IBM, popularly known as Big Blue, is one of the most recognized brands in the world. And rightfully so, considering their role in many of our technological innovations over the past century.

IBM is among the top 5 vendors for servers and storage devices—commanding a major market share for both the products despite their recent shift of focus towards computing innovations like quantum computing. IBM also makes other hardware devices like routers, switches, printers, load balancers, and firewalls. Whether it’s the past or the present, IBM has always been a prominent market presence.

Challenges associated with IBM monitoring

Without proper monitoring and visibility, IBM devices might be liable to issues that could impact your network and cause downtime. A network monitoring tool can help you detect problems and solve them proactively. But even then there are some challenges to get around:

  • Device discovery and onboarding is a time-consuming task.

  • Network monitoring tools don’t support many device types.

  • There is a proliferation of duplicate alerts and false positives.

  • The mean time to repair (MTTR) is too high.

  • There’s a lack of visibility into hardware health performance.

What if there was a single solution for all of these problems? Sounds too good to be true? Well, read on, as the rest of this blog details how ManageEngine OpManager can help you deal with these challenges, especially for your IBM devices.

What makes OpManager a cut above the rest?

Automate device discovery and onboarding: Device onboarding can be a tough nut to crack—especially given the different types of devices that you’d want to monitor. Your IBM devices alone would include servers, RAIDs, switches, routers, firewalls, and so on. OpManager simplifies this with its discovery rule engine where you can automate mass onboarding. Rules can be set for actions like adding a monitor, adding devices to groups, or adding notification channels.

Leverage device templates to reduce deployment time: Device templates contain information such as the device type, category, vendor, and a unique vendor assigned ID. You can configure monitors and monitoring settings for templates. Let’s see an example: if you set up a template for an IBM webserver with a monitor for checking the CPU usage every 10 minutes, then all discovered IBM servers will be assigned to this template.

Templates allow OpManager to classify all discovered devices neatly in its inventory. OpManager supports over 10,000 device types, with some 50 IBM device templates ready to be used out of the box. You can also create custom templates for niche applications.

Optimize thresholds, reduce alert floods and false positives: OpManager has a handful of features that makes the difference when it comes to how an outage could affect your services. Network monitoring tools can flood your system with alerts if your thresholds aren’t optimized for changing network activity. Imagine you have to find a needle in a haystack, and a truck keeps on unloading a ton of hay every minute!

OpManager has an adaptive thresholds feature which studies network performance and automatically sets thresholds to suit changing network activity. In the earlier analogy, OpManager is the large magnet that sweeps up that needle.

Fault resolution and identification features to reduce MTTR: For enterprise networks, even optimized thresholds produce tons of alerts. To find the actual root cause, you have to correlate the data. The root cause analysis feature takes care of this; displaying device metrics side by side to compare and correlate. Once you find the fault, it’s time to resolve them. OpManager’s automated workflows lets you automate server fault resolution and restore services in no time.

Keep tabs on device hardware performance: Server hardware operations tracks very close with its performance. A damaged fan can lead to inefficient cooling, which affects CPU performance and slows down the server functions. The consequent loss of revenue and reputation from this slowdown can be avoided with a hardware monitor. OpManager’s hardware monitors can keep track of system temperature, processor clock speed, power status, etc. You can generate reports to get an overview of their performance over time and use graphs to visualize this data.

IBM server monitoring with OpManager

OpManager is equipped with specialized monitors for diverse IBM server types and software. For instance, say you have an IBM AIX mail server running on Windows. You can set general monitors like CPU utilization, memory usage, and disk space. But you can also set specific WMI monitors for logs, files, folders, and Windows services. You’d have mail server monitors like average mail delivery time. And you’d have IBM-specific monitors. Similarly, OpManager has specific monitors for other server types, OSs, and vendors.

IBM storage device monitoring with OpManager

OpManager can monitor RAIDs, tape libraries, FC switches, and other IBM storage solutions. Storage devices need constant monitoring as they often store valuable data. OpManager has specific storage monitors for different IBM storage devices. You can monitor different physical storage disks, and logical unit numbers (LUNs). Storage hardware monitors are available for keeping track of storage chassis, battery, cooling fan, and power supply. Storage forecast reports analyze storage usage and use trends to predict future usage levels. This can be beneficial in capacity planning.

Monitoring IBM switches, routers, and other network devices

OpManager has extensive monitors to keep track of network devices like routers, switches, wireless devices, printers, and firewalls. You can monitor their availability and performance and use multilevel thresholds to be notified of discrepancies. With the IP manager tool, you can monitor IP address utilization, map switch ports, and detect the rogue devices connected to the network. Another advanced feature is the IPSLA monitor which ensures that you don’t violate the service level agreements for VoIP, video streaming, and WAN networks.

Monitoring IBM applications

As ManageEngine’s in-house application monitoring software, Applications Manager seamlessly monitors IBM applications like- IBM WebSphere Application Server, IBM WebSphere MQ IBM DB2, IBM WebSphere Message Broker, IBM i (formerly known as AS400) and IBM HTTP Server. Applications Manager plugin with OpManager combines the features of both products in OpManager’s unified console to give you comprehensive IBM monitoring.

Ready to monitor?

A network monitoring tool with extensive vendor support and advanced monitoring tools can make all the difference in the event of an outage. Read more about IBM monitoring on our page. Whether it’s IBM devices, or any other vendor types or device types, OpManager ensures consistent uptime and peak performance. Download OpManager or try our free 30-day trial to find out for yourself.