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MainView Middleware Mgmt

12 Posts authored by: Terry House
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Did you ever want to see how the execution groups are performing within your WebSphere Message Broker without having to go through performance data execution group by execution group? Did you?

 

Well as it turns out, BMC Middleware Monitoring has the data and in 5 minutes you can add it to your broker view in BMM.

The out-of-the-box view for a message broker provides you with some basic information about the broker. The broker name, status, uuid, and queue manager name are all important pieces of information.

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With a few simple, quick edits, you can add a tab with a child summary table showing key performance indicators for the execution groups running on the broker.

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At the same time, you can enable the drill down button in front of each execution group in the table to give you a pop-up summary table of KPIs for the message flows deployed to that execution group!

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To view the detailed performance metrics, you will still want to use the navigation tree to pull up the views of the various objects but these simple to add summary tables will assist you in zeroing in on a potential problem.

 

If you would like to know how to do this, comment on this blog or send an email to me (thouse@bmc.com) or contact your friendly neighborhood BMC BMM SC.

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Now that you successfully implemented your BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM) solution and are generating alerts for problems detected in your WebSphere MQ (WMQ), DataPower, WebSphere Message Broker (WMB), TIBCO EMS, and WebLogic Application Server environments; you have successfully reduced the number of and duration of outages. Using the out-of-the-box integration with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Monitor (BPPM), the alerts are being directed to the correct teams and resolved in a timely manner. However, when you're logged onto the Management Console in BMM, it's not always easy to determine which alerts are for which area.

One of your friendly neighborhood BMC software consultants has come up with an easy way to tell by just looking. He suggests that you color code your alerts in the management console alerts screen. The choice of colors is up to you but one suggestion would be to use the blue for your WMQ alerts, green for your WMB alerts, wait for your DataPower alerts, and so forth. This method makes it easy to visually determine which alerts are for which group.

If you'd like to know more about implementing this solution, you can respond to this blog or simply e-mail your BMC software consultant.

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Once upon a time, a little programmer wrote a letter to Santa. The letter never arrived and the little programmer was broken hearted. Santa was not pleased because he wanted everyone who believed in him and wrote to  him to be happy. If only Santa had a way to track those letters and alert him when they got lost or some elf fell asleep and didn't process it.

 

Well, if Santa talks to his BMC Account team, they could offer him the world class BMC Application Performance Management solution and his problems would be solved.

 

Interested in how our APM solution works? Watch the attached demo and then contact your BMC account team to learn more.

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Sure, you’re already using BMC Middleware Management. But are you aware of everything it can really do?

 

Join us at the Middleware Management Lunch and Learn hosted by the BMC Middleware Management (BMM) group to discover tips and tricks and get a better understanding of new roadmaps and technology.

 

This pre-Halloween event will take place on October 30th from 12 PM - 5 PM CST.

 

We’ll also take an in-depth look at the features and functions of the latest versions of BMC Middleware Management (BMM), BMC Application
Transaction Tracing (BATT) and BMC Middleware Administration (BMA)
, and how they can help you:

 

 

 

  • Ensure application performance across all your platforms
  • Speed troubleshooting and facilitate audits by logging all user activity
  • Improve productivity with simplified transactions
  • Automate and proactively manage your middleware environment
  • Reduce costs through reliable monitoring and secure self-service

 

You’ll also be able to network with peers and hear how they’re managing their middleware. We hope to see you there.

 

 

Agenda:

12:00 pm

Lunch & Networking

1:00 pm

BMM and BATT 7.0 Presentation and demo - Terry House

(including integration into BPPM and EUEM)

2:30 pm

BMA Presentation and demo - Terry House

(Secure self-service middleware administration)

3:30 pm

Roadmap presentation – April Hickel

4:00 pm

Open forum

 

Can’t join us in person? We will be providing a WebEx link so you can join remotely. Please share this invite with anyone in your organization you think would benefit by attending.

 

Don't have BMM today? Join us and learn about BMM from the experts, our customers!

