Acting on Agents in Unicenter TNG - dummies

Acting on Agents in Unicenter TNG

By Sandy Sampson, Steve Pazol, Charles B. Wang

Agents play an important role in the Unicenter TNG architecture. Agents are specialized programs that Unicenter TNG uses to monitor managed objects, which comprise network resources such as database servers, workstations, routers, and other devices.

Agents monitor their assigned object and report to the Distributed State Machine (DSM) using Unicenter TNG common services. Common services include the SNMP Administrator service, SNMP Gateway service, Object Store service, and the Distributed Services Bus service. Based on triggers, limits, or schedules, agents report to the DSM what’s happening in the monitored environment.

You can configure agents using Agent view (accessible through Node view), the MIB Browser, or by creating a configuration set, which contains initial management information base (MIB) settings.

Computer Associates (CA) and other companies have developed agents to monitor a variety of resources. Some agents are installed with the base product, and others are available as options from CA or third-party developers. You also have the capability to create your own agents using the Unicenter TNG Software Development Kit.

Database agents

Database agents monitor a wide range of database parameters and alert you — via the event console and through various browsers, including WorldView interface maps — when problems occur or may occur. The agents monitor thresholds and other conditions to identify and report potential problems. Through policy and event management, you can instruct them to automate corrective actions.

SQL Server agent

The Microsoft SQL Server agent is automatically installed with the Windows NT version of Unicenter TNG. By default, the SQL Server agent is configured to monitor file systems and SQL Server Processes. You also can configure the agent to monitor resource usage, databases and transaction logs, locks, and tables.

The SQL Server agent monitors the following:

  • SQL Server resource usage, including CPU and I/O utilization, and cache-hit ratio
  • Databases, tables, and file systems
  • Transaction logs
  • SQL Server locks
  • Input and output packets
  • Disk activity
  • SQL server processes
  • Database devices

Ingres agent

The Ingres agent helps you manage multiple Ingres databases, monitoring key parameters, and flagging problems before they disrupt performance.

The Ingres agent monitors database activity on Windows NT and UNIX machines. To evaluate the status of resources, the agent compares conditions with MIB attributes and threshold values defined in configuration settings and profiles.

The Ingres agent monitors elements such as the following:

  • Database servers, tables, and file systems
  • Cache
  • Log space
  • Performance and configuration

Oracle agent

The Oracle agent performs similarly to the Ingres agent (see the preceding section), monitoring key parameters and alerting you to problems before they disrupt service.

As with the Ingres agent, you can use the Oracle agent to monitor multiple Oracle database instances. When the Oracle agent is installed, it automatically discovers all database instances.

By default, the Oracle agent monitors database table space, disks, files, and license information. You can further configure the agent to monitor database tables and sequences, and just about anything else you can think of.

DB2 agent

The DB2 agent is an exciting little agent that integrates the management of DB2 databases with other resources distributed throughout the enterprise. This agent does important agent things such as:

  • Continuously monitor events, states, and configuration information for DB2 subsystems.
  • Monitor DB2 address space, CPU usage, I/O utilization, logging status, locking status, and other performance areas.

CA-Datacom agent

This wacky little agent does just what you would expect it to do — and then some. The CA-Datacom agent monitors the performance of multiple CA-Datacom databases on OS/390 and notifies Unicenter TNG when things are not as they should be.

Monitored resources include CPU and I/O usage, buffer pool, transaction logs, lock, workload, and other metrics.

CA-IDMS agent

Use the CA-IDMS agent to administer CA-IDMS databases from Unicenter TNG. You might also consider creating an IDMS piñata as a thrill for your DBAs, who would enjoy pounding the little papier-mâché agent until it spills its goodie-filled interior.

As you may surmise, the IDMS piñata agent watches over all the CA-IDMS resources you tell it to watch, such as CPU, I/O, buffer pool, logs, locks, workload, network resources, and memory.

Other database agents

You also can deploy INFORMIX agent, Sybase agent, and any-other-database-you-can-think-of agent.

Each of the database agents monitors key parameters and sends a message to the event console when a potential problem exists. Depending on the problem and the policy defined, Unicenter TNG can automatically fix the problem, open a problem ticket, or alert the administrator.

Operating system agents

Operating system (OS) agents help ensure ongoing system availability through continuous monitoring of enterprise resources. Resources include servers, workstations, networks, and applications. The OS agents collect statistics, predict problems, automate action, and ply your mailbox with bargain-basement marketing pitches.

Agents alert you if monitored processes stop running (or start to run), if an expected condition fails to exist, if a disk fills up, and any number of other scenarios you deem important enough to hear about.

Unicenter TNG management tools are used to examine and configure OS agents. Management tools include:

  • Node view: Managed objects are displayed as a tree structure, and you can see at a glance the overall status of the node (critical, warning or normal state), and the status of monitored resources, managed objects, and individual agents.
  • Agent view: This application lets you examine the various agents you have deployed. Using Agent view, you can see which resources an agent is monitoring and the overall status of each resource.
  • DSM view: The DSM view lets you view managed objects according to the agents that are monitoring them. You can view the attributes of a managed object and edit its properties.

Windows NT System agent

The NT System agent monitors Windows NT system resources. The agent alerts you to system disruptions, such as the cessation of a critical process, security violation attempts, or conditions that appear to suggest a potential problem.

By default, the NT System agent monitors:

  • Memory load
  • Swap space
  • Physical memory
  • CPUs

The NT System agent also can be configured to monitor:

  • Files and file systems
  • Processes
  • NT services
  • Event logs
  • Printers
  • Registry values

OS/390 System agent

The OS/390 System agent monitors OS/390 systems. OS/390 System agent supports:

  • Viewing and administering event messages
  • Job monitoring
  • Performance monitoring
  • Tracking the status of multi-platform applications
  • Setting thresholds for stuff like CSA, JES2, UICA, LPAR, SQA, and other funky acronyms that only the mainframe-minded know what they mean
  • Other agents, such as ones monitoring CICS, DB2, MQSeries, and other applications