Kisco Offers Finer-Grained Monitoring with Twitter Utility
Published: August 7, 2012
by Alex Woodie
Companies that use Kisco Information Systems' Twitter utility to keep an eye on their IBM i servers can now monitor for specific message types with the just-released version 4 of Kisco's SNDTWEET.
Kisco introduced SNDTWEET more than three years ago to provide systems administrators with a handy way to monitor their IBM i servers. The software takes advantage of the ubiquitous Twitter messaging service to keep admins aware of important system-generated events, such as error messages due to an abnormally ended batch job. The software also allows admins to query for system status, job status, and user status, and also to kick off IBM i commands through replies to Twitter messages.
The biggest enhancement with SNDTWEET version 4 is a new watch function that lets the user define a watch monitor that looks for the arrival of messages with specific message IDs in a given message queue. This provides more fine-grained monitoring of system- and application-generated messages than SNDTWEET offered before.
Previously, the message queue monitoring function worked by looking for messages with specific severity level, so the capability to monitor for specific message IDs will allow users to get a more detailed view into system activity. Admins can also use multiple watches within the same message queue, which increases its usability even more.
With version 4, Kisco includes a pre-built watch that keeps an eye on the ASP (auxiliary storage pool) utilization. This function will automatically send a tweet when the ASP utilization percentage changes by a given amount.
Version 4 also includes a new facility aimed at duplicate tweets. Twitter automatically rejects tweets that are identical to previous tweets that are sent within a given timeframe. This can pose a problem when using Twitter to monitor message queues, as the tweets may be identical. SNDTWEET has a new facility to check for duplicate tweets and to take action to prevent them from being deleted.
Lastly, Kisco has taken steps to keep it current with the Twitter API. The company says it is now on the list of people and organizations who will receive advanced notification when Twitter is about to change the API. This move has already helped the company deal with the recent requirement to use the API with HTTPS, Kisco says.
Pricing for SNDTWEET remains unchanged. A license to use the product in a single server or LPAR costs $395, while a multi-LPAR license costs $595. SNDTWEET requires i5/OS V5R3 or higher and is available now.
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