Leveraging Splunk to Optimize Hybrid Cloud Interactions with the Mainframe
Presentation by Russ Teubner and Greg Smith
Enterprise IT organizations are investing heavily in automation and hybrid cloud initiatives. Both of these initiatives require the mainframe’s full participation because of the core business applications that run there. Organizations are implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to displace human costs and gain efficiencies. As RPA activity that reaches the mainframe scales up, IT organizations are experiencing unintended consequences. Increased cost and mainframe performance bottlenecks due to the abuse of a human-to-machine interface (the terminal) by the RPA's machine-to-machine workloads/speeds.
The same result is occurring as developers and architects integrate the mainframe with hybrid cloud applications. The most common integration technology was designed to support human interaction, not machine interaction.
In both cases, the result of these suboptimal integrations and interactions is that activities that normally take sub-seconds to execute, instead require minutes or in some cases, hours to execute. The IT group sees costs skyrocket while performance slows. What they can’t see with any precision is which automations or hybrid applications are the true source of the mainframe workload. Standard mainframe performance analysis tools indicate CPU and memory usage and efficiency of transaction executions. However, these tools do not provide insight into which programs or scripts are overloading the system.
HostBridge Technology, LLC, in partnership with Splunxter, Inc. has developed an evaluation process in conjunction with an autonomous yet scalable suite of integrated software tools that identifies and visualizes bottlenecks to help mainframe operations managers identify which RPAs, macros, and hybrid integrations are high priority candidates for remediation and optimization.
Please join Russ Teubner, CEO of HostBridge and Greg Smith, Splunxter Requirements Manager and Data Analyst, as they share from their experience in developing this Splunk-based analytics process and how they have helped enterprises use it.
This discussion will include the problem definition, the major issues that had to be resolved and then examples of successful uses of the Splunk platform in identifying and helping resolve critical scaling and user experience challenges.
Use Case: Hunting Bad Macros
A global technology supply chain vendor was experiencing asymmetric increases in mainframe transaction volumes. The analytics confirmed the suspicions of the IT group. Years of screen scraping Excel macros and now RPA bots were driving the increases. As these automations proliferate through the enterprise, the impact to the mainframe was becoming more severe. Now, a series of custom Splunk dashboards display the integration analytic data. With them, the IT group can identify the “heavy hitters.” In many cases, the resolutions are simple, once the source of the increase is known.
Use Case: Optimizing Auto Insurance Workflow
An auto insurer was experiencing unexplained spikes on the mainframe when clients or agents added vehicles to existing policies. This insurer uses a third-party CICS application for policy management, and it had no visibility into how the application consumed mainframe cycles. With help from HostBridge this insurer began using integration analytics. The Splunk dashboards HostBridge developed exposed what was happening inside the policy application: millions of unnecessary instructions were running. With this analytic data, the insurer was able to get the vendor to make applications changes to improve the efficiency of this key business process.
About HostBridge Technology
Founded in 2000, HostBridge is a privately-held enterprise software company that provides CICS integration, orchestration, modernization, and analytic software and services. Enterprises around the world use HostBridge software to allow CICS mainframe applications to fully participate in the hybrid cloud. For more information, please visit: www.hostbridge.com