IBM® z/OS® Management Facility (z/OSMF) provides a modern, web-based interface that allows you to manage various aspects of your z/OS systems through a browser at any time, from any location.
z/OSMF is a product for IBM z/OS® that simplifies, optimizes, and modernizes the z/OS system programmer experience. z/OSMF delivers solutions in a task-oriented, web-browser-based user interface with integrated user assistance. Its focus is to improve system programmer productivity, and make the z/OS functions easier to understand and use. The goal of z/OSMF is not to simplify IT in an organization; the goal is to simplify certain tasks for system programmers.
The intention of z/OSMF is to make system programmers productive as quickly as possible with the least amount of training. This task is accomplished by automating tasks and reducing the learning curve through a modern, simplified, and intuitive task-based and browser-based interface.
z/OSMF is aimed at a mixed skills workforce: It is suited to both professionals who are new to z/OS and those who are already skilled in z/OS. Each professional has their own needs and faces their own challenges. Novice system programmer might need to understand the "big picture" and how procedures are done. Novices must get documentation on procedures and tasks, and implement them according to the rules of the enterprise. Experienced system programmers, conversely, have knowledge of tasks and procedures, so the goal is to make their work less error-prone and easier. This allows them to be more productive and contribute more to their business.
z/OS has been delivering simplification since it was introduced, but z/OSMF brings a new dimension and focus to simplification. z/OSMF simplifies and modernizes the user experience and helps make pertinent information readily available and easily accessible.
The first release of z/OSMF was z/OSMF V1.11 and was delivered with z/OS V1.11. Since then, there has been a z/OSMF release with every release of z/OS, with some functional enhancements in between releases.
The following figure shows the Welcome window of the z/OS Management Facility.
Figure 1. z/OSMF Welcome window
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z/OSMF V2R1 includes the IBM® WebSphere® Application Server for z/OS V8.5 Liberty profile, which is a composable smaller run time that can be embedded in the application. WebSphere Application Server for z/OS V7.0 OEM Edition, which was packaged with z/OSMF, required separate configuration and application deployment. This new z/OSMF V2R1 package has the run time embedded, which means easier configuration, a smaller footprint, reduced resource requirements, and faster starting and stopping. You get to use the Java Runtime 7 64-bit version that is installed on your z/OS system.
An IT organization has many domains. There is business management, business development, and service management, each of which has its own disciplines and areas in which it works. Simplification is required. There is a need for organization and tools, not only in each area, but across all these areas. For z/OS Systems Management simplification, the focus is on the system programmer.
The system programmer is a technical expert that is responsible for ensuring that the infrastructure is available. The areas that system programmers traditionally cover are installation, configuration, maintenance, disaster recovery, and enabling new functions, problem analysis, and determination. All of these areas have the following goal in common: Make sure that the system is available and running correctly.
Currently, there is no central system management portal for z/OS, and the many interfaces that are available are unfamiliar to users that are new to z/OS. In many cases, there are many manual tasks that require the review of extensive documentation and the possession of years of z/OS experience to be productive.
The following two sections list some of the challenges that are faced by both new and experienced systems programmers regarding z/OSMF.
There are many challenges for novice system programmers:
- Learning problem analysis and management
- Getting the "big picture"
- Gaining organizational knowledge
- Finding the correct product documentation
- Getting enough of the correct experience
- Dealing with unfamiliar concepts and tools
- Dealing with tasks that require detailed knowledge of command syntax and formats
- Gaining the trust of more experienced colleagues
An experienced system programmer is faced with many of the following challenges:
- Too little time and too many tasks with fewer people
- The need to be more productive
- An aging of the workforce (people are retiring)
- Time and knowledge must span across many products and platforms
z/OSMF provides assistance in overcoming some of the challenges that are faced by new and experienced professionals.
z/OSMF V2R1 provides new and improved packaging, configuration, and functions to further enhance the z/OS management experience.
z/OSMF provides various categories with tasks and some core or basic functions. It has the following categories:
- The Configuration category, which has the Configuration Assistant task for configuring the communication server
- The Links category, which contains frequently accessed websites
- The Performance category, which has Capacity Provisioning, System Status, Resource Monitoring, and Workload Management tasks
- The Problem Determination category, which has the Incident Log task
- The Software category, which has the Software Management task
- The z/OS Classic Interfaces category, which has the ISPF task
- The z/OSMF Administration and z/OSMF Settings categories
There are also some core functions that are always available, such as the Welcome window with links to z/OSMF documentation, and the new Workflow and Notifications function.
The basic architecture of z/OSMF is shown in the following figure.
Figure 2. z/OSMF architecture
z/OSMF provides many tasks, which are described in this section.
