise to the audience, but the details of what data was gathered
for the analysis was what I thought a total sizing. I would bet if you log on
to the SHARE web site this presentation would be available to view and peruse.
It goes back to the same discussions that happened at PULSE a week earlier
when the discussions came up for when a Unit of Work becomes less on a
z platform then a multiple core distributed platforms. That discussion brought
up the crossover point at something around 250 MIPS.
A lot of presentations at SHARE this year on virtualization of everything. It
seems a lot of customers are beyond getting their feet wet now running workloads
on z/VM and Linux on z. A Tivoli perspective on this is that most of our tooling
runs on Linux on z in 64 bit mode and customers can use the z platform as a
centralized platform for managing the end to end enterprise. The approach
which was announced at PULSE in 2008 was that we needed to port our key
applications for integrated service management to Linux on z which is what
development has delivered on. Customers wanting to use the z platform for
its scalability, availability are able now to use both the z/OS Native and z/VM
and Linux on z to build out these service management application. I expect when
summer SHARE happens at Boston, then I believe we will see more and more customer
presentations virtualization and how customers are integrating tooling solutions
to generate better efficiencies for the IT staff on how to reduce costs and improve
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  cloud management z/os system z/vm tivoli smcz z 760 Visits
Well it was a great week at Pulse here in Vegas. I was surprised
by the amount of customer presentations and the details of how they
were using the Tivoli portfolio. For those that attended it was
a way to get healthy with all the walking from the conference center
back to the lobby and to the rooms. BOA, T-systems, Key Bank were just
some of the very cool presentations on how they view enterprise management
and deliver services to the clients. The presentations included
the z platforms and applications running on the z as crucial to be
included to deliver services and be managed. A lot of solutions discussed
have the customers deploying on linux on z running on z/VM. The
presentations were a great example of how customers are deploying using
the Service Management Center for z concept and managing using the z as a Hub.
Another great presentation was how this one customer was using linux on z
running on z/VM as a way to do cloud computing based on costs, scalability
and using the characteristics of the z. Many of the customer
presentations were based on moving forward on ITIL processes at several
different levels. They showed business metrics of how they are tracking
and being successful in gaining control over change and incidents
as well as moving from systems management to service management.
Many training sessions, hands on labs, demos and the solution center
was packed with business partner solutions. I attended a presentation
that showed how well integrated the tools have become.
ITCAM for Transactions was how it started out showing the topology
at different levels as a help desk or customer service group might
be looking at the enterprise. It showed end to end of both
distributed and z domains. Then the speaker generated a problem, and bang,
it shows up in ITCAM for Transactions topology and off we as the audience
went to solve the problem. Doing some analysis between MQ, CICS, DB2
to isolate the problem, then he seamlessly moved
into OMEGAMON XE to do more deep dive and further analysis as the audience
guided him to the actual failure and how it could be repaired. Lots of
other presentations gave migration ideas, end to end solutions. Although
there wasn't a z track this year, the customers included the z in presentations
and discussions because of the ever expanding critical nature of service
delivery and the capabilities of the z platform's reliability. Also, a
discussion of how at a little over 250 MIPS, that the UOW becomes cheaper
to deploy on a z versus a distributed platform. That was probably an
eye opener to a lot of attendees.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  pump management omnibus z systems omegamon tivoli zpump event 841 Visits
I was discussing the need to centralize as one process the ability
have a focal point for an event management system. Many customers today
have a group that is managing distributed systems and a different group
that is managing the z platform. This is sometimes a issue that has been
promoted over time and the business ends up with two processes. In Tivoli
for centralized management of events, OMNIbus is the product customers
deploy for integration of both z and distributed event mananagement. In
December, Tivoli released the Event Pump on z/OS v4.2.1. This product
reads the syslog for messages that the IT group has registered
as important and changes them into an event and forwards it to OMNIbus.
