Volume 8, Number 33 -- September 16, 2008

CCSS Helps Automate iSeries Operations at American Software

Published: September 16, 2008

by Alex Woodie

In its quest to trim the cost of monitoring and managing its production iSeries environment, American Software has installed systems management tools from CCSS, the software vendor announced this month.

From its headquarters in the heart of OS/400 country--Atlanta, Georgia--American Software develops ERP software that runs on i OS, in addition to other platforms. In addition to making and selling i OS ERP software, the company's subsidiary, American Software USA, also uses the platform to run its business.

Like other OS/400 shops, American Software needs to manage and monitor its servers for maximum performance. Recently, the company launched a new initiative to go "lights out" with its server operations. In other words, the company sought to automate the server to such an extent that few hands would be required to continue its smooth operation.

The lights out initiative was launched at the same time that the server was being brought back onsite. Having the server in house--as opposed to running in a third-party operations center--provided a greater opportunity to drive automation into server operations, says Jane Moore, vice president of enterprise systems at American Software.

"We found that there were fundamental differences between the way automation was used by a third party, and how we expected it to perform in-house," she says. "With the machine in-house, we had hands-on access to not just automate issues away from the operators, but to really resolve reoccurring issues for a cleaner system with far fewer events requiring analysis."

A key element of the success of the lights-out initiative was the introduction of CCSS' i OS automation tools, including QSystem Monitor, QMessage Monitor and QRemote Control. Installed on American Software's iSeries Model 825, the software provides continuous monitoring of all system messages and queues, and keeps an eye on critical OS/400 performance metrics, too. If something gets out of whack--a hard disk nears capacity, say--the software automatically alerts operators to the event.

CCSS' products have been critical to American Software's light out initiative, says Moore. "With reduced staffing levels it is increasingly critical that we do not spend unnecessary resources in crisis management," she says. "The CCSS solutions provide us with good tools for system monitoring automation, allowing us to be pro-active and resulting in a reduction of time spent reacting to system related problems. This allows us to focus on the development and maintenance of our core products as well as to provide quick meantime to resolution of customer support calls."

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
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