Enterprise Executive 2017: Issue 2 : Page 26

do more effective capacity planning and to better predict future resource requirements, issues and even costs (such that they can do something to reduce or prevent them). The ability to visualize all parts of your sprawling systems and solve IT-related problems faster, regardless of scale or complexity, is compelling to every vice president of IT infrastructure or IT operations, every CIO and everybody else responsible for making IT work every day for the business or mission. What is really driving adoption at an amazing rate is further promise of using that same data to predict and automatically address and prevent problems. Most organizations prefer to get the analytical results in the form of interactive charts, dashboards and graphs that broaden the pool of potential users who can use the modern ITOA tool and get the value easily and directly. The learning curve for users is minimal. And that matters. So the “why” is abundantly clear. Logs, logs, logs—a stream of logs such that all the machine data information is aggregated, indexed, housed and uniquely accessible and searchable for the purposes of visualizations, reports and more. Log data basically provides the information of the IT activities across an organization. The types and sources of these machine-generated files are many and varied, including system logs, web server logs and application logs. The proprietary elements of the indexing and searching are a big part of the “how.” So is the collection of all the “machine data” from all sources, then getting them to the ITOA tool on a “real-time” basis. Collecting SMF files, logs and other machine data in the z/OS environment; correlating that data in an ITOA tool, in real-time, with data from the rest of your enterprise and subjecting all that data to operational analytics: That is the “how.” Who “Uses” ITOA 26 | How Is ITOA Analysis Done? Okay, but who exactly gets to use these E nt e rp r i s e E xe c u t i ve | 2017: Issue 2 ITOA solutions and exploit their insights? The answer is that there are two primary groups which have users and both relate to the mainframe, or the “glass house” as it also known. One is the business IT or Big Data team (which typically sits on the distributed-systems side of the house or in a line of business (LOB), and the second is the mainframe IT team. IT operations on the business IT side of the house is typically responsible for the network, storage, systems and facilities in the IT environment. That function sometimes also owns problem management and help-desk operations, and they also often own risk and compliance matters, fully or partially. IT ops will tell you they focus on IT’s “value to the business”—that they are the real drivers of both innovation and strategy. Whether mainframes are uppermost in their minds when they make these statements is another question. It can vary from one company to the next, but either way, they have big and evolving needs that can be addressed by ITOA, and their eyes get wide when they see what an ITOA solution in 2017 can do (which is almost immediately after standing it up in most cases). The people in mainframe IT, by contrast, are using ITOA for day-to-day performance tuning and widely varying other purposes. These users were not targeted by ITOA vendors and their use cases, etc. evolved on their own. They typically are a few clever mainframers not satisfied with their current performance monitors, capacity planning and IT troubleshooting tools. When they see what modern ITOA tools can do, they look beyond that and envision new ways to view, analyze and improve their operations and perhaps find new, better approaches to capacity planning, QA performance testing and other functions. Once all that log data is “searchable,” consisting of both historical and real-time data, ITOA apps can quickly be customized to create dashboards that deliver exactly what is needed,

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