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What is Mainframe Management?

Mainframe Management refers to the processes and tools used to oversee the operations of mainframe computers (typically Z Series or “legacy” systems).

Mainframe Management includes monitoring and reporting on mainframe configuration, results of data protection instances, including backup software, storage systems and the inventory of those resources. The benefits of outstanding Mainframe Management saves money by aligning budget and resources to optimize performance.

Mainframes continue to be popular in certain industries, such as finance and government. In their main use cases, competing distributed system alternatives cannot typically match their performance, reliability, throughput, and security. As a result, though their “retirement” has been predicted for decades, they continue to thrive in many organizations. Where they endure, mainframes need rigorous management.

IT Central Station’s IT specialists expect Mainframe Management to be agile and easy to use and configure. Mainframe specialists aspire to provide their internal and external customers with a seamless, transparent experience and the ability for continuous fine tuning of mainframe components. In the application world, it is important to be able to manage the evolving needs of intricate, underlying structures with well-informed support.

Mainframe Management can automate mainframe systems and speed up delivery of services. Technology targets problem resolution and tracks analytics, enabling better development and delivery, enhancing collaboration across platforms and identifying continuous improvement for different platforms, from mainframe to mobile.

IT Central Station key opinion leaders use certain criteria to assess the best Mainframe Management options, including optimal customer experience, agile complex infrastructure to manage applications within the mainframe and support of new revenue stream. IT professionals are provided with more efficient access to mainframe data for application developers, big data analytics departments, and system developers.

A successful Mainframe Management system would base its ROI on maximizing already existing resources, while integrating business services and being able to instantly act on critical insights, perhaps by reallocating mainframe assets towards strategic initiatives when instances are identified. Being able to immediately take action and fix a problem brings peace of mind and a better, overall business service budget.


Mainframe Management Reviews

Read reviews of Mainframe Management that are trending in the IT Central Station community:
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Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Team Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jun 20 2016

What is most valuable?

For us, what I find is that we have a declining workforce where we have a very experienced staff who are retiring, moving on in their careers, and we have an influx of newer, younger generation who don't have all of the experience. Because we... more»

How has it helped my organization?

I would say that the process where MSM is gaining the technical information from CA about availability of hypers, availability of information, current data about errors in the system, and going and retrieving the actual fixes makes it so that... more»

What needs improvement?

Here at CA World, we've been talking with the directors directly about upcoming features, as they're in a real development of the product. They've gone from it simply being maintenance of products, to looking at more advanced features of... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
F44abde2 31b2 4546 909f dcbe61995f7b avatar
Real User
Vice President at BNYMellon
Sep 11 2016

What is most valuable?

The transaction troubleshooting for the applications is the product’s most valuable feature. Giving the opportunity for those applications to be able to see what's wrong with a transaction and make corrections; giving them the information readily accessible. At the same time, from a systems end, we use it for taking care of the everyday type of stuff that the... more»

What needs improvement?

I think a lot of the stuff has to zero in and make it quicker. I think overall the SYSVIEW product right now has a lot of commands. There's a lot of panels. A lot of information. What we need to do is trim it down for the applications or the avid user. A lot of what they're doing right now, they're bringing in new hires out of college. We don't want to make it... more»

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Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Senior Automation Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 08 2016

What is most valuable?

* SSM keeps startup and shutdown of all tasks synchronised in a hierarchy. * MSF - cross-system and cross-Sysplex links between instances of the product. * OPSLOG - similar to OPERLOG, but it also includes some SMF events, and it can be... more»

How has it helped my organization?

OPSMVS has made it possible to run our IT systems with fewer staff, due to the level of automation that we are able to use. This does mean that skills tend to be lost over time, as people are no longer carrying out manual tasks. Therefore, it... more»

What needs improvement?

* SSM - when OPSMVS is started, there is a choice of either assuming all microhooks are up or all are down and working from there. It would be better if there was a feature that could discover the true state of every microhook. * OPSLOG -... more»
Ab02a170 49e2 47ab be3c 9e3e5ef2ff55 avatar
Real User
Senior System Programmer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Sep 29 2016

What is most valuable?

By far, the most valuable features of this product are: * SSM * AOF * OpsLog

How has it helped my organization?

Our largest LPAR currently has 633 tasks defined to SSM. We can shut the system down and have it back up in 30 minutes. Without SSM, that could not be possible.

What needs improvement?

I think some of their built-in functions are short on functionality. We have written homegrown REXX functions to perform many of these. * There is nothing in place to ensure that your rules are consistent across all machines in an... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Senior Mainframe Systems Programmer - Storage
Mar 14 2018

What is most valuable?

