Syncsort Ironstream

Quick Tour of Opportunities for Syncsort Ironstream®+ Splunk Enterprise – Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at some of the ways mainframers and Big Data analysts can leverage the Syncsort+Splunk Solution for insights to help meet a number of challenges, here’s some more.

Compliance: PCI and HIPAA are two compliance areas where audit and proactive problem identification can motivate investments. Know your company’s industry compliance requirements; compliance needs vary greatly.

Integration with proprietary applications: Domain- and industry-specific applications. For example, data streams to support specific products, services may require new support. Customer-specific monitoring across all platforms, previously not feasible, is being attempted by some analysts for the first time.

Enriched Splunk applications: You can add value to existing or planned Splunk projects by incorporating rich data streams from mainframe sources.

High speed ETL: Pipelines to servers used in analytics processing may require inline ETL, data cleansing, and metadata annotations; these are sweet spots for high-capacity processing needed for some mainframe applications, and where other Syncsort products can also participate.

Litigation support: Collection, management, curation, and correlation of data from multiple sources is often needed for high-profile, antitrust, M&A or other litigation. Unstructured data, supported by Splunk, can include email, documents, and other raw data needed by legal teams and investigators.

Government initiatives: Early Splunk users were from the US federal government intelligence communities (IC). Government projects may not be fully utilizing mainframe data previously judged to be too hard to integrate. Healthcare’s use of Big Data is still nascent, but interest is growing rapidly. Some of this work is performed by major government contractors whose staff may be unaware of both mainframe data sources and the ability to leverage Ironstream to for visual analysis on them in Splunk. Contract-holders for federal cloud services, part of the White House “Cloud First” initiative, likely hold contracts and have SLAs that must be met. Splunk+Ironstream can help them avoid penalties

Private label IT/Cloud management solutions  Private cloud-management solutions such as Cisco CliQr, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, Cisco UCS, etc. may lack visibility into z Systems.  Now you can increase that visibility.

Complex event processing CEP can address business-critical functions that require near real-time processing and decision support. Opportunities where IBM Bluemix Business Rules and Decision Server Insights are installed or under consideration can be expanded to include mainframe data. See this Decision Server Insights discussion by IBM’s Scott Simmons. CEP can also be used for more narrow problems, e.g., RACF violations.

Internet of Things While interest in IoT tends to start at the edge with sensors, supplying real time analytics may require mainframe CPU cycles. Refer to vendor discussions for background on industry opportunities; e.g., Kepware for oil and gas.

Developer pain points Niche solutions might include data conversion (EBCDIC to ASCII) or formatting challenges with SMF.

Booking Your Next Tour

You’ve just taken a whirlwind tour of the most compelling solution spaces for pairing Ironstream and Splunk in today’s z/OS landscape.

Still uncharted opportunities will undoubtedly emerge. For example, new z/OS features and pricing permutations from IBM could motivate closer performance tuning for specific components. Applications development practices on z/OS are in flux; new applications must accommodate more complex transactions involving higher data volume and velocity, yet DevOps for mainframe settings is still emerging.

In calling for greater DevOps support, Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware, said “users require support in bringing fast and agile DevOps best practices to bear on their mainframe-resident applications.”

Ironstream / Splunk, for many developers, will extend data integration and storage frameworks upon which those best practices can be exercised.


Learn more about using Ironstream with Splunk

Mark Underwood

Authored by Mark Underwood

Syncsort contributor Mark Underwood writes about knowledge engineering, Big Data security and privacy.
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