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CA ACF2™ M3A Service Brief

An Application Management Service

CA ACF2 provides innovative, comprehensive security for your business transaction environments across operating systems helping your business realize the scalability, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the mainframe.

CA ACF2 M3A Services provide the integrated service and support necessary for sites relying on CA ACF2 to control access and secure mission critical information and data residing on IBM z Systems hardware.

Organizations are facing a growing skill concern as retirement is reducing their available technical workforce. This reduction of skilled employees represents a loss in the library of knowledge used to keep mission critical CA ACF2 systems up and running. CA ACF2 M3A Service provides your organization a simple way to augment and enhance existing resources to support your CA ACF2 environments.


CA ACF2 M3A Services Overview

M3A Services for your ACF2 environment delivers comprehensive administration and support to ensure the mainframe continues to be an important- and secure part of your IT infrastructure. M3A Services provide:

  • Monitoring – A technical expert performs daily monitoring interactions with the production CA ACF2 environments. 
  • Measurement – A technical expert establishes an inventory of the CA ACF2 resources and user databases. A performance baseline is established that can be used to measure and track the production CA ACF2 environments. 
  • Management – A technical expert provides direct input and if permitted, performs CA ACF2 environment management tasks such as recommended tuning changes, resource access control changes, expansions, reorganizations and other system functions. 
  • Alerts – A technical expert is available to assist in various events requiring immediate technical assistance outside of what Level 1 CA Support would address. When the customer site encounters a CA ACF2 related roadblock as defined under the M3A offering, they will be able to contact the M3A group for immediate assistance. The M3A service does not replace Level 1 technical support; instead it provides the integration of CA Support and CA Services to meet the customer needs. 

In addition, customers engaged with M3A services will be known to the CA Support organizations. When an M3A customer calls in a Severity 1 or Severity 2 problem directly to CA Support, an immediate notification is sent to the M3A team who will become involved in assisting the customer and Support in resolving the issue.

Delivering Business Value

You count on your mainframe platform more than ever to support transaction processing, mobile, big data and other mission critical applications. Securing the mainframe and reducing risk is still a priority and the CA ACF2 experts can help. CA ACF2 M3A Service delivers business value by providing:

  • Flexibility - Various options to augment your CA ACF2 workforce by providing you with the resources needed to manage, maintain and secure the mission critical systems that serve the business.
  • Proven experience - Access to CA ACF2 experienced M3A technical staff and knowledge base with over 30 years of mainframe security experience combined with next-gen resources integrated in CA technical staff to provide a continuous source of trusted security professionals to meet your business needs.
  • Resource pool - Access to a pool of resources to ensure that in case of an emergency, there will always be resources available to assist in a critical situation.
  • Remote access - A low-cost alternative to dedicated onsite resources that allows for the “partial use” of a technical resource.

Typical M3A Activities

CA ACF2 M3A Service activities are focused on the tasks and functions needed to maintain and manage the service levels of the CA ACF2 environments. These activities include:

M3A Start-up activities - These activities are performed as part of the customer start-up under M3A Service.

  • Initial Interview - The M3A group performs a series of interviews with key personnel at the site to establish a snapshot of the current state of the ACF2 environment to ensure it is suitable for initiating the M3A administration service. Interviews will occur with current or acting ACF2 administrators, systems administrators and application leaders to verify current practices. Items covered include:

                o    Current procedures

                o    Lifecycle architecture

                o    Customizations

                o    Know issues, audit findings and recommendations

                o    Future state- Planned improvements, unplanned desired improvements

  • Initial Inventory - The M3A group works with customer technicians to gather certain key CA ACF2 technical parameters as well as perform specific hands-on examination that is used to build an inventory of CA ACF2 components and existing conditions.
  • Initial Site Report - The M3A team combines the information above into a report establishing a baseline of the customer’s CA ACF2 administration environments.

M3A Daily Activities - These activities will be performed as part of the daily checkup administered by the M3A team on a Monday through Friday basis. The timing of the checkup will be flexible to meet the site’s needs and M3A availability. The average daily checkup will take about 30 minutes per monitored environment. Additional time will be set aside to schedule and run (where applicable) utility functions to improve system functionality. Daily activities include:

  • Perform any required day-to-day maintenance and problem resolution

                o    User assistance

                o    Abend/problem fixes

                o    Production control support

                o    Request and change management

  •  Review current system activity. This involves checking the CA ACF2 environment for any service level issues.

               o    Review open issues and incident reports

               o    Check general vital life signs

               o    Review recent activity logs. This involves checking any ACF2 errors and attempted security breaches, statistics of recent activity looking for error conditions, waits and other interruptions or breaches that may have occurred.   

  • General maintenance as required      

                o   Change management process support 

                o   Requests with additions, changes, or deletions to data access rules and system access

                o   Fixes and patching as required

                o   Support product integrations (i.e. ACF2 and Workload Automation)

                o   System programming support and consulting

                o   Planned improvements and future state/wish list support

M3A Monthly Activities - Monthly activities revisit the various start-up measurement activities and update the CA ACF2 administration environment. They can include:

            o   Production of updated site report to add current information to show the current state compared to the initial implementation. This document provides measurement of the overall benefits of the M3A activities.

            o   Assist with auditing and auditor recommendations

            o   Disaster recovery testing and backup validation

            o   Performance tuning

            o   SOX and other governance advice and support

            o   Knowledge transfer and consulting as required

Check general vital life signs        
Check general vital life signs    

Prerequisite M3A Activities

CA ACF2 M3A Service activities require that the customer’s CA ACF2 environments be at a supported release with reasonable access to the tools necessary to monitor and manage the environment. Prerequisite activities include:

Remote access to the customer system - In order to perform the duties of the M3A Service, CA technicians need remote access to the customer environment including TSO (or ROSCOE) sign-on for each LPAR housing a monitored CA ACF2 environment.

Obtaining remote access for the CA M3A Service expert may take some time. To proceed with the initial inventory activities, the M3A technician will be able to advise you via WebEx until access is granted.

Batch ACF2 job submission - The M3A technician will need to be able to run various reporting jobs as part of their activities to monitor and measure the environment. To perform these tasks, the technician will need security access to the CA ACF2 environments as well as the ability to view and extract report output.

Additional access - Depending on site activity, stability and other events, additional resources and security authorizations may be required. These requests will be directed to the customer liaison with applicable business justification. Additional items may also include systems management data such as SMF or RMF data.

Getting Started

To learn more about CA ACF2 M3A Service or to speak with CA Technologies about how you can leverage this service for your organization, please contact your CA Technologies Account Manager.