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December 2021

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

Well, it’s the last month of 2021, and we are moving quickly into the “most wonderful time of the year” (you probably heard the music while reading that line, right???). More people are traveling to see family and friends, or taking that long-awaited cruise. Online sales are booming, and we can hear the UPS, FedEx and Amazon trucks all day as we work from home offices. Hopefully, the supply chain will allow you to give and receive everything you need this month, and the gas prices remain somewhat affordable.

This month, we will again be holding our SPARTA meetings via Zoom format. Due to the virtual format, we have suspended the dues requirement for 2021.

For our December meeting, join us for a presentation from Steve Pryor, CTO of DTS Software, who will be sharing information on using z/OS storage services efficiently. Invite your fellow systems programmers to join us for networking and information.

Please join your colleagues online at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7, on Zoom. Watch for meeting connection information coming your way soon.

Randy Springs
Retired (previously Truist)

Future Speakers (subject to change)

December 7, 2021 - z/OS File Structures by Steve Pryor, CTO of DTS Software

January 4, 2022 - No Meeting. Happy Holidays!

February 1, 2022 - TBA

We need ideas and volunteers for future speakers. Presentations don’t have to be fancy, just informative and interesting. Even a 5 or 10 minute talk can start an interesting interaction. Contact Ron Pimblett by phone as noted below.

2021-2022 SPARTA

Board of Directors

Randy Springs - President

Retired (Truist)                  (919) nnn-nnnn


Raleigh, NC 27604

Ron Pimblett - Vice President

MDI Data Systems

Land line 613 599 6970

Mobile 613 981 6919

190 Guelph Private

Kanata, ON K2T 0J7

Chris Blackshire - Secretary

Retired (Dell, Perot Systems, Nortel)  (919) nnn-nnnn


Durham, NC 27713

Randy Springs - (Acting) Treasurer

Retired (Truist)                  (919) nnn-nnnn

see Randy

Springs earlier

Ed Webb -  Communications Director

Retired (SAS Institute Inc.)  (919) nnn-nnnn


Apex, NC 27523

Mike Lockey -  Web Master

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401


Coronavirus Change: All meetings for the foreseeable future will be held online at 7 p.m. via the Zoom App. The link to meeting is sent to SPARTA Mailing list within 24 hours of the meeting time for security reasons. Stay safe.

Meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday evening of each month (except no meeting in January), with optional dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.

These monthly meetings usually are held at LabCorp’s Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology (CMBP) near the Research Triangle Park (see last page). Take I-40 to Miami Boulevard and go north. Turn right onto T.W. Alexander Drive. Go about a mile or so. Then turn right into LabCorp complex and turn Left to the CMBP Building (1912 T.W. Alexander Drive). In the lobby, sign in as a visitor to see Bill Johnson. Bill will escort you to the conference room.

Call for Articles

If you have any ideas for speakers, presentations, newsletter articles, or are interested in taking part in a presentation, PLEASE contact one of the Board of Directors with your suggestions.

Newsletter e-Mailings

The SPARTA policy is to e-mail a monthly notice to our SPARTA-RTP Group. The newsletter is posted to the website about five (5) days before each meeting so you can prepare. The SPARTA-RTP Group is maintained by Chris Blackshire; if you have corrections or problems receiving your meeting notice, contact Chris at

November 2021 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V502 (dated November 7, 2021) are available from

If you need help obtaining one or more files, contact Ed Webb (see Board of Director’s list for contact info).

Minutes of the November 2, 2021 Meeting

• The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• This Nineteenth (April 2020 to November 2021) virtual SPARTA meeting was held via the Zoom Software.

• Eleven (11) people were present at the virtual meeting.

• The Presentation was first and followed by the business portion of the meeting.

• For the Roundtable, everyone introduced themselves, told where they worked, talked about working from home, and briefly described their job functions and what they've been doing at work and home.


• The minutes of the October 5, 2021 meeting as published in the November 2021 Newsletter were approved.

• The October 31, 2021 Treasurer's report (no October income or expenses) as published in the November 2021 Newsletter was approved. As of October 31, 2021, the current balance was $1,489.66.

• Call For Articles: Articles are needed for this newsletter. If you would like to write an article for this newsletter, please contact Ed Webb. Keep in mind that you don't really need to write the article, it can be an article that you read that you would like to share with the membership.