I use most of the SMS space management extensively, but also the features that enable me to look at dumps and different dataset allocations to the system, and performance data from the queueing and delays. I also really appreciated all the... more»

How has it helped my organization?

When we changed to JES3, the programmers didn't have to know anything. The product provided the same interface with the same look and feel.

What needs improvement?

The things that I would think about would be in relation to JES3. However, I don't know if they'll be able to do much more with that because I don't know how much longer IBM is going to be supporting JES3. So I can understand not doing... more»
3da98aec 8e6b 4fe1 a25f d9bef52e1160 avatar?1453386904
Real User
Sr. Analyst/Technology Infrastructure at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Sep 11 2016

What is most valuable?

To me, the most valuable features are its ease-of-use and being able to clone some of what you've done with some of the rules and so on. It makes it really easy to administer and I've had people tell me that it's one of the best automated... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Some of the biggest things is the prevention of problems getting more severe, those type of things. If you know what things are going on, and if there are things that you can do to automated your responses, it makes your life easier. I now... more»

What needs improvement?

I just installed version 12.3, which actually already has a number of new features. It's going to make it easier for some of our new users. I'm old-school, I learned it the old way. I actually want to go back and implement and start doing... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Technical Services Professional, z/OS Systems Programmer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 07 2017

What is most valuable?

Actually, all the features are valuable. The product gives deep insight into a z/OS operating system by means of many powerful commands, each of which provides information within seconds. By contrast, using normal system commands would take... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Several times it saved us tens of thousands of Euros by tremendously reducing the time necessary to solve a severe operating system problem.

What needs improvement?

As with every piece of software, there’s always room for improvement. But for our shop, the most important features of the product have been working perfectly for a very long time. As for the JES2 component of the product, CA might improve... more»
358705c4 a2ec 4427 81a2 811f263fb7aa avatar
Real User
Lead Software Programmer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 29 2017

What is most valuable?

Automation is very important to any data center; just the ability to optimize things, run more efficiently. OPS/MVS does that tremendously.

How has it helped my organization?

I think from our standpoint, from automation, automation is central. We've reduced people from making mistakes. We've actually improved performance because now, OPS/MVS is doing things more efficiently than a person would do; they may make... more»

What needs improvement?

I think, for me, I’d like to see more of its web base. The ISPF dialogue needs a little bit more features. However, the web base will be even more important for me.
Ca2
CA Technologies
3da98aec 8e6b 4fe1 a25f d9bef52e1160 avatar?1453386904
Real User
Sr. Analyst/Technology Infrastructure at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 25 2018

What do you think of CA SYSVIEW?

Primary Use Case This is our primary performance monitor. It replaced BMC Mainview and is much easier to install and maintain.  Most of what we need is all in this single product.  We monitor z/OS, JES2, MQ, IMS, CICS and TCPIP with this product over 3 lpars.  It's very easy to switch from lpar to lpar without even leaving the product.  This is very helpful to us. • Improvements to My Organization It's beneficial because it also ties into other CA products that we have. It makes it a really good fit. • Valuable Features It's an all in one monitoring solution because of the different subsystems we have such as JZ2, MQ, CICS and being the fact that it's an all inclusive and an all single install really helps us out. • Room for Improvement I guess really just kind of...
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Lead System Programmer at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 01 2018

What is most valuable?

Like a Megamind does, it provides CPU contention batch job information. We are looking more for our kicks regions and stuff, which it self discovers, then they have some work to do. However, it has been very valuable so far.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits are kind of what we are looking for. We are not there yet, and end-to-end, we are trying to tie it up with our distributive apps to match them up with the mainframe apps. Therefore, everything is tied through one single pane of... more»

What needs improvement?

The product itself seems very good. The documentation, like installation guides and stuff, put it all in one place.
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Infrastructure Engineer Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 04 2018

What is most valuable?

The simplicity of it, as far as getting new people to use the tool. It's very flexible. You can customize what you need to, which is good. For example, you can do your own coding inside the tool, make your own scripting tooling. The... more»

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to respond faster to issues. If there are issues that come out, we're able to capture a message and alert somebody about it.

What needs improvement?

It does everything we need right now, I can't know of anything else we really need at the moment. If I really had to put my finger on anything, mainframe tools are pretty old as far as the pricing models. Maybe that could be improved. Should... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Enterprise Systems Engineering at First Data Corporation
Dec 07 2017

What is most valuable?

* Ease of use * Ability for system diagnostics System troubleshooting and diagnostics are the biggest thing for us. We need to make sure our system is up and running and at peak performing. Also, it helps us troubleshoot if something does go... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Ultimately, the prevention of money loss for missing SOAs and stuff like that on our systems, if we miss something. Anybody has the ability to be able to find something that might be wrong, and look through it.

