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z/OS Predictive Failure Analysis

Riaz Ahmad
IBM Washington Systems Center
Version Date: April 14, 2009

This document can be found on the web,
Under the category of “White Papers.”

PFA provides this support using remote checks from IBM Health Checker for z/OS to collect data about your installation. but allowable behavior. Because the cause of the problem is dependent on a certain sequence or combination of events that are unique and z/OS: Predictive Failure Analysis Version 4/6/2009 Page 2 . z/OS extends its high availability characteristics by going beyond failure detection to predicting problems before they occur. Multiple atypical. IBM. © 2009. z/OS has developed Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) to help eliminate these soft failures. Although the problem occurs in the second critical component. Soft failures usually occur in four generic areas: • • • • Exhaustion of shared resources Recurring or recursive failures often caused by damage to critical control structures Serialization problems such as classic deadlocks and priority inversions Unexpected state transition Soft failures are not exclusive to z/OS and occur in every area of IT. The first component caused the problem and is considered the villain.Predictive Failure Analysis z/OS introduces Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA). With PFA. Unlike typical problems or hard failures that have a clear start and a clear cause. Your z/OS system will be designed to learn heuristically from its own environment to anticipate and report on system abnormalities. soft failures are caused by abnormal. but that does not mean we have to live with them. a solution is often difficult to determine. this second component is actually the victim. PFA can help you avoid soft failures. It uses the data to compare and model system behavior in the future and identifies when a system trend might cause a problem. By design. Essentially. PFA extends availability by going beyond failure detection to predict problems before they occur. but legal actions performed by components on the z/OS image cause most soft failures. authorized task obtains common storage. a critical authorized system component fails while attempting to obtain a normal amount of common Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) is designed to predict potential problems with your systems. PFA uses a z/OS UNIX System Services (z/OS UNIX) file system to manage the historical and problem data that it collects. but obtains significantly more common storage than usual. Then. Washington Systems Center http://www. A classic example is the exhaustion of common storage usage. most components of z/OS are stateless and are therefore unable to detect soft failures caused by atypical behavior. A low priority.

Predictive Failure Analysis This publication can be found in the MVS section of the z/OS V1R10 elements and features using the following URL: Washington Systems Center http://www. Supported Environments Predictive Failure Analysis is supported on z/OS 1. the SPE is OA27165. PTFs UA46241 and UA48243.PFA will be extended over time.html © 2009. V1. PFA provides the following two Checks: • • Common storage usage LOGREC arrival rate The screen snapshot shows the two PFA checks: PFA_COMMON_STORAGE_USAGE and PFA_LOGREC_ARRIVAL_RATE checks.4 or later • IBM Health Checker for z/OS Required PTFs The PFA PTFs are currently available. Java 2 Technology Edition.10 and later releases and requires: • IBM SDK for z/OS. IBM. Publication z/OS Problem Management .G325-2564-04 Chapter 3 Part z/OS: Predictive Failure Analysis Version 4/6/2009 Page 3 .ibm. Initially.

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