IBM IMS Performance Analyzer (IMS PA) has taken analysis of mainframe logs to the next level with its latest feature - APAR PH51237 (UI90405). You can now transfer report data from IMS PA to any analytics platform that accepts JSON input and view it in a visually appealing and interactive manner.
Let's look at how this feature easily comes to life with the popular Elastic stack. All you need, along with IMS PA, is a working Elasticsearch - Kibana installation:
- Set up an instance of Logstash, Elasticsearch, and Kibana either in the cloud or on a host machine on your premises.
- On your mainframe, configure IMS PA to stream the ‘Internal resource usage report’ (IRUR) set to your Logstash implementation. Currently, the feature is available for the IRUR set of reports only.
- Trigger the batch job that generates your report set.
- Go to Kibana and view your interactive reports.
Kibana, powered by Elasticsearch, easily handles massive amounts of data with remarkable speed and efficiency. Kibana gives you the flexibility to explore and view your data from various angles by manipulating it in various ways. Set up alerts to keep track of critical metrics and never miss a beat. Effortlessly collaborate with your team and make data-driven decisions with Kibana's seamless sharing capabilities.
IMS PA usually produces reports in formats like EBCDIC or ASCII, which are optimized for mainframe systems. If you want to view the reports graphically, IMS PA can convert the reports to CSV format, which an external reporting tool, such as a spreadsheet application can understand. However, this method is not ideal because it introduces a significant delay between a report and its analysis. Furthermore, spreadsheet applications can become terribly slow, since they are not designed to handle the massive amounts of data generated by mainframe logs.
Elasticsearch is a highly scalable, distributed, open-source search and analytics engine that is designed to handle massive amounts of data. It stores data in the form of JSON documents. To use Elasticsearch with IMS PA reports, you need to convert the reports to JSON.
With the latest update, IMS PA can output reports in JSON format, and seamlessly transfer data to Elasticsearch and view it with Kibana.