Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New video on creating Dashboards using the Tivoli Portal

I've made my first foray into the world of Youtube. I created a video that discusses and then shows an interactive example of how you can build an integrated management and monitoring Dashboard using OMEGAMON and the Tivoli Enterprise Portal. What I did was I created an example that shows how you can pull together information from multiple monitoring agents (z/OS, CICS, DB2), and place that information on a single display.

I have plans to create other relevant videos as we go along. I think that videos can be a great way to show customization and usage scenarios.

I've added an area for links on the right for my videos. There is also a link to the Dashboard video below:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IBM's mainframe-blade hybrid to do Windows

Here's a link to an interesting article in the UK press that talks about what is happening with the z196 zEnterprise mainframe. The focus of the article is on the zBX technology, and what IBM is doing to support AIX, Linux, and Windows in this environment. It's an interesting read from a 3rd party. Here's the link:

Friday, January 21, 2011

An even cooler SOAP example

So far I've shown examples of how you can use the SOAP client to issue SOAP requests into the ITM infrastructure and the results of those requests. But, there is quite a bit more you can do with the SOAP interface. For example, you can issue a SOAP request from the 'Action' tab in the situation editor. In other words, when a situation is true, OMEGAMON can automatically execute a SOAP request.

Here I show an example of how this is done. When my EW_DB2_Test situation is true it will issue the following command (note - the XML file needs to be in the -hilev-\CMS\html directory):


In the example I show that when EW_DB2_Test is true it will execute an XML file, and within that XML file it will issue the CT_Activate method, and it will work similar to the example on my earlier CT_Activate post.

Once you know how to set this up, it's easy and works quite well.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another SOAP example - CT_Activate

Here's another interesting example of what you can do with the SOAP interface to ITM. The CT_Activate method allows you to activate a situation. In the example I show how you can activate a situation called EW_Demo_Sit.

In the SOAP IE client I select the CT_Activate method. In the payload field I enter the XML detail for the method (the hub, the name of the situation, etc.). Once I click 'Make SOAP Request' I then see EW_Demo_Sit being activated in the Tivoli Portal (see the example).

The CT_Activate method is a potentially useful way to start situations, when required. There is a corresponding CT_Deactivate method to use for stopping situations. Potential uses for this technique could include starting/stopping situations to manage alerts that are only required for certain time of day/day of week scenarios. This would be an alternative to using policies to manage the start up and shut down of situations. It works well, and it's convenient and easy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SOAP example - The CT_GET method

IBM provides some useful SOAP methods with ITM monitoring Web services. The provided methods allow you to dynamically query information and control the ITM monitoring environment.

Let's start with a straightforward example where we are going to query some monitoring information using the CT_GET method. The CT_GET method enables you to receive a group of XML objects or individual XML objects from any ITM monitoring agent. You can use this to obtain real time data from the ITM infrastructure.

ITM also provides a SOAP client to issue the SOAP requests. The client can be either a command line utility (not supported on z/OS though) or executed through Internet Explorer. To start the client in IE you would type in a URL, such as in the following example:


Once you get the client screen back (as I show in the example), you can select a method (such as CT_GET), and pass the additional needed parameters (such as the hub, and the information you want to get).

In the example, we are requesting information from the NT_System table from the Windows OS monitoring agent. On the right of the screen we see the information fields coming back from the agent.

Once you understand it, the SOAP interface is straight forward, and has some useful capabilities. Note that this same SOAP interface is being exploited by such IBM tools as System Automation to interface with ITM monitoring.

I will show some additional examples in subsequent posts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New link for SOAP

On the right under Useful Links I added a link to a nice document "Using IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.1 SOAP Services". This document is a nice tutorial on XML and using SOAP in IBM Tivoli Monitoring.

Getting Started using Tivoli Monitoring Web Services

To get started using Tivoli Monitoring Web Services you first need to configure the Tivoli Monitoring infrastructure to enable Web Services (SOAP) support. Don't assume that this option has been enabled by default.

In the example I have shown, here we see how to enable the ITM infrastructure for SOAP in a Windows environment. From the Manage Tivoli Services window, right click on the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server (TEMS) entry, and then select the 'Advanced' option followed by the 'Configure Soap Server Hub' option from the pop up menus in Windows. You will then get a pop up window where you can enter the information on the SOAP configuration. Here you will enter information such as the Hub name, location, and IP port number. Note such things as the Alias name, you will need that for the IBM provided methods that I will demonstrate on later posts.

Once you enter the required information, be aware that Manage Tivoli Services will want to re-cycle the TEMS, so do this at a time where that is acceptable.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Using Tivoli Monitoring Web Services

The Web Services support that is included as part of the IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) infrastructure, is a useful, but commonly overlooked component of the tool. Certain add on components, such as ITMSUPER, that I've talked about earlier use Web Services support. But, there is quite a bit more you can do with the Web Services capability.

IBM provides out of the box quite a few SOAP methods with IBM Tivoli Monitoring Web services. These methods allow you to dynamically query and control IBM Tivoli Monitoring
environments. Using IBM’s SOAP methods, you can:
- Stop or start policies and situations
- Forward trapped messages to Universal Message console
- Retrieve attribute data that you can display in charts or reports
- Open and close events
- Make real-time requests for monitoring agent data

The SOAP support can be employed as part of situation and policy support. You can also retrieve data and store it in the Tivoli Data Warehouse (TDW).

There are some supplied commands and tools you can use to test web services calls, and to get a better understading of what you can do with ITM monitoring and Web Services. I will next do a series of posts that cover Web Services, and how to set up and use them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming System z Technology Summits

Want to learn more about System z and zEnterprise? IBM is putting on a series of System z Technology summits. There will be in-depth sessions on zEnterprise, DB2, CICS, application development, and data center operations/management. Learn more about what's happening with z/OS V1.12, the new zEnterprise, DB2 V10, CICS and much more.

The event will happen at multiple locations:
Toronto, ON -- January 27, 2011
Dallas, TX -- February 8, 2011
San Francisco, CA -- February 10, 2011
Washington, DC -- February 15, 2011
Atlanta, GA -- February 17 2011
New York City -- March 8, 2011
Costa Mesa, CA -- March 15, 2011

It's looks like a very nice in-depth event, and to sign up for event here's the URL: