French Logistics Firm Taps CCSS for Server Monitoring
September 18, 2012 Alex Woodie
Geodis, Europe’s fourth-largest logistics provider, has adopted systems management software from CCSS to help it operate its IBM i environment. The French firm’s replacement of homegrown monitoring programs with QSystem Monitor and QMessage Monitor has enabled it to deliver better service and reliability with its IBM i servers, CCSS reports.
Geodis is a 30,000-person logistics services provider that operates around the globe. The company’s European trucking division, Geodis BM, maintains a data center in Mery, France, that is responsible for operating and supporting the transportation and warehouse management systems that are used by about 5,000 employees across its own division as well as the Geodis Logistics and Geodis Supply Chain Optimization divisions. Two 24-way Power Systems Model 770 servers power the applications, while a team of eight administrators care for the business machines.
In such a large operation, maintaining 24/7/365 availability is of paramount importance. If the IBM i applications are not available, the company runs the risk of falling behind on deliveries, angering customers, and losing revenue and credibility.
Prior to implementing the CCSS solutions, the Geodis administrators relied on homegrown monitoring programs to keep an eye on the IBM i servers. As new issues cropped up, the administrators would have to write new programs to get visibility into the problems.
Eventually, the company decided this approach didn’t make sense, so it adopted prepackaged software from CCSS to monitor the servers. CCSS specializes in developing IBM i server monitoring software, and it has already dealt with many of the monitoring challenges faced by customers like Geodis.
Geodis has already benefited from QSM in dealing with a looping job that has consumed all of the memory on one of its production servers. “With QSM it took us no longer than five minutes to configure a monitor to find that one job out of 3,000,” Delio Amato, production systems manager, says in a press release. “We configured a simple temporary storage monitor, per subsystem for every subsystem (more than 100 on the server). Without QSM, the only option would have been to IPL the server mid-morning with a tremendous impact on the business.”
Geodis is also using QSM’s reporting functions to gain better visibility into the server resources that are being consumed by the activities of its sister divisions. They provide managers with summaries of CPU, disk, memory, the number of jobs, and specific 5250 application monitoring that shows the number of users by subsystem and the associated charges for particular applications.
Developers are also benefiting from QSM reports that show the top jobs on the IBM i servers. Now they can concentrate their efforts on these heavily used jobs. The company is also using QMM to keep an eye on messages generated by the IBM i server, and to automatically respond to them.
“It’s an extremely time sensitive business when you consider activities such as the supply of automotive facilities to the warehouse,” Amato says. “Warehouse systems (and their EDI services) simply cannot run without the IT that supports it being optimal and available. In a 24/7/365 business the margin for error or delay is virtually zero. Anything that disrupts performance or availability has the potential to immediately impact the business.”