How to get mainframe observability in any monitoring tool

Okt 25, 2021 | APM, Mainframe, Partner, Products, Transformation, z/IRIS

Modern application performance monitoring (APM) tools facilitate monitoring, analyzing and alerting in your day-to-day tooling. You gain visibility into your system and learn about your environment. Ideally, they replace fire-fighting as a method for problem handling by helping you to proactively mitigate issues.

Gain visibility into your core business services

In general, you leverage APM tools for Major Incident Management and root-cause analysis. Unfortunately, the insufficiencies of these tools become apparent when you develop and manage services that integrate with mainframes, which remain black boxes and complicate root-cause identification. Combined with the fact that mainframe systems typically fulfill a central role, means you lack visibility into the organization’s core business services. 

If you could access mainframe observability, you could decrease the time required to identify root-cause, reducing the time required to restore services, consequently improving overall service availability.

mainframe inclusive observability

View mainframe metrics and end-to-end traces

z/IRIS is a plug-in software solution that provides flexible mainframe observability support. It sends mainframe metrics and traces to APM tools like Datadog. Extending trace trees to include mainframe interactions and enriching dashboards to include mainframe performance. Thanks to z/IRIS, you can view mainframe services and access related spans in your APM. It enriches your service maps to include mainframe components, giving you a complete system view. Additionally, you get access to pre-configured dashboards that provide an overview of the most important performance indicators like execution time, latency and error count. 

Not only does mainframe-inclusive observability show basic performance, it also offers insights into application failures so that your teams can restore services faster.

Enrich service maps and incllude mainframe metrics

Propagate mainframe error messages

z/IRIS expedites root-cause analysis by propagating error messages from the mainframe directly into APM traces. You can focus on the underlying problem faster and minimize downtime.

Accelerate root-cause identification

For example, when the latency of JDBC requests processed on mainframe inexplicably increases, you probably contact your mainframe SME, who can analyze the relevant database systems using specialized mainframe products. z/IRIS accelerates root-cause identification. For example, all requests impacted by a deadlock on the mainframe database get additional deadlock spans, supplementing often nondescript SQL exceptions. You are informed of the number of impacted database resources, as well as the lock configuration of both requests. z/IRIS also highlights the relationship between deadlocked applications by cross-referencing searchable trace IDs.


z/IRIS creates monitors and alerts to automatically notify relevant teams of anomalies or incidents related to your mainframe systems. Now is your chance to benefit from integrating mainframe applications and systems into your APM tool of choice. Easily deploy z/IRIS servers using Docker. You can install z/IRIS within a day.

Contact Us to arrange a private demo to discuss how you can benefit from mainframe-inclusive observability in APM tools like Datadog.


Register for the Dash on the 26th & 27th of October to attend a demonstration of z/IRIS. See how z/IRIS integrates mainframe-inclusive observability with Datadog to advance your application monitoring to the next level. You can start a FREE trial within a day.                                                                                                  

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