Volume 13, Number 7 -- March 5, 2013

Bytware Becomes More Friendly to LPM with Messenger Product

Published: March 5, 2013

by Alex Woodie

Bytware has introduced a new version of its Messenger suite of systems management tools that is more compatible with Live Partition Mobility (LPM), the new virtualization technology that IBM introduced last year. With Messenger 8, Bytware has introduced a new licensing scheme that is better able to track where the software is actually running, and therefore whether the customer has exceeded his license allotment.

LPM is an important new piece of virtualization technology that IBM debuted last spring with IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh (TR) 4. The PowerVM feature allows organizations to move IBM i logical partitions (LPARs) around without bringing the LPARs down, thereby providing higher availability and application resiliency.

Practical uses of the software include moving production IBM i workloads from one physical server to another, and balancing workloads across multiple servers. LPM makes IBM i shops more agile, and puts PowerVM and its users on more of an equal footing with open systems hypervisors, like VMware.

While LPM is a critical new component of IBM's virtualization stack, the technology has introduced a licensing conundrum for vendors like Bytware, which uses an LPAR-based licensing model for all of its products. For some time now, Bytware has charged for its IBM i message management tool based on the number of LPARs that a customer runs it in. But recently, customers started running into licensing problems due to LPM.

The problems stem from the fact that, with LPM, customers are more likely to spin up an LPAR for a short period of time, and spin it back down just as quickly. This would lead customers to erroneously exceed their allotment of LPARs under their Messenger license agreements, explains Bytware product support manager Heather Beck.

"There were partitions being created dynamically and then deleted, but the licensing would be tied to that partition, and if it no longer existed it would cause trouble with their license keys," Beck tells IT Jungle. "The operating system would report they were using more copies of the software than they really were."

With Messenger version 8, Bytware has introduced its own license management tools that more accurately track the actual use of Messenger across multiple LPARs. Messenger is still licensed based on the number of LPARs that a customer wants to run it in. The main difference is that, instead of merely counting the number of LPARs that Messenger has been installed in, Bytware now ties Messenger to a specific LPAR number, as viewed by the OS, Beck says.

"Now it won't matter if they create partitions dynamically and move them around. We're looking at a partition number, and as long as the software stays on that partition number, the license is still valid," she says. "Customers are still [moving LPARs around]. That's a really common practice, and that's what we wanted to be able to support. If they're creating partitions to temporarily restore something, and then deleting the partition, that's fine the licensing won't be affected."

Version 8 introduces several other changes, including new tools to streamline compliance audits and reporting. Bytware says that managers can easily create detailed lists of all devices associated with the system, along with their numbers, to whom they belong, and schedules configured for them. This makes for a clearer report and allows auditors to more quickly get the information they need.

The other new feature in Messenger 8 is support for email servers that require SSL authentication. Many Bytware customers configure Messenger to alert them of important system events via email. Prior to this release, Messenger would directly connect to email servers, but didn't have the capability to establish a secure connection with the email server by sending a user ID and a password. That has been fixed with version 8 and will lead to a greater level of security for Bytware customers.

Messenger helps automate IBM i operations by continuously monitoring the various message queues, logs, and journals for critical messages. The software can be configured to automatically respond to certain events by sending alerts to administrators, or even to automatically run scripts in reaction to certain events. The products give administrators important and timely information about a range of events occurring on their systems, such as: incomplete or long-running jobs; failed backups; security breaches; printer and network errors; and problems with high availability mirroring.

Bytware sells two versions of Messenger, including MessengerConsole and MessengerPlus. MessengerConsole is the more full-featured product designed for multi-server and multi-partition environments. It also provides the capability to remotely monitor and centrally manage Messenger activities and responses. For more information, see www.bytware.com.


Bytware Updates IBM i Message Management Tools

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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