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, high utilization rates, and very large data throughput.

For a description of how a mainframe is represented in BMC Helix Discovery, see Viewing a mainframe.

Configuring mainframe discovery

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

BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent

BMC Helix Discovery cannot natively discover z/OS systems and requires BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent (a separately licensed product) to be installed on the z/OS systems. Unless the support ID you use has been registered as licensed for this additional product, you might be unable to see the references linked to on this page. If you need to discuss this issue further, contact your BMC sales representative.

Mainframe discovery is fully tested and supported from the BMC Discovery Outpost using OpenJDK 11.x. However, mainframe discovery has been observed to fail using OpenJDK 16.0.2.

Discovering all mainframes and LPARs

To discover all mainframes and LPARs, a BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent must be installed on every LPAR. Where LPARs are connected through CAS-to-CAS communication (known as a CASPlex), 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, a MainView Explorer (host server) instance must be running on each LPAR.

For information about installing and configuring the BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent, see the Discovery for z/OS 1.8 Agent Installation Guide Open link .

Required z/OS Discovery Agent version

The supported version of the  z/OS Discovery Agent Open link  is 1.8. Version 1.8 enables discovery of peer-to-peer and client-server relationships between Software Instance nodes. 

LPAR naming and SMF ID

BMC Helix 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 Helix Discovery. In such cases, there might be partial or no results for discovery methods other than getMainframeInfo. This issue is addressed by the following Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs):

  • PTF BPA1479
  • PTF BPA1480

Multiple mainframe discovery

Multiple Mainframe nodes can be created in the inferred model. A scan of a BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent results in only one inferred mainframe (the one on which the agent is running). 

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

The ability to infer multiple Mainframe nodes depends on the BPA1401 PTF being applied on the BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent. If the PTF is not applied, BMC Helix Discovery cannot infer multiple mainframes. The orphan nodes previously described, however, will no longer be created.

Discovering observed communications from mainframe computers

In previous versions, Discovering observed communications from mainframe computers (Mainframe Connection Linking) was a separately licensed product that required you to enable it. Now Mainframe Connection Linking is no longer separately licensed and is enabled by default.

Observed communications are discovered using the getNetworkConnection method, and if the Mainframe Connection Linking feature is enabled, the discovered connections are built into the BMC Helix Discovery model. The following illustration shows an example visualization including observed communication links.

 

Optional Additional Discovery Tools

Some of the detailed 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 detailed data. See the  BMC Discovery for z/OS documentation Open link documentation for further information.

Method

Script Views

Product

getMainframeInfo *

Retrieve Mainframe (CEC) data ($DZSCEC)

Discovery for z/OS

getMFPart *

Retrieve MFPart (LPAR) data ($DZSLPAR)

Discovery for z/OS

getVirtualSystemEnabler *

Retrieve Virtual System Enabler data ($DZSVSE)

Discovery for z/OS

getOperatingSystem *

Retrieve Operating System data ($DZSOS)

Discovery for z/OS

getApplicationServer

Retrieve Application Server data ($DZSAPSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getCICSProgram

Retrieve CICS Program data ($DZSCIPR)

MainView for CICS

getCICSTransaction

Retrieve CICS Transaction data ($DZSCITR)

MainView for CICS

getCommServer

Retrieve Communication Server data ($DZSCOSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getCouplingFacility

Retrieve Coupling Facility data ($DZSCF)

Discovery for z/OS

getDB2Database

Retrieve DB2 Database data ($DZSDB2D)

MainView for DB2

getDB2Indexspace

Retrieve DB2 Indexspace data ($DZSIXSP)

MainView for DB2

getDB2Pageset

Retrieve DB2 Pageset data ($DZSPGST)

MainView for DB2

getDB2Tablespace

Retrieve DB2 Tablespace data ($DZSTBSP)

MainView for DB2

getDatabaseServer

Retrieve Database Server data ($DZSDBSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getDependency

Retrieve Server Dependency data ($DZSRELA)

Discovery for z/OS

getDiskDrive

Retrieve DASD Device data ($DZSDISK)

Discovery for z/OS

getDiskStorage

Retrieve DASD Storage Subsystem data ($DZSDASS)

Discovery for z/OS

getIMSDatabase

Retrieve IMS Database data ($DZSIMDB)

MainView for IMS

getIMSFastPath

Retrieve IMS Fast Path DEDB Area data ($DZSIMAR)

