Hard to believe it is already October. Hope readers of this got at
least some vacation during the summer. Since my last post I have
been to SHARE, zExpo as well as many customer visits. At this time
the OMEGAMON family v 5.1 release now include Messaging, IMS and
Storage as well as CICS, zOS and DB2. The last of the releases,
Mainframe Networks, is about to come out the door. Many of the
companies are already in production and using the new enhanced
3270 user interface as well as the other features and functions of
the portfolio including zIIP enablement and the use of specialty
processors if they are available. I am amazed that the OEM vendors
claim that they use less MIPS because they leverage specialty processors
and leave out the fact that OMEGAMON does this also. It seems to be
that this is something they are the only vendor to provide when in fact,
that is not the case. Hopefully, when folks understand where you compare
apples to apples versus apples to starfish, OMEGAMON is not the villain
that some vendors make it out to be on MIPS usage. Most of these discussions
are what I would call a marketecture vs reality.
Meantime, on developerworks, I have placed some documentation. An updated
Parmgen reference upgrade guide, some e3270ui workspace reference layouts.
Kind of a cheat sheet to understand the layouts. Also, many of you
have taken advantage of the OMEGAMON open house events that have taken
place around the world.
Pulse is coming, March 3-6 and abstracts are being called for. We continue
to add z content to this event. This year the Automated Operations Technical
Conference will be joint located in the Pulse conference. Just like last year.
Also the Parmgen lab will be repeated.
Well, I will promise to update this a bit more regular than lately.
Here is the link to the System z Management team room on Developerworks.
go get registered and get the latest and greatest tidbits and advice.
Mike E Goodman Ends with z
with Tags: performance X
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  smc systems omegamon z tivoli pulse availability performance management 893 Visits
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  systems tivoli omegamon management z/os cics performance 718 Visits
well, a long time between updates but with traveling and customer calls it has
been very busy. A lot of buzz on the newest releases of OMEGAMON v 5.1. Some
nice analysis from Joe Clabby and Richard Ptak. A Google search on them will
bring you to their reports. Since going to Pulse and SHARE, I have been traveling
to different customers throughout Europe and the States. Talking with the
system programmers about the new releases, it generates a good discussion on how
the new v 5.1 releases are being adopted. The new enhanced 3270 user interface
is gaining favor with both the long time OMEGAMON users and also those that have
been using different vendors products. The user interface has been designed to
be an intuitive UI that doesn't take much effort to learn and use. If you at
IMPACT this week in Vegas, visit the Ped's area where there is the ability to
view and asked questions on the OMEGAMON XE for CICS v 5.1 as well as the z/OS
Currently for those customer around the Chicago area there is a come and drive
scheduled for May of the OMEGAMON v 5.1s. A way to sit down and play with the
products so that is always a good thing to do. The early access programs are
still ongoing with the rest of the OMEGAMON family and next releases on the
monthly calls to solicit systems programmers feedback on what we build and deliver
in the upcoming months.
Steps to participate:
1. A completed nomination form should be completed and submitted.
For Customers and Business Partners, please use the following link
(you will need to login with your IBM Web ID):
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  management it tivoli performance systems z omegamon ism 838 Visits
Today Tivoli announced the OMEGAMON v5.1 CICS and z/OS products. I have been working with
customers and development for over 16 months on concepts, design and a usability. Much like
monitors that have grown up over time, Customers have asked, we need this metric, we need
that metric and the randomness of how subject matter experts perceived where this should be
viewed was almost always up to the individual developer. In deciding to change the course
and structure of the OMEGAMON portfolio, we decided we needed to talk with the system
programmers that used our tools to solve performance problems. Talk about folks that had
a lot of concerns to discuss. It wasn't about being able to view data splashes of huge
rows of data, it was about being innovative and how to organize metrics into information.
In some cases, the discussion was that we need to pull 90 thousand rows of data, then we
filter and sort all the while eating MIPS to find a single user who was hung or a single
transaction. That is the way it was done in the past, so thinking about what problem
they were trying to solve, a new find command. So don't return huge amounts of data,
simply return what I am trying to find. Most users can remember their user id. Even the
help desk folks could use this ability to free sessions and users . It was discussions
in early adopter programs and reviews with outside in design and interviews
with the SMEs that use our tools that generated what is the basis for the 5.1 releases.
The refresh of the portfolio was a little overdue and while some might think that enhancing
a green screen is a thing of the past, when you look at resource monitors across the
different technologies whether open systems or z, updates are always appreciated. There
is up and coming work for more early adopters programs and designs for this brand and
we will continue to enhance and deliver the changes required for SMEs for today's problems.
