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CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

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.

CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation is also known as CA OPS/MVS Event Management and Automation, Unicenter CA-OPS/MVS Event Management and Automation.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Event Monitoring Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation Customers
Tieto
CA OPS MVS Event Management and Automation Video

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

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Greg Payne
Sr. Analyst/Technology Infrastructure at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
It automates responses, preventing issues from becoming more severe

What is our primary use case?

Our use case now includes the addition of two new LPARs. OPS/MVS is implemented on both additional LPARs.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the biggest advantages is the prevention of problems from getting more severe. If you know what's going on, and if there are things that you can do to automate your responses, it makes your life easier. I now get very few calls during the on-call period and, in part, it's because we know what's going on and can automate responses.

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. It makes it really easy to administer. I've had people tell me that it's one of the best automated systems they've ever worked on.

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 it and start doing things the new way. As I need to train people, it's going to make it easier for them and make the learning curve much shorter.

The new release addressed some shortcomings of the product. It was old-school. The learning curve was a little bit long in the beginning, but it's really come a long way.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been an extremely stable product. For all of the upgrades that I've ever done with the product, I don't think I've ever had a problem that was just from the product itself. There were a couple issues that I introduced myself, but they were easily explained and easily fixable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is really good because, for the few systems that we have, it easily manages the message workload that we put out and could really handle much more. I know of much larger sites that are using OPS/MVS for their automation and these other companies wouldn't be using it if it wasn't scalable to the extent that it is.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support for the product has been very good. I don't think I've ever had to open a problem ticket with the vendor on this product, unlike some others we've had.

CA's support has always been very good, and I’ve always gotten quick responses for everything that I've done.

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

The licensing structure and pricing are comparable to what we've been used to paying and maybe even better. Just the fact that we're getting an overall better product, better suited for what we want to do, makes it worth the money.

What other advice do I have?

For what it was produced for, it's an excellent product. It's done everything that we wanted to do with the product and more, which has been a really big help for us. It's made my job much easier. It's very sustainable and an extremely stable product over the last cycle that we have had it.

They continue to enhance the product and make it easier for even more general users to use.

After using it for some time, I still feel it's a great product: easy to install, implement, and administer.

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.
NC
Lead Technology Architect – Systems Programmer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Leaderboard
Enables orderly startup and shutdown of z/OS and all components

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include: SSM, which provides for orderly startup and shutdown; OPSLOG, which enables filtering by message-id, and/or jobname(s); Rules, as OPS/REXX interface streamlines deployment, interfaces easily with JES2 and z/OS."
  • "The interfaces to USS, CA UIM could be better. CA Common Services interfaces - namely Zdata Mover, Zmessage Service, Zdatacolletcor - are poorly documented."

What is our primary use case?

System/ops automation, SSM, OPSLOG, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

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

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 z/OS.

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is excellent.

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.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward, used CA-supplied migration tools.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

NetView, Candle products, ASG-Zack.

What other advice do I have?

It's easy to use.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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it_user851853
Lead z/OS Systems Programmer
Real User
OPS/REXX allows us almost unlimited flexibility in automating our system

Pros and Cons

  • "OPS/REXX is valuable because it allows us almost unlimited flexibility in automating our system."
  • "One thing that comes to mind is the MQ interface. The last time we tried to use it, it seemed a little clunky."
  • "Performing a stop/restart of OPS/MVS could be a little smoother. Without special coding, some undesired tasks will be started and some necessary tasks will be stopped if we have to bounce OPS/MVS during the day."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to automate our responses to messages, and to get early notification on potential problems. We also use it for orderly startups/shutdowns of the operating system and all started tasks.

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 is most valuable?

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

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 special coding, some undesired tasks will be started and some necessary tasks will be stopped if we have to bounce OPS/MVS during the day.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Superb. Every time I have an issue, tech support answers promptly, and they always have solutions.

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.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. We received on-site assistance from CA, and they not only helped us set up the system properly, they also made sure to transfer the knowledge to us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have looked at BMC's AutoOPERATOR.

What other advice do I have?

