How SMS Auditing Can Get You Out of Hot Water When Issues Reach the Boardroom
The highly regulated Global 500 is powered by the most complex hybrid IT environments on the planet.
Steve Pryor ,
DTS Software, LLC
The highly regulated Global 500 is powered by the most complex hybrid IT environments on the planet and it pays to have a good system of auditing for checks and balances. When problems spawn questions about compliance to SLAs or industry standards and laws, the audit trail is your best friend.
Today, “legacy modernization” is all the rage. It was fueled by the economic downturn of 2008 when companies across the board were fighting to reduce costs. Ten years later, the trend continues. A 2017 Deloitte survey of life and annuity insurers revealed that 90% of respondents said modernization of administrative systems was top of mind. Legacy modernization is increasing IT complexity in already too-complex hybrid IT environments. Mainframe developer and DBA shortages from an aging workforce are piling on the IT complexity; who has time for audit trails?
You must. Every second a customer-facing mainframe application is down in a bank is critical to both revenue and reputation. Along with the urgency to get the app back online, is the need for an audit trail to understand the who, what, when, and how of the error. In a large bank, an application error could be caused by a multitude of factors. In this scenario the application could not transact with Db2* because a data set had the wrong attributes.
From a storage admin perspective, I knew we had to look at SMS configuration as potential culprit for this error. Your ACS routine is likely as old as your mainframe with a likewise unknown configuration. A recent change to it caused an unforeseen problem with the ATM application, and SMS auditing quickly found the error.
Ruling out SMS as the root cause of application errors starts with good auditing practices that rule out “blind” SMS configuration. In doing so, next time news of a failed critical customer-facing application makes it to the board room, if the cards fall right, your storage admin will be able to sleep that week.
Steve Pryor, CTO of DTS Software, has a more than 30-year background in storage management, design, and support, and speaks frequently at industry events.
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