Halcyon Delivers ERP-Specific Monitoring in Systems Operations Suite 3.0
Published: November 3, 2009
by Alex Woodie
Getting up and running with Halcyon Software's new Systems Operations Suite version 3.0 should be easier now that the software includes pre-defined templates for monitoring jobs, queues, and other areas within popular i OS ERP suites like SAP and JD Edwards. Officially released today, the updated product also delivers enhanced monitoring of QAUDJRN, the QSECOFR profile, and file transfers on the System i.
As a systems management vendor focused on the System i, Halcyon Software has known what areas of the operating systems need to be closely watched. It has had spool files, message queues, and the QAUDJRN covered for some time. Getting the product up and running to monitor these areas is fairly routine.
But when it comes to actually installing a systems management tool at a customer, there have always been application-specific functions that needed to be monitored. While not especially difficult, setting up monitoring for the application-specific areas has always been a time-consuming manual task.
That is changing now with Systems Operations Suite, which features pre-defined templates for monitoring critical application areas for several prominent ERP systems on the i OS platform, including Lawson M3, Misys' financial applications, various Infor products, SAP's Business Suite, Oracle's JD Edwards products, and popular i OS-based high availability solutions.
"A lot of clients have programs like SAP that really run the business, and they have their own host of messages," says John Dominic, Halcyon's U.S. channel manager out of the company's office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "The challenge is a lot of these third-party applications have messages, but nobody's looking for them. They're not part of the big picture. They're just kind of consolidated within their own little world. What we're trying to do is bring all the disparate messages into one place, whether its operating system-related or hardware-related or business application-related."
For example, an ERP system that is sensitive to storage might require that ASP levels do not exceed a certain level. If ASP percentages go past a certain level, the ERP system will generate a message that (hopefully) alerts the operator to take action to fix the situation. However, if the operator is not looking at that message, then the whole application is put at risk.
Turning on monitoring for specific application-related queues or messages is as simple as flipping a switch in the Systems Operation Suite, Dominic says. Halcyon has configured the product with a number of predefined filters for application message areas. To begin monitoring that area, the user simply activates the filter, which was formerly on hold. "It's just all set, and you just release it as soon as you're ready," he says.
Halcyon is applying the same template-based approach to simplify the monitoring of other System i areas with Systems Operation Suite version 3.0.
For example, the product now contains more automated monitoring of the QSECOFR security officer profile. Templates are provided that give administrators the power to ensure that the QSECOFR profile--the most powerful and potentially dangerous user profile on i OS--is not left signed on but inactive for a defined period of time. The software can also be used to monitor what a user does while signed on under this user profile. Customers can easily switch this template on, and rest easier knowing that it's less likely that this powerful user profile will be abused.
Version 3.0 also brings new templates that automate the monitoring of other sensitive areas, including real-time monitoring of FTP requests, the QAUDJRN, the system history log (QHST) and all other IBM i message queues. While the product previously offered coverage of the QAUDJRN, it has been bolstered with version 3.0 to cover new message types introduced with IBM i OS version 6.l, Dominic says.
All told, the new release is focused on making it easier to configure and use. "We know what our clients are going to use the software for as a starting point," Dominic says. "So instead of having to set it up manually for everything, we just preloaded the general templates into the product, which makes it even faster than before."
Halcyon is in the midst of updating all of its i OS systems management products to the version 3 release level. The entry-level product, Message Management Suite, was updated earlier this year with new service level agreement monitoring and uptime monitoring features, while the company still plans on delivering High Availability Suite 3.0 later this year. An update to the Operations Center will most likely occur in 2010. The company's releases are being done in ascending order of functionality.
Systems Operation Suite 3.0 is available now. Traditional licenses start at $5,000 for a P05 box. Subscription pricing is also available. For more information, visit www.halcyonsoftware.com.
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