Customers React Positively to IBM i Alerting Tool from Kisco
October 19, 2016 Alex Woodie
When Kisco Information Systems launched its $400 alerting tool in 2015, there were questions whether a relatively simple product would resonate with IBM i shops. A year later, Kisco is delivering a second version of iEventMonitor, and customers are singing its praise.
Kisco launched iEventMonitor in March 2015 with a basic premise: provide monitoring and alerting of key IBM i resources like QSYSOPR and QSYSMSG queues, the job queue, message queues and storage and CPU monitoring.
While other vendors developed tools that could automatically respond to events on an IBM i server, Kisco eschewed the extra functionality that would increase complexity and price tags. Just tell IBM i pros what’s happening on the box, Kisco CEO Rich Loeber said, and they’ll take it from there.
That approach seems to be working for Kisco and its customers. “As manager of IT operations, it eliminates any unforeseen issues and allows you to be protractive instead of reactive,” Kirk Hamilton, manager IT operations for Kisco customer Aurora Parts & Accessories, tells IT Jungle. “I cannot say enough good things about this software, and you cannot beat the cost.”
Jim Hayes, who runs IBM i servers for an Alabama school district, was already familiar with Kisco’s products, and grabbed this product as soon as it was published. “I use iEventMonitor to monitor the important QSYOPR message queue and the QSYSMSG queue,” he tells us. “When a qualifying message arrives at a monitored queue iEventMonitor sends out an email, text message or AS/400 break message describing the event. . . . A message queue monitor is a must have in our environment.”
Another happy customer is K3S, a Georgia-based provider of inventory management software that also runs some of its customers’ systems. K3S uses iEventMonitor to keep an eye on its customers’ IBM i systems, according to Brantley May, vice president of customer support services for K3S.
“Each customer has a handful of scheduled daily jobs that run. Considering our users and customers span all US time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast, I can’t afford the time to monitor every job that is running,” May tells IT Jungle via email. “By getting an automatic email when a MSGW occurs on a customer’s night job, that means I can fix it right away at 6 a.m., instead of having a group of frustrated users emailing me at 8 a.m. wondering why they can’t sign in.”
Last week, Kisco announced the second major release of the product. iEventMonitor version 2 will expand the coverage of IBM i system metrics that it covers. In particular, this release brings the security audit journal into the fold. The software can generate event notifications as they occur in real time, or they can be sent periodically throughout the day.
The security of the tool itself has also been enhanced. Specifically, Kisco is now allowing users with specific user profiles to access the product. Previously, the product was only available to customers with ALLOBJ authority. This allows Kisco to give users access to the product without using ALLOBJ.
Kisco made several other enhancements with this release. There’s an automatic restart for iEventMonitor Watch Tasks, which let you set up watches on specific message queues for specific message IDs. The Watch Tasks no longer must be manually restarted after an IPL.
As before, there’s no automation in iEventMonitor beyond the monitoring and alerting (messages can be sent out via email, text messages, or break messages on a console). But if you’re good with CL, you could always build your own.
Kisco has increased the price by $100. iEventMonitor Release 2 costs $495 for a single partition and $795 for unlimited LPARs on a single server. For more info, see www.kisco.com.