This gives customers with Tivoli the ability to centralize all events to a
focal point. The Event Pump on z/OS in its new release has increased the
out of the box capability of handling messages as well as picking up new
message feeds. The Event Pump on z/OS gives customers the capability
of having out of the box value as the product is delivered with a best
practice of important messages already registered to be changed into
events and forwarded to OMNIbus. RMFIII, CICS TDQ, CPSM were recently added
to DB2, IMS, CICS, SA, OPS/MVS, TWS and new feeds are generally added about
every quarter. Many sys progs have perhaps built their own way of integrating
events, but the Event Pump on z/OS has a lot of benefits vs RYO. With
the new release, the zPump has the capability for handling messages with
the same message id by being able to use literals in message text to
distinguish differences. Also, there is the capability of adding
data to the messages as they are changed into events for Operations
management. Another nice item instead the RYO approach is that
in a plex environment, a down message saying something is
offline can be brought online by a message from a different system. The zPump
has awareness of the messages so the sys progs don't have to figure out all
the particulars of what system generates the clearing messages.
The other item here is that the Event Pump for z/OS also has toolkit that is
named a Data Source Customizer which gives the sys progs the ability to
add messages or create new messages that can be registered and monitored. So
a very easy way for sys progs to integrate z messages into a centralized
event management system is with the zPump. Of course, OMNIbus or NetCool
is required, but instead of trying to keep up with new messages, upgrades to
new releases, etc etc. A nice solution.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org 349 Visits
I wanted to give a shout out to an upcoming conference call for customers and
IBMrs alike. Joe Winterton is giving an update on 'January 28 -
Exploring your z10 and z/OS systems with OMEGAMON XE for z/OS. Joe is one
of the acknowledge experts on z/OS and is a speaker at SHARE as well as the
development manager of the OMEGAMON on z/OS product. The information can
be found at this url.
Hopefully you can make time to listen in on this call. I will be back to
discussing events, z management in the next update as I am getting
ready with presentations for Pulse in February in Las Vegas on February
21-24. If your going to be at Pulse feel free to ring me up. My contact information
is in my widget on this page.
I will be bringing updates from the presentations by the customers on
how they are using the products and leveraging the capabilites of the z platform
in their companies. It should be a diverse group of discussions and technology
discussions. Reading about products is sometimes a big yawn, but listening to
how customers have deployed and leverage the products for their business I think
generates some really good thought provoking discussions. So it should be good.
One other point I wanted to make is that with the release of OMEGAMON XE for
CICS on z/OS v4.20, the OMEGAMON family v4.20s are all generally available.
Big thing in the OMEGAMON for CICS v4.20 is that the OMEGAMON XE for CICS TG
is now part of that product, so customer upgrading to OMEGAMON XE for
CICS v4.20 will get OMEGAMON XE for CICS TG as part of the
OMEGAMON XE for CICS product.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  tivoli performance proactive z/os management omegamon service 515 Visits
As I mentioned before there seems to be two strategies about monitoring
in general and I have had this discussion with many z sys progs. There
is the group that says the fastest resolution is to wait for a failure to
happen and then start working on fixing the problem which is the
best way to use their skills. The latest discussion I had on this
was with a group of customers in Toronto last month. I was talking about
the idea of finding loopers running on the z and some new techniques
with the OMEGAMON XE on z/OS v4.20 release. Some creative use of monitoring
buckets to pick them off as early as possible which by doing
this could save MIPS which is saving money versus using
the cycles for something that is going to be cancelled eventually.
That generated a whole group discussion on what happens if you generate
some false positives meaning that there isn't a looping job and it is
better to let a failure happen then generate these false positives where
the staff would be working on a perceived problem and not the real thing.
Some were for being proactive and had actually seen results with the looper
situation and others were pretty steadfast in only working on failures. In
the discussion a bit about different IT organizations came up as there
are strict department areas of control between say a group focused on
performance versus a group focused on automation. Some have performance
groups only for z and a different performance group for distributed and networks
Other groups have a silo'd approach to their area of control
and things outside their domain are not in their control and hence, not our job.
That discussion also brought up the point that to tie automation
and performance for proactive management would span several departments
which may have other priorities.
In general, the attendees viewed it important to ensure that
the z platform is inclusive of an enterprise wide strategy for achieving
the business goals that are imposed on IT and they need to work
across the silos but there are only so many hours in the week.
I know many customers have established performance automation routines
using OMEGAMON products where if a problem is uncovered with situations
where a proactive recovery routine is started or notification to the IT
staff for them to take a specified action to prevent an outage or degradation
of the system to take place. Although OMEGAMON products can deploy the "eyes"
into the systems by not needing a message to be issued to kick off an event.
The sister products like NetView on z/OS and Systems Automation actually
perform the automated actions, but how in a silo'd group does this
get accomplished for the benefit of all?
