Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IBM Smartcloud Analytics - Log Analysis

IBM SmartCloud Analytics - Log Analysis lets you analyze unstructured data to help identify, isolate and resolve problems. The software integrates data from multiple sources including logs, events, metrics, support documents and trouble tickets.

Recently IBM has added support to  IBM Smartcloud Analytics - Log Analysis for System z logs and WebSphere on z logs.  In the next few weeks we will be doing hands on lab events to allow users to see what you can do with IBM Smartcloud Analytics - Log Analysis to address System z management issues.  I will be posting more information on the dates, times, and locations of these events.

For more on IBM Smartcloud Analytics - Log Analysis, here is a link:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

OMEGAMON related sessions at the Share conference in Anaheim

There were quite a few OMEGAMON and systems management related sessions at Share in Anaheim.  Here's a list with links to the handouts:

Become an OMEGAMON Power User

RMF: The Latest and Greatest

OMEGAMON XE for Storage V5.2 Enhancements for z/OS 2.1

 IT Analytics and Big Data - Making Your Life Easier

 Monitoring IMS Performance for Faster Problem Solving

 Managing z/VM & Linux Performance Best Practices

OMEGAMON Thresholds, Profiles, and User Interfaces 

OMEGAMON XE for Storage - Hints and Tips to Improve Performance and Usage 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Some notes from the Share conference in Anaheim

I was at the Share conference this week in Anaheim.  Share is, as always, what I consider to be the premier user-driven mainframe and z/OS event.  There were a lot of very good technical sessions this week.

The themes of the conference included some items that have been covered before, such as cloud, z/OS 2.1, and security.  There was also a focus on analytics, with quite a few good sessions in that area.

Starting out the week there was a good session on IMS V13.  There was also a DB2 11 for z/OS Overview. 

Here's a link for DB2 11:

At Share I presented on "Become an OMEGAMON Power User".   In case you missed my webcast from last year on the topic, here's a link to the presentation:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

More on Pulse

On Tuesday there was an interesting user session on OMEGAMON deployment.  Representatives from three OMEGAMON customers (Lockheed Martin, Total Systems, St of CA) led a Q&A session to discuss their deployment and usage of OMEGAMON in their respective shops. 

Two of the three shops reported that they have converted their install process to PARMGEN and have seen very good results.  Install times and maintenance windows have been reduced markedly by using PARMGEN processing.  Lockheed Martin has deployed the e3270ui and have already customized quite a few screens in the e3270ui.  They reported that screen customization seemed relatively easy and straightforward (although some screens can take longer).  State of California reported they have seen much benefit out of being able to deploy OMEGAMON and ITCAM using the Tivoli Portal and being able to present customized views to various user audiences, depending upon their respective requirements.  On the other hand, Total Systems still seemed to prefer traditional "green screen" approaches.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Some observations so far from the Pulse conference.....

Well, I just attended the Pulse general session.  It's always interesting and educational, since it's here that you get a feel for the tone and perspective of what's happening technology and business wise.

There are some clear themes that I'm sure will be repeated often at the show.  The first one is, of course, cloud.  Cloud, and the support of cloud, will continue to be a dominant theme.  Along with SaaS (software as a service).  Look for much more to emerge from this paradigm.

Other buzz words to be aware of?  Mobile is one.  Mobile will be a pervasive them going forward, as is Open.  There has been a big emphasis on IBM adhering to open standards. 

From a specific technology perspective, what does this mean?  A couple things were mentioned.  One was Bluemix (a development environment based on open standards), and another was IBM's acquisition of Cloudant (a cloud based database service).

Bluemix sounds interesting, and if you want to learn more go to:  www.bluemix.net

Friday, February 21, 2014

Smartcloud Analytics Log Analysis and System z

Smartcloud Analytics Log Analysis refers to an IBM solution that looks at log data from a variety of sources (servers, applications servers, middleware, you name it), and parses through the log data looking for indications of issues and anomalies.  Smartcloud Analytics Log Analysis, or SCA LA for short, provides the backbone, if you will, for employing Big Data type techniques to analyze system activity, and identify issues. 

I will be posting more on SCA LA in the coming weeks.  SCA LA is interesting technology, and I see this area of Big Data and Analytics as being a major area of innovation in the realm of systems management. 