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

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.
it_user2991
z/OS system Programmer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
We can define complex commands, making training of new operators quicker

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "Because we can define complex commands, the training of new operators is quicker. We can also put checks in place, that will prevent user errors."
  • "​It’s a complex product. The initial installation is easy, but implementing various functions is a constant process.​"

What is our primary use case?

z/OS automation.

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 commands, the training of new operators is quicker. We can also put checks in place that will prevent user errors.

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.

What needs improvement?

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

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Excellent. It’s quick, responsive, and there is no problem with asking "how-to" questions.

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

I’m not involved with these aspects.

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.

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.
it_user778551
Operations Integration Specialist at TCF Financial Group
Real User
Easy to upgrade and easy to maintain

Pros and Cons

  • "It alerts the operators when it is time to repair the communications and the IPLs."
  • "I do not have to keep recordings. It is there and is proactive. It helps the operators, human editors, and me."
  • "​The follow-up surprised me. Making sure that I am happy with what I have gone to them on. They will call after I have made changes and verify that I am happy with the changes that I did have to make. If it did not fix the complete problem, they go back over it until I am satisfied.​"
  • "​The service has been wonderful. I like the people that I have had to deal with. The process is very straightforward. I call or use the website."

    What is our primary use case?

    Mainframe: Everything from message suppression to posting jobs in CA 7 and opening tickets.

    It is performing well.

    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 is most valuable?

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

    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.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. We have had very few problems with the product itself. Mostly like parameter numbers, things change. It needs to figure it all out, and suggest parameter changes.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is good. Variability with a lot of content. Not a lot of issues and it is automated. Easy to upgrade and easy to support.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The service has been wonderful. I like the people that I have had to deal with. The process is very straightforward. I call or use the website.

    The follow-up surprised me. Making sure that I am happy with what I have gone to them on. They will call after I have made changes and verify that I am happy with the changes that I did have to make. If it did not fix the complete problem, they go back over it until I am satisfied.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was not involved in the initial setup, though I have created and brought in new releases and stuff. The upgrades are pretty easy. When I do have questions, they usually walk me through it.

    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.

    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 follow instructions. A lot of times you open a manual and it is like a foreign language to you, if you don't have the knowledge upfront. You need a vendor there to explain it, and CA has been very helpful.
    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.
    LC
    Systems Programmer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Leaderboard
    Stability is the best out-of-the-box. Put it in, set it up, and you leave it alone.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The performance of it is beyond exceptional. It is probably one of the best products that I have ever worked with. It is easy to use, comprehensive, and can perform almost any task you need it to."
    • "Stability is probably the best out-of-the-box. Put it in, set it up, and you leave it alone. It works wonderfully."
    • "The documentation is simple, easy to follow, and use. A limited, first-time systems programmer can do it, in that it is out-of-the-box almost functional."
    • "Their technical support is incredible, immediately responsive, and even if it is not updated to Level 2 support sometimes, they chip in providing more detailed answers and options to fix the problem."
    • "The GUI interface could be improved, but that is coming. They are working on that."
    • "The further expansion of the mainframe teamcenter interface. Also, the web services support is something that I am looking into."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use of OPS/MVS is automation on the mainframe system, controlling resources, and tasks. 

    The performance of it is beyond exceptional. It is probably one of the best products that I have ever worked with. It is easy to use, comprehensive, and can perform almost any task you need it to. 

    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 do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is probably the best out-of-the-box. Put it in, set it up, and you leave it alone. It works wonderfully.

    We have had very minimal problems, mostly of our own causation.

    I have been using it as my own user for over twenty years. With the bank, since I have been there, seven-plus years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is simple and easy. We just built another system, put Ops on it, and built it in less than an hour.

    We have not had any issues with the scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is incredible, immediately responsive, and even if it is not updated to Level 2 support sometimes, they chip in providing more detailed answers and options to fix the problem.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was not involved in the initial setup, but I know it was straightforward. The documentation is simple, easy to follow, and use. A limited, first-time systems programmer can do it, in that it is out-of-the-box almost functional.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No.

    What other advice do I have?

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

    • Cost
    • Functionality
    • Cost of the business.  
    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.
    it_user581055
    IT Team Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Enables us to cope with some incidents before they happen

    Pros and Cons

    • "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 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.

