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The first and only out-of-the-box tool helping IBM clients to benefit from the new z/OS Mobile Workload Pricing model.

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SMF4U for Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP) for z/OS

SITUATION

In May 2014 IBM announced Mobile Workload Pricing for z/OS (MWP). This new pricing model is designed “to mitigate the impact of mobile workloads on sub-capacity license charges and provide a more cost-competitive software”. IBM wants customers to put mobile applications on z/OS and will offer customers a discount on the z/OS software costs if this additional workload will increase them. The Mobile Workload Pricing is part of the IBM CAMS strategy. CAMS = Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social which are expected to be the drivers of IT growth in the next years.

The Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP) for z/OS can minimize the impact of mobile workloads on Sub-Capacity license charges, delivering optimized pricing for System z environments when extending their workloads to incorporate mobile devices.

COMPLICATION

The primary challenge for an IBM Mainframe Customer to benefit from the new Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP) is to identify, track and report to IBM their actual mobile workloads. As part of MWP IBM requests its customers to provide a monthly reporting based on the following process in which the customers are obliged to:

  • Track mobile transactions, including CPU seconds, per program on an hourly basis per LPAR.
  • Produce a comma-separated value (CSV) file showing mobile CPU consumption each month for each program.
  • Load the resulting data files along with the SMF 70 and SMF 89 records into a MWR Tool each month. IBM provides the MWR Tool.
  • Run the MWRT and submit the results to IBM for each sub-capacity reporting period.

MWRT utilizes reported mobile transaction data to adjust the Rolling 4 Hour Average (R4HA) Sub-Capacity software eligible MSUs, with LPAR granularity. Optimizing mobile transactions impact for peak LPAR MSU values delivers benefit when higher mobile transaction volumes generate MSU resource usage peaks (Workload Spikes). MWRT calculates the R4HA for mobile transaction GP MSU resource usage, subtracting 60% of those values from the traditional Sub-Capacity software eligible MSU metric, with LPAR granularity, for each and every reporting hour.

SOLUTION

While IBM provides the MWRT to run calculations of the actual workload the customer has to generate the “input file” for MWRT which is a comma-separated value (CSV) file showing mobile CPU consumption each month for each program.

Based on the content contained in specific SMF records of a client’s Mainframe System the SMF4U Browser provides a Mobile Workload Report that precisely identifies the actual mobile workload of a customer. From that report SMF4U generates the “input file” to run the Mobile Workload Pricing calculation as specified by IBM.

The SMF4U Mobile Workload Report categorizes Mainframe Transactions as: 100% mobile, definitely not mobile and probably mobile. For the “probably mobile” transactions SMF4U provides a description of these transaction and therefore allows the customer to decide which of them to classify as “mobile”.

SMF4U UNIQUE SELLING POINTS

The Mobile Workload Pricing as a brand new initiative of IBM and went productive as of August 2014. According to our knowledge the SMF4U Mobile Workload Report is the first and only out-of-the-box tool to help IBM clients to benefit from the new mobile pricing model. Clients can start using the SMF4U Mobile Workload Report instantly without the need of developing their own report as specified by IBM.

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EN DE
Your IBM Mainframe generates more than 1GB of log files
– System Management Facility Records. Everyday.
SMF4U decodes them and provides access to all information contained in SMF Records. The correlation of information gives you unmet insights into your system environment. Access cross-referenced and precise system data to obtain true and reliable information for the management of your Mainframe. Access the information from your SMF Records as easily as never before with SMF4U Cloud Reporting. Our first Mainframe Intelligence solution available from the Cloud.

Introduction to z/OS SMF

z/OS System Management Facility (SMF): The powerful source of system information

Common and frequent questions:

  • Did the latest system upgrade impact the performance of my z/OS system?
  • When do peaks of system usage occur? Can we allocate hardware more eficiently?
  • When and why did unscheduled system stoppages accur? Who‘s accoutable?
  • Did anyone try to violate the system? Can we track the activity of a particular user?
  • Does our system services provider bill us correctly according to agreed SLAs?