Meanwhile, here is a link for more information (and a free download to try the tool out):

Pulse begins this coming Sunday the 23rd in Las Vegas

I will be attending the Pulse conference in Las Vegas beginning this Sunday.  Pulse, for those who are not familiar with the event, is the annual Tivoli (aka Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure) event.  There will be sessions and labs on a wide variety of Tivoli (aka C&SI) technologies.  I'm sure there will be some announcements on new and emerging technologies, and I will try to forward the announcements that I think are most relevant to System z.

For those of you attending Pulse, there will be a reception on Tuesday night for System z people.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Some interesting upcoming technical presentations

Coming next week is a set of presentations on DB2 11.  "DB2 11 for z/OS: Technical overview and hot topics" will cover much of what has been added to the new DB2 release.  Announced in October 2013, DB2 11 offers many improvements in performance and CPU savings, including management of large volumes of data with minimal disruption for running applications. Hear about hints and tips for a fast migration, pitfalls to avoid and important lessons learned from early client experiences. Learn about many important enhancements and other DB2 11 news.

The event is delivered in two parts, on February 18th and 19th, at 11 AM Eastern time.  To attend here is a link to register:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I will be presenting next week at MDUG

If you happen to be in the Detroit area, I will be presenting next week at the Michigan DB2 User Group.  I've built  a new presentation,  "DB2 Systems Management: It's What You Don't Know That Can Hurt You".  This is some new material, and will provide a slightly different spin on DB2 and systems management on z/OS.

The event is next week, on the 13th in Novi, MI.  To attend, here's a link for more information:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pulse conference is coming up next month

Pulse is the Tivoli conference event that happens each year in Las Vegas.  Pulse will again take place at the MGM conference facilities, beginning February 23rd. 

There is System z content at Pulse.  If you are interested in what's happening specific to System z and Tivoli at Pulse, here is a link with more information:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The most common passwords of 2013

If you use one of these passwords you may want to make a change.  A study has released a list of the most commonly used passwords in 2013.  Some of the usual suspects remain on the list.  The top five are 123456, password, 12345678, qwerty, and abc123.

Needless to say, having a weak password is one of the most common security exposures out there.  Remember watching 'Jurrasic Park' ?  How did the kids hack into the bad guy's computer system?  He left the UNIX root password remain the default (which is usually root).

Here's a link to the article:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Upcoming z Technology Summit events

Beginning next week there will be a series of z Technology Summit events at various cities in the US and Canada.  The z Technology Summit will provide multiple tracks and a set of updates on what's new and interesting in System z.

Here are the event tracks:
Track 1 - The Gold Standard for Enterprise Computing
Developed for: IT Management, IT Architects and Line-of-business Managers in zEnterprise installations
Track 2 - DB2 for z/OS® – The Database for Big Data and Analytics
Developed for: DB2 DBAs, database architects and Database Managers
Track 3 - Enterprise DevOps
Developed for: Software and application developers and testers, IT application architects
Track 4 - Middleware is the Growth Engine for the Mobile Revolution
Developed for: Application system architects, CICS programmers and administrators
Track 5 - Data Center Operations – Cloud and Systems Management Update
Developed for: Operations managers and system programmers

Washington, DC January 21, 2014
Costa Mesa, CA February 4, 2014
Chicago, IL February 12, 2014
Toronto, Ontario March 20, 2014

To attend here's a link:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The mainframe turns 50!

It's a new year and it promises to be an interesting one in the area of the mainframe.  It was a milestone for me when I turned 50 (I won't admit to when that was).  Well, guess what.  Believe it or not the mainframe turns 50 on April 7th of 2014. 

It's been quite a run, and to commemorate the event IBM is publishing a weekly mainframe journal.  This journal will aggregate mainframe content across many sources.  Here's a link:

Friday, December 20, 2013

AND and OR logic in situations

In my webcast last week a couple questions came up about AND and OR logic in the Tivoli Portal.  AND/OR logic comes into the Portal in a variety of ways.  First let's look at a situation example.

