Announcement of System Automation for z/OS V3.4
Hans Geißler 110000KUTG Comment (1) Visits (5002)
Hi, all, it's April 24, and today we're very pleased to announce System Automation for z/OS V3.4.
It will be available on April, the 27th 2012.
Let me tell you some of the Highlights which make this release the best you have ever seen. I have divided the Highlights in 4 categories:
- making Operator's Life easier
- making Administrator's Life easier
- new Functions
- command Enhancements
In the back you will find a couple of quotes of customers that participated in the Beta program.
1) Making Operator's Life easier
TEP Topology View
The new TEP topology view that combines the dependency graph with the resource status and other important run-time data about
the resource managed/automated by SA z/OS allows operators to faster notice odd behavior. The view can also be used by the
automation administrator to spot mis-configuration but also to verify the correct relationship definitions made in the SA z/OS
customization dialog previously.
2) Making Administrator's Life easier
Messages produced by an application and written to the Joblog or a spooled dataset but not WTOed to syslog can be made available for automation. A new attribute for the APL policy object is added that defines whether joblog monitoring should be done and the filter criteria for such a message. Only messages matching the filter criteria are catched by System Automation and the actions as defined in the policy are taken.
It eliminates the need for the installation to modify the application so that messages relevant for automation are written to the system console by means of WTOs.
The INGCLEAN command has been introduced to remove policy objects that became obsolete from the runtime data model. The command can be used by the installation when required, usually after refreshing the configuration.
It reduces the effort and potential human errors when deleting 'dead' parts manually for example obsolete GDPS scripts.
Sample Policy Enhancements
Several new sample policies focusing on replication software and the components necessary to run a active/active environment help customers to setup their data centers such that they can run active/active workloads in a speedy way.
Relational Data Services
A new command INGRDS has been introduced that provides a simple relational data management facility for automation scripts running within NetView/SA. The INGRDS command provides basic access methods for relational data tables. It is close to the concept of relation data framework but without the full SQL language parser.
Concurrent Batch Command Receiver
The Batch command receiver has been enhanced to enable concurrent usage of the command receiver. This allows parallel processing of the commands submitted from batch jobs.
This improves the job throughput since a job submitting a command does not longer need to wait till a previously started job completed the processing of its submitted command(s).
Extended Status Command Enhancements
New policy controls are introduced to take actions when the resource reaches the "up" state based on the state (up or down) of another resource. This is useful for resources that are dependent on each other.
Customization Dialog Enhancements
The visualization of the minor resource automation flag and thresholds are changed to show whether the settings are inherited from the class definitions.
Any Automation Table override specified or modified is check for correct AT syntax. This improves the quality of the generated Automation Table significantly since typos and other errors are detected at data entry time rather than AT load time.
The flat file update function had been enhanced to create/update system, MVS component and group objects. Furthermore, objects can now be linked to other objects by means of the "where used" attribute.
The dynamic panel generation function has been enhanced to compose a panel showing different aspects of system for example subsystem data, exceptional message and WTORs. This is done by supporting multiple BODY sections in a panel. It simplifies and reduces the manual effort for generating the installation tailored SDF panels as well as navigating through these panels.
A new exit AOFEXX05 has been introduced that allows the installation to replace user variables defined in the SDF tree/panel definitions based on the system for which the tree/panels are generated.
Proc-Ops managed resources such as processors, LPARs and ensembles are stored in SDF to give the operator a complete view about the hardware and software components.
3) New Functions
The concept of runmodes has been introduced that enables a staged IPL or system shutdown where only a subset of the resources are started or stopped. The concept can also be used to switch from one environment to another for example from a normal mode into a disaster recovery mode. Another example is switching from a weekday configuration to a weekend configuration. Switching runmodes is achieved by means of the INGRUN command.
It eliminates the need to have multiple policy data bases for example production environment vs disaster recovery. Maintaining just one policy reduces the labor effort and the potential of making human errors.
A new command called ISQECMD has been introduced that allows the operator or an automation script to query information about zBX objects such as Blade Centers, Blades, Virtual Hosts, Virtual Servers and so on. The command acts as an API and can be used to activate/deactivate Blades and Virtual Servers or to query the settings of the various objects. Taking direct influence on zBX objects such as Blades or virtual servers by user written automation scripts leads to reduced Time-To-Value (TTV) and improved productivity.