Information contained in SMF data is the purest, most realistic and most reliable information output retrievable from a z/OS operated machine

Introduction to z/OS SMF

z/OS System Management Facility (SMF): A difficult source of truth

  • SMF Record structures are complex
  • The amount of information provided in SMF Records is huge and therefore overwhelming
  • z/OS provides SMF Log Data in a format that is not human-readable
  • Expert-level know-how is mandatory to efficiently work with SMF Data
  • z/OS experts fade-out and the „new generation“ has little technical experience
  • IBM and ISVs continuously extend SMF Record definitions to meet growing client requirements
  • Available tools are expensive and provide access to only a subset of SMF content

SMF Records never lie… but… they require expert-level know-how and tools like SMF4U to be efficiently utilized

SMF4U Product Overview

Systemwork developed SMF4U to enable IT organizations to fully utilize the information provided in SMF Records for an improved management of their z/OS systems

  • View Visual Reports online using any web browser or mobile device.
  • Use the SMF4U Cockpit to select your favorite reports. Arrange individual views. Compare and analyze.
  • Download your PDF formatted reports for printing and distribution.
  • Available reports include CPU Usage, 4 Hour Average, Disc Space Usage, Workload Manager Transactions, WebSphere Transactions, Resource Violations, ENQ/DEQ Contensions, HIS counters and SMF Statistics.
  • SMF4U Cloud Reporting requires no local software installation but you can run the SMF4U Compressor to optimize the volume of transferred data.

SMF4U Browser & SMF4U Compressor

Analyze system events ad-hoc: SMF4U Browser

  • Utilize the easy access to as many as >45.000 data fields contained in your Mainframe SMF Records
  • Intuitively deep-dive to any available system parameter contained in any SMF Data Field.
  • Find root causes of exceptional system events and deliver solutions ad-hoc.

SMF4U Browser & SMF4U Compressor

Optimize the volume of SMF Data: SMF4U Compressor

  • Save storage capacity by compressing and de-compressing SMF Data with no loss of content.
  • Consume 90% less storage space. Reduce data-network traffic by transferring only selected and compressed data.

SMF4U Browser & SMF4U Compressor

Build your own reports

  • Utilize the easy access to as many as >45.000 data fields contained in your Mainframe SMF Records.
  • Create the most specific and sophisticated reports by simply browsing and clicking.
  • Display the reports in any spread-sheet application.

SMF4U Visual Reporting

See the big picture: SMF4U Visual Reporting

  • Run SMF4U Visual Reporting locally in your datacenter and daily generate a complete set of Visual Reports.
  • Work with ready-to-use Visual Reports formatted as PDF. Or use any spread-sheet application to display, modify and analyze pre-configured reports.

SMF4U Visual Reporting

Use our reports READY TO USE

  • CPU Usage Report | must-have for hardware related decisions, cost control, etc.
  • Security Statistics | indicating the number of unauthorized system access
  • Resource Consumption | validation of accounting and/or new accounting basis
  • Availability | essential for SLA reviews
  • Currently available reports include CPU Usage, 4 Hour Average, Disc Space Usage, Workload Manager Transactions, WebSphere Transactions, Resource Violations, ENQ/DEQ Contensions, HIS counters and SMF Statistics.

SMF4U Visual Reporting

Monitor your Mainframe instantly: SMF4U Live Reporting for MS Excel

  • Create graphical reports from SMF Records as they are created.
  • Gain instant view on system parameters like CPU Usage, 4 Hour Average, Disc Space Usage, Workload Manager Transactions, WebSphere Transactions, Resource Violations, ENQ/DEQ Contensions, HIS counters.
  • Use your existing MS Excel as your User Interface. Configure it to your personal needs. The reports are updated automatically.
  • SMF4U Live Reporting requires the activation of the IBM Logger.

SMF4U Cloud Reporting

Gain Insights to your Mainframe. It’s easy as never before. Introducing SMF4U Cloud Reporting. The first Mainframe Intelligence solution available from the Cloud.

  • View Visual Reports online using any web browser or mobile device.
  • Use the SMF4U Cockpit to select your favorite reports. Arrange individual views. Compare and analyze.
  • Download your PDF formatted reports for printing and distribution.
  • Available reports include CPU Usage, 4 Hour Average, Disc Space Usage, Workload Manager Transactions, WebSphere Transactions, Resource Violations, ENQ/DEQ Contensions, HIS counters and SMF Statistics.
  • SMF4U Cloud Reporting requires no local software installation but you can run the SMF4U Compressor to optimize the volume of transferred data.

