Overview of IBM Z Software Asset Management

IBM Z Software Asset Management is built on the concept of remote and central mainframe components which work together to produce reports on z/OS® mainframe products and their usage. This section provides you with a high-level overview of the IBM Z Software Asset Management core architecture.

IBM Z Software Asset Management runs on z/Architecture® mainframes that use the z/OS operating system. Its purpose is to:
  • Discover and identify products for the z/OS platform.
  • Monitor software usage and trends.
  • Report on the MSU capacity of each system under which the product runs.
  • Provide reporting functions for assets and usage.

The benefits of using this software are:

  • Used and unused software are identified.
  • Users of software are identified.
  • Obsolete versions of software are identified and the usage of these versions determined.
  • Usage trends of software and libraries are identified.

In a z/OS environment, software is contained in load libraries or as z/OS UNIX™ executable files. IBM Z Software Asset Management scans contents of these libraries and executable files to determine which software products are installed. IBM Z Software Asset Management also monitors the loaded programs and executable files to measure software usage.

The discovered load libraries and executable files are then checked against a global database of product information. IBM Z Software Asset Management uses this information to determine which products are installed and used on each system.

The IBM Z Software Asset Management Usage Monitor gathers information about events for modules and executable files which are then attributed to each product.

The workflow is illustrated in Figure 1, followed by a brief description of the components.

Figure 1. Product workflow

Architecture diagram that includes remote mainframe components and central mainframe components. The remote components are the Inquisitor and Usage Monitor and these components pass raw data to the central mainframe. The central components are Inquisitor Import and Usage Import, Knowledge Base, Repository, and Analyzer. These component are defined in the following section.
The Inquisitor is a batch job that discovers loadable programs in z/OS data sets and z/OS UNIX System Services file systems. A program locates load libraries on z/OS DASD devices and captures information about the load modules. The process can be targeted to specific devices, libraries, or groups of libraries. The program creates a compressed data set, which is then used as input to the Inquisitor Import procedure.

An additional process locates and scans z/OS UNIX directories for program objects and captures this information. The process creates a compressed data set that is then used as input to the Inquisitor Import for z/OS UNIX procedure.

Usage Monitor
The Usage Monitor is a started task or batch job that monitors and records loaded modules of batch jobs, started tasks, TSO users, and z/OS UNIX executable files.
Knowledge Base
The Global Knowledge Base (GKB) is a database that is provided with IBM Z Software Asset Management. The GKB has a list of all z/OS globally-identified products that are used by the product in the process of matching.
Inquisitor (IQ) Import
The Inquisitor Import is a batch job that loads Inquisitor data into database tables on z/OS for z/OS load modules and z/OS UNIX program objects. The imported Inquisitor data is then matched against the Global Knowledge Base.
Usage Import
The Usage Import is a batch job that imports Usage Monitor data into the Repository. The data is matched against load modules and z/OS UNIX executable files and the data is then aggregated with installed software products. After this process has been completed, you can view the usage data with the IBM Z Software Asset Management Analyzer reports.
The Repository is a set of database tables for z/OS data that stores information about the software products discovered and their usage data.
The Analyzer queries the IBM Z Software Asset Management database and displays Analyzer online reports. The Analyzer runs as a started task or batch job on the same z/OS system where the Db2® subsystem or SQLite database runs. The output formats can be XML, HTML, Excel, text, or comma separated value (CSV). You can logon to the Analyzer from a web browser to display interactive reports. You can also run the Analyzer in batch mode and save the results to an output data set on z/OS.

Process flow

Data collected on the target systems by the Inquisitor and the Usage Monitor batch programs, are then imported into the Repository database tables. The database is located on a z/OS system within a Db2 subsystem or an SQLite database.

Following is a summary of the workflow tasks:
  1. Importing and matching the data collected by the Inquisitor.
  2. Importing the collected usage data into the Repository.
  3. Running utilities to manage and maintain your data. This task is optional.
  4. Reporting using the Analyzer, which consists of online and batch components.