IBM i Managed Services: System Health

Yvonne Enselman

As I wrap up my Managed Services series for 2018 and prepare for 2019, I want to end by talking about system health. A common misperception about MSP is that all the hardware being used by our customers is hosted. In fact, the vast majority of the systems under our care are the existing hardware in the shops we support.

As we all know, the IBM i runs well and can be trusted to do so with little intervention. Consequently, there are many factors that aren’t analyzed regularly that can have drastic impacts on the functioning of the machine. We provide this information to our customers via two services:

  1. Standalone health checks
  2. System status overviews

Health Checks

iTech Solutions performs a detailed analysis of your system and suggestions for improvement at each level. When part of an MSP support package, we incorporate this remediation into our planning and services. Also, continuing an ongoing theme of these articles, an ancillary benefit of this service is the documentation produced.

Starting with all systems, types, and identification, iTech evaluates every component of your IBM i infrastructure and OS.

PTF status and licensed programs (LPPs) are reviewed and anything missing, out of date, or problematic is identified. This is especially important if there is software on your system that is no longer supported. If you are running these versions, you are at danger for security breaches and failing audit requirements. Configuration issues, ethernet ports and cards, user licenses, cache, memory pools all are documented as well as recommended changes.

From there we move into storage and tape devices.

With the importance of high availability and disaster recovery, making sure these components are strong and healthy as well as properly utilized has never been more important. A major issue that is neglected on many systems is Journal Receivers and Save Files which can easily grow and impact performance. Libraries, FTP capability, IFS stability are all accounted for. System values, the nuance of which can be difficult for even seasoned veterans to comprehend are evaluated; importantly not just one on one but as to how they interact as a whole.

When we are complete, your result is recommendations on how to proceed.

Be it addressing system names, network configurations, storage shortcomings, missing software, updating unsupported versions. All in all, this gives you an organized and documented overview of your system. More importantly, you are now empowered to make decisions regarding remediation.

Of course, as always, iTech is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

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