 

The attached document has the details and registration information.

 

Costumes are optional!

 

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In a previous blog , DataPower® Monitoring Privileges Explained, I discussed the access level needed by the BMC Middleware Monitoring extension to monitor DataPower®. I thought it would be helpful to provide a step-by-step guide for setting up the Group/Userid on the DataPower® appliance and updating the monitoring extension's configuration file. The attached  PowerPoint contains the instructions and screen shots to walk you through the process. The beginning of the PowerPoint contains our monitoring configuration and some of the WebSphere DataPower® Attributes that are of typical Interest.

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In today's complex world of data processing where users expect instant results, middleware plays an increasingly important role. From checking the balance of bank accounts, redeeming awards on frequent flyer or hotel loyalty accounts, making online rental car reservations, shopping online, or simply keeping in touch with friends through social media; middleware is the glue that keeps our modern life's information flowing.

 

Monitoring and managing this environment can become time consuming for administrators. Looking through logs, handling user calls, and making changes to the environment to keep pace with business requirements can keep you from doing needed maintenance or upgrades to stay current and creating environments for new mission-critical applications. If you miss one problem like a channel being down or a queue filling up, you are at risk of not only losing revenue for your company but also customers.

 

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In this fast-paced ever-changing environment, you need a tool that not only meets your needs today but can also grow as your processing environments change. The BMC Middleware Management suite is comprised of three separately licensed solutions which allow you to add solutions as your needs change. These solutions are BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM), BMC Application Transaction Tracing (BATT), and BMC Middleware Administration (BMA). Together, they provide a complete solution for your middleware needs that offers distinct advantages.

 

BMC Middleware Monitoring

BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM) allows you to monitor and manage messaging-oriented middleware technologies like WebSphere MQ and TIBCO EMS; application servers like WebSphere Application Server and Oracle BEA WebLogic; Enterprise Service Bus' like WebSphere Message Broker; WebSphere DataPower, and TIBCO BusinessWork. This solution provides you the ability to use a single console to manage middleware performance monitoring and automation across platforms, across the enterprise. Through the use of customizable triggers, an early warning system of conditions that could affect business operations can be created with alerts forwarded to e-mail, SNMP, or logs. Out-of-the-box integration for events is provided for BMC Event Management, HP OpenView, and IBM Tivoli. Through the use of real-time views of performance data, you can quickly assess the health and application use of middleware technology. BMM uses BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) to provide out-of-the-box and customizable charts and reports to find trends or peak hours of operation. You can develop strategies to manage these trends, predict future requirements and analyze system issues. Integration with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management provides the ability to create service models to show business impact and dynamic base line alerting.

 

BMC Application Transaction Tracing

BMC Application Transaction Tracing (BATT) monitors transactions to ensure service-level adherence and is fully integrated with  BMC Middleware Monitoring. By using BATT, you can proactively identify transaction issues before they impact business service delivery. This solution provides “hop to hop” visibility of transactions across platforms throughout your IT infrastructure and allows you to pinpoint problems and the specific technology tier where they are occurring. The performance and business impact information is presented on easy-to-read dashboards. Using the integrated reports, BATT facilitates charge back reporting and meets audit and compliance requirements. you can automatically alert on and find delayed, failed, or missing transactions. With BMC Application Transaction Tracing, you will be able to speed mean time to resolution (MTTR), improve availability by avoiding unplanned outages, reduce costs by finding and fixing problems quickly, minimize risks associated with application latencies and outages, and monitor and create events based on the content of the transaction. BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM) and BMC Application Transaction Tracing (BATT) both give you the ability to create application focused, customized dashboards that will allow you to view the health of the middleware infrastructure specific to your mission-critical applications.

