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How to create a custom dashboard to show z/OS syslog messages on the Z Data Analytics platform

By Ting Chen posted Tue August 09, 2022 10:41 PM

  
IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytics is a solution that accelerates hybrid incident identification with near real-time operational analytics. It includes a collection of predefined dashboards for use to examine your z/OS based subsystems like CICS, Db2, and MQ to name a few. These dashboards can be used out of the box or can be used as building blocks to build custom dashboards to meet your specific needs.
               sample dashboards on the Z Data Analytics platform


In addition, new visualizations and dashboards can be created for the vast amount of data provided by the Z Common Data Provider that might not be covered in IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytics. You can create your own dashboards to meet your specific needs.

This article provides a step-by-step instruction on creating a custom dashboard for analyzing messages from the z/OS syslog. The scenario assumes that you are already running the Z Common Data Provider on your z/OS system and you are familiar with creating policy files and distributing them to the Z Common Data Provider started tasks.

Demo video

The following video provides a step-by-step demo of the process that should be completed on the Z Data Analytics platform.


Creating the policy to stream log data

Before you create the dashboard to visualize data, you need to make sure you are sending the correct data to the Z Data Analytics platform.

  1. In the Z Common Data Provider Configuration Tool, click the Create a new policy box. In the resulting Policy Profile Edit window, type the required policy name and optionally, a policy description.
  2. Click the Add Data Stream icon. The Select data stream window is shown with a list of categorized data streams.
  3. Expand IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytic >z/OS > Logs, and select z/OS SYSLOG.
    policy_syslog
  4. Then, you will need to configure a subscriber, save the policy, and distribute it to your z/OS systems. For more details on the steps, see section Deploying the Z Common Data Provider in the IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytics User Guide.


Creating the base search

To create visualizations and dashboards, you must first create searches that the visualizations will be based on.
  1. Log on to the Z Data Analytics platform.
  2. Click the menu icon and go into the Discover panel. Since the dashboard allows for quick filtering of the syslog messages, the initial search for all the charts in the dashboard will be restricted to the z/OS syslog message source type.
  3. In the resulting Discoverpanel, you will see all the data sent to your Z Data Analytics platform in the last 24 hours. You can see the fields that have been identified in the data, a chart showing the data arrival times, and the actual data records in the panel.
  4. In the Available fields section, locate and select the field sourceType.
  5. In the Top 5 Values for the sourceType field, select the plus sign (+) next to the value zos-syslog-console, which adds it as a filter under the Search entry field. This is the search that you need to create the dashboard.
    search field
  6. Click Save and save the search with the name aSYSLOG.


Creating the dashboard to show the z/OS syslog messages

Now that you have created the base search needed, you can start creating the dashboard.
  1. Click the menu icon and go into the Dashboard panel. All the available dashboards are displayed.
  2. Click Create dashboard to create a template dashboard.
  3. Click Create new to add a visualization to this dashboard.
  4. Select a visualization type based on the type of data that you want to show. In this scenario, you will first create a vertical bar chart.
    vertical bar
  5. Select the aSYSLOG search that you saved in the previous step as the base search.

    A vertical bar chart with the default values for the X and Y axis is displayed. You will have to add an X-axis and then do some customizations.

    a. In the Buckets section, click Add and select X-axis. Specify the following values in the fields:
         Aggregation: Date Histogram
         Field: @timestamp
    b. Click Update to refresh the visualization.
    c. In the Buckets section, click Add and select Split Series. Specify the following values in the fields to create sub aggregations based on system names, and restrict the number to top 10 systems.
         Sub aggregation: Terms
         Field: systemName
         Size: 10
    d. Click Update to refresh the visualization.

  6. Click Save and provide a title and an optional description to save the visualization.
    visualization
  7. To add more visualizations to the dashboard, click Add and then select Create New > Visualization.
  8. Repeat steps to add more vertical bar charts for the fields SUBSYSTEM, MESSAGETYPE, and MESSAGEID in the dashboard. The dashboard that you create will look like the following sample.
    dashboard
  9. To add the search results to the dashboard, click Add and then select the aSYSLOG entry in the Add panels window.
    dashboard_syslog
  10. Click Save and provide a title and an optional description to save the dashboard.


Using the new dashboard

The Z Data Analytics platform dashboards allow you to filter data by selecting items in one of the graphs. When an item is selected, that filter applies to all the other views in the dashboard.

For example, in the Syslog Messages by systemName chart, select a vertical bar for NMP196, all the views in the dashboard will display only data for NMP196. Likewise, in the Syslog Messages by Message Type chart, you can select the E type messages and filter down to show just those types of messages. With these filters, you can see the E type message on system NMP196.

filter messages

More information
:

To get the latest fix pack for IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytics, visit IBM Fix Central: https://ibm.biz/zlda-fixpack

To learn more information about IBM Z Operational Log and Data Analytics, see the product manual on IBM Documentation: https://ibm.biz/zlda-doc





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