QSystem Monitor Has an Ear for Application Availability
June 8, 2004 Alex Woodie
New software from systems management specialist CCSS continuously monitors select OS/400 applications to ensure their availability. The latest release of QSystem Monitor, Version 11, has the capability to “listen” to Internet applications that use TCP/IP. If the “listener” becomes inactive, indicating a possible problem, the QSystem Monitor immediately notifies the systems administrator with a flashing bar on his graphical console.
QSystem Monitor is a client/server application that shows system administrators how their iSeries servers are using system resources, such as database CPU, interactive processing per logical partition, or I/O. In total, the product simultaneously monitors 43 performance metrics (including 21 set system components, 12 user-definable bars, and 10 text definition bars), which are displayed on the graphical client, called the Online Monitor. Version 11 was originally launched in February 2003 (see “CCSS to Keep a Closer Eye on LPAR Performance”), and the latest iteration contains a number of new features that were requested by the English company’s user base.
OS/400 shops concerned with having the highest level of availability with their e-business applications will appreciate the new TCP/IP monitoring (MONTCPLSN) feature in QSystem Monitor, CCSS says. The MONTCPSLN command continuously “listens” for TCP/IP activity from their Internet applications, such as FTP, Domino, and WebSphereMQ. If the “listener” becomes inactive, indicating any number of problems with the application, a dedicated text bar on the Online Monitor will flash red, immediately alerting operators to the situation.
Operators can also get a greater feel for the current state of their e-business applications through another new TCP/IP command in QSystem Monitor called MONTCPCNN. This command counts the number of TCP listeners and displays the result in a user bar on the Online Monitor. CCSS says that, in addition to counting listeners, it can count running jobs.
QSystem Monitor can also now monitor directories in OS/400’s Integrated File System (IFS). CCSS says this new feature will help those who are using the product for capacity planning. Because the IFS is used by many of today’s popular OS/400 applications, including J.D. Edwards OneWorld and WebSphere, monitoring of the IFS, in addition to traditional OS/400 objects, gives a better representation of the true size of applications and predictions for growth.
The Online Monitor also has two new features with this release, including the Total Job CPU metric and Icon Override. Total Job CPU is useful for determining total CPU, when a certain job started, and overall CPU percentage for a job, CCSS says, while the new override feature allows operators to reset the disk icon display when a known problem occurs, such as disk drives that are unallocated to an ASP, so that when it displays again the operator knows there is a new problem.
Job monitoring activities should be simplified with two other new features in QSystem Monitor. MONRTVAJ, which allows users to retrieve the current active jobs in a nominated subsystem, will save users time and energy because they will no longer have to print out reports and then type in the jobs they want monitored, CCSS says. The second new command, MONJSDFN, displays a list of the jobs currently defined to be monitored, and it should also cut down on data entry errors, the company says.
CCSS also has added some house-keeping functions to its history file, including the capability to define parameters to run a selective purge of high CPU, high response time, high database CPU, and high disk I/O records. For each of these types of records, users can set up to five time intervals and tell it how many records to keep for each interval.
For more information, go to www.ccssltd.com.