Mainframe teams at APIS IT were facing challenges keeping up with the digital transformation and the effects of increasingly complex hybrid-cloud workloads and environments.
APIS IT relies on IBM Z Operations Analytics (IZOA) to visualize IBM Z data in the same context as the rest of their hybrid ecosystem, enabling them to focus on making strides in their AIOps transformation.
Greater visibilityinto mainframe operations, maximizing value of IBM Z data
Reduced costsassociated with homegrown solutions and data ingestion to analytics platforms
Increased productivityenables employees to cut down on time consuming tasks
Business challenge story
The digital transformation
Systems engineer at APIS IT, Dražen Zadro is on a mission to make his operations more transparent. “We are holding the most important registers in the country, and we need to find means to make that available to the public,” says Zadro. For many, this journey to the cloud has already begun to address and ease this very problem. Unfortunately, this same journey presents many unique challenges for mainframe teams.
The first challenge was around addressing mainframe data accessibility. Since mainframes handle mission critical workloads, data lies on secure on-premises hardware solutions. As Zadro explained, “We need to make that easily accessible, no matter what third-party is on the other side of the equation.”
The next challenge facing Zadro and his team at APIS IT was the integration of their heterogeneous environment. The need to see both mainframe and distributed systems' health is key when moving towards proactive operations. They needed a tool that allowed them to not only access their IBM Z data, but also make sense of it and understand how it relates to the broader context of their enterprise.
Elevated hybrid cloud using AIOps
To meet their business challenge, APIS IT relies on IBM Z Operations Analytics (IZOA). IZOA enables Zadro and his team to visualize their IBM Z data in the same context as the rest of their hybrid ecosystem. Included as part of the IZOA solution is IBM Z Common Data Provider (CDP), which is the data-pipeline which unlocks this wealth of data otherwise wasted. Before CDP, APIS IT maintained a homegrown solution to access their mainframe data. This was time consuming, costly, and lacking in real-time capabilities.
APIS IT uses Splunk in many areas of their enterprise. A critical feature included in IZOA is the Spunk integration and insights which enables Zadro and his team to visualize their mainframe data alongside the rest of their enterprise as they push towards true end-to-end visibility.
Driving resilient operations
The key for APIS IT was to drive business value using IZOA. With AIOps capabilities embedded within IZOA, APIS IT was able to detect anomalies before any customer impact. “On a few occasions, we noticed charts showing the trending types were popping out, with much more data and upcoming CPU consumption,” Zadro recalls, “We can now pinpoint the problem earlier and not when it has already happened.”
He remembers a specific incident, with an issue during a scheduled maintenance window. APIS IT maintains a system developed in .NET that was often detaching from its corresponding Db2 system.
Zadro noticed the anomaly using one of his IZOA Splunk dashboards and acted to re-initialize the connection before any customer impact. Resilient operations at APIS IT means eliminating customer impact while driving key business value.
APIS IT continues to use IZOA as much more than just a tool to visualize their Z operational data. The flexibility of IZOA is paving the way for the next generation of mainframe users and developers by reducing complexity and helping to optimize DevOps at APIS. Their usage of IZOA continues to grow, as they further integrate Z into their hybrid-cloud environment.
Another creative use case at APIS IT is increasing the efficiency of their development cycle. Many of the APIS development teams are using IBM WebSphere® Application Server. Zadro explained that the data would need to be transformed before his team was able to consume it. As such, the systems engineers would view developers as a third party. As he put it, “Now everything is simplified for them. If they pinpoint problems after deployment, they can easily see for themselves, all the logs from the WebSphere on z/OS is now in the same place as the WebSphere on Windows and so on…”
As Zadro looks to the future with APIS IT and IBM, he aims to continue pushing the boundaries with IZOA. He remarks that he “expects this solution is here to stay and continue to grow,” as they embark on their hybrid-cloud AIOps journey.
For over 50 years, APIS IT has been providing strategic, professional and implementation services to the public and government sector organizations of the Republic of Croatia. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, they are focal in the planning, development, support and maintenance of government information systems.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about IBM Z Operations Analytics, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/operations-analytics-for-z-systems
To learn more about IBM Z Operations Insights Suite, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: https://www.ibm.com/products/operations-insight-suite