Introducing New Instana on IBM z/OS Capabilities

April 7, 2022

Instana combines Industry Leading 1 Second Metric Observability with IBM Z for unparalleled Hybrid Cloud Visibility

Where Microservices Meet the Mainframe

Throughout 2021, IBM announced new support within Instana for key enterprise platforms and middleware, including IBM zSystems to bring increased observability coverage from mobile to mainframe. This is in addition in Instana support for IBM middleware systems which has been released incrementally over the past few months.

Applications running on IBM zSystems have widespread influence in many industries around the world. The goal of the Instana on IBM z/OS launch is to increase the effective time to identify and isolate issue and decrease Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) for hybrid cloud environments. This is important because when the mainframe forms the backbone of business-critical workloads at major enterprises across major banks, airlines, retailers, insurers and telcos any outage or missed service level goals impacts the business directly. IBM zSystems acts as the system of record for how the world works today.

Yet in many cases, observability of the mainframe is lacking within many industry-leading APM solutions. This can result in disjointed IT operations leading to extended time periods to detect problems affecting hybrid application performance and availability, isolation of the root-cause issue and finally taking appropriate action to resolve.

By extending the transaction tracing capabilities of Instana through to IBM z/OS, a complete end-to-end view is given enabling application owners, site reliability engineers and first-line IT operations the ability to detect and isolate potential problems from any part of the application.

Instana complements existing deep-dive monitoring solutions used today, such as IBM OMEGAMON, by providing application-centric observability pointing to where in the IBM z/OS environment the issue affecting an observed hybrid application is occurring. This enables so the correct IBM zSystems domain expert to be engaged promptly addressing the root-cause before it becomes a major issue, or outage.

Further integration between Instana and OMEGAMON is planned by making available resource metrics sourced directly from OMEGAMON monitoring agents directly within Instana. With the addition of key resource information, operations teams will have the ability to further triage hybrid application problems before needing to engage domain specific experts. These insights can help identify and isolate potential problems and reduce the time to resolve, minimizing impact on application performance and availability. You can read more about this development in this Statement of Direction.

This is illustrated in the diagram below which shows how Instana and IBM monitoring capabilities are merged together to provide greater depth and understanding for all stakeholders in the IT team. Business analysts, DevOps, and SREs all benefit from the increased visibility into the mainframe operational insight provided by Instana on IBM z/OS. It enables them to speak with IBM zSystems SMEs more precisely if they find that in issue is happening in the mainframe part of a transaction.

Conversely, IBM zSystems SMEs benefit by being able to see what is happening upstream from the mainframe to determine 1) if the issue is a mainframe issue or if it originates in the cloud, etc. upstream and 2) more precisely which mainframe component may have an issue and where to begin triage using their mainframe tools.  The overall benefit is significantly improved Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) for issues along the transaction path from mobile to mainframe.

As shown in the IBM Technologies section of this chart, over 20 IBM technologies have become supported since the beginning of 2021. This includes key subsystems on IBM z/OS including CICS, IMS and z/OS Connect with MQ on z/OS to be added soon and further capabilities to be added in ongoing delivery updates.

In summary, these capabilities that extend IBM z/OS visibility into the leading observability platform creates an unprecedented level of Mean Time to Detection, Mean to Notification, Mean Time to Resolution, and Mean Time to Prevention for all hybrid computing environments.

Beginning with Instana’s industry-leading one second metrics, complete end-to-end traces, and intelligent log management and combining them with IBM’s proficient and powerful mainframe monitoring and problem management tools provides the industry’s most powerful mobile to mainframe observability solution.

With this significant increase in IBM z/OS support, Instana observability is now the Gold Standard for incident detection, incident prevention and mobile to mainframe issue MMTR remediation. Instana delivers one second to problem identity and three seconds to problem notification, with full context. No other observability platform comes close.

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

This support matrix has now expanded from the original i Series support announced in June 2021, to the expanded range of CICS and IMS support for IBM z.

The CICS on IBM z/OS support now available is shown in the diagram above. 

As highlighted in both of these diagrams, the key technology that establishes the interlock between cloud-native environments represented as a Web Application Server, .NET, or Java interface is the z/OS Connect software. IBM z/OS Connect is the primary bi-directional gateway between those environments and mainframe platforms and technology. CICS Transaction also serves as a gateway for CICS environments.

The metrics and other information generated is passed to a dashboard(s) as a holistic application or Ops view and as an investigation center for manual triage. They also can initiate a semi-automated Watson AIOps remediation using runbooks or a Turbonomic automated issue prevention process.

In summary, these new capabilities combine with the power of the leading observability platform to create an ever expanding and unprecedented level of Mean Time to Detection, Mean to Notification, Mean Time to Resolution, and Mean Time to Prevention for all hybrid computing environments.

Beginning with Instana’s industry-leading one second metrics, complete end-to-end traces, and intelligent log management and combining them with IBM’s proficient and powerful mainframe monitoring and problem management tools provides the industry’s most powerful mobile to mainframe observability solution.

With this significant increase in IBM z/OS support, Instana observability is now the Gold Standard for incident detection, incident prevention and mobile to mainframe issue MMTR remediation. Instana delivers one second to problem identity and three seconds to problem notification, with full context. No other observability platform comes close.

In addition, the new IBM z16 mainframe, which combines an on-chip AI accelerator to optimize and secure ultra-high transaction volumes, provides increased and unprecedented transaction processing power and sophistication. Combined with the industry’s leading high precision observability platform, Instana on IBM z/OS, they take hybrid computing to new levels of performance and reliability.

To learn more, please view the on-demand Instana on z/OS webinar @ https://z.instana.com

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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 instana.com.