Most checks that you can configure in Robot Monitor are IBM i-specific, but there is one important exception: the ping check. A ping can check any device that is available over the network and that can respond to a ping. That device can be another IBM i server, but it can also be a Windows server, a Linux server, a network router, or, if you are a bank, an ATM. They all speak the universal language of the ping. And, Robot Monitor can use it to determine if the device is up and running, as well the connection latency.
Configuring a Ping Check
To set up a ping check:
Start the Monitor module on your PC and connect to the host system. Ensure that the Item Selection bar is displayed.
Click the Monitor something new button at the bottom end of the Item Selection bar:
This brings up the Data Definition dialog box. Set the Filter drop-down list to “Communications Performance” or “*All”:
Select "TCP Ping" in the Monitor Type drop-down list:
Type the address of the device you want to check in the TCP/IP Address field:
You can also enter the device's name instead of its numerical address:
You can even enter the name of an external server:
This works as long as the names can be name-resolved on your IBM i, that is, DNS must be configured.
Tip: Right-click the TCP/IP Address field and select Multiple from the menu. This allows you to enter several addresses and names in a row. This is great for bulk-creating ping checks.
- Configure the other settings as follows:
Collection Job Priority: Leave blank (this is only used in exceptional circumstances).
All Systems/System Name: If you only want to ping from one or more selected systems, clear the check mark by “All Systems” and select only those systems from which the ping check is to be performed.
Collection Frequency: You can set how often the ping check is done. Each integer represents a 30-second increment. Therefore, a setting of “1” means every 30 seconds. “2” means every 2x30 = 60 seconds, “3” is 90 seconds, and so on. Use this if you don’t need to the ping to be updated often.
Then click OK to save the settings and create the new element. The new element is displayed in the Item Selection bar, under the TCP Ping node:
From there, drag and drop the element to the chart on the right-hand side to display it:
Placing Ping Elements in a Group of Their Own
Placing related elements inside a group is a best practice for Robot Monitor.
A group is shown as a subwindow. When you first install Robot Monitor, any system view already contains two groups: one for bars such as CPU, and one for the text definitions. You can create an additional group to hold your ping elements.
To create a group:
- Right-click anywhere in the view window. From the right-click menu, select Group, then select Create New Group.
- Use these settings:
- Group Type: Text Group.
- Group Name: “Ping Checks”.
- Short Description: “Pings”.
- Create in System only: selected.
- Click OK. The group is created.
- Add your ping checks to it by dragging them from the Item Selection bar to the group.