Find out more

Who needs it? SPECIAL OFFER for Independent IT Consultants SMF4U for IT MANAGERS SMF4U for SYSTEM OPERATORS SMF4U for DATA CENTER CLIENTS SMF4U for IT CONSULTANTS

SMF4U for
IT MANAGERS

  • Get higher transparency on your mainframe operations and share it with your datacenter clients.
  • Increase cost control in your datacenter. Precisely understand cost drivers and find ways to avoid them.
  • Make your system operators more efficient.
  • Make your clients happier by solving their ad-hoc issues fast.

SMF4U for
SYSTEM OPERATORS

  • Precisely report the system status at any time. Know exactly who consumes which resources and how many of them.
  • Monitor the CEC efficiency and discover exceptions on a daily basis.
  • Identify security issues like denial of service attacks.
  • Continuously check if there is any risk of overloading the CEC.
  • Find reasons for low system performance.
  • Solve ad-hoc system issues fast and simple.
  • Identify systems with the potential for optimization.
  • The SMF statistics report enables the z/OS system administrator to fully understand the z/OS settings relating to SMF Record collection.
  • It provides key input for the planning of SMF Record usage.
  • It provides key input for the planning of SMF Record archiving.

SMF4U for
DATA CENTER CLIENTS

  • Check if you get what you pay.
  • Review the actual delivery level of your Service Level Agreement.
  • Prepare yourself for the next round of commercial negotiations with your datacenter provider.
  • Reassure yourself to receive the best possible service.
  • Deliver your mainframe projects in shorter time with even higher quality.
  • Extend your service portfolio by offering Security Audits, client specific Accounting Solutions by precisely knowing who, what and when did on the system.
  • Support your clients to identify, eliminate or re-balance heavy-load creators.
  • Ascertain the potential to cut performance peaks by analyzing individual resources.

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FAQ

What’s the difference between SMF4U and other reports based on SMF records?

SYSTEM OPERATOR

There is a fundamental difference. SMF4U doesn’t require any database to generate reports. In other words: SMF4U generates reports by pulling and processing source data in-memory in one flawless process. The in-memory processing method significantly reduces processing time and saves resources. Additionally SMF4U works in any environment supporting the JAVA Virtual Machine: z/OS, Windows, Linux, etc.

Can I use SMF4U to solve ad-hoc issues?

IT CONSULTANT

Yes. The SMF4U Browser enables you to search and display any information contained in SMF records. The SMF4U Engine decodes > 45.000 SMF Data Fields.

How do I know which records to collect for SMF4U reporting?

SYSTEM OPERATOR

First you need to decide which information are relevant for your organization. Then choose which report you want to generate using SMF4U. Each report contains a list of SMF Records providing relevant input parameters. Based on this list you can collect the appropriate SMF Records.

I use SAS for reporting. How does SMF4U integrate with SAS?

IT MANAGER

SMF4U will provide you with all reports that are relevant for your z/OS System. Most information you need to manage your z/OS System is contained in the standard reports delivered with SMF4U Visual Reporting. Additional reports that might be specific for your system or organization can be delivered either by Systemwork or you can create them yourself using the SMF4U Browser.

With SMF4U you’re able to diagnose who used which SAS reports in the past how often! This information enables us to tailor reports to particular roles and individuals.

I work with my in-house written reporting system. How can I benefit from SMF4U?

IT CONSULTANT

The SMF4U Browser will provide you access to all available SMF Data with their correlations and will format it as csv. These data you can use to write your very own reports by using any available method including REXX on mainframe.

I run a datacenter on behalf of other independent companies. How can I benefit from using SMF4U?

IT MANAGER

Can I prove delivering SLA to my customers?

You can use SMF4U as a vendor-independent auditing tool. You can generate specific reports showing SLA compliance for you customers and share them on-line using SMF4U Cloud Reporting. Your clients can instantly view these reports online and allow them to transparently track your performance.

Using the insights provided by SMF4U you can optimize the utilization of your computing resources to increase the efficiency of your datacenter.

How can SM4U help me charge my customers for their workload?

This is a very important aspect. You can use SMF4U Reports for the classical approach and precisely calculate the consumption of datacenter resources per client.

With SMF4U you can provide an even more transparent and modern workload charging technique that will tag and count “business transactions”. This will provide a completely new level of information that links resource usage to concrete business transactions. This ability will give you the potential for new commercial models including transaction based charging.

My datacenter is operated by an outsourcing partner. How can I benefit from using SMF4U?

