IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2018 - SE37
ARTICLE: SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
z/OS Tools Spot Systems
oresight beats hindsight when it comes to managing IBM Z*
systems. IBM offers several tools to help users identify and
fix systems management problems in advance.
IBM Health Checker for z/OS* gives clients the ability to
automatically identify potential configuration problems before
they cause outages. The Health Checker makes a comparison
of active z/OS and sysplex settings to settings suggested by
IBM or to the client's own definitions. The Health Checker will
report on problems that are in proximity to critical thresholds,
migration actions and any deviations from recommended
practices. The tool will also suggest remedial actions and
give users additional references for more information. (See
"z/OS Health Checker Features Productivity and Easy-of-Use
The general Health Checker framework that lets clients
run and manage checks is shipped as part of the z/OS Base
Control Program. More than 200 individual checks, primarily
supplied by IBM programs, also examine specific settings for
problems. Clients can create their own checks as well as use
those supplied by ISVs.
Writing your own checks involves three basic steps. The
client provides the "inspection code," also known as the health
check routine. Then the client tells Health Checker where to
find the code. Health Checker will take care of the rest of the
procedure to check for issues. (See "Write Your Own Checks
With z/OS Health Checker," bit.ly/2zqszkb.)
While the Health Checker has been part of z/OS for many
years, IBM has made a number of enhancements to it. These
include an autostart, a framework that allows persistent data to
be maintained, syntax checks and many other improvements.
New checks are added and obsolete checks are removed as
z/OS releases are issued.
Get to Know Doc Buddy
Another handy IBM Z systems management tool is IBM
Doc Buddy V2, a mobile app for searching software products
error messages. IBM Doc Buddy V2
assists new mainframe users with
product overviews and basic product
information. But everyone can benefit from the easy access
the app provides for the most frequently used technical
documentation. It also notifies users when new products
The app, which is available for Apple and Android devices,
can be installed on a smartphone or tablet. IBM Doc Buddy V2
integrates messages from z/OS, z/VSE* and z/VM* as well as
those from z/TPF, WebSphere*, CICS*, IMS* and Db2* for z/OS.
Users will find cross references to relevant Support Portal pages
at the end of each message. The app also provides Red Alert
notifications so users will always be aware of important alerts.
IBM Doc Buddy V2 features other useful information such as
mainframe events, videos and blogs, and tips from mainframe
technical experts. (See "Aggregate Content for IBM Z Products
With IBM Doc Buddy V2," bit.ly/2z6HBZm.)
The Workload Manager (WLM) component of IBM Z was
created to balance resource requirements and keep the system
running optimally. Unlike other resource managers, WLM can be
customized to suit business performance needs.
WLM will monitor the system and determine how much
resource, such as memory and CPU, is needed to allow a
workload to reach its goal. While WLM is focused on making
sure performance goals are met, it doesn't put the brakes on
the consumption of shared system resources. That's why users
might want to consider putting metering and capping support
on resource consumption. (See "Metering and Capping on z/OS
for Apache Spark," bit.ly/2A9U5Qo.)
For instance, workloads such as IBM z/OS Platform for Apache
Spark and IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS have
certain requirements for memory and multitenancy. Metering
and capping support for z/OS gives system capacity planners
more control over CPU and memory consumption for workloads.
This enables the system to host new workloads easily.
These features are designed to keep mission-critical workloads
running optimally and to use system
resources efficiently so you business
can have smooth sailing.
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