 

BMC Middleware Administration

BMC Middleware Administration (BMA) gives you secure, self-service middleware administration. With BMA, you can view and manage the full set of middleware objects in WebSphere MQ and TIBCO Enterprise Message Service (EMS) environments from one web-based gui. Using a project based structure, authorized users can be allowed to perform all administrative and configuration tasks for WebSphere MQ and TIBCO EMS from a Web browser, eliminating the need to log on to each host. This security model  enables you to group infrastructure objects to provide secure profiles of objects to users and to make navigation faster and easier. BMA assures secure, project-based access so your users can access only the objects relevant to their role or application without spending time setting up complex OAM security authorizations in WebSphere MQ. The BMA solution is agent-less and runs on a single server to provide users access to all of the product’s functions from their desktops – even the administration/control functions. With BMC Middleware Administration, you will be able to enable quicker, more precise rollout of middleware environments, provide visualization of middleware objects at a project level, deliver accountability with an auditable WebSphere MQ/ TIBCO EMS change log, and enforce the use of middleware standards.

 

The BMC Middleware Management suite will allow you to improve your business service delivery and keep your customers coming back!

 

Contact your BMC account representative for a presentation or demo today.

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  The DataPower® XI50 and XI52 are appliances designed to act as Enterprise Service Buses  (ESBs) that take in messages from various sources (HTTP, MQ, TIBCO EMS, WAS SIB). You can configure Policies to handle each message type. Each Policy has a Request Rule and may have a Response Rule. The Request Rule can Accept or Reject Messages, apply transformations (XSL stylesheets) to the data, and route them to one or more targets (HTTP, MQ, EMS, SIB, File, IMSConnect, Database). Each policy is deployed to a given DataPower® Domain.


  The BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM) DataPower® Extension uses the IBM XML Management Interface to gather monitoring information from XI50 and XI52 DataPower® devices.  The BMM Extension periodically (customizable interval) sends SOAP formatted XML messages over HTTP to the XML Management Interface port of each configured DataPower® device.  This requires sending one query to gather the device properties and then an additional query for each domain.  The response from DataPower® is delivered in a similar SOAP formatted XML structure.


  As this information is gathered on a regular sample interval similar to every other BMM Extension, all the power of the BMC Middleware Monitoring product is immediately available to DataPower® BMM Extension users.

Key BMM capabilities for IBM DataPower® include:

 

  • Web-accessible performance reports
  • Real-time dashboards displaying the state of DataPower® hardware and performance
  • Integrated alerting and notification for DataPower® properties and performance
  • Auto-discovery across domains, which eases the user implementation significantly

In order to communicate with the XML Management Interface in this manner and gather the appropriate monitoring information, the DataPower® user that is used to connect from the BMM extension to the XML Management Interface port typically is configured with device administrative privileges.  However, if device administrative privileges are not available, it is still possible to successfully monitor DataPower® devices by using the Extension with a more limited set of privileges as described below. In order to monitor DataPower® using BMM with a non-administrative user, the user ID used to start the BMM DataPower® Monitoring Extension must be a member of a DataPower® group with the following permissions:

  • Login to the XML Management Interface for the default domain with read authority (deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r)
  • Read authority on all objects in the default domain (deviceIP/default/*?Access=r)

With these authorities, the extension will operate and correctly monitor the device level properties (CPU, Memory, Fan Speed, etc.) and the properties of all objects (multi-protocol gateways, etc.) deployed to the default domain.  These permissions are also sufficient for the extension to get the domain status properties (basic status, saveNeeded, traceOn , etc.). Additionally, the extension userid must have read authority to all objects on each domain that is to be monitored (deviceIP/DomainName/*?Access=r).  No errors will be thrown and no entries written to the log at the default log level if these permissions are not present, but no objects deployed to the domain will be discovered.  If the permissions of the user are reduced after discovery occurs, then the discovered objects will remain in the tree, but no new objects will be discovered and the properties of all previously discovered objects will remain at their last known values.For example:

To set up monitoring for a DataPower® appliiance with PROD, DEV, and TEST

domains you would need to assign the extension userid the following privileges (in addition to the default domain privileges) to monitor all three domains:

  • deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r  (read access to the xml-mgmt login for the default domain)
  • deviceIP/default/*?Access=r  (read access on the default domain for all objects)
  • deviceIP/PROD/*?/Access=r
  • deviceIP/DEV/*?/Access=r
  • deviceIP/TEST/*?/Access=r

If you want to monitor all domains within a DataPower® appliiance, you can use the following settings:

  • deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r  (read access to the xml-mgmt login for the default domain)
  • deviceIP/default/*?Access=r  (read access on the default domain for all objects)
  • deviceIP/*/*?/Access=r

 

For more information about our BMM DataPower® monitoring extension or any of the other components of the BMC Middleware Management family of solutions, contact your BMC Account Manager or Software Consultant .

 

(Special thanks to Eric, April, and Randall for providing the information used in this post!)

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Today is the day decided to start upgrading your BMC Middleware Monitoring software to version 7. You've read through the documentation and you've made a backup of your server set and database. You downloaded the software from the electronic product download site yesterday and are all set to begin. You proceed to shut down all of your agents and services. In doing so you realize you've got a few machines that you haven't installed agents on and on the systems that you do have agents installed on your not sure what version of the agents you have. Your BMC software consultant has told you that you don't need to upgrade all of your agents at the same time, the latest server set that you are installing will support back leveled agents as long as they aren't more than two releases old. You call your software consultant and asked him how you can determine the version of the individual agents. He tells you you can check the status of the agents in the management console and also see what version they are but since you've already shut down your agents you can also look in the agent log file and the version will be at the very beginning of it. He then recommends that you document your installation. You agree with him but really don't want to try to put together a document from scratch. Since he is your friendly neighborhood BMC Software consultant, he tells you he will e-mail you a Word doc template that you can use to document your install. When you receive the e-mail, you see that he not only has a section for your services, installed system, and ports; but he also has included a page for each agent with all the required information. In addition there is a section to document your event templates, history templates, and even issues you have open with BMC support. You wish you had this when you first installed BMC middleware monitoring as it would've your job a lot easier but you know moving forward this will make calls to the service center and your next upgrade a breeze to plan.

Is Something Burning?

Posted by Terry House Jan 17, 2013
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   You've just returned from your much deserved vacation where you spent five glorious days fly casting in the wilds of Montana. You're looking forward to a quiet day of catching up on e-mails.

 

   All of a sudden you see everyone running into the computer room, so you follow the crowd. You notice the smell of smoke emanating from the backend of your rack of DataPower appliances. It seems the fan in one of them failed overnight and no one knew. Fortunately, there was a failover appliance configured and your company lost no processing time. You did, however, lose an important piece of hardware. While waiting for the replacement to arrive and the IBM CE to install it, you wonder if there is anything that could have been done to prevent this. Since DataPower is part of the WebSphere family, maybe your BMC Middleware Monitoring product suite can help you here. Upon reviewing the agents manual, you discover that there is an support for WebSphere DataPower. You make a call to your BMC SC and he makes arrangements to get a temporary key so you can try the agent. You discover just how easy it is to set up the agent on a Windows box and you like the fact that it uses the XML management port of the DataPower appliance to extract data. Your BMC SC helps you set up some basic event triggers for memory usage, CPU usage, file system usage, and, most importantly to you, system temperature and fan speed.

 

  With the help of your SC, you're able to simulate conditions conducive to testing your triggers. After showing the results to your boss, he agrees that your company needs to add this feature to your BMM implementation. He contacts the account rep and in a matter of days the paperwork is complete, your license key is updated and you can kick back and relax knowing BMM is watching your back once again.

 

  You pick up the phone and call your BMC SC and start telling him some of the wonderful fishing stories from your recent trip. You think to yourself, I really need to take him out for dinner and drinks.

 

 

 

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Today is the big day! The new warehouse distribution system goes online. Everyone is excited because its using WMQ to control the order picking process and everyone knows how reliable WMQ has been in your company.

