Delivering Unprecedented Hybrid Cloud Business Value with Instana on IBM z/OS

April 7, 2022

Delivering Unprecedented Business Value by Optimizing Hybrid Cloud Applications

Achieving optimum hybrid cloud business value requires advanced observability for mainframe systems in the hybrid cloud. Observability platforms have heavily focused on cloud-native visibility, but only a handful offer visibility for mainframe systems. To provide complete and holistic visibility and context for hybrid cloud requires robust observability for the mainframe as well as the cloud-native environments. That’s why Instana has worked vigorously to provide observability for IBM middleware and mainframe technologies.

Why is this important? Let’s look at the numbers. The chart below provides the overwhelming mainframe business case. The fact that a majority of the powerful enterprises that comprise the underpinnings of the world economy still have significant mainframe workloads are a testament to its enduring power and reliability. Mainframe systems are now server as the transaction pillar for hybrid cloud implementations around the cloud.

The reason this isn’t well known is because the mainframe hasn’t received the headlines that mobile and cloud technologies receive. That’s despite that IBM has continued continuously strengthened the mainframe with new and more powerful capabilities throughout the decades.  Recently, IBM announced the IBM z16 mainframe which brings new and unprecedented transaction performance, AI, and security to mission critical workloads. Combined with Instana on z/OS it creates a bright future for hybrid cloud environments.

It also shows that the mainframe is still and will continue as the bastion for online excellence by powering the business systems that drive the world economy and is the pillar for hybrid cloud environments.

The business potential for mainframe platforms is highlighted below. As indicated 70% of the structured data and business workflows are on the mainframe. As shown above, mainframe platforms provide 99.99999% availability, which means they essentially never go down. The purpose for integrating cloud-native and mainframe observability together is to be able to 1) rapidly determine if an issue that impacts the other 30% of the hybrid cloud environment has originated on the mainframe, or 2) rapidly determine the root cause of a cloud-native issue that is impacting mainframe performance.

The combination of Instana for cloud-native and other non-mainframe infrastructure with the mainframe provides complete visibility coverage from mobile to mainframe and through every major cloud platform. The value of Instana on IBM z/OS is that it eliminates transaction visibility gaps with high fidelity metrics.

Many observability platforms treat the mainframe as an “unknown” and only obtain information about when a transaction step(s) started in the mainframe and when they complete. Dependent upon the transaction, that could entail multiple steps that take place within the mainframe. This leaves a serious visibility gap.

If a problem occurs and it appears that might be with part of a transaction flow handled by the mainframe, it leaves business owners and ops teams with any idea where the problem is occurring. They then must contact an IBM z SME and ask them to search for the problem without giving them any idea about where to start looking. In a vast mainframe installation, that can mean looking through numerous LPARs and IBM z software systems to find out which one has been impacted by the issue.

If the source of the problem, that IBM z SME’s investigation could turn into the mainframe version of whack-a-mole. They could end up looking at minor issues that look problematic, fix them, only to find out they weren’t the issues that are the one(s) impacting the transaction problem being investigated. Obviously, this is a poor allocation of the highly skilled IBM z SME’s time.

Instana on IBM z/OS eliminates this problem by taking the issues being shown on the mainframe and collected from IBM z/OS Connect or CICS Gateway and passed for display on Instana dashboards. The information is shown in the Instana Dynamic Graph as well as a Dependency Map that correlates the context of which CICS region or DB2 instance is reporting the problem with corresponding metrics.

This directs the IBM z SME like a laser beam to where they need to look to find an issue or conversely, verify that the IBM z component isn’t the issue. This saves the SME a great deal of wasted search time, which is one of the other high business value benefits of Instana on IBM z/OS.

Instana AI-enhancements are now combined with Instana for IBM z/OS precision metrics to provide context, analytics, and Smart Alerts. This ensures that Ops teams and IBM z SMEs are notified looming issues that could cause issues that result in lost sales, incomplete transactions, and slow performance are detected immediately and can be remediated before they cause a negative business impact.

Instana also lets hybrid cloud application teams increase business value by driving more business transactions through IBM z mainframes. This is especially true with the new IBM z16 mainframe, which combines an on-chip AI accelerator to optimize and secure ultra-high transaction volumes. With the IBM z16’s increased processing power and sophistication, it’s critical that an observability platform that delivers the most precise and high-performance metrics is required to ensure peak performance.

That’s what Instana and Instana on IBM z/OS is. The world’s highest-performance Observability platform coupled with the world’s fastest mainframe systems to take sophisticated hybrid cloud transaction workloads to unprecedented business value levels. Peak visibility for peak performance to generate unprecedented hybrid cloud business value. That’s what Instana for IBM z/OS delivers.

To learn more, please view the on-demand Instana on IBM z/OS webinar @

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Instana, an IBM company, provides an Enterprise Observability Platform with automated application monitoring capabilities to businesses operating complex, modern, cloud-native applications no matter where they reside – on-premises or in public and private clouds, including mobile devices or IBM Z.

Control hybrid modern applications with Instana’s AI-powered discovery of deep contextual dependencies inside hybrid applications. Instana also gives visibility into development pipelines to help enable closed-loop DevOps automation.

This provides actionable feedback needed for clients as they to optimize application performance, enable innovation and mitigate risk, helping Dev+Ops add value and efficiency to software delivery pipelines while meeting their service and business level objectives.

For further information, please visit