      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 do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Before, we had downtime without the product. Now we can, in fact, avoid the downtime with it.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's very scalable. You can automate with it, a 1CP, and for the moment we have around 200 LPARs. So you can, for one LPAR, it's a logical partition... or with 200. It's very scalable.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Very good, because if I open a ticket with them, I get instant reaction, and the solution is also very fast.

      How was the initial setup?

      It's relatively straightforward. It's not so complex. Of course, if you are a newbie, it will be more complex than for someone who has done it before.

      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 stable product. It's a really fast product. It's one of the best on the market. I compared other products like stuff from IBM, BMC, with it, and it's nothing like anything else on the market for the moment.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user778836
      Infrastructure Engineer Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Vendor
      The simplicity means easy adoption; for us it's flexible and scalable across the enterprise

      Pros and Cons

      • "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."
      • "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."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it to monitor day-to-day activity in the system and to automate things like start-up, start a task. Basic overall health of the mainframe, and day-to-day business as usual.

        It has performed very well.

        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 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 scalability. We're able to use it across our whole enterprise.

        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 I be able to buy whatever I want, and then I pay for what I use? Or maybe I don't pay anything for the product, and I then pay for the support. More of an open-source model.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        More than five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's good. It's been very stable for us, for the 10 years we've had it.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Like I mentioned earlier, it goes across the enterprise, so it's been very scalable.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We use technical support all the time for it. We're a big shop, we have a large enterprise of system. So there are a lot of issues that come up, or sometimes it may just be a question about the product. Maybe we're doing an upgrade and you need to know, "Am I doing the right thing?"

        They're good. We haven't had any issues. Responsive, absolutely.

        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.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Just IBM, in addition to CA.

        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 satisfied with that with CA.

        I give it an eight out of 10. There is always room for improvement. To get it to a 10, I will know when they do it. Maybe it's cheaper, maybe it's some new flexibility in the product that we've never even thought about. If they anticipate the industry, what's going forward, what's out there, is it something that you would maybe use it in the cloud.

        For the mainframe it's a really good automation tool. It's been really solid for what we needed it for, and it's been flexible and scalable across the enterprise.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user779109
        IT Director at McKesson
        Real User
        Considering its longevity, it's functioning well with ROI continuing to grow

        Pros and Cons

        • "It's very secure, because it's a legacy application."
        • "Because of its age, it's a little bit difficult to modernize some of the integrations and some of the functions."
        • "It definitely needs more web-based interface, to be more mobile-open. More APIs, more open source to it."
        • "Scalability is zero. It cannot be scaled because of its age."

        What is our primary use case?

        It's distribution. The logistics of distribution. Warehousing, distribution, inventory control, shipping, bills of material.

        Considering it's 35 years old, it's still functioning well, primarily because of the resources that are available, and tools that have been introduced that can connect to legacy applications. 

        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 limits us, but at the same time it's providing us benefit.

        What is most valuable?

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

        What needs improvement?

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

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        The product is very stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is zero. It cannot be scaled because of its age. And it can't be scaled because the newer warehouses, or the new distribution units, require far more automation, far more artificial intelligence, far more robotics. This application, unfortunately, cannot be scaled, unless you add more middleware pieces. So it's great where it's at, but modern environments are having a difficult time scaling it.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        They're good. Very good. They're efficient. They know our environment. It's a good relationship.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was not involved in the initial setup but I have been involved in an upgrade. It was complex. It wasn't a major upgrade. It was just an application version maintenance-level upgrade.

        It was complex because of the integrations. It was complex because of the availability of the system. It's at 32 distribution centers, so you have to work with one distribution, or a few, at a time. Like I talked about scaling. You had to do 32 distinct upgrades, and they all had their own little engagement, and they had their own little nuances, depending on the location.

        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 vendor's internal teams to see if there people capable of supporting it, and what it will take to ensure that there is sustainability around it. And last but not least, what is the roadmap of the product compared to the roadmap of your company? Strategically, they should be in lock step.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user779253
        Staff Specialist at M&T
        Real User
        ​It is an easy product to use and it is stable

        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.

