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CA SYSVIEW Review
Provides insights to a z/OS operating system and the ability to modify it.


Valuable Features:

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 minutes, or sometimes even hours, to get similar information, if at all. Similarly, there are many powerful commands for modifying a z/OS operating system.

I can emphasize this with the following examples:

1. Instead of using z/OS system commands on a system console in order to get some information from the system or to modify the system, you can use CA SYSVIEW commands to do exactly the same. Compared to a system console these commands provide a tremendously more user-friendly interface to the system and the output is being displayed much more clearly arranged and accessible than console output. This means much more efficiency, e.g. for system operators.

A specific example of this is all the Dynamic Linklist commands you can use to display and modify the MVS linklist concatenation.

2. There are a lot of commands providing system information as well as system modification for which there is no similar native support from z/OS, especially in a case of emergency. This means that, without a product like CA SYSVIEW, you either had to write your own programs providing such information/modification or you even had no chance at all to deal with such a situation. This means high productivity, e.g. for system programmers.

A specific sample for this is the ACTIVITY command with all its line commands you can use to display and modify all running address spaces in various ways, e.g. displaying allocated data sets, active enqueues, task structure, canceling address spaces of even individual tasks.

Improvements to 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.

Room for 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 the overall performance when accessing the JES2 spool. I do know that CA is using system interfaces from IBM to get the JES2 data, and I suspect that the actual room for improvement is in that interface. Maybe CA cannot do very much to improve performance, but it would be great to get better performance in this area.

Use of Solution:

We have been using this solution since 1993.

Stability Issues:

There are rarely stability issues, just minor issues when they do occur.

Scalability Issues:

There have been no scalability issues.

Technical Support:

In the 90s, the European first-level support was sort of lukewarm. This changed positively with the beginning of this century, and it still persists.

Previous Solutions:

We had a previous solution, and we switched because CA SYSVIEW was clearly superior.

Initial Setup:

The installation was, and still is, straightforward, provided that you are a moderately experienced z/OS systems programmer.

Other Solutions Considered:

The only additional candidate then was OMEGAMON from IBM.

Other Advice:

A great deal of the product is definitely suitable for z/OS system specialists with some years of job experience. In other words, z/OS beginners will probably not be able to appreciate all of the product’s features. Thus, it should be evaluated by an experienced systems programmer.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.

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