IBM Systems Director: IBM i Resource Monitoring on Platform Agent

IBM Systems Director is capable of monitoring IBM i systems resources in diverse levels and aspects with Platform Agent (PA) or Common Agent (CA) installed on IBM i. Monitors can help you collect resource status and ensure your systems stay healthy. With PA or CA installed on an IBM i system, different monitor capabilities can be derived. Starting from Systems Director version 6.3, IBM i Monitors was added as a separate monitor view available for any discovered IBM i systems. IBM i Monitors function uses the PA capability on the IBM i system. To help you make use of this powerful set of capabilities more efficiently, I’ll introduce several scenarios demonstrating how to monitor IBM i resources with PA and how to effectively use the monitor information.

Set Up Platform Agent on IBM i
Platform agent support is provided with the Licensed Program Product (UME) on IBM i.

  • On IBM i 5.4, use 5722UME V1R2
  • On IBM i 6.1 and 7.1, use 5770UME V1R3

To fully set up the Platform Agent on IBM i, you’ll need to install these licensed programs, apply the latest PTFs and do a few configuration steps. Install and set up Platform Agent following these steps:

1. SSH installation/start. Most installations already have SSH installed and running. To support SSH on IBM i, 57**SC1 base and option 1 (SSH) need to be installed for the specific OS version being used. To start SSH on IBM i, run the following command:

2. SLP installation/start. SLP is needed for service registration in Systems Director. Base OS (57**SS1) options 3 should be installed before you can use SLP. It’s also highly recommended the following PTFs for SLP be installed. Again, most installations already have this function installed and available.

  • IBM i 7.1: 5770SS1, SI42321, SI39065
  • IBM i 6.1: 5761SS1, SI42320, SI39017
  • IBM i 5.4: 5722SS1, SI39110, SI41129

Run command strtcpsvr *slp to start SLP on IBM i.

3. Platform Agent installation. Besides SSH and SLP, to enable PA on IBM i, the following licensed programs and latest PTFs need to be installed. These licensed programs are packaged with your IBM i base operating system so you don’t need to order anything separately.

  • IBM i 6.1 and 7.1: 5770UME V1R3M0, SI41540, SI41685
  • IBM i 5.4: 5722UME V1R2M0, SI41038, SI33622

Then run command strtcpsvr *cimom to start CIM on IBM i. CIM depends on some other PTFs to fully function, and you can see the dependency in the “CIM- and SLP-Related PTFs and Dependent PTFs” technical document.

4. Collection Service configuration. Collection Service should be configured and started before starting CIM. Sometimes if you see “No Data Available” on IBM i monitors view, it may because Collection Service isn’t started or configured properly. Input command cfgpfrcol and type F4 to configure Collection Service as Figure 1 shows.

I want to highlight two configuration items:

  • Default interval: Time interval when Collection Service will recollect performance data. The default value is 15 minutes and you can change it. The smallest interval could be 15 seconds.
  • Create database files: Must set *YES if need Platform Agent fully work.

After configuration, restart collection service with following command:


Monitor IBM i Resources

After Platform Agent is set up on IBM i system, you can start monitoring IBM i resources by PA. From your IBM Systems Director 6.3 or later server, discover the IBM i system and request access to it. Then Navigate to Resource Explorer>All Operating Systems, double-click your IBM i system to check its properties as Figure 2 shows. You’ll see SSH and CIM for property “Protocols” of the system, which means PA has been set up on the system. For the property “Management Software,” “IBM-IBM Director Core Services-v1.3.1” indicates the PA version is 1.3.1. If you get “IBM-IBM Director Core Services-v1.2”, it means the PA version is 1.2.

“IBM i Monitors” view is available to monitor IBM i resources through PA. Navigate to System Status and Health>Monitors, then you’ll find “IBM i Monitors” category as shown in Figure 3. Currently 34 monitors are provided for PA version 1.3 and 22 for PA version 1.2 in Systems Director 6.3.

Systems Director provides a variety of different ways to use Monitors function, let’s turn our attention to some general usage scenarios for IBM i resource monitors.

Dong Lin is a software engineer in IBM Systems & Technology Group, working on the development of IBM Systems Director for IBM i.

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