DATA CENTER CLIENT

Ask your datacenter provide for access to the pure SMF Records (source data). Use SMF4U to control cost, to check SLA delivery and learn about transaction-specific workloads. Point out optimization potentials to your datacenter provider by for example flattening performance peaks. In case you datacenter provider will not share with you the SMF Records ask him to create specific reports for you. Use SMF4U Cloud Reporting to access these reports online.

Do you do simulations or just reporting?

IT MANAGER

As of now the core functionality is reporting. However jointly with you we’re happy to perform what-if investigations.

Is your data pure?

IT CONSULTANT

Absolutely! The SMF4U Browser is the only tool on the market that gives you access to all information stored in any SMF Record Field. These information is absolutely pure source data written by the z/OS system.

TCO reduction is the key mantra of my management. Is there any way SMF4U can contribute?

IT MANAGER

SMF4U will help you to utilize your computing resources more efficiently. Some of the SMF4U Reports directly address cost reduction potentials. The SMF4U Peak Cutter Report is an example for that. Other reports will help you to assess the need of purchasing new or additional hardware. Other reports will help you to diagnose the usage intensity of certain software products and might unveil potential to sunset costly operations of unnecessary applications.

Can I benefit from Mobile Workload Pricing (MWP)?

IT MANAGER

If you have mobile transactions: yes! SMF4U will help you to classify transactions my “mobile” and “non-mobile” and will create the MWRT input file as required by IBM.

The data volume of my SMF Records is huge. Is there any way SMF4U can help?

SYSTEM OPERATOR

The SMF4U Compressor provides a 1:10 compression of your SMF Records. Compress your SMF Records to save disc space while still maintaining access to the data - even if it is stored outside of your z/OS system.

What’s the system requirements to run SMF4U?

SYSTEM OPERATOR

You’ll need a JAVA Virtual Machine in any environment incl. z/OS, Windows, Linux, etc. The more RAM, the better! Ideally 64 bits. On the mainframe SMF4U uses the “cheap” zIIP processors.

How can I try your software?

SYSTEM OPERATOR

Drop us a note! We will provide you with a test version of the SMF4U Browser that you can use for up to three months on five LPARs. If you’re interested in SMF4U Visual Reports send us a sample of your SMF Records. We will generate a set of reports out of it to demonstrate the capabilities of the product.

How can I use SMF4U for a Security Audit?

IT CONSULTANT

SMF Records are log-files of the z/OS system. Any event that happens under z/OS can be logged in SMF Records. Your system operator simply has to turn on the logging of particular SMF Record Types. SMF4U will read, decode and correlate these SMF Records. This will give you the possibility to review particular system events from different perspectives. You will be able to trace down users, transactions, IP addresses, etc. that caused any event in the system.

Why the structure of SMF Records is so complicated?

IT MANAGER

IBM only defined two types of record headers. The rest is completely „free” which gives unlimited flexibility to the creators of particular SMF Records. SMF4U works with a proprietary algorithm that allows us to read and decode all content from all SMF Data Fields.

Is there any risk in processing SMF Records?

IT MANAGER

No! SMF Records do not contain business data like revenue numbers, names, addresses, etc. However using the SMF4U Browser you can track down any user and any transaction. Example: For a credit card transaction SMF Records do not contain the credit card details or the paid amount. But they contain the record of the transaction itself incl. its timestamp, user, etc.

SMF4U works with in-memory technology. How many records can it process at once?

IT CONSULTANT

It depends. It can be hundreds of thousands to multi-million records. It depends on the machine size that processes the data (heap). However, SMF4U will allow you to select SMF Records of particular interest or even specific data fields needed to a certain analysis.

What is the difference of the three SMF4U reporting types: “ad-hoc”, “Processing in MS Excel” and “ready-to-use pdf”?

IT MANAGER

Ad-hoc reports will enable you to perform any kind of analysis of your SMF Records. The tool for that is the SMF4U Browser.
Reports for processing in MS Excel are created from pre-processed SMF Data and can be individually viewed, filtered, visualized, printed, etc. using MS Excel.

Ready-to-use reports are provided out-of-the-box in PDF format. These reports can be viewed mobile and online using the SMF4U Cloud Reporting.

About us

Systemwork develops software solutions that enable IT organizations to improve the management of their mainframe machines by fully utilizing the system management information provided in SMF Records.

A modern thinking company with long experience: