Auto-Discovered Topology: A Priceless Picture of Your Mainframe

March 15, 2022

When you are faced with the complexity inherent in the mainframe, a picture is worth far more than a mere thousand words. That is why mainframe war rooms are often adorned with huge whiteboards mapping out systems and applications. The problem, of course, is that it can take multiple subject matter experts (SMEs) several days of intensive work to create a single view of the mainframe environment. Spreadsheets, log files, tools, and tribal knowledge all have to be called upon. The time and effort involved in mapping out mainframe topology undercuts the ability to assess where the mainframe is in real-time, prevents clarity on how actions on the distributed side of the business may affect mainframe operations, and delays issue resolution efforts. Adding insult to injury, the final static whiteboard maps are quickly outdated and fit only to be erased. 

But what if you could see all your mainframe LPARs and applications, and all the connections between them instantly, at any time? This is what Broadcom delivers with Mainframe Topology.

The Game Changer: Automated Discovery

The Mainframe Topology capability from Broadcom discovers mainframe systems and resources automatically by reading SMF data, giving you a fast and up-to-date picture of your mainframe environment. Mainframe Topology looks at the last 24 hours of data, so you can literally refresh your view of the mainframe every day, quickly and easily with the push of a button. Put an end to the massive manual effort of trying to understand your mainframe environment by mapping it out with endless meetings, whiteboards, and paper diagrams.  


Mainframe Topology provides two very useful views of your mainframe:  

Topology Pic 1The Infrastructure View displays resources such as Sysplex, zOS LPARs, Started Tasks, CICS Regions, and CICS Transactions.

Topology Pic 2The Connected View enables you to quickly visualize the connections between your components. For example, suppose you have a mobile banking application, with multiple transactions and components. Using the Connected View, you can immediately see the all connections between the CICS transactions within your mainframe environment. 

Better Business Outcomes 

The dynamic visualization capabilities of Mainframe Topology bring significant advantages to your business. First, consider your operators, your eyes into your mainframe. They watch alerts coming into the environment to sound the alarm if anything appears to be going wrong. However, a challenge we frequently hear from customers is that operator turnover is high, mainly because the L1 operator role is often rapidly promoted out of their position. New operators can find your mainframe’s complexity daunting, which means you are at increased risk while they are learning the ropes. But with Mainframe Topology, new operators can readily see how all your systems and applications are uniquely connected and get up to speed quickly. 

Mainframe Topology can also help operators prioritize issues that need to be addressed. For example, if an alert is raised on the weekend or in the middle of the night, an operator can trace the impacted areas. If those areas are mission-critical, the alert can be escalated for immediate investigation and resolution. If the areas are of lesser concern, the issue can be safely held until regular business hours. 

And then there are your SMEs. These seasoned mainframers have significant knowledge about your mainframe environment – but they are often stretched very thin, juggling numerous demands. Mainframe Topology helps your SMEs be more productive and quickly gain a comprehensive view of your entire mainframe. With this powerful tool in hand, your SMEs can confidently assess how a planned change will impact mainframe operations, support quicker identification of the root cause of issues that arise, and optimize your mainframe operations. For instance, when Black Friday is coming up, your SMEs can use Mainframe Topology to determine which mainframe systems and applications will be under the most pressure from increased traffic or transactions and keep those areas under close surveillance to avoid a business impact. 

A Priceless Picture

Overall, Mainframe Topology provides time, information, and insight to your mainframe team so they can focus their efforts on improving your business. Infrastructure auto-discovery eliminates manual updates, enabling you to quickly visualize what’s taking place on your mainframe. The modern user interface allows you see the big picture view and drill down to whatever level of granularity you need, such as seeing all executing tasks, grouped by LPAR or Sysplex. CICS transaction connections can be viewed with a single click, mapping mainframe components back to business applications and highlighting sub-paths through specific connections. You can also search quickly for any discovered item and filter your view based on the components you would like to see.  Mainframe Topology is be continuously enhanced to include new capabilities and integrations such as DB2, MQ, Storage and more.

Erase your war room whiteboard once and for all. With Mainframe Topology from Broadcom, you gain a picture that is priceless.

Download the Topology Quick Start Guide Here

Tag(s): AIOps, Mainframe