Continuous Improvement | Agile Ops | Mainframe Modernization | Mainframe DevOps | Mainframe Agility

Looking at Continuous Improvement and Agile Ops on the Mainframe

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Closing the dev-ops gap, increasing agility, attracting and educating new talent as experts retire—these are only a few of the evolving responsibilities many IT leaders would say are keeping them awake at night.

Onerous as they may seem, these are strategic imperatives, and at their core is the urgently important business need to preserve, advance and protect the mainframe investments supporting customer-facing innovations your organization delivers.

That is why “organizations must constantly work to modernize mainframe environments and remove impediments to innovation,” notable mainframe analyst Rich Ptak writes in a new report. In that report, Ptak details two new ways Compuware is:

  1. Enabling mainframe teams to increase development quality, velocity and efficiency
  2. Eliminating complexity for mainframe-inexperienced DevOps pros and next-gen talent

Read the Report

Mainframe-dedicated software vendors and forward-thinking mainframe customers are trying to solve a lot of problems—but a lot of the focus is on accelerating development. As Ptak’s report explains, organizations also need to be intent on helping mainframe teams understand how they can continuously improve overall DevOps processes and increase the agility of not just their development groups, but also their vital operations teams.

zAdviser Machine Learning | Continuous Improvement | Mainframe DevOps

Continuous DevOps Improvement with zAdviser

“Mainframe KPIs are a must if organizations want to successfully compete in the digital age,” Ptak writes. “If you’re not continuously improving, you are wasting your time and worse, your customers’ time.”

Continuous improvement should span three key areas: quality, velocity and efficiency. As a Compuware-commissioned Forrester Consulting study found, organizations are often already laser-focused on quality—something mainframe teams are perhaps most lauded for. But velocity and efficiency are of less concern.

Compuware zAdviser, a new solution that’s free for maintenance-current Compuware customers, will help DevOps teams continuously improve all three areas. It uses machine learning to find correlations between KPIs—based on DevOps toolchain data and Compuware product usage data—and developer behaviors that lead to making better business decisions.

This will change how IT leaders guide their teams towards more frequent success—a much-needed change as the bar for business agility continues to be raised. As Ptak writes:

The days of beating the drum to go faster are long gone with the machine learning.

Agile Ops with ThruPut Manager

It’s not enough to accelerate one side of DevOps (Dev) while leaving the other half (Ops) mired in slower processes with less modern tooling. This bimodal arrangement will only exacerbate the division that has existed for years between the groups—a division your organization should be actively working to mend.

Not only that, but mainframe operations is already intrinsically less intuitive and more niche an area than even mainframe development for the next generation—and for DevOps professionals who are used to IT working more collaboratively with common tools.

Ptak writes that “today’s complex environments compound the problem with a bewildering number of choices, combinations and alternatives to consider in making … decisions” around managing workloads in the most optimal way to maximize your ability to meet SLAs and reduce MLC costs. “The amount of data, competing interests and number of options means it takes years of experience to achieve even a reasonable level of competence at this task.”

Compuware ThruPut Manager GUI

ThruPut Manager’s GUI-based Overview dashboard

That’s why we released a new GUI for ThruPut Manager, our tool for automated batch processing. It increases ThruPut Manager’s value of providing intuitive, actionable insight into how batch jobs are being initiated and executed, as well as their impact on cost, by providing Ops with a visual representation of intelligible information of the cost/benefit tradeoffs as they work to optimize workload timing and resource performance.

Ops pros using the new interface get multiple drill-down views, including:

  • An overview of data on the General Services and Productions Services queue
  • A detailed view of specific job data and job history, plus where work is being selected
  • R4HA information for the last eight hours
  • Workloads the Automated Capacity Management feature is constraining to mitigate R4HA

As always, Ptak gives an honest and intelligent overview of these new solutions in his latest report for Compuware. To learn more about the value of zAdviser and the new ThruPut Manager GUI, read the report.

Read the Report

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Mike Siemasz

Technology Writer at Compuware
Mike Siemasz formerly served as Content Strategist and Technology Writer, reporting on culture, processes and tools in relation to DevOps and the mainframe.