CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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Nick Cianco
Consultant
Lead Technology Architect – Systems Programmer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
May 16 2018

What is most valuable?

* SSM - Provides for orderly startup and shutdown. * OPSLOG - Enables filtering by message-id, and/or jobname(s). * Rules - OPS/REXX interface streamlines deployment, interfaces easily with JES2 and… more »

How has it helped my organization?

Orderly startup and shutdown of z/OS and all components.

What needs improvement?

* The interfaces to USS, CA UIM could be better. * CA Common Services interfaces - namely Zdata Mover, Zmessage Service, Zdatacolletcor - are poorly documented.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Migrated from AutoMate/MVS in the 1990s. We went with the best automation solution available.

What other advice do I have?

It's easy to use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

NetView, Candle products, ASG-Zack.
Real User
Lead z/OS Systems Programmer
Apr 08 2018

What is most valuable?

OPS/REXX, because it allows us almost unlimited flexibility in automating our system.

How has it helped my organization?

We have eliminated human error in the startup of one of our most critical applications, thereby reducing the risk of unwanted downtime.

What needs improvement?

One thing that comes to mind is the MQ interface. The last time we tried to use it, it seemed a little clunky. Also, performing a stop/restart of OPS/MVS could be a little smoother too. Without… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had been a user of AF/OPERATOR, and needed a replacement for it. We switched because of cost and because our implementation of AF/OPERATOR was substandard.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. It's a superior product for automation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have looked at BMC's AutoOPERATOR.
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Consultant
z/OS system Programmer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Feb 06 2018

What is most valuable?

* Responding to various events in the system. * Performing automatic IPL and shutdown. * Verifying system status. It makes our job, as operators, easier.

How has it helped my organization?

Once automatic IPL has been defined, anyone can perform an IPL with very little intervention. We know that all of the components will be started correctly. Also, because we can define complex… more »

What needs improvement?

It’s a complex product. The initial installation is easy, but implementing various functions is a constant process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I’m not involved with these aspects.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As the system became more complex, a solution was needed to make things simpler for operators and system programmers.

What other advice do I have?

Look at the samples. There is a lot of information there. Also, this product has integration with CA-SYSVIEW, and they work great together.
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… more »

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the solution. It is a very friendly solution: Easy to upgrade and it is pretty self-contained. It does everything you need it to. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Responsiveness of support. * Easy to… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know which vendors that we were looking at. I was before my time at the company. I do believe we selected the solution because it was the most robust at the time and the easiest to maintain.
Leo Cadegan
Real User
Systems Programmer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jan 11 2018

What is most valuable?

* Simplicity of use * Reliability of the product * Scalability * The performance functionality The width and breadth of the options available that we do currently not use, but are available to us.

What needs improvement?

The further expansion of the mainframe teamcenter interface. Also, the web services support is something that I am looking into. Though, it currently meets my needs perfectly the way it is. The GUI interface could be improved, but that is coming. They are working on that.

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Cost * Functionality * Cost of the business.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.
Real User
IT Team Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Jan 11 2018

What is most valuable?

The product is really a very good automation. It's around the Rolls-Royce products of the automation products that are around. It's a very stable product. I very much like the SSM stuff in it. The rules engine, it's awesome.

How has it helped my organization?

We have managed to avoid a lot of incidents with it. We can, in fact, with OPS/MVS cope with some incidents before they happen.

What needs improvement?

There is always room for improvement and new features, and we like new features, so if CA delivers them, we are happy to use them.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding important criteria when selecting a vendor, it's all together: It's the stability, it's the support. I also know some of the developer guys, and that's really an add-on if you know them, and you can talk to them straight here at CA World. It's definitely a 10 out of 10, because it's a very… more »
Vendor
Infrastructure Engineer Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ 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… 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… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The path we were going down was between IBM and CA, and we thought about which one we should go with. For us, the flexibility and scalability is what sold us on this.

What other advice do I have?

Our most important criterion when selecting a vendor is how closely do we partner with them, that is the biggest thing for us. What kind of attention do they give us when we have issues? We're… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Just IBM, in addition to CA.
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 integrations and some of the functions. The people who support it… more »

What needs improvement?

Definitely having more web-based interface. Definitely be more mobile-open. More APIs, more open source to it.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are depth of support, intelligence on the industries that we are in, and similarities of different organizations so we can leverage their data points to make sure that we have a streamlined approach on support going forward. I would look at the… more »
Real User
Staff Specialist at M&T
Dec 31 2017

What do you think of CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation?

What is our primary use case?

We use it to look for jobs that are running late in our scheduling system. 

How has it helped my organization?

It can save money. If something is late, there are lots of dollars lost.

What is most valuable?

To help monitor our scheduling system, in case there is something late. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never seen it go down unless we brought it down with the system.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not used the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved.

What other advice do I have?

It is an easy product to use and it is stable.
Vendor
Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Dec 14 2017

What is most valuable?

It works, and as far as the scheduling piece, it is wonderfully well-written and I use it all the time. If something breaks and it goes down when it's not supposed to, automation brings it right back up. So it's really used mainly for availability.

How has it helped my organization?