        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.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user778542
        Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
        Vendor
        Allows us to always meet our time critical requirements through automation

        Pros and Cons

        • "With the automation pieces we can bring this region up or take this region down, and it allows us to always meet our time critical requirements."
        • "If something breaks and it goes down when it's not supposed to, automation brings it right back up."

          What is our primary use case?

          My primary use case is the automation of all of tasks. I used the scheduling feature and also automation of various time-critical top functions and facilities. 

          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 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.

          What needs improvement?

          It more or less does everything we need for it to do.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Very stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability is really not an issue in the mainframe. It can handle anything we need it for to handle.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          They do a good job. I have SYSVIEW and I'll call CA more for SYSVIEW than I would for Ops.

          How was the initial setup?

          We actually had CA, one of their experts, come in and help us set it up. Now it seems simple, but I have to train folks on it and it's complex, but it does a lot for us. It's complex because it does everything.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user779298
          Systems Programmer at Regions Financial Corporation
          Vendor
          Allows us to schedule jobs into priority groups, and I can interrupt and restart a job if needed

          Pros and Cons

          • "I can and interrupt what's going on, bring a job down if I need to, and bring it back up."
          • "Some of the command sequences are too long."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use OPS to manage our workflow with jobs.

          It performs great.

          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 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 up, and you can reply commands to the messages. 

          Satisfies the dependencies. 

          What I like about it personally is that I can go out and interrupt what's going on and bring a job down if I need to, and bring it back up. It works out really well.

          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 that would be easier.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          As far as I know it's stable. I think we did have one crash. I'm a user of it, I don't support it. But there was a crash.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I believe it's scalable.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have used technical support and it works great.

          What other advice do I have?

          It works well. 

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user778950
          Systems Programmer at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Vendor
          It reduces the number of repetitive motions required by a human to respond to the system

          Pros and Cons

          • "It reduces the number of repetitive motions required by a human to respond to the system."
          • "The reason sometimes it is not stable, we do not have the expertise to write the script.​"

          What is our primary use case?

          The primary usage is we try to automate the system message, then transfer it to the command to automatically respond to the system requirement message.

          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.

          What is most valuable?

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

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          With stability, sometimes we do have problems with this product. I guess because a lot of times we have to write the script correctly, so finding the right person with the expertise on writing the script, or the automation, is the problem. So, that is the reason sometimes it is not stable, we do not have the expertise to write the script.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          So far, so good. We can combine all the CA products and work with this product together, so we pretty satisfied with that.

          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.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not a part of the initial setup.

          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 installing, implementing, and starting. Plan ahead.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user778800
          Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Real User
          System State Manager tools make starting and stopping a mainframe seamless

          What is our primary use case?

          Mainframe automation.

          In terms of performance, it is the gold standard in mainframe automation.

          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 do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I've never had any issues with stability.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It's scalable to the mainframe. No issues.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is good. I work on several CA products, I generally find that they have a very good response time. And if they can't answer your question they always have levels above them that they can send the tickets off to.

          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. 

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user572892
          Lead Software Programmer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
          Video Review
          Vendor
          It's been stable for years and technical support has been responsive.

          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 mistakes; finger checks here. OPS/MVS will do it automatically, and that's been working well.

          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.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We're a beta site for CA. I've been with the company 30 years, so I probably have been using it for about 19, probably about 15 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I've been utilizing it for, again, 15 years. I'm happy with what we've seen with CA OPS/MVS.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Interestingly, since we're a beta site, we had the old automation platform. Then, when they merged OPS/MVS to automate, they really improved things with the merge. And then they started building up on it, so it's been scalable for the past umpteen years now.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I get along very well with support. Thankfully, we have a good relationship over the years; just building a relationship with them. They've been responsive to every question that we had. I'm happy about that.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup and upgrades are pretty much straightforward. Now that we've had it for so long, pretty much, we're just adding on at this point. They're pretty much stable, as far as the initial setup and also upgrades.

          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 look for a vendor that's stable; that’s one of the criteria. A vendor that's been around for a little while that has the future, vision. As far as OPS/MVS is concerned, they have that. They've been working on solutions, different solutions for OPS/MVS, promoting it to the customers, and even getting feedback. That's very important for me, as well: feedback from the customers; having the ability to communicate and say, "Okay. I like that idea. Let's implement that in the next release." So, that's been good.