 

   As the middleware administrator everyone looks to you and your unit to keep things on track. Your group has shown it's ability to keep the infrastructure running smoothly using BMC middleware monitoring but you're concerned because this new distribution system uses a 'blackbox' queue manager. While you're able to connect to the queue manager and request objects to be defined, you have no direct access to the environment and have to rely on the vendor to troubleshoot any problems. Troubleshooting the problems isn't as much a concern as detecting them in a timely manner. While you can monitor the channels going into the 'blackbox' and detect issues with their status, you can't tell if the queues within the 'blackbox' or having any problems.

 

   You remember talking with your BMC software consultant about the latest version of BMM that you migrated to last month and the new agentless feature. While you have not had any real need to go agentless in the past, you think this may be just the solution you need now. After reviewing the documentation and requesting a new server connection channel on the 'blackbox' queue manager, you start up the agentless services, set up monitoring, and sign on to your BMM Management Console. You verify that the queues within the 'blackbox' are now visible and proceed to set up alerts to catch any backups within those queues or issues with the queue manager.

 

  After showing the performance data to your 'blackbox' vender and explaining the alerts you have setup, the vendor is more than happy to allow you to send e-mails to their support staff when BMM detects a problem with the 'blackbox' queue manager.

 

  Now that you're receiving performance data and monitoring for problems on the new warehouse distribution system queue manager, you feel confident that your middleware administration group's reputation for keeping the middleware infrastructure up and running will remain intact. Your vendor for the warehouse distribution system is also happy because they are receiving e-mail alerts when there are problems and are able to respond quickly keeping their customer, your company, happy.

 

  While you sit back with a warm satisfying glow for a moment before moving onto the next project, you make a note to take your BMM SC an account rep out for a cup of coffee the next time they stop by. 

Gone Fishing!

Posted by Terry House Oct 17, 2012
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You’ve successfully implemented BMC Middleware Management Application Transaction Tracing and everybody is happy with the results. You are monitoring your orders coming in from your individual stores and ensuring that they are being completed in compliance with the SLA. Occasionally transactions fail and you are alerted and resolved the issue in a timely fashion.

 

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Today you received a request from the distribution center to see all orders received from your West Oakland store on October 17 between 10:15 and 10:30. In the past when you've received these requests, you would have to sit and write a SQL query and run batch reports against the BMM database to get the information. As you sit down to write yet another query you remember that you just upgraded to version 7 of BMC Middleware Management and your BMC SC showed you the new query for transaction data that lets you filter the results. You log on to your management console and pull up your history view for your transaction model. You click on the query button and you proceed to fill out the filter. You know you're capturing the store name as well as other information in the payload. By clicking on the drop-down menu for the attribute you see that transaction payload is one of the fields you can filter on. Using regular expressions, also provided in the drop-down menus, you quickly construct a query to look for all transactions in the given time that have a payload value equal to West Oakland. Because the query is using regular expressions and you know you only have one store with the word West in the name, you set up your query for all transactions with a payload value equal to West*.

 

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When the query completes you receive a pop-up window telling you that out of 1116 transactions that were received, 128 matched your filter criteria. A quick check of the payload field shows that these records are indeed for the West Oakland store.

 

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With this knowledge, you contact the distribution center and quickly set up a WebEx so you can teach them how to do their own queries of this nature. When you finish you feel pretty good.  You remember the saying:

 

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

 

You also realize you've just freed up some of your time by not having to do these queries yourself. Maybe you can take that fishing trip you been meaning to go on!

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What do you know about the new IBM WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance X150?  Well, essentially, it provides middleware services as hardware. This presents a number of benefits to middleware management such as faster ROI, less maintenance and ease of use.  However, there are limitations to the DataPower device as well; the main one being the challenge of having visibility into the appliance to see what’s going on internally.

 

This can be overcome with monitoring – both of the middleware running in DataPower as well as the hardware health of the physical appliance. This white paper describes the characteristics of the DataPower device, the benefits and limitations of this approach to middleware and describes the solutions BMC provides to help customers overcome these limitations and get the most out of their DataPower solution.

 

BMC Middleware Management for DataPower

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