This task provides the simplified configuration and setup of TCP/IP policy-based networking functions. There are major changes to the look and feel and user experience in z/OSMF V2R1, with workflows to perform some of the tasks.
This task provides a common starting point for accessing resources beyond the IBM z/OS Management Facility, such as product links or website URLs. Some links are predefined in the product. Administrators can define more links to share commonly used resources for their installation.
This task manages Capacity Provisioning Manager (CPM) connections, capacity provisioning domains, active configuration, and policies.
Workload Manager Policy Editor
This task facilitates the creation and editing of WLM service definitions, the installation of WLM service definitions, and the activation of WLM service policies with preferred practices checks that are built in to the policies.
System Status and Resource Monitoring dashboards
The z/OSMF Resource Monitoring application provides integrated performance monitoring of z/OS sysplexes, Linux for System z, Linux for IBM System x®, IBM AIX®, and Windows images in your environment. This task can be used if you have enabled the IBM Resource Measurement Facility™ (IBM RMF™) feature, which is available for an additional fee on one of the systems in your enterprise.
Incident Log task
This task helps system programmers with problem data management tasks, and provides experienced teams with procedural advantages through an incident log summary and detailed views of z/OS memory dump incidents. The Incident Log provides a consolidated list of IBM SAN Volume Controller memory dump related problems, along with details and diagnostic data that is captured with each incident. It also facilitates sending the data for further diagnostic tests through usage of a wizard.
Software Management task
This task provides IBM recommended preferred practices to make deployment of installed software simpler and safer on local or remote systems for IBM or non- IBM software. In addition, it enables management reporting of software service levels and product levels.
z/OS Classic Interfaces with ISPF task
Introduced in z/OSMF V1.13, this task provides the ISPF application as a 3270 environment through the web interface, which enables you to work with ISPF functions from a browser interface without requiring a 3270 emulator session. In addition, it enables ISPF applications to be URL addressable, making it eligible for cross-application linking and starting through the application linking interface. It supports multiple panes and tabs, and users can have multiple sessions, in TSO and web browser simultaneously, by enabling profile sharing.
This task provides the dynamic addition of links to non-z/OSMF resources for the Links category or for any other z/OSMF category. In addition, it has the application linking manager, which provides the GUI interface for defining application linking events and handlers for cross-application linking across z/OSMF and non-z/OSMF applications or between z/OSMF applications. z/OSMF also provides RESTful interfaces (APIs) to accomplish the application linking function.
This task provides the tasks to define FTP servers and systems. FTP servers are used by the Incident Log and Software Management tasks. Also, the z/OSMF Settings task allows the definition of other systems that z/OSMF can communicate with through the Software Management task, with the possibility of being used by other functions in the future.
This task provides a structured process for accomplishing work on z/OS. With the Workflows task, you can guide the activities of system programmers, security administrators, and others at your installation who are responsible for managing the configuration of the z/OS system. Assign individual work items in the workflow (the steps) to performers and track their progress. Use wizards to assist your team with creating system objects (UNIX files and z/OS data set members) and submitting work to run on z/OS, such as batch jobs, REXX scripts, and UNIX shell scripts.
Here is an example of using the z/OSMF z/OS Classic Interfaces ISPF Task:
To start the ISPF task, expand z/OS Classic Interfaces in the Task Section pane and click ISPF, as shown in the following figure.
Figure 3. z/OSMF Classic Interface ISPF task selection
The z/OSMF ISPF User Settings window opens. You must change the information in the Logon procedure and Account number fields, as shown in the following figure, to conform to your installation’s standards.
Figure 4. Logon settings
If the logon procedure that is used starts ISPF, you see the ISPF main menu or the start window that you requested in your procedure. If your logon procedure does not start ISPF, the TSO Messages window opens, as shown in the following figure, before ISPF is started by z/OSMF.
Figure 5. TSO messages
Finally, your ISPF session starts, as shown in the following figure.
Figure 6. ISPF task
z/OSMF V2R1 is supported on z/OS Version 2 Release 1 (5650-ZOS).
IBM z/OS Management Facility (5610-A01) can be acquired together with z/OS (5650-ZOS).
Ordering information is shown in the following table.
Table 1. Ordering part numbers and feature codes
|Program name||PID number||Charge unit description|
|IBM z/OS Management Facility||5610-A01||No Charge|
For more information, see the following documents:
- z/OS Management Facility V2R1, SG24-7851:
- IBM z/OS Management Facility product page:
- IBM Offering Information page (announcement letters and sales manuals):
- On this page, enter z/OSMF, select the information type, and then click Search. On the next page, narrow your search results by geography and language.
This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.