Discovering mainframe computers

Mainframe computers are powerful computers that tend to be used by large organizations for critical bulk data processing. They are characterized by high reliability and security, strict backward compatibility with older software, and high utilization rates and very large data throughput.

See Viewing a mainframe for a description of how a mainframe is represented in BMC Atrium Discovery.

Configuring mainframe discovery

BMC Atrium Discovery undertakes mainframe discovery as part of a normal discovery scan. When discovery heuristics indicate a mainframe computer is on a particular IP address, then the methods unique to mainframe discovery are initiated. Mainframe discovery methods use an agent, the z/OS Discovery Agent, which is installed on the mainframe to collect information from a logical partition (LPAR).

BMC Atrium Discovery for z/OS agent

BMC Atrium Discovery cannot natively discover z/OS systems and requires BMC Atrium Discovery for z/OS to be installed on the z/OS systems. This is a separately licensed product. Unless the support ID you use has been registered as licensed for this additional product then you may be unable to see the references linked to on this page. Contact your BMC sales representatives if you need to discuss this further.

Discovering all mainframes and LPARs

To discover all mainframes and LPARs, a BMC Discovery for z/OS agent must be installed on every LPAR. Where LPARs are connected through CAS to CAS communication (known as a CASPlex), then at least one MainView Explorer (host server) must be running on each CASPlex. You must then scan the IP addresses for each of the MainView Explorer instances.

Where LPARs are not connected through the CAS then a MainView Explorer (host server) instance must be running on each LPAR.

For information on installing and configuring the BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent, see the BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent Installation Guide available from the BMC support site.

Multiple CASPlexes on a single mainframe

There is a known limitation when there are multiple CASPlexes on a single mainframe. You can work around this by having a separate BMC Atrium Discovery instance to discover each CASPlex, or by changing the configuration so that all the LPARs on a given mainframe connect to a single CASPlex.

Required z/OS Discovery Agent version

Supported versions of the z/OS Discovery Agent are 1.6 and 1.7. Version 1.7 enables discovery of peer-to-peer and client-server relationships between SoftwareInstance nodes. To enable discovery by BMC Atrium Discovery, the z/OS Discovery Agent should be patched according to Technical Bulletin 172149. This Technical Bulletin is available from the BMC support site: Navigate to the page BMC Discovery for z/OS and choose the document "Describes BMC Atrium Discovery for z/OS License Add-On 1.6.00 requirements for BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 8.2.0"

LPAR naming and SMF ID

BMC Atrium Discovery sets the names of LPARs (the CAS system names) on the __discovery_context attribute of the DiscoveredMainframe node. Sometimes, these names are not the same as the SMF ID of the LPAR which the agent returns to BMC Atrium Discovery. In such cases, there may be partial or no results for discovery methods other than getMainframeInfo. The following Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs) address this issue:

  • BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent 1.6: PTFs BPA1472 and BPA1473.
  • BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent 1.7: PTFs BPA1479 and BPA1480.

Multiple mainframe discovery

In BMC Atrium Discovery version 8.2.01, only a single Mainframe node can be inferred, even if the DiscoveryAccess reports multiple Discovered Mainframes. Where multiple mainframes exist, discovery could sometimes infer other nodes (for example, MFPart and Sysplex nodes for multiple mainframes). These nodes could be created but not linked to a mainframe.

In version 8.3, multiple Mainframe nodes can be created in the inferred model. A scan of a BMC Discovery for z/OS agent results in only one inferred mainframe (the one on which the agent is running). The following illustration shows an example visualization.

This screen illustrates a visualization of multiple Mainframe nodes created from the inferred model.

A separate agent must be configured for each additional mainframe to be discovered, even if agents for the mainframes are communicating with each other and each agent is able to gather details of more than one mainframe.

The ability to infer multiple Mainframe nodes depends on the following PTF being applied on the BMC Discovery for z/OS agent:

  • BPA1401

With BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent 1.6, if the PTF is not applied, BMC Atrium Discovery will function the same way as version 8.2.01, and be unable to infer multiple mainframes (the orphan nodes previously described, however, will no longer be created).

With BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent 1.7, there is no need for BPA1401. It has been superseded.

Optional Additional Discovery Tools

Some of the detail data that the z/OS Discovery Agent collects is dependent on additional MainView products being installed. The following table shows the MainView products used to obtain additional detail information. See the BMC Discovery for Z/OS documentation for further information.

