Kisco Debuts Sub-$400 Message Monitor
March 18, 2015 Alex Woodie
Organizations that are looking for an affordable way to monitor their IBM i servers may want to check out the new iEventMonitor product unveiled this month by Kisco Information Systems. For less than $400, the software will automatically send an alert to administrators when it detects potential problems, as manifested through message queues.
Many of the tasks that humans used to do have been automated. For example, stock brokers and assembly line workers have largely been replaced by computers and robots, respectively. In the IBM i world, the entry-level job of system operator has largely fallen by the wayside, replaced by software.
The economics are hard to argue with. Instead of paying an operator $50,000 per year to stare at a console all day, companies would spend $10,000 on a software package that would do the same job–without taking days off or smoke breaks (also going by the wayside).
Now Kisco is pushing the price of automation even lower with iEventMonitor, a new offering that will watch any message queue in the system, such as QSYSOPR and QSYSMSG, and send an alert to a human administrator when a qualifying message turns up. Most of the log messages are not that important, of course, but the penalty for missing the critical errors is large, which is why the message queues cannot be ignored.
When an important message bubbles up through the filters, iEventMonitor can send an alert in several ways, including email messages, text messages, or break messages sent to the console that an administrator is signed into. Alerts can be sent to multiple recipients.
iEventMonitor also includes a built-in disk-space monitoring function. If the amount of free DASD space varies by a given percentage–either up or down–it will send an alert. The software also comes with a customizable database file-monitoring system that will automatically send an alert if specific data files are added, changed, detected, or even just read.
The software is solely focused on alerting at the moment. “For now, this is just passive monitoring and alerting,” says Kisco CEO Rich Loeber. “At the price point where we are selling this software, I think it is a good deal and the investment needed to add the ability to take action would just jack up the price.”
While there are more feature-rich tools on the market that will automatically take actions in response to IBM i system events, there’s still plenty of space for good old alerting, Loeber says. “I think a lot of potential customers just want to know when there is an issue so they can respond using existing tools,” he tells IT Jungle via email. “It is not uncommon to be able to connect with your system via Telnet from your smartphone or home PC to deal with issues, but knowing there is an issue to start with is what they need.”
iEventMonitor runs on i5/OS V5R4 through IBM i version 7.2. Pricing starts $395 for a single partition license, or $595 for an LPAR license that allows users to run the software across multiple LPARs. For more info and free trial, see www.kisco.com.