AAG – Your Questions Answered!

AAG – Nagios Monitoring for IBM i – Q&A

AAG is a complete solution to integrate your IBM i into any Nagios monitoring configuration. The solution has various components that work for different environments. Due to this, the various scenarios it might be difficult to understand. The Q&A below might clarify how it all fits together!

Check out Shield Advanced’s AAG Nagios Monitoring for IBM i

AAG already offers more than 135 data points including Mimix, PowerHA, BRMS, HMC, HA4i and EM4i specific check commands, and customers are pleased to see this. Get onboard with AAG early and help steer the product forward, help us add content for your environment, as more areas are covered.

If you would like a demo, or still have questions, connect with us – Request a Demo

What are the minimal requirements for AAG?

IBM I OS version 7.1 or later

What is included with AAG?

AAG is a total solution which is made up of a Linux distribution of Nagios Core, a Nagios plugin for the IBM i and an IBM i LPP for the responder jobs, also included is a Nagios wizard for Nagios XI customers.

Shield also provides the option of a pre-built and configured Raspberry Pi ready to monitor your environment that can be shipped directly to your location. Contact Shield to find out more.

Are there different ways to use AAG?

Some clients are already running a Nagios server so all that is needed is to add the AAG plugin for Nagios XI.

If you don’t have Nagios XI, you can use a Linux server/VM to build out a Nagios Core environment and add the Nagios plug-in we provide. Shield can also provide a Linux ISO pre-built with Nagios Core alongside helpful features such as Nagios TV and NConf.

Another option if you do not have a Linux server handy, Shield can provide a service to ship you a Raspberry Pi that has been pre-configured and comes with an default setup for monitoring your environment.

Each of the above options requires you to install NG4i on each IBM i LPAR you would like to monitor.

Some clients are using a Raspberry Pi – why would I need that?

To have your monitoring separate from other in-house servers, Shield provides a pre-configured Raspberry Pi. This allows you to plug Nagios Monitoring into your infrastructure at an affordable cost while keeping a separation between your Servers and the monitoring tool. Raspberry Pis are a very cost-effective and reliable way to implement a Linux server into your environment.

Why did Shield develop their own plugin?

IBM provides a Java Based plugin for Nagios Core and Nagios XI, this was developed and maintained by IBM and provided through Nagios Exchange. There are other plugins available via the Nagios Exchange which have not been updated for many years and cover very little in terms of what should be required for this kind of solution. We decided to develop our own solution to provide a high level of support and modern functionality that adds the IBM i to the already formidable list of platforms and infrastructure that can be monitored. Having the ability to get notifications reduces the overhead required to manage your IBM i. That saves you money.

What makes AAG easy to install?

Shield provides a pre-built Linux ISO along with automated initial configuration. If you choose to use Shields Raspberry Pi offering you receive a pre-built appliance that can monitor your infrastructure within minutes of being installed. If you already have Nagios XI/Core running, Shield provides automated scripts to add AAG or a wizard for Nagios XI will configuring each IBM i that you wish to monitor. The IBM i plug-in installs as an IBM Licensed Program Product) LPP which requires minimal configuration and comes with a 30 day trial. Quick, simple, easy.

It installs as an IBM LLP – what is that?

An IBM Licensed Program Product (LPP) is installed in the same way you would install the Operating system LPP’s using the RSTLICPGM command. All licensing and update processes follow the same path as the OS using License Keys and PTFs so you don’t have to learn additional commands to carry out the installation and management.

Where can you view your system status?

You can view your system status from your desktop, server room monitor, on your tablet or phone – so anywhere you need. You will also be notified via email or pushover if there are alerts which need your attention.

We suggest using Nagios TV where you can quickly view an overview, or drill down into information about a particular alert. We have also implemented the Pushover API in order to push notifications of alerts to your phone or desktop while you’re on the move.

Why/how does it save operator time?

The main advantage of monitoring your systems with AAG is that you gain an At A Glance view of your infrastructure with color coded visuals to alert you to any issues promptly. Using AAG you are able to avoid signing into your IBM i to see a simple status and you are able to see an entire overview on one screen. Alongside all these features, Shield provides modern notification functionality to alert your admins of an issue with the system while they are on the move or busy focusing on another task. With the correct set up of alerts in Nagios, you will be able to react to issues before they become critical and bring the system down. This not only frees up your system admins time to work on other pressing issues rather than monitoring the small details of the system, but it also ensures nothing slips through the cracks.

HA4i / EM4i specific monitors

AAG integrates with Shield’s High Availability and Message Monitoring solutions by design. Using AAG you will be able to check that EM4i notifications have been handled so that no issues slip between the cracks. Stay informed of your (HA4i, MiMiX, PowerHA) replication status, without having to sign into a 5250 screen by using getting notifications directly to your phone of laptop etc. when a process steps outside configured norms.

At A Glance – what does this mean?

Alerts provide information about a specific issue that needs attention but having the ability to see an overall view of you environment via a single screen provides the user with the big picture.

Nagios TV is an Open source product that improves on the Nagios Core interfaces allowing you to monitor everything through a single screen. The colour-coded visual cues and audible alerts provide an At A Glance view of everything that is being monitored.

Which language does Shield use to program?

Shield is primarily a C programing shop, this provides a number of advantages when we are working with Open Source products and developing across multiple platforms. Having C skills allows us to use many other languages which have similar constructs as well, so we can provide the solution using the best language for the job. Some of our products require PHP, JavaScript CLP, UIM and Java which we will use where it makes the most sense. We believe that any programing language is just a tool, use it for the right reason!

How secure is using AAG?

We provide Secure communications both for external and internal connections. We also restrict any communications into the IBM i by writing the processes so that they reach out for the information. Nothing is entirely safe from attack, but we try to mitigate the risk as much as possible.

How much does AAG cost?

Pricing is subscription-based for the IBM i LPP  at around $54 USD per instance, per month, renewable annually.

Find more information about AAG Nagios Monitoring for IBM i

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.