Method

Script Views

getMainframeInfo *

View Z

getMFPart *

View Z

getApplication

Views 49Z, 4HZ and 4WZ (requested as View 49HWZ) — Requires MainView for WebSphere, Application Server, and MainView Transaction Analyzer products to be installed.

getCouplingFacility

View Z

getDatabase

Views 1IZ and 1XZ (requested as View 1IXZ) — Requires MainView for DB2 and MainView for IMS products to be installed.

getDatabaseDetail

Views 1IJZ, 1ILZ and 1IKZ (requested as View 1IJKLZ) — Requires MainView for DB2 product to be installed.

getDependency

View Z

getDiskDrive

View #-

getMQDetail

Version 8.3 – Views 5UZ, 5$Z and 5NZ (requested as View 5U$NZ)
Version 8.3 SP2 – Views 5UZ, 5VZ and 5NZ (requested as View 5NUVZ) – Requires MainView for WebSphere MQ product to be installed.

getSoftware

Views 0Z, 1Z, 2Z, 3Z, 4Z, 5Z, 6Z and 7Z (requested as View 01234567Z)

getStorageSubsystem

View -

getSysplex

View Z

getTapeDrive

View -@

getTransaction

View 0YZ — Requires MainView for CICS and MainView for IMS products to be installed.

getTransactionProgram

Version 8.3 SP3 – View 0YZ — Requires MainView for CICS and MainView for IMS products to be installed.

*indicates methods that must succeed for a Mainframe to be created.

Though the DB2/IMS/MQ/CICS servers will be discovered, this detailed data will not be available in a z/OS Discovery Agent only install.

Credentials

To discover a mainframe computer you require a z/OS user ID and password pair that is also defined in RACF, ACF2, Top Secret, or other external security managers. You configure the credential in the Management Systems tab in the Discovery Credentials page.

  1. From the Discovery home page, click Credentials.
  2. Click Management Systems.
  3. Click Mainframe.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Enter the following information:

    Field

    Description

    IP Range

    The IP range for which this credential will be used. This option can be one of the following:
    • an IP address (10.10.10.3)
    • a range specification (10.10.10.* or 10.10.1-5.* or 10.10.10.0/24)
    • a regular expression matching an IP address (.* or 10.10.10.(23|25))

    Username

    The z/OS username with which to log in to the mainframe computer.

    Password

    The password corresponding to the username above.

    Description

    Enter a free text description of the credential.

    Custom Mainframe Host Server Port

    The port to use to connect to the mainframe. By default this is 3940. To use a different port, select the Enable custom mainview port? checkbox and choose a port number from the list. The list is populated with port numbers specified on the Discovery Configuration page.

  6. To save the details, click Apply.

Testing mainframe credentials

Recommendation

You should confirm that the BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent is installed and functioning correctly with the credential testing tool before attempting discovery of the mainframe as the test includes a number of diagnostics. Problems with configuration are much simpler to resolve using this approach.

To test an existing mainframe credential:

  1. From the mainframe credential list, select Actions => Test.
  2. Enter the IP address for which you want to test credentials.
  3. Click Test.
    The Management System Credentials page is displayed showing the test in progress.
  4. When the test completes, the page is refreshed with the result.
    You are shown whether the test ultimately resulted in a success or a failure. By clicking through the state link you can view the results of the credential test in more detail.
    This screen illustrates how to view more detailed results of the credential test.

The credential test result page shows the discovery methods enabled in BMC Atrium Discovery, whether corresponding views are detected in the Discovery for z/OS agent, and the z/OS agent version.


For information on configuring security for the BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent, see the BMC Discovery for z/OS Agent Installation Guide.

Enabling additional mainframe methods

You can view the methods for mainframe discovery by clicking Mainframe Discovery in the Discovery Platforms page. The following mainframe methods are disabled by default as they are not required for a basic discovery:

  • getDiskDrive
  • getTapeDrive
  • getTransactionProgram – (introduced in BMC Atrium Discovery 8.3 SP3)

Enabling the remaining mainframe discovery methods

To enable the remaining discovery methods:

  1. From the Discovery section of the Administration tab, select Platforms.
  2. Select Mainframe.
  3. Select the Enable link in the following rows:
    • getDiskDrive (see note below)
    • getTapeDrive
    • getTransactionProgram
  4. From the Discovery tab, select Pattern Management.
  5. Select Pattern Templates.
  6. For the getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive methods, select the template_mainframe_storage template.
    For the getTransactionProgram method, select the template_mainframe_transaction template.
  7. Edit the patterns according to the instructions contained in the comments. You need to add a single trigger for each pattern contained in the template. See Pattern Management for more information on using pattern templates.
  8. If you do not see additional discovery data, ensure that you have uncommented the lines as instructed in the pattern.

Using getDiskDrive, getTapeDrive, and getTransactionProgram with CMDB Synchronization

When enabling getDiskDrive, getTapeDrive, and getTransactionProgram in a system where CMDB synchronization is used, you should be aware that these methods cause a large number of CIs to be created.

You can view and download an example pattern module created from the templates here

Mainframe discovery and CMDB synchronization

For versions of BMC Atrium CMDB prior to 7.6.03, you must apply the mainframe extension, extension-703-800-Mainframe.zip to use CMDB synchronization with mainframe discovery. For complete instructions on setting up CMDB synchronization and applying BMC Atrium CMDB extensions, see Applying the ADDM Integration Extensions.

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