AI and z/OS Performance and Capacity Analysis: 2018 Predictions

Brent PhillipsBy Brent Phillips2018 Predictions on AI and z/OS Performance and Capacity Analysis

2018 is gearing up to be a watershed year for z/OS performance and capacity professionals.

Industry analysts have been talking for some years now about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the role it will play in our work. But what that truly means, and its value in day-to-day operations has not yet been understood or realized by most professionals in this field.

There are many different types of AI, but not all are useful in making the computer do the kind of infrastructure performance and availability health assessment work that is no longer feasible for human analysts to proactively do every day. But when properly designed and deployed, it has proven very effective to implement automated, AI-driven decision making about what all the data means for identifying current or near-term performance problems and their root-causes.

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An Effective Solution to the Mainframe Skills Shortage for z/OS Performance and Capacity Professionals

Todd-Havekost

By Todd HavekostMainframe Skills Shortage

The mainframe skills shortage for z/OS performance analysts and capacity planners has left many organizations struggling to ensure availability. Current experts are often overworked and lack the manpower, resources, or tools necessary to effectively perform their jobs. This is often caused by a reliance on manual processes and the limitations of in-house developed solutions, rather than leveraging the built-in, automated capabilities provided by an effective performance solution.

This can put the availability of the infrastructure and applications at risk. Many enterprises are finding it to be difficult to replace or supplement z/OS performance skills that are becoming increasingly scarce.

In his blog, “Bridging the z/OS Performance & Capacity Skills Gap,” Brent Phillips wrote about the availability and efficiency benefits that can be gained from modernizing the analysis of the mainframe infrastructure using processes that leverage artificial intelligence.

Modernized analytics can also help solve the skills shortage by making current staff more productive and getting newer staff up to speed more rapidly. An effective analytics solution that will expedite the acquisition of skills for z/OS performance analysts and capacity planners needs 5 key attributes. These attributes are covered in detail with illustrations in the paper at the link at the bottom. In this blog I will briefly introduce 3 of the key attributes.

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Bridging the z/OS Mainframe Performance & Capacity Skills Gap

Brent PhillipsBy Brent Phillips

Bridging the mainframe skills gap

Many, if not most organizations that depend on mainframes are experiencing the effects of the mainframe skills gap, or shortage. This gap is a result of the largely baby-boomer workforce that is now retiring without a new generation of experts in place who have the same capabilities. At the same time, the scale, complexity, and change in the mainframe environment continues to accelerate.

Performance and capacity teams are a mission-critical function, and this performance skills gap represents a great risk to ongoing operations. It demands both immediate attention and a new, more effective approach to bridging the gap.

In our connected and technology-dependent world, deep performance and capacity management skills are essential. Applications and back-end transactions are often accessed throughout the day and night, causing less workload predictability.

Simultaneously, the infrastructure as well as the performance and configuration data analysis required to maintain availability is even more complex than it used to be. New features such as Pervasive Encryption and hardware data compression (zEDC) must be measured and monitored to ensure they do not impact required service levels. New cross-platform applications with Web front-ends and mainframe transaction back-ends are now common and create new requirements for predictive and prescriptive monitoring of TCP/IP, MQ, and other network parts of the infrastructure.

This dynamic environment, coupled with the shortage of performance and capacity experts, represents a significant risk to mainframe operations and affects most of the world’s largest organizations. The mainframe performance skills gap is in fact, one of the significant issues causing IT executives to question the future role of the mainframe within their organization.

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