• The SPARTA Web page is available. To access the SPARTA Web page, point your Web browser to this site: Please send any comments or suggestions about the Web page to Mike Lockey. Be sure to check the Web page every once in a while to see any new or changed information.

• 2021 meeting dates, Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





December 7, 2021

DTS Software

Steve Pryor

z/OS File Structures

If you have suggestions about speakers and topics, contact Ron Pimblett.

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

• The 2021 dues have been suspended (motion passed in the March 2021 monthly meeting).

• Thanks to Randy Springs for online hosting the November 2 meeting via Zoom.

• There are currently 94 people on the SPARTA e-mail distribution list.

• Send any e-mail address changes to Chris Blackshire so he can update the SPARTA distribution List. The SPARTA meeting notices are being sent via a simple distribution list maintained by Chris.

• Randy Springs is looking for a new Treasurer volunteer. He projects about 2 hours per month is needed.
- Contact Randy Springs if you are interested.

• LabCorp Meeting Place Update: No update needed from Bill Johnson.


• Mike Lockey will be sending the web page bills to Randy for payment.

• Discussion about a hopeful February 2022 in person meeting at LabCorp, depending on vaccinations and room availability. Stay tuned.

• The Business portion of the meeting and the meeting itself ended about 8:30 P.M.

• Presentation Topic: Unlocking OMEGAMON Data for Analytics

by Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z, for Rocket Software, Inc.

Customer challenges
Introducing OMEGAMON Data Provider
History of OMEGAMON Data Provider technology
Architecture – overview (Uses Integration Monitor 5.6)
What makes this different from alternatives
Attribute group tables – used by the samples
Proof-of-concept dashboard in Kibana showing
Grafana dashboard
Deliverables as part of OM Integration Monitor 5.6
YAML configuration – thoughts?

• Presentation Access - See Below for a full outline of the presentation. See the SPARTA webpage for the complete presentation.

Contact Info:
Speaker: Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z
Rocket Software, Inc.
77 Fourth Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451 • USA
Office: 781.684.2623
Toll Free Number: 855.577.4323
Customer Support:

• The November 2, 2021 monthly meeting ended about 8:30 P.M.

Treasurer’s Report for November 2021

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $1489.66 as of November 30, 2021.

SPARTA Financial Report
4/01/2021 through 11/30/2021


Opening Balance 4/1/2021


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2021

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Dec 7, 2021 - BarBQ
Jan 4, 2022 - No meeting!

ZD&T for Learners Edition is Now Available and "Cheap"

contributed By Ed Webb

"ZD&T for Learners Edition is a Virtualized IBM Z® that runs on your laptop. The offering includes a stack of z/OS® and related software. Once the stack is installed, you can explore most of the latest z/OS® innovations and try them for yourself. If you’re new to IBM Z®, it’s also a great way to build on your foundational knowledge of z/OS® after earning your fundamental badges."

The ZD&T for Learners Edition is $120.00 USD per year for qualified applicants. It's renewable annually. It comes with a preconfigured package of IBM Z software that includes z/OS and middleware, such as CICS®, IMS™ and Db2®, including z/OS components of multiple DevOps for Enterprise Systems tools. You provide the desktop or laptop hardware capable of running Linux.

Learn the steps needed to qualify, apply, and purchase a ZD&T for Learners Edition license so you can play with z/OS on your own PC.

Caution: "This license is for personal, individual learning use only and not for test and development of commercial products."

SHARE March 2022 Technical Agenda is Available!

contributed By Ed Webb

SHARE is returning to in-person events in 2022, first in March 27-30 in Dallas, Texas, then in August in Columbus, Ohio.

"SHARE events are the only events designed specifically for mainframe users and enterprise IT professionals, with a user-focused approach to the topics that matter most. And if you are looking to take your enterprise IT expertise to the next level in 2022, then SHARE Dallas is where you'll want to be this March."

Review the SHARE Technical Agenda. Book your hotel ASAP and then register for Dallas. Early registration discounts expire after Friday, January 14, 2022.

“Barbarians are at the Gates”

Contributed by Ed Webb

Our friend from SHARE, Sam Knutson of Compuware, reports that Amazon is hiring Mainframe experts for Migration using Microfocus Technologies to move processes from IBM Z to Amazon Web Services. Sam characterizes this effort with the warning “Barbarians are at the Gates”.

