IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - B2

4HEÁ.EEDÁFORÁ"ESTÁ0RACTICESÁ

Implementing and following best practices are critical to addressing the aforementioned questions. Best practices require you to understand how your systems function when they’re running properly. And when systems aren’t running properly, following best practices means you have a process in place to immediately notify the people who need to know. By establishing and adhering to best practices, your business will successfully: ›ÁÁ @[\ek`]pÁd\Xe`e^]lcÁd\ki`ZjÁ]fiÁ:GL#Ád\dfip#Á databases, storage systems, etc. ›ÁÁ ;\k\id`e\ÁXggifgi`Xk\Ák_i\j_fc[Áj\kk`e^j ›Á KXb\Áhl`ZbÁXe[ÁXggifgi`Xk\ÁXZk`fe#Áf]k\eÁk_ifl^_ÁXlkfdXtion, to resolve problems Following best practices makes it easier to keep critical systems running while reducing IT costs and increasing productivity. In addition, they provide a firm foundation that aids continuous improvement and innovation. You’ll find that, even as workload and environmental complexity increase over time, it becomes easier to grow and scale your IT environment while controlling costs.

#USTOMERÁ%XAMPLES

Every enterprise should identify the core metrics—including thresholds, resource utilization, events, alerts, time-to-resolution and diagnostics—that deliver true value. Most businesses will probably settle on 10 to 15 core metrics. By focusing on the information that really matters, you can ensure that the events on the operator consoles are the ones that need immediate attention. Gaining insight into outages: Here’s how one cuskfd\iÁlj\[Á9D:ÁJf]knXi\ÊjÁDX`eM`\nÁjfclk`feÁkfÁjki\Xdline its use of metrics. Although this customer, a large insurance company, collected a great deal of system information, the company still experienced major outages and the cause remained a mystery. IT staffers pored through data covering an array of metrics until ultimately realizing that the problem wasn’t a lack of information, but absence of the right information. IT staffers analyzed historical data to establish valid thresholds for key metrics. In addition they defined additional metrics that were needed to resolve the issue (diagnostic metrics). A process was established for determining who needed to be notified about potential future outages. When thresholds were exceeded, automation initiated help desk tickets that included additional detailed information about the potential issue, therefore eliminating the need for operators to collect the information manually after the fact. This allowed for an examination of the details at the time the prob-