Here is an opportunity for system programmers responsible for solving today's performance problems on today's systems to
work with development to help design a tool that solves what they need to accomplish. Over
100 pieces of feedback went into these releases. We reviewed every month with the customers
who recommend changes in the design, metrics, use cases. One customers said he needed to
be able to work with web services. Agile means that bubbled to the top on the priority list
and was delivered in this CICS 5.1 release. I encourage others that as we update the
other branded OMEGAMONs and even start work on the next phase of CICS and z/OS that you
participate. Make sure that Tivoli is working to deliver tools that you find effective and
will solve today's performance problems. It is somewhat easy to add metrics, but innovation is using KPI data
and changing it to information to streamline how you solve problems and that is an important
part of the discussion that are ongoing with our agile development work. Most of today's
monitors were built awhile ago. Some are older than the young system programmer using them to
try and solve problems. Leveraging your knowledge and being innovative is a better path. While
looking at the past, we can make effective changes to revise and change the design the tools
you require for the job of the future. SME designed tools for SMEs that Tivoli builds and delivers. Neat.
If your at Pulse or SHARE, there are demos and presentations available and look me up. I will
be at both.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  omegamon ism ibm performance ims z/os tivoli systems 855 Visits
For our IMS folks.
OMEGAMON XE for IMS v420 IF3 just was made generally availablebased on processing all 10 messages.
and is focused on two areas: Improved granularity for
application metrics and usability enhancements to Application Trace.
OMEGAMON collected application metrics previously based on an application
schedule. That is, if an application was scheduled and processed 10 messages
before terminating the application metrics displayed were cumulative
IF3 has modified this and now displays application metrics based on unit of recovery (UOR).
In this fashion, runaway applications are easier to spot. In addition twenty-five new metrics
have been added to the OMEGAMON 3270 and TEP views. Some of these include new IMS
application calls (ICAL), external subsystem calls, elapsed times for intent conflicts,
pool space, and application scheduling as well as VSAM/OSAM I/O counts.
OMEGAMON XE for IMS v420 greatly enhanced the application trace capabilities. OMEGAMON XE
for IMS v420 IF2 added CPU and elapsted times for DL/I, DB2, and MQSeries calls. We've
enhanced these capabilities in IF3 by making them a bit easier to use. An application trace
repository has been added which retains all application trace requests. These requests,
once activated, will remain active across OMEGAMON starts if so desired. The management of
application traces is easier with an updated management interface.
This updated interface allows more trace filtering options as well as the ability to
add, delete and clone trace requests. In addition, the interface allows viewing by trace
request saving screen switching. The trace filtering interface has also been greatly enhanced.
One can specify multiple transactions, programs, abend codes, scheduling classes, among others.
New to filtering is the ability to filter by region type and elapsed and/or CPU time, either
total or by DL/I, DB2, or MQSeries call type,
The largest enhancement to application trace in IF3 is the exception journal. One can setup
an exception trace specifying service level commitments in total application elapsed time,
abend conditions, elapsed time by call time (DL/I, DB2, and/or MQSeries), and total CPU time
for the application or by call type. This is an especially useful feature for higher volume
shops where 99.9% of the applications run within the defined service level commitment times.
For those problem transaction instances, application trace will capture the trace data and save
this off in a new exception repository. This should make finding mis-behaving transaction
quicker to locate.
The best thing about this IF3 is that it had a beta with several customers, and the input on how
it should work, act and function was part of the agile process of development and reviewed monthly
with the customers requesting these functions which enabled them to retire another vendors
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  xe tivoli performance z omegamon ism system zenterprise tuning 798 Visits
So for those folks going to zSymposium in Vienna, please look me up as I will be there covering a topic
entitled "the new Virtualized Data Center". It seems as IT organizations move to use virtualization to
save costs, floor space all those benefits, some groups run on their own so instead of having a virtualized
platform, they end up creating even more silo's with in the IT groups. A lot of choices out there for
hypervisors, OS support, etc. A lot of good data on why zVM and linux on z is the most cost effective if
your IT shop has z/VM. Another thing for our OMEGAMON XE users is that we have been working on a
performance tuning document. I always chuckle when I listen to all the hype about a vendors claim
about how they use less MIPS then a Tivoli solution. The concern that I see is that the
depth and breadth of what is monitored is in the eye of the system programmers. When you actually get
down to getting the research or comparable apple to apple monitoring, much of it is the same, one
monitor might be less on z/OS, but use more with monitoring CICS. The approach seems to be to discuss
one monitor where it might be true, but then use that to justify all the monitors. There is a point
where in most cases, a full suite of performance monitors for the zOS systems and subsystems including
z/VM and Linux are not available from most vendors like they are with OMEGAMON. For this reason, systems that were installed
5 years ago or even last year, still need to be tuned as z platforms change. The field technical support
folks who travel and work with customers to help reduce MIPS consumption by doing health checks on
the production level z using the OMEGAMON portfolio and giving tuning recommendations
have help put together a best practices tuning book. The pdf is located on developer works at this url
System Hygiene is important so this document will help as it gives you tips and hints on how to reduce
MIPS usage. A must read for system programmers. I know it will help.
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  tivoli performance z/os proactive service omegamon management 527 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 email@example.com Tags:  green systems ibm omegamon tivoli screen performance management 792 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..