New Maxava HA Suite Controlled from Mobile Device
Published: May 10, 2011
by Alex Woodie
Maxava customers can now manage their high availability environments--and even initiate role swaps, if needed--from the comfort of an iPad or other mobile device with the company's new HA Enterprise+ product, which the vendor unveiled at the COMMON conference in Minneapolis last week. In addition to the mobile management console, the HA product includes new scripting capabilities that can automate the execution of certain tasks prior to a role swap, or any other IBM i task for that matter.
The mobile device revolution is sweeping across the IT world, and for once the usually sheltered niche that is the IBM i software industry is caught up full steam. Vendors of all types used last week's COMMON conference to tout new interfaces for mobile devices, with Apple's i/OS line of products and Google's Android platform leading the way.
Maxava has been at the cutting edge of mobile development among vendors targeting IBM i (yes, IT Jungle now reserves the term "i/OS" for the Apple products, even though what IBM sells can be called the i OS). The New Zealand company used last year's COMMON conference in Orlando to debut MAXView an HA monitoring console that runs on the i/OS products, and tells managers about the state of critical server and network elements, such as data replication, communication links, server disk utilization, and job status.
Last week's COMMON brought us the next generation of that product, called maxView Manager. The client console adds management and control capabilities that weren't offered on the first generation, which offered only monitoring. With maxView Manager loaded on an iPad or another device (it also supports Android and Blackberry smartphones and PC-based Web browsers), administrators can not only check the state of their Maxava high availability environments, but they can initiate role swaps or issue other commands from the IBM i OS command line.
The new management console also includes Command Scripting Functionality, or CSF. CSF allows customers to build fully scripted routines using any IBM i commands, without compiling code, Maxava says. CSF could be used to automate the execution of multiple tasks in the IBM i OS, and save time compared to doing them manually.
The new console and CSF give administrators greater control over their IBM i and high availability environments, Maxava CEO Allan Campbell said during a press conference last week in Minneapolis. "Now there are more situations that we can handle than before," he said.
The recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand--and the role swaps conducted by three Maxava customers following the Japanese tsunami--highlighted the need for alternative methods to access systems, said Maxava executive vice president Simon O'Sullivan. In at least one case, Maxava customers couldn't get direct access to the IBM i server, he said. The new remote management capabilities of maxView Manager may have come in handy for these customers.
"We've spent a considerable amount of time working with our customers to understand how they use our products and what they'd like our products to do even better than before," O'Sullivan said.
maxView Manager is only available with HA Enterprise+, which is the name of the company's most feature rich high availability solution. In the last year, the company has changed the name of its products and changed the company's name itself (it used to be called Maximum Availability), which is a little bit confusing.
Before this product launch, the company's flagship product was called Maxava HA Enterprise, which had gone by the name *noMAX Garrison. The middle-tier product (once called *noMAX Defender) is now called Maxava HA SMB, and the entry-level product (once called *noMAX Sentry) is now called Maxava HA Data Stream.
With the launch of Maxava HA Enterprise+, the company will no longer sell Maxava HA Enterprise. All Maxava HA Enterprise customers can upgrade to the newer product for free, or stay on the old product if they choose, the vendor says.
In addition to the maxView Manager and CSF functionality, the new HA Enterprise+ product introduces support for replicating contents of the QDLS file system. Maxava officials say this will give customers better replication coverage of older IBM i applications.
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