Again they all had their different domains and areas of responsibility but
With the discussion it was interesting how people react. I have
already discussed how to integrate the different managing IT staff with
different domain responsibilities by getting them to share the same view
of the problem on a piece of glass at a console. Even then some of the
attendees see no value in this. Some viewed this as a loss of control of
being in charge of their domain. I still think this saves both time and
money and could be leveraged effectively based on defining a business process.
The next step would be to integrate the performance tooling to work as a
business process to be able to sense a problem, isolate the problem,
diagnose and then repair the problem as an integrated process.
Many companies are using business process modelers to streamline actions
and provide for a competitive advantage of how a line of business manager
can generate an exacting control based on business needs.
When you think about your IT business processes, Change, Configuration, Problem,
Performance, Availability, how integrated is the IT staff and the process
to resolve events about these processes whether they are on the z platform
or from distributed platforms.
The group in Toronto all identified areas where this would help
with their jobs, but they all said, how much time in the week can you do
your job and still have time left over to talk about an automated process. There
has got to be an easier way. I guess that will be the next discussion.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  omegamon tivoli smcz tep green screen 583 Visits
So with old dogs and new tricks. It seems obvious that when something
goes bump in the night and it is detected that this information can be
sent to many different personas. The many different IT personas then
can be using many different UI presentation services from Web 2.0 graphics
to a green screen. A point here is that the bump in the night
is actually detected and can generate an event to notify the different
personas. If a problem has occurred or better yet, about to occur, with the
more screens to watch, will the IT person actually catch it without delay?
I was presenting recently at a conference meeting in Toronto when a discussion
came up about whether it is better to try to be pro-active and try to catch
system problems before they happen and risk generating a false positive or just
let the problem happen and then work on the recovery. I will come back to
that as I was actually surprised by the discussion it generated. Any thoughts
Right now there are a growing number of presentation services that have
a particular view into the IT resources of the enterprise. Tivoli has the Tivoli
Enterprise Portal, STG is delivering the z/OS MF, AIM has CICS Explorer, other
vendors are also delivering web 2.0 type consoles. As an event happens, the
problem could show up in any of these displays over the next years. I would
believe that the GUIs will grow with more options and more choices in the
years to come. It would seem that these changes are happening very quickly
with each internet technology turn of the crank. When I discuss the way
events are funneled into the personas, how do the personas get back to the
original cause of the problem.
There are really two particular things here that I believe save time and money
when your in IT and doing PD work trying to find a problem. The first item
is how if an event shows up in different GUIs, do you correctly communicate
to the IT support team, the actual problem that has occurred and then how would a
first line or second line support get to the root cause.
The strategy with the Tivoli z Portfolio is that the events can be sent to the
Tivoli Enterprise Portal which can be used as a consolidated view of many different
products as an services dashboard. So in the case of having to watch many screens
to keep an eye on the z, you only have to look at one. If an event occurs, it
shows up on the workspace view of the portal. For a business to have a
separate group watch just the z and another group watch just the distributed
environment, duplicates process, staff, adds to more complexity of managing
silos and doesn't help with any end to end view of service delivery.
For an SME that is doing their normal day job of supporting several
different z products the questiont I am asked is so what, I still will do my job
by dropping to a green screen for performance criteria, etc etc. So having
a z event show up in a Portal doesn't do me any good and I need it in a green screen.
So, a persona watching the enterprise events from the portal, needs to call or
discuss the problem now with the SME. This wastes time, adds to delay
and causes in some cases, organization slowness of response.
With the Tivoli Portal, we have added capability so that if an event shows
up in a workspace, that you can launch from that GUI workspace to the green screen
that is associated with the problem. Something we call launch in context.
So instead of having to pick up a phone and trying to explain what the event
is between the SME and perhaps the help desk or customer service,
an SME with access to the Tivoli Enterprise Portal, can launch
from the workspace right to the root cause that made the event show up on the portal
to begin with. How much money could the business lose in the 10 minutes of talk?
I don't believe that SMEs look at screens as part of the day job, but
rely on them for problem resolution based on how they do the PD work. One of the
major advantages is that you can pro-actively put situation monitors into the z systems and
subsystems, have those events sent to the portal dynamically, and then launch in
context back to the root cause. This should prevent a lot of hunting and pecking as
to where or what generated the event in the first place.
