Observability from Mobile to Enterprise

Observability from Mobile to Mainframe

In a 2021 IBM Institute for Business Value study, Application modernization on the mainframe, 71% of executives surveyed said mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy. In three years, they said, the percentage of organizations leveraging mainframe assets in a hybrid cloud environment is expected to more than double.

The case for mainframe: 71% of mainframe-based applications are central to business strategy. 74% of mainframe-based applications are central to technology strategy. 82% of business cases support mainframe-based applications.
Mainframe is playing an increasingly large role in business.

It probably doesn’t come as news to anyone that hybrid cloud is the way of the future. And as long as large enterprises like financial institutions and insurance companies are running their backends on mainframes, they will have to connect those mainframes to cloud environments to enable continued innovation. The mix of privacy and security concerns with the need for speed is why companies are choosing a hybrid (public and private) cloud architecture.

Instana has always prided itself on observability, from mobile to backend. That’s our promise: to provide our customers with full stack observability wherever their application, infrastructure, or platform may live within their ecosystems. We’re expanding that vision, and we’re changing our promise to “from mobile to mainframe observability” for another layer of infrastructure that’s observable with our platform.

Announcing s390x Agent Images

In June 2021, Instana announced the general availability of s390x Agent Images for the Instana Platform. With this release, Instana can observe trusted and proven enterprise-scale mainframe s390x-based architectures which make up the backbone of some of the world’s most vital infrastructures.

While many s390x workloads may stay where they are, containers and Kubernetes have emerged to become key enablers of the hybrid cloud. By supporting s390x Agent Images, Instana enables enterprises to observe what’s happening between applications running in containers on the mainframe and the hybrid cloud hosting environment. By seeing through that black hole, business can run faster, more robustly, and more safely.

Many s390x workloads are being migrated over to OpenShift in application modernization efforts. Instana is providing the same visibility into them as any other architecture. Since Instana brings fully automated observability with the deployment of an agent, it can observe applications consistently across any migration and modernization process, including those to OpenShift.

Instana also announced the general availability of support for IBM i and Db2 for i on the IBM Power Systems platform, allowing Instana customers to observe the IBM i operating system along with Db2 for i. Now the full suite of Power operating systems can be observed—AIX, IBM i and Linux.

Instana is also working with other technologies, like AutoTrace and OpenTelemety, to tie together the hybrid cloud future. In addition to increased enterprise support, Instana is working with OpenTelemetry to help bring open standards to monitoring. OpenTelemetry is an open-source standard that provides a single set of vendor-neutral technologies (APIs, SDKs, and others) for collecting and sending data like logs, traces, and metrics to locations. The benefits to OpenTelemetry include its versatility and compatibility with a wide array of technologies and languages.

Don’t feel bad if that’s all new to you, because it is new. The OpenTelemery project was founded in 2019 by merging the OpenTracing project with another open source project, known as OpenCensus. OpenTelemerty is currently a Cloud Native Computing Foundation Sandbox project. Instana is incorporating OpenTelemetry into our platform. Currently, integration with OpenTelemetry is in Technical Preview and ingestion by the host agent is deactivated by default. To activate the ingestion of OpenTelemetry, just add configuration yaml:

enabled: true

We encourage you to read the Instana Documentation for more information on OpenTelemetry and our blog post on OpenTelemetry to find out more about why we started using the framework.

Instana’s mission is fully-automated observability from mobile to enterprise. We believe that introducing s390x Agent Images, connectors for the IBM i operating system and Db2 for i, as well as exploring and integrating OpenTelemery, are all examples of that.


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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.