The ZEN OSA MONITOR for William Data Systems - OSA Monitoring Made Simple

The ZEN OSA MONITOR provides a convenient single point from which you can monitor all the OSAs accessible to the LPAR on which ZEN is running. A single OSA drop-down menu bar item is added when you install the ZEN OSA MONITOR and you use this to access all of the primary display panels. Where further panels are available, these can be accessed using links which will be clearly indicated in blue on the panel. All link fields also have pop-up tooltips which tell you which panel will be accessed using a left mouse-button click.

The OSA MONITOR automatically detects all accessible OSAs as soon as you start it, and activates its basic Monitoring and History Collection functions. Other available features such as Alert Monitoring are not activated by default so can be adjusted later using the various OSA MONITOR panels. The available panels incorporate data extracted from the OSA MIB and some statistics such as throughput bytes and packets and average percentage OSA usage are extracted from your TCP/IP stack or calculated by the OSA MONITOR.

Particularly useful is the Health Check function which provides a way of dynamically checking whether there are any problems or potential problems with your OSAs. Drill-down options are available from the Health Check panel right to the full OSA MIB display for the specific OSA element (channel, LPAR, Ethernet or token ring port and so on).

First Steps with the OSA MONITOR

When the ZEN OSA MONITOR is first started it automatically detects all the OSAs on the LPAR on which it is running. It adds these dynamically to your ZEN OSA MONITOR Configuration, with History Collection activated for each OSA. This means that you have no configuration to do for local OSAs if you are content for the OSA MONITOR to capture history and do no alerting for your local OSA devices.

Although the OSA MONITOR can detect the OSAs on your local system, it cannot do this for other LPARs. Therefore, if you are sharing the OSA and want a ‘global’ view of the throughput statistics for the OSA across all LPARs that share the device, you will need to add the other LPARs using the OSA Configuration panel. IP stack interfaces sharing the same OSA are associated by using the same user-defined name for each interface.

Also, if you have particular requirements, for example, you do not want to collect History Data for one or more of your OSAs, and especially if you want to activate the Alert Monitoring function, the OSA Configuration panel is the place to do this. You can also delete an OSA from the Configuration should you not want to monitor it at all.

The OSA Configuration panel, and all other panels relating to the administration of this ZEN component, are accessed using the ‘OSA Admin’ menu item which will be available from the main ‘Admin’ item in ZEN’s menu bar.

When you make changes to the Configuration you need to save them so that they will hold across OSA MONITOR restarts. The ZEN OSA MONITOR will always use a saved Configuration rather than using its auto-discovery mode so your personal preferences will always be honored.

As well as verifying that your OSA configuration is as you require, there are some other settings that you may want to review: the History Data Sampling interval, OSA contact timeout period, and History Graph refresh rate. These are available for review and update from the ‘OSA Settings’ panel. The OSA MONITOR is shipped with reasonable values for all of these settings so you can leave them as they are without any fear of the supplied values causing a problem.

Once this basic setup is done, a good starting place for checking your OSAs are the OSA Summary and OSA Device Information panels. It is also a good idea to access the Health Check panel since this provides you with the means to do a dynamic check on the current status of your OSAs.


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IBM's Open Systems Adapter (OSA) is an integrated communications adapter and is the strategic communications device for IBM's mainframe architecture. It has a critical role in mainframe information throughput and the optimized operation of these devices is fundamental to the well-being of the network.

OSA interfaces provide high-speed connectivity between zSeries mainframe computers and TCP/IP and/or SNA networks with data throughput speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. Being the only means of attaching a LAN to a System z, the OSA is the modern gateway from the open world into the IBM mainframe.

As capable as the Open Systems Adapter undoubtedly is, its success has made it a potential single point of failure for the entire mainframe network. If one or more OSAs develops a fault, your ability to conduct business via the mainframe will be compromised.

ZEN OSA MONITOR is a dedicated monitoring and management tool that enables you to see at a glance how your OSA's are performing. ZEN OSA MONITOR contains unique monitoring capabilities that dynamically detect any status changes or increases in error counts. All such changes are summarized in easy to read panels in the ZEN browser interface and can be automatically alerted on. A simple but effective system of traffic lights highlight any changes to reference values, ensuring these critical devices are maintained at optimal performance levels.

ZEN OSA MONITOR understands the multi-faceted nature of the OSA. By taking a 'deep-dive' approach to data-gathering it is able to detect immediately state changes, congestion and queue depth issues, along with many, many other pointers which are not detected by IP Monitors, any of which could indicate an impending problem.