In its review of the recent late November AWS Re:Invent 2021 conference, PC Magazine says one of the takeaways is:

"Get Off Your Mainframe Now!
The What: If you've still got a basement data center stuffed with aging mainframe technology running some proprietary or legacy software, the AWS Mainframe Modernization service is there to help you move to the cloud."

Read the 5 Things to Know From AWS Re:Invent 2021 for more snide references to mainframe migration.


Wit and Wisdom continued

contributed by Ed Webb

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
If you're yearning for the good old days just turn off the air conditioner.
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

7 p.m.

Location: Online

Information about access to our online meeting will be sent to our e-mail list by Tuesday, December 7.

Free Food before meeting: Your Food at Your Home


z/OS File Structures

Speaker: Steve Pryor, CTO of DTS Software

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services


November 2021 Presentation outline

• Presentation Topic: Unlocking OMEGAMON Data for Analytics

by Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z, for Rocket Software, Inc.

“Big Iron” Meets The Cloud
Customer challenges
Introducing OMEGAMON Data Provider
History of OMEGAMON Data Provider technology
Architecture – overview (Uses Integration Monitor 5.6)
What makes this different from alternatives
Attribute group tables – used by the samples
Proof-of-concept dashboard in Kibana showing
Grafana dashboard
Deliverables as part of OM Integration Monitor 5.6
YAML configuration – thoughts?

- Background: There is a wealth of subsystem data available within the OMEGAMON family.
- Businesses are looking to leverage analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate processes and take action from the myriad of operational data available within their enterprises.
- The goal of ODP is to “unlock” that data and make it available in industry standard, self describing formats that can be quickly consumed by a wide variety of Analytics applications

Customer challenges
- OMEGAMON - z/OS, Db2, CICS, IMS, MQ, Storage, Network, JVM
- Business Insights: z/OS, Db2, CICS, IMS, MQ, Storage, Network, JVM, Distributed
- System complexity and scale – hundreds of CICS, Db2, IMS regions cannot be easily monitored – overcoming silos with a single and centralized point of control is required
- Application complexity and (r)evolution – application teams want access to information about transaction performance to help identify and solve problems
- Shrinking skills base – traditional monitors are perceived as too complicated and overwhelming for new hires wanting to learn the mainframe
- Management pressure – want visibility to the mainframe, by integrating mainframe ops with the business and distributed ops dashboards that they have today
- Not just in the context of System z, but end to end needs of their hybrid application infrastructure.
In effect, customers want to wrest back control of their data and analyze it where and how they want

Introducing OMEGAMON Data Provider
- Providing (serving) OMEGAMON data (as it is created) in a format that is easy to understand, and consume using your preferred technology stack, for example an analytics platform such as Elastic, Grafana or Splunk, as well as IZOA and Watson AIOps.
- Data served in an industry standard, self-describing format
- Control over where data goes and how it’s used
- Understand and control the cost of managing that data
- A technology stack that permits:
- - a) A level of redundancy so that a failure can minimize or avoid data loss
- - b) An extensible topology that can support a single or hundreds of systems
- Central point to configure and administer
- Up and running within 2 hours
- OMEGAMON Data Provider forwarding mechanism
- Architectural flexibility, it’s all Java, runs on:
- - z/OS for control and security reasons (including containers), or
- - Distributed for cost-control
- Data is sourced from attribute groups – familiar and well-defined
- Highly configurable – you decide what to forward and how often
- Sample “starter” dashboards for Elastic

History of OMEGAMON Data Provider technology
- Developed originally within Fundi which is now Rocket Perth Lab. Customers requested streaming data to popular analytics platforms. Now that code has been expanded so it can be reused consistently by all these products. Here is the order of release:
- - 1. Transaction Analysis Workbench
- - 2. IMS Connect Extensions
- - 3. CICS Performance Analyzer
- - 4. OMEGAMON Data Provider

