ManageEngine Adds i OS Support to Application Performance Tool
December 1, 2009 Alex Woodie
ManageEngine, an Indian developer of systems management software, expanded its i OS repertoire last month with the launch of Applications Manager Release 9. Users of the new software can monitor applications and systems running on IBM i OS servers alongside a range of other operating systems, databases, application servers, and ERP systems. This provides organizations that use System i and Power Systems servers with a powerful solution for monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting, trend analysis, and planning capacity in their heterogeneous IT environments.
In the olden days of IT, when organizations ran monolithic business applications on a single server, troubleshooting performance problems was a fairly straightforward process. If an application was acting up, a programmer could access all of the needed resources–be it source code, data, or message logs–from one system, and feel confident that they haven’t overlooked the source of the problem.
Compare that to the modern n-tier IT infrastructure of today. A single Web application might access resources residing across multiple servers, operating systems, application servers, and sundry other middleware components, which significantly complicates the monitoring and troubleshooting processes. Add any service oriented architecture (SOA) or Web services components to the mix, and the complexity grows even more. Without the help of a power tool, it’s very difficult to track down performance problems with speed and certainty–or catch hiccups before they turn into big problems.
ManageEngine makes such power tools. The vendor–which seeks to be the low-cost alternative to the “Big Four” systems management vendors BMC Software, CA, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM–develops a range of tools designed to monitor various aspects of the data center, from individual servers and networking components to open source server software and proprietary ERP applications. Applications Manager offers the deepest level of monitoring into application-specific functionality.
With the mid-November launch of ManageEngine Application Manager Release 9, the software vendor added support for i OS, as well as support for Oracle‘s flagship ERP offering, E Business Suite, and a new capability that allows administrators to customize dashboards within the product.
Support for i OS gives users the capability to automatically monitor and manage various aspects of the platform, including: the number of active and waiting jobs; batch jobs versus interactive jobs; storage pools and LPARs; memory and disk utilization; the QSYSOPR message queue; the number of users signed onto the system; spool file and printer output; and other metrics that are unique to the platform.
This data is gathered from the System i (using native IBM APIs, according to ManageEngine) and presented in a Web console, alongside data from all of the other supported operating systems, databases, Web application servers, middleware, and run-time environments (such as .NET and J2EE).
From this console, administrators can monitor more than 100 different metrics that pertain to their n-tier applications infrastructure, including response time, availability, CPU utilization, and others. These metrics are presented holistically, and reflect data gathered from across the IT infrastructure.
Administrators can also set thresholds for these various metrics, and if they’re exceeded, the product will automatically alert an administrator through e-mail or other means. The product also provides root cause analysis functionality to track down problems, and capacity planning capabilities.
Applications Manager can also be set to proactively manage certain elements of i OS that are typically handled by operators, such as setting system or security settings, according to Gibu Mathew Kurian, ManageEngine product manager. The software also provides a “non-interactive Web console,” where administrators can access i OS directly through a 5250 interface. “It’s for the administrator to do something that’s not provided by us out of the box,” Kurian says.
Kurian expects about five to 10 percent of the 2,000 customers of Applications Manager to buy the AS/400 “add-on” pack. “There is fairly good demand, definitely not as high as the Unix and Windows world. But I would say we have a lot of customers who also have AS/400s,” he says.
Applications Manager already supports the monitoring of popular IT components, including Windows, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS, Tru64, and Free BSD operating systems; Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, SQL Server, and DB2 databases; WebSphere, WebLogic, JBoss, Tomcat, Microsoft .NET, Oracle Application Server SilverStream, and GlassFish Web application servers; Apache, IIS, PHP, Web services, Web server, and Web site monitoring; Oracle EBS and SAP ERP monitoring; various Windows components, including Windows event log, Exchange, and Active Directory; and other IT components, including LDAP, FTP, DNS, JMX, and SNMP.
The AS/400 add-on (as it is called) is available for $1,195. Other add-ons range from $795 for the WebSphere MQ monitor to $1,995 for the SAP monitor. Customers can use the AS/400 add-on with either the professional (starts at $795 with a limit of 250 monitored operating system instances) or enterprise (starts at $7,995 with no monitoring limit) editions. There is also a free version of Applications Manager that can be used for basic monitoring of up to five operating system instances. For more information, see www.manageengine.com.
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