MainView for IMS

getIMSTransaction

Retrieve IMS Transaction data ($DZSIMTR)

MainView for IMS

getMQChannel

Retrieve MQ Channel data ($DZSMQCH)

MainView for WebSphere MQ

getMQListener

Retrieve MQ Listener data ($DZSMQLS)

MainView for WebSphere MQ

getMQQueue

Retrieve MQ Queue data ($DZSMQQ)

MainView for WebSphere MQ

getMessageServer

Retrieve Message Server data ($DZSMSSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getNetworkConnection    Retrieve Network Connection data ($DZSNC)Discovery for z/OS    

getPrintServer

Retrieve Print Server data ($DZSPRSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getResourceServer

Retrieve Resource Server data ($DZSRSSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getSecurityServer

Retrieve Security Server data ($DZSSESR)

Discovery for z/OS

getSysplex

Retrieve Sysplex data ($DZSSYSP)

Discovery for z/OS

getTapeDrive

Retrieve Tape Device data ($DZSTPED)

Discovery for z/OS

getTapeStorage

Retrieve Tape Storage Subsystem data ($DZSTAPS)

Discovery for z/OS

getTransactionPolicy

Retrieve Transaction Policy data ($DZSMTAP)

MainView Transaction Analyzer

getTransactionServer

Retrieve Transaction Server data ($DZSTXSR)

Discovery for z/OS

getWebSphereApplication

Retrieve WAS Application or Mbean data ($DZSWSAP)

MainView for WebSphere Application Server

getWorkload

Retrieve Workload Report Service Class data ($DZSWKLD)

Discovery for z/OS

An asterisk (*) indicates methods that must succeed for a mainframe to be created.

Although the DB2/IMS/MQ/CICS servers are discovered, this detailed data is not available in a BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent-only installation.

Credentials

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 credentials on the Discovery Credentials page.

For more information about mainframe credentials, see Configuring mainframe credentials.

For information about configuring security for the BMC Helix Discovery for z/OS Agent, see the Discovery for z/OS 1.8 Agent Installation Guide Open link .

To enable additional mainframe methods

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

  • MainView for CICS
    • getCICSProgram — Retrieve CICS Program data ($DZSCIPR)
    • getCICSTransaction — Retrieve CICS Transaction data ($DZSCITR)
  • MainView for DB2
    • getDB2Indexspace — Retrieve DB2 Indexspace data ($DZSIXSP)
    • getDB2Pageset — Retrieve DB2 Pageset data ($DZSPGST)
    • getDB2Tablespace — Retrieve DB2 Tablespace data ($DZSTBSP)
  • MainView for IMS
    • getIMSFastPath — Retrieve IMS Fast Path DEDB Area data ($DZSIMAR)
    • getIMSTransaction — Retrieve IMS Transaction data ($DZSIMTR)
  • MainView for WebSphere MQ
    • getMQChannel — Retrieve MQ Channel data ($DZSMQCH)
    • getMQListener — Retrieve MQ Listener data ($DZSMQLS)
    • getMQQueue — Retrieve MQ Queue data ($DZSMQQ)
  • MainView for WebSphere Application Server
    • getWebSphereApplication — Retrieve WAS Application or Mbean data ($DZSWSAP)
  • MainView Transaction Analyzer
    • getTransactionPolicy — Retrieve Transaction Policy data ($DZSMTAP)
  • Generic Discovery for z/OS Agent methods
    • getTapeDrive — Retrieve Tape Device data ($DZSTPED)
    • getDiskDrive — Retrieve DASD Device data ($DZSDISK)

To enable the remaining mainframe discovery methods

  1. From the main menu, click the Administration icon.
    The Administration page opens.
  2. In the Discovery section, click Platforms.
  3. Select Mainframe.
  4. Select the Enable link in the following rows:
    • getDiskDrive (see the first note following this procedure)
    • getTapeDrive
  5. From the Discovery tab, select Knowledge Management.
  6. Click Create Pattern.
  7. From Pattern Templates:
    1. For the getMQDetail method, select template_mainframe_mq.
    2. For the getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive methods, select template_mainframe_storage.
    3. For the getTransaction method, select template_mainframe_transaction.
  8. Edit the patterns according to the instructions contained in the comments.
    You must add a single trigger for each pattern contained in the template. For more information about pattern templates, see Pattern templates.

Note

Enabling getDiskDrive and getTapeDrive in a system in which CMDB synchronization is used causes a large number of CIs to be created.

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

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