          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 having it learn throughout the years, we had to do something.

          We started off as a beta site for CA, so we learned throughout the years that it's worked value for us and even reduced head count, so that was a good thing.

          I'm happy with what we've seen with CA OPS/MVS.

          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.
          it_user558474
          Programmer 3 at Shelter insurance
          Real User
          Has given us the ability to track problems and create service tickets to resolve them.

          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 do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The stability is great. It's very solid.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is working very well for us so far.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have used technical support and they are great. They work the problem until we have a solution. So far, it's worked very well for us.

          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 they'll find that OPS/MVS is a leader in the automation industry.

          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.
          it_user558486
          Senior Systems Administrator 2 at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          It is capable of solving problems across different platforms and different software products.

          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 operators would love to have a pretty graphic to display everything when it went down and to resolve the issue.

          The graphical interfaces need to improved. It's good for a technician. However, when I have to go and talk to my management or a director or somebody about it, it is very hard to explain. It would be so much better if there was just a picture or a dashboard showing the problems of what is breaking or what is wrong, perhaps a type of roadmap during the initial load.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The product is very stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It is extremely scalable.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have used the technical support. It is very good.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was involved in the setup process not at this shop but at a different shop in the past. The process was complex.

          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.

          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.
          it_user558285
          Systems Analyst / Programmer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          It provides flexible, reliable and customizable active monitoring.

          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 is on their backlog. We have several of those that we would like to monitor and we can’t test our code before it goes in and actually runs.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          This solution is very stable. We haven't had any issues with stability in a very long time.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          So far, we haven't run into scalability issues. We can use the solution when scaling up or down.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I have used technical support and they are very good. They're very responsive to any issues we run into and even respond if we just have questions.

          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 flexible and the one that would work best in our environment.

          How was the initial setup?

          Our initial setup was probably a little complex, but that was a long time ago in 1988. The new releases are reasonably good and do not require a lot of effort on our part. It's a pretty stable process.

          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 with and they knew our systems.

          When selecting a vendor, the stability of the vendor, as well as the stability of the product, is very important to us. We want to make sure that the vendor will be around to support us. We also want the flexibility of the product to make sure that it will handle our unique situations.

          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.

          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.
          it_user558138
          IT System Software - Technical Consultant at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Initial setup was pretty straightforward. Documentation is good.

          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, people are more into web and things like that. I would like to see that type of interface available for them.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It's very stable. We have very little errors with it. It is easy to configure.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability is good. I'd say it's up there in the upper range, 9/10 or 10/10 for scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is very good. They are very knowledgeable and very quick in getting your answers, what you need.

          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.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup was pretty straightforward. It's very easy to install. The documentation they give you and also the product, the way they had it set up to install, make it easy.

          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.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user493494
          Vice President, Managing Director Defined Contribution at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          We control our DR tests with it so our operations staff does not have to manage it using the NetView interface.

          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 (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. As in, their scope is sysplex-wide. If you update one on system A, it is accessible from system B.

          Prior to sysplex vars, the only option was to use OPSHFI (also documented in that manual), 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 also the case for OPSHFI vars.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it since 1997.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not really encountered any stability issues. We’ve had a few cases over the years where the product would shut down due to command or message rate exceeded but those have been mitigated.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have gotten close in one or two cases with the size of global variables but no show-stoppers.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is excellent.

          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.

          How was the initial setup?

          We have another team perform the install and we do some customization or test new features. From what I understand, there are no complaints about set-up.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          - NetView

          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 up your system tasks.

          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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We know several of the developers and usually participate in new features before they are GA. We also feel they are very open to our ideas.
          it_user493545
          Senior System Programmer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Our largest LPAR currently has 633 tasks defined to SSM. We can shut the system down and have it back up in 30 minutes.

