Here’s my current list of vendors who provide IBM i system monitoring products.
- Arpeggio Software SIFT-IT Detection and Auditing Software
- Bytware Messenger Solutions (Owned by Help/Systems)
- CCSS System Management Solutions (owned by Help/Systems)
- COMTEK, COMTEK/400 Agent for iSeries
- DRVTech MessageFlex
- Halcyon Software System Monitoring Software for IBM i Servers
- Kisco Information Systems iEventMonitor
- Kisco Information Systems SNDTWEET
- Nagios, Check AS/400 plugin for monitoring IBM i systems
- Redbourn Business Systems Integrated System Management Service
- RevSoft Rev Message
- SEA absMessage
Please let me know if you know of any other software packages that should be added to this list. A good IBM i system monitoring package can provide many benefits when a problem occurs on your system.
- It can alert responsible personnel whenever a programming or system problem occurs on your system. Alerts are usually sent out via email, text message, tweet, operator message queue, or other means.
- It can eliminate the need for overnight personnel to monitor the system for problems
- It can be automatically configured to answer messages or allow you to answer messages from other devices, such as cell phones
- It can escalate alerts to other staff if the first person on the alert doesn’t answer the message
- It can sometimes kick off other programs, commands, APIs, etc. when things go wrong
Actually, Robot/ALERT sends alert messages. You need Robot/CONSOLE to monitor for messages. See: http://www.helpsystems.com/automated-operations-products/robot-console
We use the message monitoring built into System i Navigator, Management Central.
Thanks, Doug. I updated the piece to highlight the distinction between what Robot/ALERT and Robot/CONSOLE does. The thing that bugs me with the Help/Systems solution is that it looks like you have to buy two products to get what you get in one of the other products. They seem to have separated the monitoring and alert functions so there isn’t an all-in-one solution. Of course, if you’re already bought in the Help/Systems line of products, that may or may not be that big a deal and you would keep within the same product framework. Is that your impression?
That iSeries Navigator Monitoring article has a 2003 publication date on that. Do you know if these still work or have them been updated in later OpsNav versions.
Hi Joe, I suggest RevSoft’s Rev Message solution should be on the list. Message suppression, filtering, autoreply, centralised views/reporting and alerting (email/sms) escalations, web access and mobile phone/tablet access is all there. Its PureFlex certified too, so IBM i sites can use the same product to monitor other platforms as well, all centralised. See http://www.revsoft.com.
Joe, you should make a note also that CCSS, Robot, & Bytware are all sold by Help Systems. This way companies are aware that these products come from the same Vendor.
Just confirmed that CCSS is owned by Help/Systems. Will be changing page later to specify that Bytware and CCSS are owned by Help/Systems. Thanks for the heads up on that.
Thanks, Richard. I added RevSoft to the list
We have used Kisco’s SndTweet for several years. Works well. Very reasonable price. One feature we like is that it supports writing your own program to process requests which I use to check various key performance indicators when away from the office. Of course, SndTweet has a number of KPI’s built in.
Hi, You should also note that PowerTech is also owned and operated by Help/Systems.
Duly noted and changed in the post
Added COMTEK/400 Agent for iSeries to list
Added DRVTech MessageFlex
Your recent post to the LinkedIn thread about IBM i message management prompted me to request that you add the OpCon enterprise automation suite from SMA Solutions to your list. In addition to the extensive message management capabilities that I listed on the LinkedIn thread (which satisfy all of your community list requirements), the OpCon Agent for IBM i offers an extensive collection of tools that are capable of automating and monitoring virtually all operations in IBM i, including automating legacy green screen interactive tasks and programmatically analyzing spooled report files, for example. Of course, this agent is integrated with the full enterprise automation capabilities of OpCon, further enhanced in the area of monitoring capabilities by our new OpCon Insight ™ companion product (== BI with dashboards). IBM i seldom operates stand-alone in an IT center, so it usually really pays to leverage broader automation with this economical software suite. Generally speaking, OpCon falls into the same category as solutions from Help Systems and Halcyon, although we (and our rapidly growing list of IBM i users worldwide) believe that the 33-year-mature OpCon enterprise solution does it better. All questions about capabilities are welcome. Thanks for your consideration.
Thanks, George. I’ll take a look at OpCon and add to the list. Do you have a URL I can use for the products page.
Joe, our main company/product URL is http://www.smasolutions.it and you can find a somewhat lame, but effective, summmary of the IBM i Agent’s highlighted, extension to OpCon automation at http://www.smasolutions.it/assets/sma-opcon-ibmi_us.pdf
Added SMA Solutions’ OpCon Agent for IBM I to the list
Joe, you may want to add CA Nimsoft monitoring tool to the list.
Thanks. Do you have a URL that specifically shows it runs on IBM I?
Hello! We are in evaluation of a low cost product for IBMi monitoring.
We found that Nagios (and its flavors Naemon, Centreon, etc) could be used together with a plugin check_as400 from http://exchange.nagios.org/directory/Plugins/Hardware/Server-Hardware/IBM/Check_as400/details
It can monitor and report in real time for CPU, ASP, WRKPRB, Messages that need reply, jobs and services that are not available, etc. The plugin is provided in java source code, logins to IBMi with a user and takes the information by parsing screenshots. It can be easily extended. In addition to this Nagios has the capability of monitoring network and tcp/ip services (e.g. check than an IBMi HTTP server is up, a specific tcp/ip port etc.).
Moreover, ManageEngine Application manager http://www.manageengine.com/products/applications_manager/as400-monitoring.html has similar features but with a cost.
I would like to provide some additional information about COMTEK product.
It is an SNMP Subagent that is installed on IBMi and works under/with default IBMi SNMP Agent to extend the information that it provides. It cannot be used as a standalone application. It requires an external (network) monitoring tool (e.g. Solarwinds, Nagios, etc.) that can act as an SNMP Server to collect/poll for the data that it generates or to receive COMTEK SNMP traps. It provides useful information (http://www.comtekservices.com/os400_sysmgr_details.html).
Added CA Technologies, CA Nimsoft Monitoring for IBM Power Systems
Added the Nagios Check AS/400 plugin for IBM i monitoring
Joe, what about DDL Systems ACO MONITOR (formerly ACO PAGER) systems management products. We have used these products for over 20 years on multiple partitions.
You missed two of the best: HelpSystems Intermapper and Paessler’s PRTG. Both can monitor all manner of SNMP variables, as well as any other TCP or UDP port, and even execute scripts. Intermapper can run Nagios scripts, and has a fantastic mapping tool and layer-2 tracing process (what port on which switch is this user on?) Intermapper has a free trial and is cheaper than PRTG, but PRTG has an unlimited free version for up to 100 sensors, which is plenty to do useful work in IBM i monitoring. Both have excellent Netflow graphic analyzer options (at extra cost). If you’re not using Netflow, you’re living in the dark ages.
Both have very complete notification and escalation systems (including integrated paging). Intermapper has to be managed using screen sharing or their IntermapperRemote tool, while PRTG is totally web-based, which I prefer.
Really, compared to free things like Nagios and Cacti — both of which are a royal pain to configure — these tools are worth every penny.
If you really have no money at all, then check out OpenNMS. It’s not too hard to get working, and has a totally web interface. The interface is kind of clunky, and you have to read the docs closely to understand how it works under the covers (they use odd European comsci terms instead of normal IT terminology).
Oh, and if you’re wondering how I chose between Intermapper and PRTG: I bought them both!
There is also free performance monitoring tool called LPAR2RRD which does performance monitoring of IBM i through its OS agent.
One other advantage of PRTG: it has a killer mobile app that runs on Android, iOS, and Windows, and gives mobile access to the entire PRTG interface: