Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:58:51 EDT
Reply-To: CICS List <CICS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sender: CICS List <CICS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Robert Zenuk <Robzenuk@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: CICS Performance Analysis
The HTASK table is all the TASK data (basically an SMF 110 record). This
is nice, but creates a second copy of your SMF 110 data... Aside from the
shear volume in our environment and the possibility that someone might
actually run a query against all of it, we decided not to use it. We use the
historical SMF 110 data with a set of tailored/homegrown MICS/MXG/SAS
reports for post analysis.
We also use Omegamon/CICS and we do have Omegamon Task History setup and
use that for simple near term (less than a day) historical analysis. We can
pull interim SMF data for anything more complex. The history in
Omegamon/CICS Classic is more detailed than what you can see in the CUA version, but
the query/selection capability is limited to a single CICS region and has
only basic selection criteria.
So (to kill 2 birds with one stone Michele), we use BOTH the CPSM/WUI and
Omegamon in our monitoring strategy. The WUI gives us the cross-plex view
for all resources and subsets. It allows us to create auto-updating views
with summaries and effective sorts to identify quickly the problematic
resource and which LPAR and CICS it lives on. At that point, we use
Omegamon/CICS to drill into the region and figure out the problem with the gnat's ass
detail available in Omegamon. While I have built some pretty cool drill
down screens for the WUI to make all that research quicker and easier, I
only do that for common recurring issues since many times it means
build/tailoring new/existing screens. Don't get me wrong, it is not hard to create
WUI screens and I have done it during the heat of the battle in a crisis if
it creates a better view into what is happening. But I have not gone out
and built all the possible ways to drill into a problem. I have a lot of
scenarios built, but it is not a be all to end all. So, Omegamon is still a
valuable tool for us.
Like I said before, it depends on your focus during selection. My focus
is quick, obvious, early problem detection and customer impact avoidance
during day-to-day operations in a high volume shop. So, the WUI's easily
tailorable, summarizable, auto-updateable pre-built screens for our command
center's bigboard are a key consideration... While Explorer is very nice, it
currently can't handle that role in our shop.
I believe Explorer's current focus is simplifying the CICS administration
activities for the next generation of Sysprogs and the quick query. If and
when it comes back around to implementing features that facilitate
improved real-time monitoring (at least on par with the WUI), we can reconsider it
for the role we currently use the WUI for...
In a message dated 9/14/2010 10:21:59 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
We do use DB2, but the majority of our online code get generated from
CA/Gen. I’m not sure ( I work on the communications side) whether we can do
much about what code comes out of CA/Gen even if Ca-Insight suggests any
CPSM WUI has a historical view? Based on what? SMF records. I admit that
for what I need, I use CICS Explorer vs the WUI.
From: CICS List [mailto:CICS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Thurlo, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: CICS Performance Analysis
Another suggestion I would make is a good DB2 monitor, unless your
applications are VSAM based.
Over the years, as VSAM was phased out in favor of DB2, I think it’s
become more important to know what’s happening in DB2 than CICS.
As an example, we had a DB2 performance specialist come in and do a DB2
bufferpool analysis. His recommendations helped our performance
For us, to resolve deadlocks and long response times generally requires
analyzing what’s happening in DB2.
We use CA-Insight as a DB2 monitor, and CA-SSA (sub-system analyzer) as a
way to get interval statistics without having DB2 statistics turned on.
We also correlate CICS and DB2 SMF records to get the full picture.
Even though we have CA-SYSVIEW, I rarely use it. It lacks a CICSPlex
view. The CPSM WUI can show you a lot of what monitors give you. So, I
usually go to CPSM instead. CPSM even has a history view now.
From: CICS List [mailto:CICS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Robert Zenuk
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: CICS Performance Analysis
I see your initial list as different products... As far as I'm concerned.
the true monitors are:
I have had the opportunity to use all 4 and they all have their strengths
and weaknesses (as well as price points - having been on the budgeting side
in the past). I apologize if I missed anyone else.
Another tool rarely included in this list (and is FREE) is using a
tailored CPSM WUI as a Performance Monitor. Since CICS/TS 3.2 all the existing
issues with WUI hangs have finally all gone away (with correct timeout
configuration of course). Between the WUI, CICS Explorer and API programs, you
can build almost anything you want and/or need... The out of the box
screens are pretty good to start with, but it is a very easy to use and
So, these 5 are the "online" monitors that allow you to watch real-time
I see CICS PA as a batch post processor of SMF 110's... Good stuff, but
not in the real-time online group in my opinion.
I see Strobe as an application debugging tool. It is great for finding
out where you are spending you time, but at a cost (high CPU). We had to
abandon Strobe due to cost... We now have Tritune for this purpose... Not
quite as detailed, but functional (watch out for their default installation
- can be very high CPU and generate TONS of SMF records). In both cases we
did not and do not run these tools all the time. Due to the high
overhead, times are scheduled to turn on the tool for a specific debugging request.
It is turned off immediately following the debugging session. It
actually requires change tickets or problem tickets to turn it on in Production.
Back to the online monitors. Over the years I have been involved in
several monitor evaluations. Each one was slightly different because the target
audience was different... If you are buying an online monitor for
operations, quick visibility and folks that may not be CICS Sysprogs, you can make
one decision. If you are buying a monitor for 25 year veteran CICS
Sysprogs, you might buy a different monitor (probably stamped with a huge
opinion). If batch reports are important, you might make a different decision...
So, I say it depends on your audience. Your evaluation should be focused
on the satisfying the requirements of your biggest audience with the most
intuitive tool for them. The remainder of the analysis should focus on the
list of required capabilities for rest of the users. Things I also like to
consider are interfaces for automation (specifically REXX - both TSO and
In a message dated 9/14/2010 7:29:25 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
I have used Omegamon, TMON, CA-SYSVIEW, Mainview and Strobe. We have
Mainview, but only the MQ components, not CICS Support. Strobe seems to be a
more specialized tool, it gives a more intense analysis that I used for
specific problems, like where CPU was being used within modules.
Each had its pros and cons. I was able to get the job done with any
Like many things, it is what you like and afford.
I like the report generation of CICS PA. Since you use CICSPlex, CICS PA
might fit in good with CICS Explorer.
From: Kevin Evans <kevin.evans@LEO.GOV>
Sent: Tue, September 14, 2010 8:22:14 AM
Subject: CICS Performance Analysis
I have been tasked with looking at performance analysis products again.
Although we currently have Omegamon XE here (at great cost), it is not used
much at all. It seems to be viewed by the systems people as too complicated
and too slow (in the GUI mode anyway with the TEPS and TEMS etc).
So, I’m looking at analysis products so that we can try and understand our
performance now, project (hopefully) future performance (especially WRT to
when hardware upgrades may be needed). Current configuration is basically
two Z9 CPCs (plus others at our DR site) running CICS 3.2, MQ V7 under z/OS
1.10 in a SysPlex and CICSPlex environment.
I have basically restricted my looking to:
CICS PA (with possible IA for other reasons)
We have used TMON and Strobe in the past (although I had nothing to do
I would be interested in anyone giving me any feedback on what they view
the strengths and weaknesses of the above products.
We are moving (slowly) to using Rational Developer for System/z, so PA and
IA with their RD/z plugins play well in that arena.
Thanks in advance,
Kevin R Evans
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Systems Development Unit
1000, Custer Hollow Road