Homing in on what is important
When IBM proposed the IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems solution to Banrisul, the company immediately saw that it could enable a more proactive approach to performance monitoring.
“IBM suggested that we try the solution on a trial basis, and we agreed,” recalls Machado. “We embarked on a three-month proof of concept [PoC] exercise, which proved to be a real success, offering problem identification and resolution capabilities that could make a huge difference to our operations. As soon as the PoC finished, we bought a license and moved the solution from our test z/OS® LPAR [logical partition] to our production environment in just two weeks.”
Today, ten users within Banrisul’s IT department use the IBM tool to analyze log, event and service request data from the company’s IBM z Systems platform to uncover anomalies. The solution automatically notifies pre-defined stakeholders whenever a serious abnormality is detected.
“With IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems, we have an overview of key systems including our IBM CICS®, IBM DB2® and IBM MQ solutions through an intuitive graphical user interface,” says Machado. “It gives us the ability to drill down to the root cause of problems. Any significant anomalies trigger an email to alert the person that has the skills to take effective action. The solution also includes a dashboard that shows overall and per user invalid login and password attempts.”
Delivering exceptional services, without fail
Equipped with faster, more precise insights into its IT operations, Banrisul has the tools to tackle anomalies before they negatively affect customer services.
Machado offers an example: “Recently, an issue arose with the MQ system that we use to process money transfers to other banks. IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems automatically flagged the relevant system message, enabling us to rapidly uncover the root cause and quickly pinpoint a bug that had come from a recent update. We were then able to rapidly roll back to the previous version before any bank transfers were affected, just one instance of how we can now deliver new highs of service continuity.”
The solution is also helping the Banrisul IT team work more efficiently, as Machado explains: “The main advantage of IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems is that it helps us reduce the time needed to detect and resolve IT issues. Because we now know what’s causing a particular problem, we can call on the right person to fix it: saving time for everyone. It used to take up to 30 minutes to parse through logs looking for errors using command tools, now they just pop up on our screens automatically, in an easy-to-understand format.”
Banrisul is also taking advantage of the built-in login monitoring features to augment its internal security measures. With 3,000 employees accessing the company’s banking system, the ability to detect suspicious activity is an added benefit.
“Now, if a password attack was attempted, we would quickly realize,” comments Machado. “We are yet to come across any internal security threats, but it is reassuring to know we have an extra layer of protection.”
Looking to the future, Banrisul has plans to upgrade to the latest version of the solution, which includes IBM zAware.
Machado concludes: “We are excited to start using zAware to model normal system behavior based on historical baseline system data, allowing us to build a self-learning approach to problem resolution. With help from IBM, we are taking an increasingly proactive approach to ensuring that nothing gets in the way of our service quality, for happy users, customers and regulators.”