It's made it so that with a lot of automation pieces we can bring this region up or take this region down, and it allows us to actually always meet our time critical requirements. If it's supposed to be up at 8am, it comes up at 8am.

What needs improvement?

It more or less does everything we need for it to do.
Vendor
Systems Programmer at Regions Financial Corporation
Dec 13 2017

What is most valuable?

It brings up the jobs. We can schedule them into different groups, so we can bring up the base system first and then the applications just run on top of the that; then the jobs that aren't quite as important after that. We can enter special commands. It can go out and see messages as the job comes… more »

How has it helped my organization?

It does what it's supposed to do. What we need it to do is just bring our tasks up and bring them down, and in the right order.

What needs improvement?

Some of the commands are long. For example, to start a job, instead of just doing "s" plus space, to start a task, you have to type in "ssm", space, "sj", space, "job equals." That's how I do it. I use the commands. I know that you can go into a panel and kick things off in a different way. Maybe… more »

What other advice do I have?

It works well.
Vendor
Systems Programmer at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Dec 12 2017

What is most valuable?

To minimize the labor of responding to the required message. So, an automatic response is minimizing the labor work.

How has it helped my organization?

To reduce the number of repetitive motions required by a human to respond to the system. This automation automatically replies, so the benefit is to reduce repetition of work.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Because sometimes the system has new messages. Every time we installed another new product, the message is different, so we would have to constantly upgrade, and follow up with the upgrade. That is how we knew that we needed this product.

What other advice do I have?

We really do need this product. We have the necessity now, because we have implemented for so long that we can't function without this product. Implement and write the script correctly from the beginning. Make sure and plan out ahead. Plan the project five, six, or seven years ahead, instead of just… more »
Real User
Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Dec 03 2017

What is most valuable?

I personally like its System State Manager tools. They make starting and stopping a mainframe pretty much seamless.

How has it helped my organization?

I've always had it, so I don't really know that I can say how it improves my organization. I don't have anything to compare it to.

What needs improvement?

I don't know of anything that is required to be added.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely get a demo and look at this product and compare it to what they're running. All of these vendors have conversion processes, so I'm sure they'd have to do the other stuff that I don't do, make the dollars work. If it works I'd do it.
Vendor
Lead Software Programmer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ 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.

What other advice do I have?

With any company nowadays, senior people are being shipped out, basically retiring. New people are coming in and, in the mainframe industry, a lot of the newcomers do not know the mainframe. So, having that automation platform in place and… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've been asked plenty of times about other vendors, but for us, we've had it so many years. We don't see anything out there that actually meets up to what OPS/MVS is doing for us, so we're comfortable with it. When selecting a vendor, we… more »
Real User
Programmer 3 at Shelter insurance
Jan 05 2017

What is most valuable?

I can use this solution to automate message traffic on the console.

How has it helped my organization?

With this tool, there is now less operator intervention and more of an automated, streamlined process. It's given us the ability to track problems and create service tickets to resolve them.

What needs improvement?

I've seen a mobile app that allows you to get the system status from your phone. That's a really nice feature that I’d like to see.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, the most important thing is the ability to meet our needs. CA does a very good job of that. It's a very solid product. This tool is very good as far as doing what we need it to do. I would recommend others to look at it and compare it to other products on the market. I think… more »
Vendor
Senior Systems Administrator 2 at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Jan 05 2017

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are its ease of use and capability to solve problems across different platforms and different software products.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has helped our organization since we are now be able to automate things; things don't break as much. There are not so many human interactions so as to make mistakes.

What needs improvement?

We're missing the boat. We don't have a graphical display and we need something beyond just pretty PC pictures for the other departments. As a manager, I would love to have a dashboard that shows the problem and that the automation is taking care of it. The systems management and the computer… more »

What other advice do I have?

You should install version 12.3 as it makes it a lot easier to set it up. Stability is a major criteria for selecting a vendor. Ease of working with a vendor is also an important factor. Compared to the products on the market, it is hands down the best one.
Vendor
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… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't switch from a previous solution. In 1988 when we started, this solution was one of about three tools that were available. We evaluated all of them and this one was the best. It was the most… more »

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to go with OPS/MVS. We still occasionally review what's in the market to make sure that it's still the best product for us and we have never been disappointed by it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time, IBM and Tivoli (a separate company at the time) were the two other options we considered. We chose CA because of the flexibility and the way the product worked. CA was easier to interface… more »
Vendor
IT System Software - Technical Consultant at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Dec 24 2016

What is most valuable?

We like the flexibility that enables us to keep up with all the other products that are coming up and available.

How has it helped my organization?

It's very active at keeping our start tasks on the mainframe up and running for our business solutions.

What needs improvement?

I'm in a sprint review with the next version, so I've seen some of the things that they're coming out with. It's going to very nice. I like the things they're coming up with. The mainframe TSO side still displays green screens. Today… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've been using the solution for quite a long time; 15 years or more.

What other advice do I have?

I would say yes, definitely use it. The ease of using it and the training is useful. It's very good.
Vendor
Vice President, Managing Director Defined Contribution at a financial services firm with 10,001+ 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… more »

What needs improvement?

