The new iteration of our comprehensive monitoring solution, QSystem Monitor, allows you to manage your IBM i systems even more efficiently.
Here’s what you need to know about the most important new functionality in Release 6.
Access Controls: Authority
R6 of QSystem Monitor now features a full-access control system (i.e., Authority). While QSystem Monitor has always had security in the sense that you need to specify a valid user profile and password to use the PC software, once you were past that initial hurdle you had full access to all of QSystem Monitor’s configuration and any system’s real-time data.
So, any user who was connected to the host was able to add or remove data definitions, and to change the existing ones. The same applied for thresholds. Any user who was able to display one system’s data was able to do so for any other monitored system.
In a perfect world, there would be no issue with that. But in the real world, it is an issue. In a perfect world, we need never lock our doors. In the real world, we have to. So what we did was to put locks on QSystem Monitor (and give you the keys).
QSystem Monitor Authority is the perfect fit for your organization if you:
- Have different layers of system operators (e.g., in-house or outsourced) where you want only one layer to have full visibility into the system and full control of the QSystem Monitor configuration
- Manage multiple customer systems, each of which needing to view their own system’s information but not those of other customers
- Have semi-technical users who need to display performance data but not change the QSystem Monitor configuration
After upgrading to R6, you will notice this addition to the GUI, which shows as a new section on the Home tab of the ribbon:
By default, Authority is turned off, and the product allows everybody access to configuration and real-time data for any system once they are connected.
To turn on Authority, select Log On and log on as QSECOFR (with the password of a QSECOFR user profile on one of your systems). This will enroll QSECOFR as a user in Authority, and will turn on Authority.
Immediately after you enabled Authority, QSystem Monitor configuration can only be changed by users who are logged on to Authority. (“Logged on” here means “logged on” to Authority. In contrast, “connected” just means you are connected to the host and can communicate with it.)
At this point, configuration is display-only for those who are not logged on. If you try to change the configuration without authorization, you are politely but firmly declined:
System data can still be displayed by anyone at this stage. In order to limit access to system data, use the various options available in Authority, such as System Authorities, Authorised Users, Authorised User Groups, and Authority Lists.
We will have a separate article about this in the future, but use the F1 help as your starting point for the new functionality. You can find the section on Authority in the F1 help for the Monitor module, under Organizing the Data Being Monitored > Authority.
Note that this brings security in QSystem Monitor to the same level as QMessage Monitor, which has had this kind of access control for some time already.
Performance Information for Physical Disks
For a long time, QSystem Monitor has reported information about both the ASPs as a whole and about the individual physical disks that make up the ASPs. This information can be accessed in the ASP View in the Monitor module. What we have done in R6 was add additional information for the physical disks there.
The table below shows what we had and what we’ve added:
|Per-Physical-Disk-Info||Pre-V13R6||V13R6 and Onwards|
|Number of Read Requests/Second||X|
|Number of Write Requests/Second||X|
|Amount of Data Read/Second (KB)||X|
|Amount of Data Write/Second (KB)||X|
|Percent of Time Busy||X|
|Location and Connection Information
(Bus #, Board #Card#, IO/Bus ä,
Controller Address, Device Address, Position,
Frame, Card Position, Resource)
This addition is the result of a customer request. They’d added shiny new SSD drives to their IBM i and wanted to see how full and how busy they were.
If a user can determine from here that the Used % values vary too much between disks, the user can run the Start ASP Balance command to distribute the data more evenly across the disks.
The information we show mirrors that shown on the green screen in the Work with Disk Status, but here you have the benefit of its integration into the QSystem Monitor GUI.
Redundant Library Report
This is a new green screen report that also came via customer request. It draws on the same data as the Disk Summary, MONDSKINQ, MONDSKADT, and MONLIBRPT. Description from the F1 help:
“This command prints a summary report of libraries containing redundant objects. An object is considered redundant if it has not been used for more than a certain number of days.
Enter the number of days after which an object will be considered redundant.”
This command goes into the data from the disk collection and checks which libraries contain objects that have not been used in more than x days. It outputs a report that per library lists the number and size of objects in the library, and then the number and size of the redundant objects in that library.
The command creates the report in a spooled file named QSYSPRT, user data MONRLBRPT. The report looks like this:
Note library OLDSTUFF.
Other Changes & Additions
The Auto-Colour functionality in the Detailed History had gotten lost when we moved from Version 12.50 to Version 13. Now Auto-Colour is back. Auto-Colour is used when Translated mode is enabled. It automatically assigns a high-contrast color palette to the different threshold ranges displayed in Translated mode, making it easier to understand the chart.
We also made some small tweaks to the installer GUI:
- When the installer has detected the IP of the system you are installing on or upgrading, it will show you the detected IP (e.g., 192.168.3.72).
- We have also moved the “TCP Port” and “QSystem Monitor Port” fields. Very few people need them. They can be displayed by selecting Advanced.
- If objects are locked during the install, and you are asked to remove the locks, then the button to retry is now labeled “Retry” instead of “Next”.
We made improvements to the Limited-Lock mode of the disk collection. We also were able to confirm that Limited-Lock mode runs best if the Parallel Processing level of the disk collection is set to a low value. So if you are using Limited-Lock now, set the Parallel Processing level of the disk collection to 2. If you are additionally using Real-Time Disk (wow!), set its “Parallel job count” to 1.
Fix for installer for when a remote system has QALWOBJRST set to 3, but the host has set it to some other value.
Release 6 is bound to improve your systems management. If you are already on Version 13, you should upgrade right away. It shouldn’t take long. If you are still on Version 12.50, now is the best time to perform the upgrade.
May all your systems run well!