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IBM Z System Automation 4.3 Available!

By Yue Gao posted Fri March 18, 2022 04:27 AM


IBM Z System Automation V4.3 is available today on March 18, 2022! This new release delivers a lot of new features, including a new Info Broker component to integrate Status Display Facility (SDF) messages into Service Management Unite (SMU) Automation, a new Policy Services Provider component that can be used to create policy reports in JSON format, a full-supported plug-in for Zowe Command Interface (CLI) that administrators and operators can use to interact with IBM Z System Automation, and many more features. Let’s take a closer look at some major features.

SDF Integration with SMU

The Status Display Facility (SDF) consists of a hierarchy of dynamically updated panels showing color-coded status of various resources in a z/OS system, and in other z/OS systems that specify this system as an automation focal point. Customers have asked for integrating SDF into Service Management Unite (SMU), a modern interface of Z System Automation.

To integrate SDF messages into SMU, a new optional component called System Automation Info Broker is introduced in Z System Automation 4.3. This component provides an infrastructure that can publish System Automation event messages to a central repository, that is an Apache Kafka® system, where the event messages can be consumed by different consumers, for example, some modern display facilities.

SMU can receive SDF messages after it subscribes to the Apache Kafka topic, where the Info Broker sent messages. You can view captured messages and their details, and view or reply to Write to Operator with Reply (WTOR) messages on the SMU SDF Messages Overview dashboard.

Customization Dialog Modernization

For the Customization Dialog, Z System Automation 4.3 delivers new capabilities to generate a policy report in JSON format, a conversion tool to automatically convert certain MOVE or SERVER APGs from model 1 to model 2 to easily control the group behaviors with roles and move scenarios instead of using complex preference values. What’s more, additional samples policies for z/OSMF server, z/OS® Container Extensions, and System Automation Operations REST Server are delivered in 4.3 release to reduce manual policy customization efforts for these components.

JSON report

A new optional component that is called Policy Services Provider is introduced in Z System Automation 4.3 that allows you to generate the policy report in JSON format. After you configure the component and start it, you can start using the JSON report capability.

First, you need to select option 0 on the Policy Database Report Parameters panel to set up the Policy Services Provider settings (including the host address, port, and optional key ring for HTTPS connection). After those settings, you can then create a JSON report by setting the Format field to JSON and the Pretty print JSON field to Y (see how to create a JSON report).

You can view or download the JSON report, as same as the FLAT and HTML reports. In the JSON report, each JSON object corresponds to the policy items of each entry.

System Automation plug-in for ZOWE CLI and System Automation Operations REST API V1.1

A full-supported plug-in for Zowe CLI is introduced in Z System Automation 4.3, which you can use to interact with Z System Automation from your preferred command line on Microsoft™ Windows™, Linux®, or Apple® Macintosh® operating systems. This "System Automation Plug-in for Zowe CLI" allows you to contact your SAPlex through the "System Automation Operations REST API", for example, for the following services:

  • List and manage (start or stop, suspend or resume) defined resources.
  • List, create, or delete dynamic resources.
  • List, create, or delete requests.
  • Refresh automation policies.
  • Work with automation agents and automation managers.

In order to use this plug-in with your System Automation systems, you have to configure and run the prerequisite component "System Automation Operations REST Server" that provides the Operations REST API. In 4.3 release, a new 1.1 version of the Operations REST API is delivered, which includes additional endpoints to get details of requests, work with automation agents and managers including refreshing the automation policy.

The current version for the System Automation Plug-in for Zowe CLI has been tested and certified for the Zowe CLI V1 LTS (Long Time Support) Version. For more information about the "Zowe Conformance Program", see Zowe Conformance Program - Open Mainframe Project.

Processor Operations (ProcOps) enhancements

In this new 4.3 release, the hardware automation component ProcOps and the SA-specific BCPii implementation have been enhanced to provide a more resilient operation while keeping up with the availability and capacity options of IBM Z.

New HOLD mode of ISQET32 sessions

While a ProcOps CPC connection is established, the session can be put in HOLD mode to temporarily disrupt its automation and hardware command forwarding capabilities. You can use this new HOLD mode to temporarily halt any hardware SA-BCPii communication and automation to IBM Z processors, for example, for a planned Support Element outage.

System Recovery Boost support

System Recovery Boost (SRB) indicators are added to the ProcOps data model, API, and UIs. In addition to the ISQCCMD GETIBOOST STATUS and EVALUATE options, the ISQVARS target attention (TATTN) keyword new value "BOOST" now informs automation applications and operators when ProcOps monitoring detects system running in LPARs with BOOST mode on. Updates in the ISQVARS data model will trigger screen refreshes of ISQXDST panels to monitor the ProcOps target system connection status.

Customer requests for enhancements

Z System Automation 4.3 also delivers some enhancements based on user needs, for example,

  • Tailored Runmode report.
  • Improved Z Workload Scheduler (ZWS) command checking.
  • Job Log Monitoring for temporary data sets.
  • Force Prepare Move during rolling recycle for SERVER APGs

For a full list of IBM Z System Automation 4.3 new features, see “What's New in V4.3” in IBM Z System Automation documentation.