Managing HSM

Proactively Controlling the Swarm


HSMBeesBy Jeremy Schilke, Dino-Software (4-minute read)
Perhaps the “per byte” price of storage has dropped, but due to the sheer rate and volume by which data is produced and retained, the reality is that the overall effort and cost has not lessened. Furthermore, collecting, organizing, protecting and then ensuring accessibility and recoverability are exponentially more challenging.

IBM’s DFSMShsm provides a very nice framework for administering and maintaining the storage environment and maximizing resource availability. Plus, with the dynamic marketplace, IBM continues to upgrade DFSMShsm functionality to address and meet users’ needs. HOWEVER, even with all of IBM’s upgrades to DFSMShsm, few changes have been made to make managing DFSMShsm easier, even for the most experienced storage administrator. The decisions they must make are endless, from choosing where and when space management is to occur, determining if interval or on-demand migration is needed, selecting which volumes to dump and which to backup, or just deciding how long to leave dormant data on primary DASD.

Also complicating the preservation of the HSM environment are the inherent challenges of the DFSMShsm audits. Yes, they provide great repair services, but most run long and painfully slow, and in many instances, never complete. Additionally, the reporting provided with DFSMShsm requires cumbersome commands and provides few useful print options. And what if there is a critical failure such as a migration level 2 tape being lost or irretrievably damaged, or what if DFSMShsm loses knowledge of a tape with critical data on it?

Dino-Software’s HSM Adminisaurus (HSA) allows the storage administrator to gain a bird’s eye view of the DFSMShsm environment with HSA’s analytic tools, while at the same time providing extensive details of DFSMShsm’s internals with HSA’s in-depth reporting. Whether trying to answer the “What,” “When,” or “Where” of DFSMShsm activity or just trying to determine how much data DFSMShsm is processing, HSA has multiple views and multiple ways to access DFSMShsm information. With HSA’s lightning fast auditing and comprehensive reporting, users are given the power of knowing what DFSMShsm is doing rather than hoping it is working as intended.

HSA is especially helpful in those situations when something critical has failed.  In the earlier mentioned cases of the critical ML2 tape failure, as long as good backups exist, HSA can be used to quickly identify the data sets that were on the ML2 tape, generate commands to recover the data sets from the backup copy, and write the data to a new ML2 tape. And if DFSMShsm no longer knows about a tape, HSA can be used to generate the CDS records needed to access all of the data on the tape. A more common situation may be a storage administrator checking if DFSMShsm is ready for the weekend. Are all the functions released? Is there sufficient ML1 space to support primary space management? HSA can very easily identify held functions, SDSPs or volumes nearing thresholds, and when the last space management ran and how successful it was.

DFSMShsm can be the life saver of a business through storage cost reduction by freeing up space and moving less vital data to cheaper storage mediums as well as ensuring data is fully protected by having updated and usable data set backups. Unfortunately, DFSMShsm can also drain vital system resources and lose control of the storage environment if it isn’t properly managed. HSA has easy-to-use tools to identify where DFSMShsm is wasting resources and where it should be more effectively maintaining the storage environment.

Included with HSA are:

Comprehensive management level reports to provide a global view of DFSMShsm:

  • Processing summary by:
    • Action, return code, and reason code
    • Management class
    • Storage class
    • High level qualifier
    • Job name
    • User id
  • Auto function analysis:
    • Migration
    • Backup
    • Dump
    • Recycle
  • Thrashing activity (by data set, management class, and storage group)
  • CDS backup activity

In-depth detail reports to zoom in on DFSMShsm internals:

  • Message traffic
  • Data set activity (functional statistics)
  • Tape failures
  • CDS backup processing
  • System resource usage
  • DFSMShsm data set resources
  • Class transition predictive analysis

HSA can identify where DFSMShsm is failing to provide services even though the DFSMS rules are setup correctly:

  • Missing automatic function activity (migration, backup, and dump)
  • Missing volume level activity (migration, backup, and dump)

HSA supports all DFSMShsm configurations. Storage administrators do not have to be constrained by retaining performance wasting DFSMShsm output processes (such as the ARCLOGX/Y). HSA can report from any and all of the following data sources:

  • DFSMShsm internal control blocks
  • Control data sets
  • SMF
  • ARCLOGX/Y
  • PDA

HSA is designed to aid the most knowledgeable storage administrator in quickly and easily managing the DFSMShsm environment. For less experienced administrators (or those new to storage management) HSA has the tools needed to fill in any knowledge gaps and assist in proper management of the DFSMShsm environment. HSA’s simplified design, comprehensive reporting, and expansive analysis will ensure administrators are able to maximize DFSMShsm’s ability to manage the storage environment. Improve performance, increase throughput, and ensure data availability within the DFSMShsm environment with HSA.

And to further reduce the burden of the storage administrator, HSA is also designed to allow non-storage administrators to access their own data so they don’t take administrator’s time away from critical tasks. Non-storage administrators can recover their own backup data through HSA’s easy-to-use interface. Avoid the hassle and delays caused by non-critical interruptions.

Much like a beekeeper avoiding catastrophe by proactively managing a hive’s swarming, HSA allows the storage administrator to effectively, efficiently, and easily maintain and keep healthy the DFSMShsm environment. The result is ensured business continuity with increased productivity, reduced effort, and maximized DFSMShsm resource availability with HSM Adminisaurus.

Free HSM-Health Summary Scan Offer

DINO is offering free limited use of HSA’s “HSM-Health Summary Scan.” It checks the storage environment for failures in DFSMShsm processing and uncovers which volumes and processes should have occurred but did not.   DFSMS class rules as well as DFSMShsm settings are checked and compared to the actual activity that occurred. If any expected activity did NOT occur, a health diagnostic is reported.  The Health Summary Scan also checks other conditions in the environment to ensure that DFSMShsm is configured and running correctly.  Its purpose is to provide at a glance some high level overviews of your HSM environment that will substantiate consideration of HSM Adminisaurus as a valuable tool for creating and maintaining a reliable and efficient HSM environment.  Contact sales@dino-software.com or call 703-768-2610 to take advantage of this free offer.

 


About Dino-Software

Dino-Software Corporation develops enterprise-wide solutions for the management, analysis, protection, and repair of complex z/OS mainframe environments.  Dino-Software has long been acknowledged for its superiority in ICF catalog management and technical support, helping organizations ensure their business-critical assets remain online and recoverable in a disaster.  Learn more about Dino-Software and its z/OS mainframe storage solutions at https://dino-software.com.

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