CCSS Detects WebSphere MQ Problem at Nippon Express
September 30, 2008 Alex Woodie
Nippon Express’ North American operations dodged a bullet recently when its WebSphere MQ subsystem was inadvertently shut down while another problem was being investigated. Luckily, the logistics provider had previously upgraded its CCSS i OS system monitoring software, and was able to detect the shut down before downtime had a deleterious effect on business.
Based in New York, Nippon Express (USA) is part of the Japanese logistics giant, Nippon Express, and provides land, sea, and air transportation and distribution services for thousands of customers from 67 branch locations across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Backing this extensive operation are a pair of IBM System i Model 825s running the company’s business applications.
The company already installed CCSS’ collection of systems management software for the i OS environment, including QSystem Monitor, QMessage Monitor, and QRemote Control. In fact, IT Jungle ran a case study detailing the use of these products at Nippon Express earlier this year.
In July, CCSS updated QSystem Monitor to support IBM’s WebSphere MQ environment. With a heavy reliance on WebSphere MQ–particularly with regard to connecting to U.S. Customs–Nippon Express was one of the first CCSS customers to upgrade to the new release.
The timing of the update, as it turned out, was fortuitous.
Soon after updating QSystem Monitor, Nippon Express encountered a problem with a WebSphere MQ queue on its System i server. The company called in the third-party vendor, which arranged for a technician to VPN into Nippon Express’ System i machines to look at the problem.
Unfortunately, the technician nearly did more harm than good. As part of the troubleshooting task, the technician shut down the WebSphere MQ subsystem, and forgot to restart it.
Luckily, QSystem Monitor took immediate notice, and sent an alert to Shin Nakamura, a systems analyst for Nippon Express, who restarted the WebSphere MQ subsystem. “We were able to rectify the problem before there was any negative impact on our customers,” Nakamura says. “The time and money saved by avoiding downtime was immediately obvious.”
It could have been a lot worse, Nakamura says. “If QSystem Monitor was not installed, we could have been faced with several hours of downtime. In the logistics business, those few hours can mean the difference between a vital shipment leaving or arriving on time, or being held up in customs because we lost the [communications] link with them. Our reputation is built on efficiency, so we can’t afford to suffer with these kinds of delays. Thankfully with QSystem Monitor in place, we don’t have to.”