Mainframe Performance Monitoring and Testing with Strobe | Compuware

Mainframe Performance Monitoring and Analysis with Strobe

Compuware Strobe is the industry-leading application performance monitoring and analysis solution for mainframe applications. With Strobe, IT departments can pinpoint application inefficiencies that cause excessive CPU consumption and reduce hardware and software costs while increasing customer satisfaction.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Improve user code efficiency, transaction response time and throughput.
  • Locate and improve resource-consumptive database calls.
  • Quickly pinpoint the source of application inefficiencies.
  • Identify SQL statements and DB2 system services that cause excessive CPU time or wait time.
  • Receive detailed DB2 tuning information including catalog statistics and the number of GET  PAGE requests for each SQL statement.
  • Enable new users to be more productive with a graphical interface for taking measurements and detecting mainframe performance problems.
  • Integrated with PurePath for z/OS CICS for transaction visibility across the entire application delivery chain.

Reduce the complexity of application performance management

Strobe is the premier technology for managing mainframe application performance in complex environments. It measures the activity of both online and batch-processing applications in single and multiple system environments, detailing where and how time is spent during an application’s execution.

Strobe can save hours of investigation by revealing program statements that consume excessive CPU resources, the percentage of CPU time used within modules and control sections, display procedure names and statement numbers, and provide the complete line of source code. With Strobe analysis you can identify a number of I/O problems including inefficient DB2 SQL statements.

Compuware iStrobe extends the benefits of Strobe with an easy-to-use, browser-based graphical user interface. iStrobe identifies the access path used by the SQL statement as well as the relevant catalog statistics, providing all the data needed to improve the application’s performance for both online and batch-processing applications.

Identify how distributed applications affect the mainframe

Mobile applications and devices have increased the number of transactions that CICS is required to process on a daily basis. Too many calls due to inefficient distributed application code can create expensive mainframe performance problems. Strobe is tightly integrated with PurePath for z/OS CICS, an end-to-end transaction monitoring solution for mainframe CICS applications The combined solution, Compuware APM for Mainframe, provides the industry’s only transaction-based application performance management solution that spans interconnected system and mainframe environments.  

Compuware APM for Mainframe can easily identify where and why an application is having performance difficulties. Once PurePath for z/OS CICS identifies the fault domain of a poorly performing transaction, Strobe — with a single click — can seamlessly drill down into the CICS transactions to identify the root cause of the performance issue, including excessive MQ activity.

Reduce time and resources wasted in war rooms

Too much time and too many resources are being wasted in “war rooms” where it may take many hours or days to find the root cause of a critical performance problem. Strobe quickly and easily pinpoints the root cause of performance problems even in complex environments with multiple

languages, databases or teleprocessing subsystems, putting an end to finger-pointing.

Enable the transitioning mainframe workforce

As experienced IT staff transition into retirement and new inexperienced employees come on board, a large amount of knowledge will be lost.  Strobe provides “the answer” up front, supplying the precise, in-depth application performance data needed to locate and eliminate sources of excessive resource demand. Built-in intelligence reduces the reliance on human expertise and experience.  

Integration with Compuware’s modernized mainframe development environment, the Eclipse-based Compuware Workbench, means you can also initiate Strobe measurements for both active and future application instances from within a modern open development environment.

Analyze which performance problems to fix

Strobe presents a detailed analysis of the most important tuning opportunities found. It quickly identifies performance problems that are the simplest to fix as well as the top five opportunities in major categories such as COBOL, DB2, Language Environment and file access. Strobe reports also contain data from SMF and RMF. Using the Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (BIRT), reports can easily be crafted to show when a system is the busiest and what jobs run at this time.

Measuring and reporting on APM success

Strobe provides trend and summary reports for all major subsystem components, including batch, CICS, DB2 and IMS. Performance data can be stored in a Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or DB2 database. Using the Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (BIRT), you can either view the supplied reports or easily craft new custom reports to view your data from a variety of perspectives. This allows you to follow trends, identify the best areas for tuning efforts, and isolate response time and CPU consumption problems.

Proactively determine what and when to measure

Compuware AutoStrobe boosts productivity and increases the flexibility of Strobe and iStrobe by making the measurement process predictable and repeatable. You can create reusable measurement requests and schedule them to run at regular intervals. In addition, AutoStrobe can proactively initiate a Strobe measurement when abnormal behavior occurs in a program. Third-party monitors or other custom applications can also initiate a Strobe measurement using the Strobe applications programming interface (API).

AutoStrobe also includes Global Batch Monitoring, a feature that automates the detection of performance problems by using a rolling average of CPU consumption and elapsed time metrics. AutoStrobe automatically measures any job step that exceeds acceptable thresholds, while Global Batch Monitoring automatically sets CPU and elapsed time thresholds based on performance data from previous executions. A similar function for CICS online transactions monitors transaction performance and alert you to any performance issues before they become critical.

Break down IT barriers and solve problems faster

A lack of collaboration and the manual sharing of information can prolong resolution times and increase application backlogs. Compuware helps solve this age-old issue by uniting the tools used to find problems with those used to fix them. Using Strobe or Abend-AID, Operations and QA teams can quickly pinpoint the root cause of a mainframe application performance problem or exception. Operations will initiate a “fix request” right from their dashboard, which automatically gathers the contextual insights about the issue. The request is sent to the Compuware Workbench where Development will have a jump-start on re-creating, debugging and ultimately fixing the problem. Learn more by watching this short video.

Supported Subsystem and Database Environments

  • CICS
  • DB2
  • IMS
  • WebSphere MQ
  • UNIX System Services

Supported Languages

  • C/C++
  • PL/I
  • CA Optimizer
  • CA Gen