IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC3

500 servers supporting a single application, so you can imagine
how complex it can get.”
In a similar vein, a company can have complicated agreements
and dependencies with various vendors and partners and their
applications and processes. Those complex relationships can
eventually lead to a performance impact that’s very difficult
both to locate and to resolve with the associated parties and
agreements.
While IT complexity may be the most obvious cause of events
necessitating a war room, other factors can also contribute.
Companies that lack at least some investment in middleware
management are at a considerably higher risk for downtime
occurrences. Middleware management acts as a defensive
solution that can continuously monitor key transactions and
business services. Continuous monitoring can allow companies
to more quickly determine where a problem is located and how
best to resolve it.
How a company conducts business can itself impact IT
performance. If a complex business service requires a single
transaction to be processed by myriad IT applications, and an
unexpected jump in requests for that service come through,
performance can drop considerably while those requests are
processed. A war room may have to be convened after such an
event to determine what happened and how to streamline those
business services.
The sheer volume and diversity of the users and groups
that access a company’s IT infrastructure can also degrade
performance or cause a full-blown outage. After all, people make
mistakes, and the more people who access a system, the bigger
the chance someone will perform an action that unexpectedly—or
intentionally—brings the whole system crashing down.
Perhaps ironically, another contributing factor to downtime
is the limited personnel and financial resources dedicated to
maintaining and updating IT infrastructures. Even considering the
huge expenses that can be incurred with a war room, companies
often insist that their IT departments do more with less.
“One thing we’re really hearing from our customers is this
emphasis on business agility and the pressure to achieve
24-7 availability,” says Hickel. “These forces are pressing IT
organizations to deliver better performance all the time. And
they’re not looking at increasing IT budgets or manpower. That’s
a complicated balancing act, and it’s often unsustainable in
the long run. Eventually, something somewhere in the system
is going to experience a problem.”
Adding to the irony, when a problem occurs and a war room is
necessary, having limited personnel resources can lengthen the
troubleshooting and repair process, incurring that much more
in terms of recovery costs.
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0REPAREFOR7AR
While the war room will remain a specter that you will certainly
confront at some point, you can take steps that can dramatically
reduce your chances of experiencing serious downtime.
Most companies already have infrastructure monitoring
solutions built into their IT environments, which is a good step
toward overseeing operations from a technology-specific
point of view. The challenge lies in extending that technologyspecific
monitoring to encompass the application, so that you
are managing in a way that is meaningful and delivers value to
the business. A holistic view gives you a better understanding of
how the components of a business application or service work
together, enabling you to proactively prevent downtime by finding
anomalies and improving overall performance.
“As the application paradigms have evolved and have become
constructed of all these different constituent parts, it’s important
that the monitoring—starting at the component level and moving
all the way up the stack—can correlate the information and show
the big picture,” says Hickel. “I think most customers want to see
how the infrastructure supports a service or application. We’ve
seen an evolution in our customer base from purely monitoring
technologies or applications to following business transactions
across the infrastructure. These are the customers who can
diagnose and prioritize problems most quickly.”
After implementing comprehensive system monitoring,
companies can better pinpoint areas that could pose problems,
and that data can help to build a troubleshooting checklist to
better streamline the process if a war room must be organized.
A checklist can also help craft policies and processes designed
to quickly diagnose and prioritize problems on the fly.
Beyond system monitoring and testing, consider investing in
a solution that monitors and manages application performance
across the infrastructure. Middleware management offerings
allow you to automatically and precisely pinpoint and diagnose
A best practices whitepaper as published in IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition, November/December 2010 3

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010
Contents
On the Web
Editor's Desk: Tradition Takes Planning
Dashboard: Walk While You Work
Data Display: All About Spam
Think Smarter: IBM Offers Smarter Systems for Performance and Scalability
Trends: Rosamilia Oversees Both System z and Power Systems Lines as New GM
Break Through Economics: Dr. Howard Rubin Discusses Mainframe Efficiencies and the zEnterprise System
Streamlining Development: IBM Rational on zEnterprise System Utilizes Multiplatform Development Capabilities
Administrator: The zEnterprise System Changes Firewall Requirements
Technical Corner: z/OS Predictive Failure Analysis Make It Easy to Spot and Fix Soft System Failures
Developer: Native XML Support Strengthens DB2 and COBOL Development
Solutions
Advertisers' Index
Stop Run: Former IBMer Jim Bell Finds Inspiration in Music
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - On the Web
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Editor's Desk: Tradition Takes Planning
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Dashboard: Walk While You Work
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Data Display: All About Spam
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Think Smarter: IBM Offers Smarter Systems for Performance and Scalability
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Trends: Rosamilia Oversees Both System z and Power Systems Lines as New GM
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - zE1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - zE2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Break Through Economics: Dr. Howard Rubin Discusses Mainframe Efficiencies and the zEnterprise System
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Streamlining Development: IBM Rational on zEnterprise System Utilizes Multiplatform Development Capabilities
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Administrator: The zEnterprise System Changes Firewall Requirements
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Technical Corner: z/OS Predictive Failure Analysis Make It Easy to Spot and Fix Soft System Failures
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 42
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Developer: Native XML Support Strengthens DB2 and COBOL Development
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Advertisers' Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Stop Run: Former IBMer Jim Bell Finds Inspiration in Music
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - RF1
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