What is FCON/X?

FCON(Full Screen Operator CONsole and Graphical Real Time Performance Monitor) is a very powerful z/VM performance monitor and full screen operator console application. It provides the following functions:

  1. A powerful full screen operator console interface. General system output (informational messages and replies to commands entered) can automatically be scrolled, using an enhanced scrolling logic. Messages from other virtual machines are numbered and left pending at the top of the screen until explicitely deleted, even if automatic scrolling is active The last few important 'action' messages (number can be specified) can also be left pending at the top of the screen until explicitely deleted. Optionally additional processing of output lines which meet certain user specifications. Selected lines can be a)suppressed (not displayed, written to log only), b) displayed with different color and highlighting and/or made non-scrollable, c) modified (e.g. long RSCS message header information removed) to make the text more easily readable, d) re-routed to other machines on the same system and they can cause EXEC procedures to be executed and so help in automating system operation. A redisplay facility allows browsing through the day's accumulated console log, or through previous days' logs.
  2. Real time performance monitoring, with the follwoing features:
    • ...automatic threshold monitoring of many key performance indicators with operator notification if user defined limits are exceeded.
    • ...special performance monitoring mode with displays for monitoring General CPU performance. System and user storage utilization and management. Channel and I/O device performance, including also cache and SEEKs analysis data. Detailed I/O device performance, including information on the I/O load caused by specific minidisks on a real disk pack. General user data: resource consumption, paging information, IUCV and VMCF communications, wait states, response times. Detailed user performance, including status and load of virtual devices. Summary and detailed information on Shared File System servers. configuration and performance information for TCP/IP servers. The collected performance data are further used to provide a re-display facility for many of the key figures shown on the general CPU performance and storage utilization screens which allows browsing through the last measurements (up to twelve hours). Graphical history plots with a selection of up to four re-display variables, either as simple plots, or, if the Graphical Data Display Manager program (GDDM, 5684-007 or 5684-168) is available, also in the form of GDDM graphics graphical variable correlation plots (simple plots or GDDM graphics) which show how the values of specific variables are correlated to the values of another variable.
    • ...the accumulated performance data can also be used for creation of printed performance reports, simple performance history files,and extended trend files (introduced with FCON/ESA V.3.2.00) for later reference.
    • ...the history files on disk can be used for performance trend graphics, and numerical history data analysis which can provide the basis for capacity planning.
    • ...a remote performance monitoring facility allows central performance monitoring for many VM systems, with automatic display of summary exception data, multiple concurrent access to the central monitor machine's data, retrieval and display of additional detailed performance data from these remote systems if problems are suspected.
    • ... a monitor data scan mode allows browsing through CP monitor data files written to disk by the standard MONWRITE utility. Most of the information available during real time monitoring can be viewed also in this data scan mode.