Maximum Availability Unveils New HA Monitor
May 11, 2010 Alex Woodie
Knowing if a target System i server is ready to take over processing from a primary server is one of the biggest challenges to successfully operating an i/OS high availability (HA) environment. With its new browser-based MAXView console unveiled last week at the COMMON conference in Orlando, Florida, HA software vendor Maximum Availability intends to take the guesswork out of gauging system readiness. And since MAXView runs on the iPhone, IT managers can stay informed wherever they go.
Like all i/OS HA vendors, Maxava has already invested in presenting failover readiness information on-screen for its *noMAX customers. All three versions of the product, including Sentry, Defender, and Garrison, include both GUIs and 5250 screens designed to communicate this information. Customers that run the more feature-rich Defender and Garrison versions also get more with their GUIs, such as one-click re-synchs.
Now, with the launch of MAXView last week, Maxava is giving users one more reason to buy *noMAX Garrison.
MAXView, which is only available with Garrison, delivers a clean GUI–designed to communicate in real time information–that’s essential to i/OS application failover readiness. The software continuously monitors several key components of an HA setup, including communication links, System i disk utilization and job status, and *noMAX data replication status.
If one of the monitored areas falls below a given threshold, MAXView will display the information in red. Administrators can click on graphical icons to drill down to view more information about the problem. When everything is working properly, it shows up in green.
Simon O’Sullivan, senior vice president of the New Zealand company, says customers have been asking for a “smart and easy” way to monitor their HA setups for some time.
“If there is a problem with a file being replicated, a communications link between the systems fails, or a threshold is reached on disk utilization, this information is immediately available through an intuitive display delivered directly to their iPhone, iPad, or other device,” he says.
The first version of MAXView, which is based on the company’s HA Health-Check technology, was optimized to run on Apple‘s Safari Web browser and display from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. There is also a “widget” version of MAXView that runs in Google‘s Chrome Web browser, enabling the software to run on practically any PC. Support for additional Web browsers and mobile devices will be delivered in the coming weeks, Maxava says.
Users will only be able to monitor their System i and *noMAX environments with the first version of MAXView. A future release will also allow administrators to manage elements of the environment from mobile devices, O’Sullivan said. Management is important, but “monitoring is the key,” he added.
The capability to take a glance at the iPhone and quickly ascertain that everything is running correctly and the company is ready for a role-swap, if needed, will prove invaluable to time-strapped administrators, O’Sullivan said.
And then, there’s the iPad. Customers who purchase *noMAX Garrison before August 31 will get a free iPad from Maximum Availability. The vendor, which has been growing quickly and now has 500 customers around the world, was one of several ISVs that gave away an iPad at last week’s COMMON conference.
All existing Garrison customers are entitled to MAXView free of charge. In addition to supporting MAXView, the high-end version of *noMAX is differentiated mainly by its support for replication of IFS files and WebSphere MQ (MQSeries). Compared to the low-end Sentry version, Defender adds support for replication of system objects, user profiles, and spool files; the capability to dynamically add new DB2/400 files to replication schemes; and support for failovers. Sentry offers bare-bones replication of DB2/400 data, data areas, and data queues, and offers library redirection.