          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 environment. I have worked at large (20+ LPARs) to gigantic (200+ LPARs) shops. The key to having good automation is to make sure all the rules and REXX execs are the same everywhere. Otherwise, you lose track of changes and differences very quickly. Obviously, some rules might only apply to one system, and we code them accordingly. (CA says that they are working on this currently, and I have seen a demo which looks very promising).
          • To go with the previous topic, we have a function called PLEX that returns the current logical sysplex that the rule or REXX exec is running on. Currently, with the provided tools, you would have to code a long select and list each system.
          • There is no function within OPS/MVS to open problem tickets to an outside product. Currently, our problem management tool is ServiceNow. We automatically open problem tickets and assign them to the appropriate group all automatically. This function I did demo for other companies at CA World in 2010. Some were very interested in what we have done.
          • There is one built-in OPS/MVS function that actually does not work at all. If you are using OPSVALUE to retrieve global information cross-system, there are times that it is not possible to get the information. The reason is you have to pull the data one level higher than what is needed, and you are limited to a number (I do not remember exactly what the value is) that can be returned cross-system, and it is less than what is retrieved from your request. We wrote a function that will look up global information on the system where they reside and return only the info that is needed. This one I have opened a problem ticket on, and have posted it to the CA website.

          These are the biggest issues. Some of these I have opened issues on, and others I have just posted online. So far, the only one that seems to have gotten attention is the first one.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          • Current employer: 11 years
          • Personal experience and usage: 14 years

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered stability issues very often. It is a very mature product, so there are usually only minor issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          As mentioned, our largest LPAR currently has 633 tasks defined to SSM. That kind of shows that there does not seem to be any issues with how big a system can get.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is very helpful, and usually extremely responsive.

          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 of operations and the hands-off approach in day-to-day usage.

          How was the initial setup?

          There are some things that are different, but that is true for pretty much all products. Overall, it is very easy - time consuming because of the code having to be rewritten - to convert to OPS/MVS.

          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, however.

          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 the only option that was considered.

          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 installing automation for the first time, use the samples, and be aware that automation is an evolution and it takes time for everything to fall into place. Once it does, life becomes MUCH easier and system stability improves tremendously.

          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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Officially we are only a customer. However, they do tend to listen to us because we have written some ingenious code and are an extremely large customer with very large systems.
          it_user493992
          Mainframe System Sofware Support at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Vendor
          After implementing SSM, IPL time went from being manual commands to eight minutes via SSM.

          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;…

          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; always knowledgeable and good response time.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup was very straightforward.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, I evaluated BMC Control products, IBM.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure to allocate enough space for the OPSLOG and for the global variables.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user480786
          Mainframe Automation Support at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
          MSP
          The ability to manipulate the autoflag has allowed us to setup the kind of message forwarding that is important to our end users.

          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 kind of message forwarding that is important to our end users.

          All of the OPS/REXX built in functions are great. We've recently used OPSTATUS to give our operators extra info they needed about WTORS that wasn't available via system commands.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We initially installed OPS in 1989 when it still was part of Goal.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It is an extremely stable product.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We're a large shop with many requirements and scalability has never been an issue.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          The technical support is top notch. They have always been right there for us whenever we were needed, including the offer to be available on weekends during a recent upgrade if needed.

          Friendly, professional, knowledgeable. I rate OPS/MVS technical support amongst the best support in the world.

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

          We had a home grown product before choosing OPS.

          How was the initial setup?

          Our initial setup was not overly difficult, but support was sent out to help us with our initial install.

          What about the implementation team?

          I'm not involved in pricing and licensing. I'm aware that OPS (as well as other CA products) are considered to be pricier than most. Having said that, you get what you pay for. If you want the features and reliability of Cadillac, then you have to be willing to pay for it.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated basically all available options, narrowed it down to CA, BMC and one other (now absorbed) company.

          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.

          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.
          it_user481269
          Production Control with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          I like the System State Manager and all the built-in functions.

          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…

          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 removing it from a decommissioned LPAR, hasn’t caused any issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Excellent – very helpful and knowledgeable.

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

          When I first started using OPS, there were not any similar products from other vendors, with all the features OPS provided.

          How was the initial setup?

          Once you're familiar with the product, it’s easy to use. The documentation is very good – coding some rules for console ‘message suppression’ is a good way to start.

          What about the implementation team?

