2011 and if you look back 6 months and you look forward from here 6 months, I think everyone
can see that there is a churn in technology happening that impacts business as usual. The new
CIO Business Priorities are out which were surveyed in 2010 and number one with a bullet for
business priorities is to increase enterprise growth. The number one technology priority is
Cloud computing. Both complement each other. From a staff point, it is indeed the new vision
of delivering managed services that will enable this to happen. There are several customers
I have talked with now that have found from an operations perspective, that combining both
distributed skills with mainframe skills within the same services group is starting to payoff.
A simple example can looked at using the Tivoli Enterprise Portal. Now before you dismiss this
because it is not a green screen and to slow, let me describe how the Portal can be leveraged.
When your looking at workload across different platforms which is the concept of zEnterprise, you
need to take into account, zOS and perhaps CICS,DB2. Since this is a fit for purpose system, you
may have a composite part of an application or database running on Power in a blade or Linux on x.
It could even involve some App servers running on Linux on z. There are certainly different sets
of skills that exist in IT today to provide support and management of those resources. Recently I
have seen some Automation teams now crossing the pillar boundaries by using situations, automated
tasks and the Tivoli Portal. A single team now is responsible via change control requests to
build out automation using situations provided by the Tivoli Monitoring solution. It is a combination
of staff but are responsible for building situations, documentation of them, providing actions that are
automated, ensuring that those actions are secure and support of this work. They have started to
combine CPU% from the different OS's in a single workspace with drill down capability to easily
identify within a managed workload using the system of systems, which one of the operating systems
is struggling with the workload. An at a glance view. They also have provided reflex automation
in a simple form that can take action to resolve some of these struggling CPUs. So they manage the
automation as a discipline but it includes the ITM infrastructure capabilities that provide a lot
of the function to find problems before a system or workload blows up. The technology is in place
and now it needs to be leveraged in that end to end composite view based on combining a bunch
of resources that are being managed into a single focused operation or service that supports the
business. I thought, a bright idea to combine distributed skills and zOS skills within the IT dept
to provide a base automation service to reduce MTTR, improve customer service versus two different
groups each dedicated to the existing pillars. What shape are you in?
Mike E Goodman Ends with z
with Tags: smcz X
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  situations z ism itm automation tivoli omegamon management smcz 661 Visits
Mike Goodman 270001BMTD email@example.com Tags:  netview omegamon tivoli systems management icat zos smcz 795 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:  z management smcz tivoli omegamon systems tco itil 569 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 email@example.com Tags:  cloud management z/os system z/vm tivoli smcz z 594 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  omegamon tivoli smcz tep green screen 552 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.