In the story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the Apprentice calls upon spirits banished by the Sorcerer to do his work. As the apprentice, his job is to fill and carry heavy buckets of water. Quickly tiring, he borrows the Sorcerer’s magical hat, bewitches a broom, and sets it off to collect the water for him. Then he falls asleep and his sweet setup goes south as the broom and buckets multiply and the water comes faster and faster, quickly flooding the castle. If the Sorcerer hadn’t appeared to stop the flow, he might have been a goner.
This story is a great metaphor relating to the plight of most system admins and monitoring of their IBM z/OS mainframe environment.
Your Monitoring Needs To Do More
The primary job of a monitoring system is exactly what it says; to monitor activity on your system. If that was all it did, however, you would quickly drown in data. Like the poor apprentice, you would be overwhelmed with information that never stopped coming, with no way to understand what it all meant.
The underlying mechanics of monitoring have not changed substantially over the years, but there have been enhancements that make output data easier to consume and glean insights from.
Data Views Should be Useful to You
While you can still use the traditional ISPF interface to monitor z/OS resources, most monitoring solutions offer web-based GUIs to easily view, summarize, and sort data. As an example, Rocket® Mainstar MXI’s Consolidation and Analysis Engine (CAE) offers multiple graphical views into resource usage, historical data, and trend analyses.
Another popular enhancement to monitoring is the ability to drill-down from summary dashboards to a very granular level, allowing you to decide how much information is useful for you and your team. You may be interested in keeping an eye on address spaces, or DASD volumes, storage group occupancy or individual volume occupancy. Or not. You decide. Let the monitoring system apply intelligent analysis to the alerts, so you can avoid spending time you don’t have chasing down situations that are one-off anomalies.
Be the Sorcerer, Not the Apprentice
Unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice, good monitoring never falls asleep on the job. The best monitoring, however, gives you sorcerer-level command of your systems by sorting, summarizing and displaying all monitoring data for you in an easy to consume, actionable format. This simplifies and streamlines the monitoring and auditing process and leads to considerable savings of time and effort. Discover how a modern monitoring solution like Rocket Mainstar MXI for z/OS will make you the Sorcerer of Monitoring in our latest eBook – How to be the Sorcerer, Not the Apprentice.
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- Drowning in data? Be the Sorcerer of z/OS Monitoring with Rocket Mainstar MXI. - September 8, 2016