          The pricing for the base product is probably comparable to other vendor’s offerings. There are some optional applications/features, with separate pricing/licensing, that can be added to the base product. Get a trial license first to determine if any of the ‘optionals’ are going to be of use.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          OPS was already in place here when I became administrator.

          What other advice do I have?

          Ask the vendor for a demonstration of the product.

          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.
          it_user489162
          Senior Automation Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Individual rules for various events can be updated in flight without bouncing the product.

          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 filtered to ease analysis.
          • Individual rules for various events can be updated in flight without bouncing the product.
          • Global variables can be set at the job, system or Sysplex level.

          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 is vital to have both high stability and meticulous user-maintained documentation.

          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 - merged OPSLOGs from multiple systems in a Sysplex, live, would help in problem determination.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have been using OPS/MVS since 1992.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          OPSMVS tends not to fall over. I have to cast my mind back to the 1990s to the last time it crashed in production, and even then, it's easy to restart.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I did not really encounter any issues with scalability. We were warned of an issue with the number of MSF links that could be up simultaneously, but that was resolved years ago.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support tends to be good. Sometimes first-level support seem to have trouble understanding an issue when we first present it, but once we push it to second-level, they quickly grasp the nature of our issues and get to work on them. Crit 1 & 2 issues go straight to second-level support. Sometimes a fix is already available and we have somehow neglected to apply a PTF. Otherwise, we can usually expect a fix to be written, tested and sent out within a very few days. CA are not averse to joining international conference calls to get to the root of a problem.

          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, there was no option to continue processing a message after the first hit in the MAT, so it was easy to configure it such that a given event would never trigger the desired automation. The entire MAT had to be reloaded for every change. There was no meaningful cross-system communication. There was no "front end". The product required thousands of fixes a year. We were discouraged from using a large number of global variables (we use thousands in OPSMVS). There was no equivalent to SSM.

          How was the initial setup?

          OPSMVS also uses REXX, albeit its own flavour. Some code could be converted virtually unchanged.

          Converting from the MAT to rules was a much longer process, more time-consuming than difficult.

          As many MAT entries had no message-ids coded, we had to determine what the actual message-ids were before we could convert them (another reason for dropping AO NetView). We initially tried coding each of these entires as ")MSG *" and then capturing the text in each rule, but that almost killed JES2 as we had more than double figures of such rules. It was a bad idea, so avoid having more than one such rule.

          We had to run both products concurrently for about two years during cutover, being careful not to have them fight each other.

          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 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 AUTOMATE/MVS. We were then instructed to include IBM's product (now known as SA/390) because it's IBM. We visited three other UK sites, one with each product, saw them at work and asked for opinions. The IBM user said it was "crap". The other two were equally good, but the vendors revealed they were about to merge products and we should go with OPSMVS. We have never looked back.

          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.

          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.
          it_user350031
          Snr Vice president CIO at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          ​It's adapted well to the mainframe after a complex setup, but as the product is feature rich, you don’t know if you've implemented correctly most of the time.

          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…

          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 though.

          Customer Service and Technical Support

          Technical support is knowledgeable and responsive. Although they're not as proactive as I'd like them to be, it's has gotten better over the years. They seem to handle tickets only if it’s over a certain priority level, in which case they jump on it pretty quickly.

          Initial Setup

          It was a complex setup in the mainframe environment. The product is feature rich, so you don’t know if you have it implemented correctly most of the time.

          Other Advice

          Make sure it’s the right product, get a strong proof of concept, and, importantly, get the right expertise.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user351621
          IT System Analyst - Lead at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          The ability to use command rules is great when our operators have repetitive tasks, but we'd like to automate off of different highlighted messages without actually knowing what the message is.

          Valuable Features

          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.

          Room for 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.

          Stability Issues

          It's a very stable product and the releases are really good.

          Scalability Issues

          Our company size is around 10-15 thousand. Our ops team is a few hundred people, and it's served us well.

          Customer Service and Technical Support

          We've had to use it on occasion. They've always been very responsive.

          Initial Setup

          I wasn't involved in the initial setup although I am still working with someone who was maybe 20 years ago. It's grown with us and it'd be difficult to switch.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.