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New Advances in System and Network Management with NetView for z/OS
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By Larry Green, architect for NetView for z/OS
NetView for z/OS V6.2 -- it's available as of October 25, bringing more value out of the box, with additions and enhancements in several key areas.
NetView V6.1 introduced the Canzlog to bring together syslog, netlog, and job records in one consolidated log. NetView V6.2 significantly expands the power of the Canzlog to include any arbitrary grouping of systems, thus allowing, for example, simplified diagnosis of sysplex problems from a central location, without the need to log on to each system individually. The requirement to IPL in order to pick up Canzlog-related system definitions has been removed, significantly improving time to value. And complete system data is now available, with the logging of all system messages starting at IPL.
Building on its rich history of IP management, NetView V6.2 further broadens these capabilities. When faced with several network problems in the same communications stack at the same time, each of which needs its own packet trace with its own set of trace criteria, NetView V6.2 provides for up to 32 concurrent, independent traces when used in conjunction with z/OS Communications Server 2.1. If needed, you can then save the trace records in NetView itself or now in the CTRACE format for later use with IPCS or other tools. And enhancements in filtering and navigation make it easier to retrieve and view only the traces and trace records you need. NetView’s rich pallet of IP management capabilities – ranging from simple pings to connection management, DVIPA, hung ports, packet trace, sysplex, Enterprise Extender, and more – is now easier than ever to access and use, through menu-driven panels. No longer is there a need to remember commands and command syntax.
Customization for REXX is easier with simplified provision for the addition of REXX function packages and command environments. Rather than having to customize a data set member and then re-assemble and re-link it, addition of function packages and command environments is now a simple matter of adding a statement to the NetView stylesheet.
When reporting a problem to IBM Support, there is usually a set of basic environmental and status information that must be collected, such as environment variables, task information, data set status, system resource usage, etc. NetView V6.2 introduces a new serviceability client to simplify the process by collecting this information in a one-step operation.
Log files and other unstructured data represent the great preponderance of data available for operations, but gaining insight from that data can be difficult. It is scattered across the infrastructure and stored in different formats and locations. zAWARE -- the z Advanced Workload Analysis Reporter -- is an analytics engine available for the zEnterprise EC12. Using advanced statistical methods, it observes and learns what is normal activity in the system, and then recognizes unusual events, such as an unexpected sequence of messages, or the absence of expected messages, or normally infrequent messages appearing too often. Anomalous behavior can be surfaced to NetView for z/OS, where it is available to NetView services such as automation to take action in response, or to generate events that can be forwarded to Netcool OMNIbus, or for problem analysis through the Canzlog.
When authorized and enabled by IBM NetView Monitoring for GDPS (5698-BMP), NetView for z/OS brings its powerful monitoring and automation capabilities to the new Active/Query configuration of the GDPS Active/Active continuous availability solution. This new configuration enables customers to use IT capacity in secondary sites for query (read only) transactions, thus exploiting a new workload balancing capability.
This is just a sampling of what's new in NetView for z/OS V6.2. Take a look!
Larry Green is the architect for NetView for z/OS, with nearly 30 years experience in network and systems management, automation, and related areas. He is a member of several IBM architecture teams, is the Tivoli Lab Advocate for a large North American customer, and works closely with customers and technical sales teams around the world to provide service management solutions to IBM clients.