Working with the idea that an event can be sent to many different personas for an
indication of a failure whether it is an IT resource problem or even perhaps a
business process failure, and quickly from an enterprise view, get to root cause
will save time and money. So a strategy of just providing information in a green
screen or just providing information in GUIs is not a good strategy and a tool
should be able to do both with out of the box capability. Portal based GUIs are important
and growing in importance but green screens then are just as
important to resolve and to PD work. So the bridge from the GUIs to ANY green
screen and the idea of launch in context can keep the different IT personas all
focused on the same event and speed recovery which is a major part of the
OMEGAMON strategy and how it save the company money.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  green ibm systems omegamon tivoli performance screen management 760 Visits
Well, they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Things that have existed for years
and decades will simply continue to exist. Why do something new or change?
So I am a guy who has worked in IBM for 36 years, but has changed jobs and
positions every 5 years or so. I guess I have job hopped within the same business
and been luckier than most to be able to do it. The one thing that has been pretty
constant in all of this is that the z platform was here before I started with IBM and
will be here long after I leave IBM. I guess you can call it a survivor even though
there seems to be articles every year that are touting its impending doom. I think like
my job hopping, you pick up new skills, address new challenges and adapt to
keeping yourself valuable to the business. It would seem to me that the z has done
the same and continues to adapt and change, but keeps the same value proposal
that major business requires as it moves through time.
One of the interesting ideas that changing times is creating is a big stir for the z and all z
users. Is the green screen the only presentation service that is required or that
will ever be required for the z subject matter experts? This has created different
opinions from many of the businesses I talk with as well as operations folks,
tooling support folks and others in IT that are starting to see alternatives show
up on the doorstep, regardless of whether it is needed or not. As far as I have read,
a lot of the details or say the imperative of alternatives to green screens
would be that all the kids (I myself am far from a kid) or people entering the IT world
are from a gaming background or are so trained in web browsers and pop ups that
the only way to keep the business going is to change the old technologies to
adapt or adopt to make IT support and the z platform viable and to have a way to
bring new talent into the IT business.
In particular, the z stands out in this because of the vast green screens being
used today and the idea that with a greying workforce (that could be me), there
is a critical shortage of upcoming people who would find it appealing enough
to work on z systems or subsystems if it were just that plain old green screen.
That to me is pretty interesting as part of a product manager team with
Tivoli and OMEGAMON and and discussing System Management requirements
with customers because I think that down the road, there will be requirements
where both the green screen and the vast arrays of GUIs with web 2.0 and beyond
will have a pretty dramatic impact on the IT folks who support the z and z subsystems.
I think the idea of having a reach and range of information about how IT systems
are working or not working will create what I call a funnel system that works
in several ways.
A basic premise is that if you want to manage the business effectively and with
an eye on the TCO of all the running technologies deployed, you integrate an
end-to-end perspective, and ensure that any bump in the night generates an
event/alert and that gets sent to a focal point where someone or some automation
routine is running. This seems to be a standard operation within a mature systems
management IT shop. This data is filtered, reduced and hopefully has
a meaningful message when it gets to the end of the funnel and someone looks at it.
Since we are talking and end-to-end view and consolidation of this information....
Should it be a green screen? A MCS for the enterprise?
I think that the diverse information being received precludes that from ever becoming
a reality in IT. As companies staff help desks and customer service centers, it would
seem that graphics and Web GUIs are taking the predominant role with all sorts of
capabilies to sort, or display and relate impacts on the business.
In fact, this area keeps changing, it seems, every 6 months with new internet technologies
being introduced all the time. There are different use cases and personas using this
web technology that are the first line of awareness even if the trouble ticket is cut
automatically when something goes bump in the night. The event shows up at this
integrated web/portal based GUI orin some business several portals/GUIs where
the different personas might have a different IT process to work on. So, I think the case
of only having this in a green screen has passed in time.
Now the issue is if the bump in the night happened on the z or a z subsystem...haste
and speed to resolve are a priority because of the potential loss of $$. So if the bump
in the night is shown in a nice graphical web based portal, and we all know that web
response time is not what you call as dynamic as a green screen, it creates the dilemma
that IT people are discussing. Is there only one choice here or multiple?
Is it better to have a wide range of data available to view or is it better that we need a
quick reach into the z system and subsystems with speed?
Next up Funneling out..