lem was discovered, enabling potential business impact to be assessed quickly. As a result of this insight, the staff could respond quickly and avoid related outages in production systems. By automating the process of identifying problems, taking corrective actions and opening tickets for tracking, the company slashed time to resolution from hours to d`elk\j%ÁNXjk\[Á:GLÁZpZc\jÁn\i\Á^i\XkcpÁi\[lZ\[#ÁXe[Á@KÁ staffers no longer had to sit and watch fields on a large screen change colors. DXb`e^Ák_`jÁgfjj`Yc\ÁnXjÁDX`eM`\nÁDfe`kfijÁ]fiÁ@DJ#Á :@:J#Á ;9)Á jlggfik\[Á YpÁ 9D:Á DX`eM`\nÁ @e]iXjkilZkli\%Á 1K_\Á Zljkfd\iÁ fgk\[Á kfÁ XZZ\jjÁ DX`eM`\nÁ m`XÁ `kjÁ jdXik#Á mainframe-centric Web interface, which combines access to monitoring, automation and collected knowledge. DX`eM`\nÁ`jÁXcjfÁXmX`cXYc\Án`k_ÁXeÁ\]]`Z`\ekÁ*).'ÁN`e[fnjÁ interface.). The result was a centralized display that’s accessible anywhere and anytime. Meaningful alerts were gifm`[\[Á XjÁ DX`eM`\nÊjÁ Çgf`ekÁ Xe[Á j_ffkÈÁ [i`cc$[fneÁ ZXpabilities meant swift problem determination. The customer also used help panels to document common issues and instantiate recommendations. A solution to lockouts: Another illustration of the importance of core metrics comes in the story of a main]iXd\Á Zljkfd\iÁ k_XkÁ jXnÁ `kjÁ Ylj`e\jjÁ jl]]\iÁ [l\Á kfÁ ;9)Á lockouts. Again, monitoring myriad information typically won’t help you if you’re not monitoring the right information. Because this customer wasn’t monitoring the necessary metrics, its IT staff wasn’t alerted to lockouts. And while the cause of the problem went undetected, service was negatively impacted. KfÁ jfcm\Á k_`jÁ gifYc\d#Á k_\Á ZfdgXepÁ lj\[Á 9D:Á DX`eM`\nÁ]fiÁ;9)ÁkfÁZfcc\ZkÁb\pÁ[`X^efjk`ZÁ`e]fidXk`fe%Á@KÁ jkX]]ÁnXjÁXYc\ÁkfÁZXgkli\ÁJHCÁZf[\Á`eÁZXZ_\ÁY\]fi\Á`kÁnXjÁ flushed out. The code was passed on to the application developers, who could then incorporate a fix that prevented ]lkli\ÁcfZbflkj%ÁFeZ\Ák_\ÁZfii\ZkÁd\ki`ZjÁn\i\Ádfe`kfi\[Á and valid thresholds were used, the IT organization dramatically improved its business-process response times, i\[lZ\[Á:GLÁi\jfliZ\jÁXe[Á\ejli\[Ák_XkÁj\im`Z\$c\m\cÁfYjectives were being met. Learning from history: What should your threshold j\kk`e^jÁY\6Á8ejn\i`e^Ák_XkÁhl\jk`feÁi\hl`i\jÁ[\kX`c\[ÁXeXcysis of historical data as well as persistent checking. When your concern is the length of time a threshold is being exceeded—as opposed to the fact that it’s being exceeded at all—you need persistent checking. It’s analogous to dieselpowered vehicles that monitor the presence of water in the fuel line. In today’s vehicles, when sensors detect water, they continue taking samples over time; the driver is only alerted n_\eÁk_\ÁnXk\iÁc\m\cÁi\dX`ejÁXYfm\ÁXÁZ\ikX`eÁk_i\j_fc[%ÁFecpÁ

2 A best practices whitepaper as published in IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition, May 2010



IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010
Editor's Desk: Planned to a 'T"
Dashboard: Beef Up Your Passwords
Data Display: Cost of Security Breaches
IT Today: IBM Partnership Offers Cost-Effective BI Solutions
Trends: IBM's Eagle Studies Provide a Clear View of True Technology Costs Both Internal and External Communications
Insider: Six Computing Strategies for a Recovering Economy
Case Study: The Office of the CIO with the State of Nebraska Improved Data-Handling Issues with Smarter and Faster Data-Storage Tools
Harnes the Information Expansion: Discover the Hidden Value in your Business Data with System z
Green with Envy: Syracuse University's New Data Center is One to Covet
Focus on Storage: Tivoli Storage-Management Solutions Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency
Developer: A Guide to Processing XML Documents Stored in Files and DB2
Solutions
Advertisers' Index
Stop Run: IBM's Plant-A-Tree Initiative Grows in Italy
Reference Point
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Editor's Desk: Planned to a 'T"
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Dashboard: Beef Up Your Passwords
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - B1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - B2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - B3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - B4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Data Display: Cost of Security Breaches
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - IT Today: IBM Partnership Offers Cost-Effective BI Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Trends: IBM's Eagle Studies Provide a Clear View of True Technology Costs Both Internal and External Communications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Insider: Six Computing Strategies for a Recovering Economy
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Case Study: The Office of the CIO with the State of Nebraska Improved Data-Handling Issues with Smarter and Faster Data-Storage Tools
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 32
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Harnes the Information Expansion: Discover the Hidden Value in your Business Data with System z
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Green with Envy: Syracuse University's New Data Center is One to Covet
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 44
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Focus on Storage: Tivoli Storage-Management Solutions Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 47
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 48
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 49
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Developer: A Guide to Processing XML Documents Stored in Files and DB2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 51
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 52
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - 53
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Advertisers' Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Stop Run: IBM's Plant-A-Tree Initiative Grows in Italy
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - Reference Point
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - RF2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2010 - I12
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