Architecture – overview (Uses Integration Monitor 5.6)
- z/OS
- - OMEGAMON agents z/OS, Db2, CICS, IMS, etc
- - Data Interceptor
- - - Near Term History PDS or TDW
- - - - E3270ui TEP
- - - - TEP
- - - - IZSME
- - Data Interceptor TCP (Native Records)
- - - - Open Data Connect: Transformation and forwarding
- - - - API (Time-series)
- - Data Interceptor TCP TCP
- - - JSON
- - - On or off z/OS
- YAML configuration zCDP, IZOA
- - application: km5
- - table: ascbsumry
- - interval: 15
- - destination: [open, pds]
- TCP output
- - target:
- - - hostname: elastic-host
- - - port: 5046
- Kafka output
- - target:
- - - server: kafka-host:9092
- - - topic: omegamon-json
- Prometheus endpoint
- - endpoint:
- - - url: /metrics
- REST API endpoint (future)
- - endpoint:
- - - url: /api

What makes this different from alternatives
- RMF and SMF Data alone vs. OMEGAMON Data Provider
- - Time frame: What’s it worth to identify issues faster?
- - - RMF and SMF may be delayed by up to 15 minutes
- - - OMEGAMON data will arrive in real time
- - Volume of data -What does it cost to ingest data in products like Splunk?
- - - RMF and SMF create more raw data
- - - OMEGAMON summarizes data and should produce a lower volume
- - Correlation of events -How easy is it to find subsystem relationships at a transaction level?
- - - RMF and SMF don’t correlate data records, though they are timestamped
- - - OMEGAMON will provide correlation across subsystem records
- - Software cost – what additional price is there for this capability?
- - - OMEGAMON Open Data will be included as part of the SMSz and IZMS monitoring suites at no charge.

- - Sample elastic dashboards – OMEGAMON for z/OS

Attribute group tables – used by the samples
Attribute group fields are explained in the IBM Documentation
These are examples of the OMEGAMON Monitor for z/OS 5.6 tables that can be shared
- 11ascpuutil - - Address Space CPU Utilization
- asgnwait - - - - Address Space Bottlenecks
- km5jes - - - - - KM5 JES Information
- km5msucap - KM5 License Manager MSU WLM Cap
- km5wlmclpx - WLM Class Sysplex Metrics
- km5wlmclrx - WLM Class Raw Extended Metrics
- lpclust - - - - - LPAR Clusters
- m5ascputlh - Address Space CPU Utilization History
- m5stgcdth - - Common Storage Utilization History
- m5stgdeth - - KM5 Storage Details History
- m5stgfdth - - Real Storage Utilization History
- m5stgsumh - KM5 Storage Summary History
- mplxcpcsum - KM5 CPC Summary
- mrptcls - - - - - Report Classes
- syscpuutil - - - System CPU Utilization

Proof-of-concept dashboard in Kibana showing
- WLM Class Sysplex Metrics attributes
- (table KM5WLMCLPX)
- from OMEGAMON for z/OS, 5.6

Grafana dashboard
- Leveraging the metrics API to feed Prometheus

Deliverables as part of OM Integration Monitor 5.6
- Code
- - Premium function included in suites (SMSz V2 and IZMS) via FMID added to Integration Monitor 5.6
- - - No additional charge
- - - Enabling PTF in OMNIBASE: OA62052/UJ06872
- - For customers that buy OMEGAMON agents as standalone products, upgrade to the suite is possible with a “true-up” that considers what you’ve already paid to reduce the suite price.
- - Leverage Config Manager to upgrade to suite, if necessary.
- - ODP install in under 2 hours after that.
- Dashboards
- - Sample Elastic dashboards can be delivered in the following ways:
- - - Docker image downloaded from Github. Includes some sample data
- - - Separately, requiring the customer to install Elastic or use their own instance – on a GitHub repo or ZIP file
- - - HYPERLINK ""
- - Proposal: Create Open Mainframe Project Community
- - - Goal: Enable customers to share their most popular and useful dashboards with one another.
- - - We’ve created new “views” in under an hour that would take months to add into the OMEGAMON products.
- Documentation
- - User’s Guide PDF
- - Installation and customization
- - Instruction on using the dashboards – very minimal and included in the github repo
- - Preparing Elastic and Splunk to receive data
- - Describing the Prometheus API and Grafana usage

YAML configuration – thoughts?
- The configuration requirements for OMEGAMON Open Data are considerable – are you comfortable with a different approach to PARMGEN and UI’s?
- YAML has become the de facto standard for modern product configuration
- Simple and extensible – as new requirements emerge, the YAML can easily absorb new options
- The filtering of LPAR and CPUTIME is a future concept
- - Not part of the first offering. All other parts are accurate.


The virtual presentation ended about 7:55 P.M.