Demystifying AIX Monitoring for IBM i Hacks
December 10, 2013 Alex Woodie
It’s getting tougher for IBM i professionals to pretend that AIX isn’t there. Every year, it seems, more of IBM‘s system software for Power Systems servers runs either in AIX or PASE, the AIX runtime for IBM i. However, for many IBM i admins, AIX is an enigma that’s wrapped in mystery and shrouded in a riddle. Halcyon Software recently published a best practices guide for AIX monitoring that’s aimed at getting past the Unix gibberish and laying out the issues in plain English that regular IBM i types can understand.
The biggest AIX concern of IBM i shops may be VIOS, the virtual input and output server that IBM introduced with the launch of IBM i version 6.1 in 2008. The software virtualizes the disk and network adapters, and eliminates the requirement that IBM i LPARs have actual adapters dedicated to them. This not only reduced the number of physical adapters required in a Power Systems server, but enabled IBM i to run on a blade.
The only problem with VIOS: it requires AIX skills to manage. Several months ago, Halcyon published the “Guide to AIX VIOS Monitoring,” which was written by former IBM UK AS/400 product manager Nigel Adams, who is now a consultant for UK-based Halcyon. Now, Halcyon is going down stack and translating the cryptic Unix commands and interface into terms that regular IBM i Joes can understand.
“We have produced this best practice guide to demystify the art of managing AIX systems,” says Halcyon sales and marketing director Carole Chandler says in a press release. “This quick reference resource describes the most important aspects of AIX systems that need monitoring and the reasons why this should be done.”
Halcyon says it wrote the guide for IT staff who are already familiar with managing IBM i systems and are suddenly faced with the challenge of monitoring AIX systems. The company says it will help them to quickly adapt to the traditional styled user interface and the unusual commands that make little sense to people unfamiliar with the Unix environment.
Chandler adds that the guide also shows systems administrators how to live a less stressful life by adopting power tools to do the bulk of the monitoring for you. After all, Halcyon (ahem) is in the business of selling software, and AIX is one of the platforms it supports with its systems monitoring and management tools (along with Windows and Linux), although its focus remains IBM i.
To download the free AIX guide for IBM i types, go to www.halcyonsoftware.com/news/2013/27-11-13-aix-best-practice-guide.html.