The Auto discovery function enables the installation to build the SA PolicyDB using the actual installation environment in conjunction with the SA z/OS provided best practice policies for most of the IBM provided software running on z/OS. This eliminates the tidies and also error prone data entry of numerous automation rules but still gaining the benefits from the sample policies.
The concept of "re-discovery" allows the installation to run the Auto-discovery tool periodically to catch up changes to their sysprogs have made to the system without informing Automation. However, the primary usage of the Auto-discovery tool is for installing and setting up SA z/OS the first time.
4) Command Enhancements
A new parameter called CHUNK has been introduced for the INGGROUP RECYCLE command that enables the operator to recycle more than one member of a server group in parallel. It significantly improves the performance since it now takes a lot less time to recycle all active members of a server group.
Support for all screen sizes
All SA z/OS commands (SysOps) are modified to exploit the entire space of the physical screen for the command output. It reduces the need for the operator to do extensive scrolling since more of the data is shown initially.
Additional Command Enhancements
- The AOFCPMSG has been enhanced to enable the deletion of one or more messages that became obsolete while capturing a new message.
- The DISPGW command has been introduced showing additional information for the remote systems such as primary/backup focal point, sysplex name, system name, SMFid, and so on.
- The INGAMS command has been enhanced o show additional information about the Automation manager.
- The INGCFG command has been introduced to allow the deletion of the history data associated with a resource.
- The INGDATA command has been enhanced to support additional filter criteria similar to the filter parameters of the INGLIST command.
- The INGEXEC command has been enhanced to support the resource description as filter criteria as well as enhanced wildcarding for the SUBTYPE parameter.
- The TERMMSG and CORRWAIT parameter are added to better control the command submission.
- The INGIMS command has been enhanced to display the IMS dependent regions of the control region as well as the TCO information associated with the control region.
- The INGLIST command has been enhanced to support additional filter criteria such as jobname, runtoken, description, and so on.
- The INGMSGS command has been enhanced to enable the deletion of previously captured messages based on several criteria such as message id and/or age.
- The INGSET command has been enhanced by introducing the EXPIRED option that allows the cancellation of start/stop requests when exceeding a certain age.
- The INGTHRES command has been enhanced to allow the deletion of the threshold definitions in linemode
- The MDFYSHUT has been enhanced so it can be called from the Netview Automation Table to shorten/enlarge the shutdown interval or to abort the shutdown process.
- The INGDATA command has been enhanced to return the jobname, default desired status and inform list of the resource.
Dietmar Knodel, LBBW
"Using System Automation Version 3.4 enables LBBW to reduce time needed in preparation of service windows. Exploiting the new RUNMODES feature saves us time to bring our systems into special states (say: with only selected resources running). In addition the feature can be used to speed up disaster recovery by selecting special RUNMODES defined for that purpose.
Klaus Berger, ITERGO
This Topology View as is really cool. This is the way to use the advantage of a graphical display.
I really like the way it's displayed. Different symbols for resource types, different colors for dependency types. The fly-over infos with compound and observed status, relationship type. I think this graphical view really helps to understand complex dependencies. It's a useful addition to the backward/forward relationship info from the INGFINO output.
Peter Erbstösser, ITERGO
SA z/OS V3.4 is a major milestone of the SA product roadmap. It makes SA much more beautiful as it was in the past, especially the extended wildcard support and the various command enhancements ease the implementation of our automation projects.
Since SDF is our primary monitoring and operational interface for the control center and the subject matter experts, the changes made in SDF are a great benefit. Showing more information about the system in one SDF panel.reduces the maintenance effort but more important, it makes it easier and more intuitive for the operators to navigate through the panels.
Roli Haibl, for Finanz Informatik
With the usage of the CHUNK parameter of the INGGROUP command, it is now possible to perform 'rolling recycle' in a much shorter time. In average we can save 60% of the formerly used time to perform these tasks.
The newly introduced enhancements to the TWS Command Request I/F in combination with the usage of the INGGROUP CHUNK parameter allows us to remove >8000 operations (NVxx workstations with single RECYCLE requests, old interface) within 200 TWS applications and replace them with a total of 200 operations (Automation workstations, new interface). This gives us a way better overview within the TWS applications, reduced overhead, reduced CPU consumption and a significantly reduced maintenance effort. The accumulated time savings we get with these changed applications (spread over 84 systems in our environment) is nearly 9 hours per day!
We now have a better chance to get all our batch work being done within the time window that is available for this. Thus we can offer higher availability for all our online applications.