The other day I heard the sounds of an unhappy frustrated husband stomping around his workshop searching for the right tools to work on a pretty complicated and time consuming ‘honey-do’ project – with a short timeline. Tool boxes were open and slammed shut, a variety of power tools were shuffled around. A half an hour passed and then I heard ‘I am going to Lowe’s I’ll be back soon.’ Fast forward a few hours and he had made headway but two more trips to Lowe’s were required and the completed project took a lot longer than planned (☹). He sheepishly disclosed that he ended up with duplicate tools because he didn’t realize he had them already. Lessons learned 1) have a toolbox large enough to hold the lot 2) organize the toolbox so like items are together so you can quickly and easily tell what is available and more importantly what is not, and 3) review the project and identify what will be needed, match them against your existing tool set and buy only what you really don’t have.
These same ideas apply to mainframe console management in the digital age. With 91% of all new customer-facing applications touching the mainframe (source: IBM Systems Magazine, October 2014 article by Valerie Dennis, Managing Editor), complexity has increased dramatically for IT. Furthermore, mergers and acquisitions are increasingly forcing data centers to manage disparate resources. Availability and performance are more important than ever as the digital consumer demands instantaneous response, 24 x7. In order to meet these demands, you need to understand the scope and scale of your environment and have the right tools organized into an operational workbench.
For complete visibility of your work environment, you need to check your tool box to see if you have the best tools for the job of console management in the digital age. Your tools must speed up the IPL process and ensure it is accurate so applications are down for the shortest period of time. Consolidating consoles from multiple systems is a must have as the drumbeat to optimize mainframe costs is a constant. Your tool kit should also include secure remote access to System operations and the HMC (Hardware Management Console) as risk migration is a key concern. And last but not least, consolidating messages and the ability to automate responses to common errors should neatly be tucked into your operations toolkit.