Mainframe Blog

The Race Is On. Get Your Mainframe Infrastructure Ready.

Alice Ma
3 minute read
Alice Ma

If you’ve ever been in a bicycle race, you know what it takes to be prepared. You’ve got to train. You need to understand the course of the route in advance as well as predict and compensate for unplanned events (like unexpected rain and poor visibility) that could impact your success on this journey.  You also need to have the most efficient tools (AKA, a cutting-edge bicycle) based on your requirements. Then you have to consider the planned disruptions that can slow you down, like bumpy roads and steep hills. In many ways, it’s analogous to the race against time and the “digital elements” that your mainframe infrastructure must deal with as it navigates through the challenges of the digital economy.


The road’s not a smooth one so increase your visibility
Let’s look at this concept a little more closely. In the digital economy, the pace is fast and the demands are daunting. You need better visibility to move ahead, so that the rapidly growing transaction levels don’t have a negative impact on workload availability and performance. The unrelenting demands of the digital economy can make this a huge challenge, particularly when customers want fast, personalized service from any location, which can be highly disruptive. So, just assume that the old rules of the road no longer apply and that peaks in workloads will occur when you’re least expecting them, driving up costs and decreasing availability.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it. You can be prepared and stay competitive in this race by managing highly disruptive workloads more efficiently. This requires greater insight into a shared infrastructure, an enterprise-wide view of the mainframe environment so that you can easily identify problems, instead of struggling to cope with the complexity of correlating different views across multiple monitors.

Stay in the lead with proactive monitoring
In the race to achieve superior performance in the digital enterprise, you simply can’t afford to guess what’s going to happen as you move further down the road. That’s why you need smart, proactive monitoring to automatically identify abnormal behavior, anticipate potential issues, and take corrective action before your business is disrupted.

With smart monitoring, just one screen can show you what’s attacking the most important mission-critical applications or workloads across the entire infrastructure. With a better understanding of what’s impacting these workloads, IT can focus on ensuring performance and availability and reduce the mean-time to repair. To put this in perspective, smart monitoring can provide the ability to handle the equivalent of 300 Cyber Mondays every day!

Self-learning and adaptive automation makes the ride smooth and peaceful
As the rules of the road change, you need the flexibility to adapt. That’s why it’s important to precisely set and manage thresholds; a time-consuming and cumbersome process when done manually. But you can improve flexibility by using a threshold advisor with self-learning to automatically determine the best setting, dynamically set thresholds and establish alerts based on changes that occur in your company’s business cycle. Ensuring accurate alerts and eliminating false alarms means that you can deliver the performance and availability your customers expect when they interact with your company.

Take control of the costs to win the race
This race to meet customer demands doesn’t have to be costly, either. You can lower the cost of mainframe ownership dramatically – by 30 to 50 percent — with the right strategy, processes, and technology to reduce the monitoring footprint. This includes using a performance monitor with a shared infrastructure that leverages and measures the effectiveness of zIIP offloading. It should also have the ability to quickly and easily identify the workloads that are driving mainframe Monthly License Charge (MLC) costs. With this insight, you can take actions to lower those costs.

Learn more with this on-demand webinar

Are you ready to stay ahead of the curve? “New World. New Digital Demands. Is Your Mainframe Infrastructure Ready?“.  BMC mainframe expert Jay Lipovich discusses  innovative ways to manage highly disruptive workloads and reduce costs. He’ll discuss proactive monitoring, self-learning to decrease mean-time-to-repair and increase availability, and new strategies to reduce the total cost of ownership of the mainframe.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Alice Ma

Alice Ma

Alice Ma has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, working with customers and IBM's Business Partners to architect solutions, develop, test, provide advanced support, and more. Her areas of expertise include problem determination, performance/tuning, recovery, data governance, auditing, encryption, and so on for DB2. Alice has contributed her technical knowledge to the development of IBM Watson and DB2 10.5 Certification. She has authored a Performance and Tuning Redbooks publication, guides, tech notes, and white papers.