Halcyon Gives IBM i Shops an Edge in MQ Management
March 4, 2014 Alex Woodie
Halcyon Software last week rolled out MQ Manager, a new piece of software designed to help IBM i shops manage their IBM WebSphere MQ environments. The new product sports a Web-based user interface, and is designed to alert administrators to any potential problems that might pop up in their production MQ systems.
Originally launched 23 years ago as MQ Series, IBM’s message queuing technology is the digital backbone for critical IT systems at big companies around the world. WebSphere MQ (as it was renamed in 2002) provides guaranteed one-time, asynchronous delivery of ASCI and EBCDIC messages across a variety of platforms, including IBM i, z/OS, Unix/Linux, and Windows, among other proprietary systems.
While WebSphere MQ is widely considered to be a top-notch messaging platform, it’s not impervious to disruptions. In today’s complex IT world, it’s difficult to insulate any single system from all outside influences. To help ensure the continuous functioning of a WebSphere MQ environment, it should be continuously monitored for any signs of problems.
Halcyon’s MQ Manager is one such product that automates the tasks of monitoring a WebSphere MQ deployment. Available now for IBM i, MQ Manager issues an alert whenever a pre-determined threshold is breached, a bottleneck is detected, or any other problems crop up that could impact normal MQ functioning.
The software continuously monitors the seven components of WebSphere MQ in an IBM i environment, including the Queue Manager, Listeners, Channels, Queues, Services, Cluster Manager Status, and Events. The software will monitor all WebSphere MQ events, regardless of whether the target system for MQ messages is a mainframe, a HP-UX system, or a Windows box.
The software ships with a preconfigured template that implements standard monitoring rules. Out of the box, it’s set to run every 60 seconds, but can be configured to run more or less often, depending on a customer’s particular WebSphere MQ environment.
MQ Manager comes with Halcyon’s Enterprise Console, a Web-based GUI that can be accessed from a smartphone or a tablet. The Enterprise Console is also used with other Halcyon products, providing users with a single interface for monitoring all the tasks that Halcyon helps automate, including backups, job scheduling, message management, performance monitoring, and QAUDJRN security monitoring.
It’s all about staying on top of issues before they escalate into problems that impact the business, says Donnie MacColl, technical services director at Halcyon Software. “MQ Manager is an intelligent product that comes with a unique Web-browser graphical user interface that will enable IT teams to remotely monitor via a smartphone or tablet,” MacColl says in a press release. “It is shipped with the Halcyon Enterprise Console so that IT teams can receive and rapidly respond to issues wherever they are located before they escalate and impact the business.”
MQ Manager is supported on IBM i first, but Halcyon has to also support the software on AIX, Windows, and Linux, MacColl says.
In other news, Halcyon announced that it has hired Paul Ratchford, the former product manager at CCSS, which is now owned by HelpSystems. As Halcyon’s new technical services manager, Ratchford will provide pre-sales support and technical advice to customers, business partners, and managed services providers in North and South America. He will work out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Paul is the perfect person to assume this role,” Halcyon CEO Lorraine Cousins says in a press release. “His deep knowledge of systems management will help us provide our customers, partners, and MSPs with top-notch technical services. I am confident that his addition to our team will help us to continue to achieve our business goals.”