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Operlog Tools reduce IT admin workload

Initial situation

Austria-based ARZ Allgemeines Rechenzentrum GmbH manages over five million accounts and 12,400 workstations on their z/OS machines, which process 7.8 million transactions each day.

For load balancing and scalability purposes, the mainframes are grouped into clusters (Parallel Sysplex). This generates Operlog data, a special log format that is time-consuming to process and monitor, as well as requiring specialist expertise.


“We used to manage the Operlog data with IBM on-board resources,” says Clemens Berchtold, a system administrator with ARZ’s Core Infrastructure department. Doing so meant that the data center had to access log data via the “System Display and Search Facility” z/OS user interface, and access was restricted to online data. Moreover, whenever ARZ wanted to analyze previously archived logs, they needed a separate tool for this.


Operlog Tools ARZ: In order to simplify the use of Operlog data, ARZ introduced a specialized set of tools from Beta Systems Software AG at the turn of 2020/2021: Enterprise Logger Tools/z. “Administration with IBM on-board tools worked well, but with the Beta Systems solution, things have become more refined, less complicated and more convenient for us,” says Clemens Berchtold. “Evaluations are available faster than before. Not only do we save time, but we can also aggregate messages across LPAR (logical partition) boundaries.”

This is because the Operlog Manager, one of the Beta Systems tools, manages both online and archived inventory and provides access via a simple, feature-rich interface. IT administrators can use it to sort out and select messages individually, save previous selection criteria for reuse, to name but a few of the functions.

This makes it possible to rapidly pinpoint the cause of a fault hidden in a flood of logs. Another component, the Logstream Manager, enables system programmers to easily select log streams and provides options for sorting, viewing of definitions and settings, cloning one or multiple streams, etc. Also, Logstream Manager draws on the open Basic Sysplex (XCF) interface to communicate with Sysplex. For this reason, the third component of Enterprise Logger Tools/z is a Sysplex communicator.


Owing to the new solution, now all data is available via Operlog Manager in a uniform interface. Operlog data is still archived in IBM datasets for audit reasons, but the data is additionally archived in the Operlog Tools specifically for evaluation purposes.

Every day, separate datasets are created and then accessed via the Operlog Tools. Whenever a query comes in (for example, about an error that occurred roughly a month ago), the desired piece of information is found quickly by entering the date. After six months of operation, the product is gaining momentum at ARZ Allgemeines Rechenzentrum GmbH, who is gradually unlocking new application scenarios. The data center has also been using the _beta log|z (previously Beta 92 Log Management), Beta 85 and LDMS|z list archiving products for a long time.

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