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Introducing IBM Z Discovery for ServiceNow

  

On September 5th 2023, IBM announced a statement of direction to release a new integration with for IBM Z Service Management Suite, IBM Z Monitoring Suite, IBM zSystems Integration for Observability and IBM Z Service Automation Suite that allows users to discover key IBM Z subsystem deployment configuration data and forward that data to a ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

The IBM Z Discovery for ServiceNow integration is Generally Available (GA) as of September 8th. Customers can leverage this capability with either IBM Z Monitoring Suite or IBM Z Service Management Suite and it will soon become available via the other offerings per the announced statement of direction. 

For many mainframe customers, their digital infrastructure is becoming increasingly more complex. More end-user demand for better/faster digital experiences is driving the creation of more applications and backend services to satiate the appetite. For IT Operations teams, knowing how their ecosystem components relate to each other is critical – especially if there is an unplanned outage and the team is scrambling to ensure services return online. The primary culprit of most IT issues? Change.

Here are 3 common types of changes IT Operations teams deal with:

  1. Standard Changes –Repeatable changes that are deemed to be low risk and is pre-authorized.
  2. Normal Changes – Changes that require assessments and review/approval of a CAB (Change Advisory Board). The board will often perform an Impact assessment, define a change window, assess blackout periods, build test / validation plans, prepare backout plans, and more.
  3. Emergency Changes – Changes in response to fixing a critical incident. They likely still require CAB review but are done on an expedited path to reduce business risk.

Since there are many changes, and they can be incredibly impactful to core business services, it’s critical to track them. Many customers turn to ServiceNow to maintain a single source of truth when it comes to IT changes. These changes are kept in a Change Management Database (CMDB). The CMDB contains all relevant information about hardware and software components as well as the relationships between those components – often referred to as Configuration Items (CIs). Many organizations have homegrown or error-prone manual utilities to handle CIs, which often result in CMDB entries that are out of sync with mainframe environment realities. 

IBM Z Resource Discovery allows users to automate the manual discovery process and accurately map relationships between IBM Z and ServiceNow. There are 27 common CIs such as Sysplex, LPAR, z/OS, Db2 subsystem, IMS subsystem, CICS subsystem, MQ subsystem, and more supported in the integration.

Mock mainframe topology showing key mainframe resources and their relationships


Once connected to the Certified IBM Z Discovery for ServiceNow app – this data can populate in a ServiceNow CMDB. A user can open a new incident ticket against a discovered IBM Z resource, then “open in dependencies view” to visualize how the resource may be related to other CIs. 

mainframe CIs visible in the

This helps to consolidate critical IT infrastructure data and drive better visibility across mainframe teams to streamline communication. The ultimate aim is to help improve service availability and reduce the ever-so-important MTTR (Mean Time To Resolution) metric without costly, time-consuming manual processes.

To learn more visit IBM Z Monitoring Suite 2.1 documentation or drop us a note in the IBM Z Community