Our last main complaint was having sysplex-wide variables (outside of OPSHFI), but this is now a reality. If you look in the v12.2 command and function reference manual, there are sysplex variables… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In a previous life, I supported NetView and also the old Auto-operator. OPS/MVS is much more intuitive to use, especially compared to Netview/SA/GDPS.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to simply install it in a test environment first, then play with all the features. I know there are also many samples and tools provided, such as how to set up a table to start… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

- NetView
Vendor
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… more »

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

OPS/MVS tends to be one of the more expensive products if you strictly look at the licensing costs. The ease of use and operations more than makes up for that cost… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used and we continue to use a different solution. (We still have two LPARs on a different solution.) The #1 reason we switched to this product was the ease… more »

What other advice do I have?

If converting from a different product, all of your existing code (REXX, rules, clists,...) will have to be rewritten. It is NOT hard, but it is time consuming. If you are… more »

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have been working with system automation since 1986. I have used or evaluated probably six different automation tools. When we made the decision to switch, OPS/MVS was… more »
Vendor
Mainframe System Sofware Support at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Sep 29 2016

What do you think of CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation?

What is most valuable?

System State Manager (SSM) and the RDF, EPI, POI REXX functions and commands Global variables MSF OPSLOG Archive capabilities

How has it helped my organization?

After implementing SSM, we dropped our IPL time from 40 minutes via manual commands to eight minutes via SSM.

What needs improvement?

Use something other than CCI for external communications.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it 20+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues; very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues; very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support gets the highest rating;…
Vendor
Mainframe Automation Support at a tech company with 10,001+ 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… more »

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a home grown product before choosing OPS.

What other advice do I have?

If you're at the point of implementation, take advantage of CA technical support and the local OPS online community. Both are extremely helpful and willing to give advice to help new people avoid potential problems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated basically all available options, narrowed it down to CA, BMC and one other (now absorbed) company.
Vendor
Production Control with 1,001-5,000 employees
Aug 08 2016

What do you think of CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation?

What is most valuable?

System State Manager and all the built-in functions.

How has it helped my organization?

It’s invaluable for expediting the shutdowns/IPLs of our z/OS LPARs and monitoring our z/OS LPARs for issues/problems.

What needs improvement?

It needs to have more compatibility/interfaces to other vendors’ products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for more than 15 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Upgrading the product, either adding maintenance, or moving to a new release, is usually painless.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some earlier releases crashed occasionally, very rarely with recent releases.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Adding OPS to a new LPAR or…
Vendor
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 -… 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… 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… more »

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have no idea what price/licensing we have. Make sure you know what's included in the base product and what you have to pay extra for.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We started out with IBM's "AO NetView", now known as SysView. It has a Message Automation Table (MAT), which can drive REXX execs to run in internal servers. At the time… more »

What other advice do I have?

CA give a lot of support as standard for converting between products, including sample rules and REXXes. Use all the support you can get.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We wrote out a list of requirements and sent it out to about 10 vendors. Those which most closely matched our needs made it onto the shortlist, namely OPSMVS and… more »
Vendor
Snr Vice president CIO at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Dec 11 2015

What do you think of CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation?

Valuable Features

The effectiveness and stability of the solution is something that we require and something that this solution delivers.

Improvements to My Organization

It’s a mature product that does what it’s supposed to do and does exactly what we bought it for.

Room for Improvement

I’m not aware of any complaints from my team; I hear nothing but good things. It was, however, a complex setup in the mainframe. Setup should be made much more straightforward.

Deployment Issues

After the initial setup, it's deployed without issue.

Stability Issues

Today it handles everything very well. A while back, that wasn’t the case, but now it is and we are content with it.

Scalability Issues

It has adapted well to the mainframe, but we haven’t ported it to any other platform…
Vendor
IT System Analyst - Lead at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Dec 10 2015

What is most valuable?

We used to us an IBM product, but OPS/MVS has a lot more flexibility in what we can do with it. We're able to do a lot more ad hoc-type things. We can set up for different events, or do out-paging for a mainframe interface, or issue MVS commands. It's flexible enough for us to use it when needed outside the normal automation flows. We obviously also use all the basic functionalities of it, like time-of-day, message, and other command rules. Command rules are especially great when our operators have repetitive tasks.

What needs improvement?

One of the things we've been wanting to do is to be able to automate off of different highlighted messages without actually knowing what the message is. For example, we'd like to be able to create some generic automation when we receive a warning or alert message to allow, if nothing else, the automation team to know so we can contact the product owner. If there's something we can do to automate or expedite notification to the proper people, we want to try to do that.

What is CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation?

z/OS, its subsystems, databases, middleware, applications, and software generate thousands of event messages daily. IT professionals need a tool to filter, prioritize, and respond quickly to these events before they impact availability and threaten business processing and associated service level agreements. CA OPS/MVS EMA automates processes, enabling you to resolve problems as they arise. It also automates more routine tasks, simplifying IT management and operations.
Also known as
CA OPS/MVS Event Management and Automation, Unicenter CA-OPS/MVS Event Management and Automation
CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation customers
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