Mainframe Optimization With CICS Integration Analytics

Most enterprises that rely on the mainframe want their host applications to fully participate in a hybrid IT environment. Nowadays, the mainframe services requests from a range of sources, such as application servers, macros, and RPA bots. As integrations between these non-mainframe applications and the mainframe proliferate, the IT group will see mainframe transaction volumes increase. What it lacks is certainty about what is driving the increase. The IT group remains in the dark about the workload origins, who is responsible, or how to remediate issues. This environment makes it difficult to do mainframe optimization.

CICS Integration Analytics are the key to mainframe optimization. With them, the IT group gains complete visibility into how hybrid applications interact with and drive mainframe workload.

When the mainframe is part of a hybrid IT environment, integration analytics provide end-to-end visibility into hybrid application performance.

HostBridge Provides CICS Integration Analytics Services

A new service from HostBridge blends our team’s CICS expertise with an in-depth analysis of SMF 110 records. The output is a series of dashboards which reveal interactions that negatively impact performance and end user satisfaction. These dashboards simplify mainframe optimization. The information they present enables users to drill down to identify the “heavy hitters” by day, hour, or minute. “Heavy hitters” are those application interactions, automations, or macros that are having the greatest impact on the mainframe. With these insights, application architects are able to optimize these interactions.

A $2 billion global manufacturing leader recently had HostBridge complete an analysis to facilitate mainframe optimization. The sponsors of the analysis felt that a specific macro was consuming a lot of processing time, but had no data to validate their assumption. Through the analysis, they could see:

  • Who was invoking the macro
  • How often it ran
  • The amount of CPU time the macro was consuming

Much of the value from the analysis comes from equipping the IT group with indisputable data. Now, instead of finger-pointing and speculating, the IT group can work with the line-of-business macro users in a productive fashion to improve the efficiency of how the macro interacts with the mainframe.

Another benefit came in the form of a surprise revelation. “Something that jumped out at us from the analysis was the presence of macros that we didn’t even know existed,” said the senior IS business process analyst for this enterprise. “It was interesting to see some of these other things the analysis found. It’s very helpful because it points out exactly where the problems are with these interactions. We now have a tool that lets us show the end users what their automations are doing to us.” The output from the analysis will allow this IT group to collaborate with the end users they serve to implement more efficient interactions. This outcome benefits everyone by encouraging best practices for mainframe automation. It also minimizes the impact of those automations on the mainframe.

Using Integration Analytics for Mainframe Optimization

HostBridge offers analysis services that include:

  • Impact Analysis: reveals the degree to which macro and other automation activity is occurring and its operational impact.
  • Performance Analysis: assesses the potential inefficiency stemming from automating business processes using distributed platforms.
  • “DNA” analysis: reveals the exact sequence of transactions that distributed platforms, such as RPA solutions, are executing.
  • Impact/Cost: builds upon the DNA analysis to show the impact of common DNA signatures over extended periods.

A HostBridge CICS Integration Analysis begins with a free initial discovery meeting. HostBridge then performs the initial high-level analysis as a fixed fee engagement. With the analysis results, customers can know where to invest in mainframe optimization. HostBridge provides additional services and software to aid in remediation and optimization efforts.

Schedule your free initial CICS Integration Analytics discovery session!

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