In the example below, I've built a situation that looks at a combination of CPU percent and address space name.  In other words the situation will fire only if CPU Percent is within a certain range, and only for certain Job Names.  Note that I've added CPU Percent twice which allows me to do a range, in other words CPU Percent has to be above 1% AND less than 5% AND the alert will only apply to Job Names starting with CXE.  To add OR logic I would add information into line 2 and line 3, as space allows within the situation editor.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Submitting a batch job from an OMEGAMON situation action command

Situation alerts are often the most effective mechanism to use in OMEGAMON to generate alerts.  Situations offer the most flexibility, any item of information that appears in a portal workspace may typically be incorporated into a situation alert. 

Plus, situations may drive automated actions.  If a situation is true, the situation may be enabled to issue a command.  In the context of z/OS, that would mean a command to the z/OS console.

But, what if instead of a z/OS console command you want to submit a batch job?  Well, you can do that too.  Here's how.  It uses a method similar to how IMS starts message regions by using IEBGENR to read JCL and send the JCL to an internal reader.

In the following example we see a policy with an action command.  In this example, the policy is issuing a command to start a PROC called POTWKLD, and passing the member name to submit (meaning the batch job to submit), in this example the job is in member DB2READI.  You also see an example of what the PROC looks like, and how it is set up to pass the member name to submit the batch JCL.

That's it!  This technique will work with a situation action, just as it does here with a policy action.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Another handy navigation technique in the e3270ui

As a follow on to the earlier navigation post, here's another handy little navigation technique.  When you are logged to the e3270ui, from whatever panel you are looking at if you press F9 some navigation push buttons will appear at the bottom of the panel.

Here's an example (see below).  I'm on the main KOBSTART panel.  I have just pressed F9, and now navigation push buttons have appeared at the bottom of the screen.  To navigate, position the cursor on the button, and press enter.  This should work from any panel in e3270ui.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Some handy navigation shortcuts in the e3270ui

There are some handy cross product navigation techniques available in the e3270ui.  One of the convenient aspects of the e3270ui is the ability to switch between monitoring tools (for example from DB2 to CICS, or CICS to z/OS, etc.) quickly and easily.  In Classic interface you may have to have multiple sessions going in multiple emulator windows to switch cross tool. 

In the e3270ui you may have noticed an entry on the tool bar line that says Navigate.  If you tab to and select Navigate, you will get a pull down menu that lets you select from one of the various tools available in the e3270ui installation. 

But, there are a couple short cuts.  First, you can enter N  and press enter to get the Navigate pull down.  Better yet, you can enter N.C, for example, to go to CICS, or N.Z to go to z/OS.  This way you skip having to go through the pull down menu.  Here's an example below:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I will be doing an OMEGAMON webcast on December 12th

On December 12th I will be doing a webcast on "Improve System z availability by becoming an OMEGAMON power user".  This webcast will cover many aspects of how you can use and optimize OMEGAMON more efficiently and effectively. 

I will look at quite a few optimization techniques (some of which I have already touched on here on this blog).  I will focus on Classic 3270 interface, Enhanced 3270 UI, and the Tivoli Enterprise Portal, showing multiple examples for each.

The event will happen at 11 AM Eastern Time on December 12th.

To attend, here is a link to sign up:

I look forward to seeing you on the webcast!  Feel free to ask questions!

An IBM alert for TWS on z customers

If you are a Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS) user and have the TDWC (Tivoli Workload Dynamic Console) installed and are using the z centric feature, you may want to be aware of this issue. 

Tivoli Workload Scheduler provides a secure, authenticated, and encrypted connection mechanism for communication based on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which is automatically installed with Tivoli Workload Scheduler.   If you are using the default SSL certificates, you may need tor renew them.

Please check out the following link for more information:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In the New Jersey area? Attend and OMEGAMON Open House...

If you are in the Jersey City, New Jersey area, you have a chance to attend an OMEGAMON open house event this week.  On Friday the 22nd, IBM will be holding an OMEGAMON open house event where you can take OMEGAMON on a test drive on live z/OS systems. 

This is a good chance to try out all the OMEGAMONs in a live running environment.  Try out OMEGAMON z/OS, CICS, DB2, IMS, Storage, Messaging, and Mainframe Networks.  They are all there and available for you to take on a spin.

If you are interested in attending, here is a link to sign up: