iCan Blog Archive

One of the many systems management enhancements in the 7.2 release was the addition of system and message monitors to the Navigator for i GUI.

The now obsolete System i Navigator GUI (Windows application) included monitors as part of Management Central. This blog highlights the major differences you’ll discover with the monitors introduced in the 7.2 release.

You’ll find monitors as a new set of tasks in the left-frame navigation area:

The biggest difference with the monitors in Navigator for i is there’s no support for system groups; they only can be started on the system on which they are created. While Navigator was enhanced with system groups in the 7.2 release, groups are currently used for just Compare and Update of PTFs. Message monitors and system monitors in the 7.2 Navigator cannot be started on a group of systems. Management Central allowed you to use system groups for monitors.

As of this updated (April 2020), monitors in Navigator for i remain single partion only, although support was added to copy a monitor to another target system. IBM’s stated direction for monitoring groups of systems is to use Nagios.

Message Monitors are very similar to the message monitors in Management Central and this post isn’t going to review message monitors further.

System Monitors are also similar to Management Central System Monitors on prior releases with regards to the kinds of performance metrics you can monitor as well as the user interface on how you create the monitors. However, the underlying implementation of system monitors on 7.2 is significantly different than that of management central system monitors. Both implementations use Collection Services as the data source for the monitor metric data, but on 7.1 and earlier, Management Central obtained the metric data directly from the management collection object; on 7.2 the metric data is obtained from Collection Services database files.

Another significant difference is how you view the monitor graphs; with Navigator for i, you use the Performance Data Investigator (PDI) to view the monitor metric data. You can launch directly to PDI from the monitor itself, as shown in the following image.

In addition, PDI has a new Monitors content package where you can investigate monitor data.

PDI currently does not have the ability to automatically refresh the data in the monitor graph, so you have to manually refresh the graph with the Refresh button that was added. But the really nice thing about using PDI as the interface for viewing monitor data is that you have the same user interface to view monitor data as well as more detailed Collection Services data.

An improved interface to visualize monitor data was introduced in the 7.3 release and was also taken back to 7.2.

Finally, the system monitors in 7.2 have slightly different metrics to select from; obsolete metrics regarding IOP utilization can no longer be monitored, and there are several new metrics you can chose to monitor, such as temporary storage utilization, spooled file creation rate, and shared processor pool utilization, HTTP requests, and others.

This blog post was edited for currency on April 12, 2020.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.