Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Plumbing the Taxonomy Part 4: Managing the Context

Context is everything. Literally!

In the case of the mainframe, that means everything from the hardware to the operating system to the subsystems to the applications that interface with the carbon-based peripherals who pay for everything.

Managing it means configuring, securing, logging, monitoring, modeling and reporting on everything from devices to applications.

So, if something isn't functioning properly, then software with the context management value of the "what" dimension will allow you to adjust and fix this behavior.

And, if you're planning to add hardware for uses such as storage or networking, this would be the function that models possible configurations to enable good planning.

In fact, if you want to know whether anything's going wrong right now, or has gone wrong in the past, this is the feature that tells you - or even alerts you so you can fix it before anyone experiences problems.

That last functionality is particularly relevant for keeping the mainframe running smoothly. In environments without quality real-time monitoring, IT management often finds out from the users of their services that things aren't working and then have to inform the systems and operations personnel so they can fix it. However, where such monitoring is effective, it can be coupled with automation to identify and fix a problem before anyone is affected, and then notify relevant personnel that this has occurred.

Now, before I finish this week's blog, I want to take a moment to give a shout out to Bob Rogers, one of my favorite mainframers, for an excellent brief video in which he explains how western civilization runs on the mainframe. Everyone (not just IT people) should watch this.

1 comment:

  1. I've been enjoying your "plumbing" blog, Reg. And, I did watch Bob's comments on z/OS. Great insight. He is a terrific fellow.