IT Management

Since the early days of CICS on S/390, performance tools have played an important part in online problem determination and offline trend analysis. Several vendors have produced such performance tools.

As various other subsystems matured, these companies produced monitoring products for DB2, IMS, and the base operating system, MVS/390 and z/OS. Although these products provided access to multiple CICS systems, they accessed only one system at a time. Subsequently, products emerged that provided some integration of events from the systems management tools for individual subsystems, allowing users to view this information on a single screen and to provide drill-down facilities to individual regions. These performance management systems have continued to evolve and become indispensable to many sites. At the same time as the dependency on such tools increased, the cost of acquiring such tools also increased. Today, the total cost of vendor products is a significant consideration for a CICS solution on z/OS. This is affecting the balance of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) on S/390 vs. a distributed platform solution.

At the same time, the demand in the systems management arena due to the increased system complexity, downturn in investment, and skills shortage has provided an enormous opportunity for generating revenue in the systems management arena.

As a result, IBM has identified this as a market it now wishes to compete in and is producing its own systems management tools to address the needs of the marketplace. Over the past several years, IBM has shipped several performance products in the DB2 and IMS arena, including DB2 and IMS PM. IBM introduced tools for CICS TS, including the CICS Performance Analyzer (CICS PA), an offline performance analysis tool; Online Terminal Transmission Optimizer (OTTO); CICS Interdependency Analyzer (CICS IA); and CICS VSAM forward recovery (CICS VR). The latest addition to this family of products is the CICS Performance Monitor for z/OS (CICS PM).

The remainder of this article describes what CICS PM provides, examines the underlying CICSPlex SM technology utilized by CICS PM and outlines the main function provided by its graphical user interface (GUI). In addition, it also discusses the facilities available for managing the performance of CICS TS via an Internet browser.

What is the CICS Performance Monitor?

CICS PM is a real-time performance monitoring, management and troubleshooting tool for CICS TS 1.3 and CICS TS 2.2. The product, initially released in December 2002, is undergoing rapid enhancement to become a fully capable performance management tool for CICS.

In its first release, CICS PM provides the ability to simply define, activate/deactivate and monitor thresholds in multiple CICS systems. Thresholds can be set on any attribute of a CICS object in the CICSPlex. In addition, IBM has made extensive enhancements to the CICS TS base in terms of data collection facilities and functionality. This enables you to determine what’s happening in your CICS systems now. The next version will tell you what happened in the past (i.e., history).

CICS PM V1.2, available in 2003, will provide further enhancements to the product’s data capture capabilities, access to task detail history records, and various enhancements to the CICS PM workstation client and browser-based viewsets, which provide display and navigation details of the extensive amounts of data, which CICS PM can access. With CICS PM V1.2, you will be able to determine what is happening with your system at a specific time interval; i.e., what happened two hours ago. Note that CICS PM does not intend to provide access to offline historical data that is primarily used for long-term trending and report generation. CICS PM’s complementary product, CICS PA, provides such facilities.

CICSPlex System Manager Recap

6 Pages