An Introduction to Using IBM Systems Director to Manage IBM i

IBM Systems Director is a cross-platform foundation to streamline heterogeneous environment management by providing functions including discovery, inventory, resource monitoring, update management and more. With IBM Systems Director, you can manage broad platforms, including AIX, IBM i, Linux and Windows.

IBM i is one of the key IBM operating system that Systems Director supports. From single access point provided by Systems Director, IBM i administrators can monitor comprehensive system resources, manage events, view inventory, perform jobs management, monitor IBM i messages and so on.

For general introduction for all managed systems, look at IBM Systems Director Information Center. There, you can also find some information specific to IBM i management, but it’s very discrete. This article will help provide overall introductory information on how you can manage your systems with Systems Director, especially the aspects specific to IBM i. After reading it, you’ll get a whole picture about what features Systems Director provides for IBM i customers and how you can use them to improve your productivity. This article is a broad overview; I won’t dive into the detail of each feature. Look for future articles that will provide details on each feature.

Environment Setup

Before you can use Systems Director, you need to install its server and different levels of agents. Regarding the installation, you can refer to “Directing i.” What must be emphasized is that you can decide the agent level they need to install, based on your practical needs. If you only need to discover your IBM i system, monitor its online status, collect basic inventory data and update your systems with Systems Director, agentless configuration can meet your requirement, and you just need to make sure SSH service is started on the IBM i side. SSH is available in 5733-SC1 option 1, and most customer systems already have this service available. If more function is needed, such as resource monitoring, IBM i message monitoring, event management, Platform Agent has to be installed in addition to SSH. The corresponding IBM i Licensed Program of Platform Agent is 5722-UME for V5R4, 5770-UME for V6R1 or V7R1. Detailed information can be found in this technical document. If you need all the function of Systems Director for IBM i system, Director Common Agent would need to be installed in addition to SSH and Platform Agent. The installer of Common Agent can be downloaded from IBM Systems Director downloads website, and you can either install it manually on IBM i or through the IBM Systems Director management console. More information about agents installation can be found in “Using IBM i resources with an IBM Systems Director Server” paragraph of IBM Systems Director Information Center.

This table shows a complete list of feature supported by different level of agents on IBM i.

  Agentless (SSH) Platform Agent (CIM) Director Common Agent
Systems Director Navigator
Update Manager
CIM Monitors  
Asset ID  
Message queue monitoring  
Use genevent    
Process and job monitors /
Director agent monitors

Wang Qiang, an advisory software engineer in IBM Systems & Technology Group, is the technical lead of IBM Systems Director for IBM i.

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