Traveling To The Cloud – Showcase Bluemix and APM

After connecting IBM Bluemix Monitoring service with IBM Application Performance Management (APM), IT operation teams can take control of the application with their well known tool set. Find the details on how to connect IBM Bluemix with APM in one of my previous blog entries.

DevOps teams could use this environment to gather information on the application behavior in the area of their specific responsibility.

Also the line of business managers could find required information on the availability and usage of the applications serving their business.

And IT operations can tie together all different IT service resources (the services) to a comprehensive picture to manage all in one place and integrate it with their existing ITIL processes, based on the event management system.

APM also integrates the data from on-premises systems and allows IT operation teams to get everything under control in one place.

With IBM Bluemix we have a powerful cloud environment to deploy mission critical applications, including services to monitor your deployed application. With IBM Application Performance Management (APM), IBM offers an enterprise-class monitoring solution, where users can monitor their traditional data center as well as their Cloud based resources in one place.

In this article I describe, how to integrate the IBM Bluemix environment into an existing APM environment.

The picture above shows all managed components in my test lab. It shows on premise resources as well as resources from IBM Bluemix.

I defined applications, to get views limited to specific resources serving dedicated applications.

  • The Trade application shows my implementation of Trade, which is hosted on my local running WebSphere Application Server instances and on IBM Bluemix.

  • WebSphere MQ Application is a collection of resources implementing and serving my IBM MQ Demo application.

  • Monitoring Systems contains all server components hosting my monitoring infrastructure servers.

With that grouping I am able to quickly oversea the status of my applications and more important, I’m able to allow access to different users and user groups to view and act on this data.

I also implemented event forwarding from my APM installation to my running IBM Netcool OMNIbus instance for further event processing and to be able to attach alarming.

IBM Netcool OMNIbus is the workplace for IT operators. With that tool in place event management becomes an actionable discipline. By adding cognitive and predictive functions a lot of event reduction and automation could be implemented increasing the productivity of IT operations.

Finally, I used the IBM Alert Manager service on IBM Bluemix to send out alarms if something critical goes wrong.

I prepared this demo for our show case at the IBM booth for CeBIT 2017. The demo is presented at demo point 86. Join me live at CeBIT.

If you have any further questions regarding the IBM Bluemix System Management services and the integration into IBM Application Performance Management, drop me a message.

Follow me on Twitter @DetlefWolf, or drop me a discussion point below to continue the conversation.

Eight steps to migrate IBM Agent Builder solutions

With the introduction of IBM Monitoring V8 a complete new user interface has been introduced and the agents also changed in the way how communicating with the server.

That implies, that all existing Agent Builder solutions you created have also to change. Agents created for your ITM V6 deployment have also to be adopted.

In this article I want to give a sample for one of my agent builder solutions, I’ve created for OpenVPN. I extend the solution in that way, that I can use it under ITM V6 as well as under APM V8.

The work to be performed is pretty limited. The documentation describes a few major prerequisites, to successfully deploy your agent to a IBM Performance Management infrastructure:

  • A minimum of one attribute group to be used generate an agent status overview dashboard.

  • These single row attribute group (or groups) will be used to provide the four other required fields for this overview

    • A status indicator for the overall service quality

    • A port number, where the service is provided

    • A host name where the agent service located

    • An IP address where the monitored service resides

For more details, please consult the documentation.

In my situation, these attributes were not provided with my ITM V6 agent builder solution. So I expanded my existing solution:

  1. Changing the version number of my agent builder solution (optional)

  2. Create a new data source “openvpnstatus_sh”, which is a script data provider delivering one single line with all attributes defined to it.

  3. The attribute “ReturnCode” will be used later on to describe the overall status of my OpenVPN server. So I have to define the good value and the bad value (see documentation for more details)

  4. Make sure, that the check box under Self Describing Agent is activated.

  5. Run the Dashboard Setup Wizard to produce the dashboard views