What needs improvement?

They are already working on improvements. One of them is the operational intelligence, which is a lot of stuff I am trying to learn and work on right now, which SYSVIEW reports to that all the system things which are going on.
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Systems Programmer at Erie insurance
Jan 02 2017

What is most valuable?

It takes less time to install the product and to get maintenance. The users and our staff can implement those changes much quicker. It makes it a lot easier to install our products.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to spend a lot of time in getting fixes done and also in finding out that all the fixes are available. This product ensures that we have all the fixes in place and that they can be applied over time.

What needs improvement?

They are progressing in that direction. They are keeping track of our configuration changes. So, they will automatically move forward as we progress with our products. Right now, one of the challenges that we still face is to keep track of... more»
F250709d 0b2e 43d3 aa5d 46406946420c avatar
Real User
IT Director at McKesson
Jan 01 2018

What is most valuable?

It's very secure, because it's a legacy application. It allows a natural, organic encapsulation of data.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit is that the ROI, since it's 35 years old, the ROI is coming back over and over and over. I don't think it improves the way our company functions. Because of its age, it's a little bit difficult to modernize some of the... more»

What needs improvement?

Definitely having more web-based interface. Definitely be more mobile-open. More APIs, more open source to it.
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Operations Integration Specialist at TCF Financial Group
Jan 14 2018

What is most valuable?

I do not have to keep recordings. It is there and is proactive. It helps the operators, human editors, and me.

How has it helped my organization?

It watches the slug, the BDIs, and the other systems that we have. It alerts the operators when it is time to repair the communications and the IPLs.

What needs improvement?

I am not using all the stuff that I could use now, so I do not know. It is working very well for us. There is just so much in there that I am not utilizing, though I might not need to utilize. It is just not knowing everything in the product.
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Systems Analyst / Programmer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Dec 28 2016

What is most valuable?

* The ability to create your own automation * Flexibility * The reliability of constant, active monitoring

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits are the ability to do monitoring on your mainframe systems exactly the way you want to do it. It provides a lot of flexibility. That really improves the way our organization functions.

What needs improvement?

The only issue we have is when we try to integrate with common services. That's why it doesn't get a perfect rating. The OPS/MVS product itself is really good. We have asked CA for things, including the ability to test multi-line WTOs. This... more»
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Mainframe Automation Support at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 08 2016

What is most valuable?

OPSLOG, message rules, ability to manipulate the msg autoflag, MSF, RDF Tables. The whole product is very valuable, but if I have to list some, those are a good start.

How has it helped my organization?

The product is so advanced in all ways that it's hard to pick a specific area. OPSLOG and MSF has saved us more than once when a system was unavailable via TSO, but we could see what was going on via our cross domain logs. This allowed us to correct the problem with an actual IPL of the system. The ability to manipulate the autoflag has allowed us to setup the... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Senior System Specialist z/OS at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Aug 08 2016

What is most valuable?

The CICS option is used very frequently. For myself, I mostly use the z/OS part. I also really like the XSYSTEM functions in case I'm having trouble logging on to an LPAR.

How has it helped my organization?

We have automated the monitoring of our CICS regions and CICS transactions. This leaves much less manual monitoring for the CICS people than before.

What needs improvement?

The creation of dashboards could be made much easier, such as the way it is done in BMCs MainView for example. Currently, you need to do some programming to create dashboards, which is time consuming and error prone. A dashboard you can... more»
Ca2
CA Technologies
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Oracle DBA at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 08 2016

What is most valuable?

Our data center uses this as the main product for mainframe system monitoring for hundreds of clients. The integration of CA OPS/MVS to alter and automate the action by threshold setup is the most valuable feature of this product.

How has it helped my organization?

We are targeting the standardization of our mainframe system monitoring product for clients and CA SYSVIEW is our first option, and packaged into our total solution for our mainframe service. Our client can use this product without additional... more»

What needs improvement?

I would expect this product to be integrated with mainframe Linux system monitoring which is more popular in our mainframe solutions.
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Vice President, Managing Director Defined Contribution at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Sep 29 2016

What is most valuable?

* Rules * OPS/REXX * SQL * SSM * Global variables * OPSLOG

How has it helped my organization?

We control our DR tests with OPS/MVS as a wrapper to IBM’s GDPS so our operations staff does not have to manage using their interface in NetView. We also have other “applications” like managing logical engines on LPARs.

What needs improvement?

Our last main complaint was having sysplex-wide variables, which uses a dataset that is accessible from all systems. There are, however, still some restrictions with sysplex vars as far as which kinds of rules you can use them in, which is... more»

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