AIOps: Monitoring and Observability - Group home

IBM Z Monitoring Configuration Manager for the IZMS Suite

By Mark Jula posted Wed September 02, 2020 10:35 AM



IBM Z Monitoring Configuration Manager (IZMCM) for the IZMS Suite

The initial version of IBM Z Monitoring Configuration Manager (IZMCM) for the IZMS Suite is the latest and greatest process used to configure the OMEGAMON runtime environment.  The current process to configure OMEGAMON is an ISPF driven process called PARMGEN.  Monitoring Configuration Manager is a batch job driven process that uses standard JCL and various parameters to achieve the same results as PARMGEN in a much faster and less complicated way.  What may have taken many hours to many days to configure can now be achieved in minutes using Monitoring Configuration Manager.

Monitoring Configuration Manager versus PARMGEN

Monitoring Configuration Manager evolved from PARMGEN so if you understand PARMGEN, then understanding Monitoring Configuration Manager should not be an issue at all.  It is your choice to use either Monitoring Configuration Manager or PARMGEN to configure runtime environments for OMEGAMON.  Both processes use the same parameters. 

A runtime environment (RTE) consists of different z/OS datasets, started tasks as well as z/OS UNIX files.  These are the files that are required to monitor different subsystems on a z/OS LPAR and these related members are collectively known as runtime members.  The main purpose of Monitoring Configuration Manager is to generate runtime members using different OMEGAMON parameters.  This process is known as the GENERATE action.

Generating runtime members for a runtime environment involves you modifying a set of parameters, then you run one single Monitoring Configuration Manager batch job.  The parameters that you use for this job are all stored in plain text.


You must decide whether to use Monitoring Configuration Manager or PARMGEN


You can use Monitoring Configuration Manager and PARMGEN alongside each other.  You can generate runtime members for different runtime environments using Monitoring Configuration Manager and you can use PARMGEN for other environments.  You can then run these environments communicating with the same hub monitoring server.  


You are not able to use Monitoring Configuration Manager and PARMGEN interchangeably generating runtime members for a runtime environment from the same set of parameters. For each different runtime environment that you have, you must decide whether to use Monitoring Configuration Manager or PARMGEN. 

Our testing and results


We installed the OMEGAMONs using both the PARMGEN process and using the Monitoring Configuration Manager.  Below are the results of using each tool.


 Our experience using PARMGEN Installation


 When using PARMGEN, this is a combination of ISPF panels and batch jobs that get submitted and executed.  There is a dataset that ends with ‘TKANCUS’ and this is the REXX exec to invoke the ISPF panels.  Here is an example of the main ISPF panel for PARMGEN:

The user then navigates through the many ISPF panels presented and then selects which jobs to submit. 


Depending on what is being done, different jobs will get created for different actions and this can get very complicated and take a long time to complete.  To generate runtime members from parameters, you navigate through the ISPF panels and submit a series of jobs.  Some of these jobs that get created and submitted will submit other jobs to perform different functions.  You will need to review each job and check for a successful completion. 


The user will also need to understand which jobs or series of jobs to run in different situations when performing maintenance or updates and this can also get complex.  For example, after applying some SMP/E maintenance you need to understand which jobs to run to update the runtime environment and also navigate through the correct ISPF panels to generate these jobs.    


When we used the PARMGEN process to generate our environment (with the assistance of an IBM OMEGAMON specialist), it took us approximately 6 WebEx sessions each session about 2-3 hours for a total of approximately 18 hours to complete. 

Our experience using Monitoring Configuration Manager installation


When using the Monitoring Configuration Manager there are no ISPF panels to navigate, this installation is a batch job only process.  The installation uses the same JCL for all actions that need to be performed.  Here is an example of the JCL:

There are 3 different ACTIONs that need to be performed to complete the installation, CREATE, DISCOVER and GENERATE. 


To generate runtime members from parameters, you submit only one single job


To generate runtime members, you submit the same single job in all situations. 


In the case of different situations (like the PARMGEN example of applying SMP/E maintenance), Monitoring Configuration Manager enhancements and performance improvements, also the streamlining of separate stage jobs into once single job, the user does not need to decide which stages or jobs need to run in different situations, the user submits the same single job.


When we used the Monitoring Configuration Manager single batch job to generate our environment, it took us a single 2 hour WebEx session.  In the WebEx session we had to read the manual and review the process to create the needed single step JCL.  Once the JCL was created, we ran the 3 ACTIONS described above to create our environment and the total time to perform these 3 ACTIONS was approximately 15 minutes. 

We then made some environmental changes and added a CICS region as well as an IMS environment.  We needed to only run the single step job to DISCOVER these new things.  This batch job took approximately 10 minutes to complete. 

Our results, conclusions and comments


Our installations were performed on our demo system with limited TSO users logged onto this LPAR doing product demonstrations.  Your environment will be different so the times listed may vary when running in your environment.   


Since PARMGEN has been around for a long time and used for OMEGAMON installations and configurations, some users will be very comfortable using PARMGEN and can continue using this process. 


Because Monitoring Configuration Manager is a new offering to install and configure OMEGAMON, you will need to give it a try and decide for yourself. 


Since there are many younger and inexperienced employees being hired to work on the z/OS platform and for some reason they seem to be reluctant to ‘green screen’ ISPF work, we think that the Monitoring Configuration Manager is a great solution to install and configure the OMEGAMONs.  The user does need to logon to TSO which is a ISPF green screen, but since it is a single batch job with no other ISPF interactions, this seems to be a very attractive solution as opposed to navigating through many ISPF screens in the PARMGEN process.