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 performs 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 the BMC MainView instance on each 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 might 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.

Mainframe discovery limitations

Mainframe discovery only supported over IPv4

Mainframe discovery is only supported over IPv4 as BMC MainView, on which the agent relies, is not supported on IPv6.

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 Software Instance 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 that the agent returns to BMC Atrium Discovery. In such cases, there might 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

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

If the PTF is not applied, BMC Atrium Discovery will not be able to infer multiple mainframes (the orphan nodes previously described, however, will no longer be created), behavior that existed in version 8.2.01 of the product.

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.


Script Views

getMainframeInfo *

View Z

getMFPart *

View Z


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


View Z


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


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


View Z


View #-


Views 5UZ, 5VZ and 5NZ (requested as View 5NUVZ) — Requires MainView for WebSphere MQ product to be installed.


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


View -


View Z


View -@


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.


To discover a mainframe computer you must have 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.

For further information on mainframe credentials, see Configuring mainframe credentials.

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:

  • getDatabaseDetail
  • getDiskDrive
  • getTapeDrive
  • getTransactionProgram

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
  4. From the Discovery tab, select Knowledge Management.
  5. Click Create Pattern.
  6. From Pattern Templates:
    1. For the getMQDetail method, select the template_mainframe_mq template.
    2. For the getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive methods, select the template_mainframe_storage template.
    3. For the getTransaction 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 templates for more information on using pattern templates.

getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive with CMDB Synchronization

When enabling getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive 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 earlier than 7.6.03, you must apply the mainframe extension, to use CMDB synchronization with mainframe discovery. For instructions about setting up CMDB synchronization and applying BMC Atrium CMDB extensions, see Applying the ADDM Integration Extensions.

Was this page helpful? Yes No Submitting... Thank you