Halcyon Announces Major Releases of IBM i and Network Automation Suites

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The new system management suites promise to greatly enhance an administrator's ability to seamlessly manage IBM i servers as well as multi-platform enterprises, reducing operational costs while expanding support capabilities. 

Halcyon Software announced at COMMON the release of two completely new versions of its IBM i and mixed system network monitoring suites—Halcyon Operations Center and Halcyon Network Server Suite. 

Halcyon Operations Center V3.0 represents a complete rewrite of the company's state of the art flagship solution for monitoring and automating IBM Power Systems running IBM i. The company's proven system monitoring solution, Network Server Suite 7.1, has been upgraded to include a new Linux Server Manager component. 

The new modules contained within Halcyon Operations Center V3.0 provide administrators with advanced job scheduling, system message handling, automation of manual tasks, performance, disk and spool file management as well as impressive updated graphical user interfaces and additional reporting features. The product ships with more templates than previous versions to include easy monitoring of typical ERP solutions such as JDE, Lawson and SAP. Designed to appeal to individual data centers and managed services companies, Halcyon Operations Center's cost-effective and feature rich systems management software addresses real business needs, particularly with companies that must reduce operational costs and prove a return on investment to senior management. 

Network Server Suite has been redesigned to fully support the latest technology for IBM Power Systems by providing a native solution for any platforms running on the server, and the new Linux Server Manager integrates with existing Windows or IBM i monitoring tools, eliminating any future need for multiple screens to monitor different environments or platforms (see related story for additional details on Network Server Suite 7.1).

Operations Center V3.0 is capable of monitoring multiple IBM i systems in a very demanding environment, freeing up valuable resource time and minimizing the risk of human error. The new software also has improved audit trails with security journaling to maintain application integrity.

“Over the last 18 months, we have made a significant investment by embarking on a major modernization program for our range of products for IBM I," said Donnie MacColl, Halcyon’s Technical Services director. "Operations Center V3.0 is the flagship solution and completes the final phase of the project," he said. "We created new software modules to take advantage of the latest IBM APIs and to ensure that we continue to support the forward direction of IBM Power Systems including the new Power 7 technology."

All of the modules contained within Operations Center v3.0 have been significantly updated and are compatible with the latest IBM Power Systems technology. New features and enhancements include:

Performance Analyzer Module

A major new module is Performance Analyzer; a dynamic dashboard allowing administrators to view and manage an unlimited number of partitions (LPARs) via the modernized GUI display.

The user interface has flexible configuration options allowing bespoke views to be created and includes an auto-cycle function of multiple systems or LPARs to provide continuous monitoring.

Performance Analyzer also has “auto scaling”—a dynamic auto learning feature.  For example, if a system has uncapped processors and usage  rises above 100 percent, the graph on display will instantly and dynamically auto scale to accommodate the increase and dynamically shrink again when usage is reduced. The new dashboard has been written to Microsoft Windows standards, and encompasses the latest Windows technologies. The back-end performance graphs displayed on screen enable administrators to drill down to individual job level to identify resource-hungry jobs or users.

Companies can select performance statistics that are important to their operations and choose to have these displayed on screen for example, CPU, ASP%, pool transitions, jobs, batch jobs, and response times. Individual users can also create their own tailored views of performance statistics.

Advanced Job Scheduling Module

The Advanced Job Scheduling module contained within Operations Center V3.0 is the most comprehensive scheduler available in the marketplace for software specifically supporting IBM Power Systems technology, according to Halcyon.

It provides multiple LPAR and cross-platform scheduling capabilities. Jobs can be scheduled to run on IBM i, Windows, AIX, UNIX and Linux systems or any other systems that have a remote executing daemon.

Jobs are organized into groups that use a common schedule and can run either sequentially or concurrently within their group. The software can cater to multiple job dependencies, where complex job sequences must complete before other jobs can be initiated. Notification options keep the administrator informed of the progress of important jobs and processes.

In addition, the software is shipped with flexible calendar options and customizable parameters. Administrators can import jobs from other basic schedulers so that everything can be consolidated into Operations Center V3.0.

Disk Space Management Module

Important enhancements to the disk space management module include reports scheduling and the ability to output data to the IFS or into Excel or CSV formats. Multiple IBM i systems or LPARs can be viewed through the color-coded graphical user interface providing a centralized view of both internal and external enterprise-wide storage systems from a single screen.

The ability to check the percentage of deleted records in files and automatically reorganize them is included as standard. System administrators can identify files that haven’t been saved across a pre-defined time frame, or have never been saved, as well as objects that have missing or out-of-date source. Historical growth of objects can be monitored so administrators are alerted by a console message, SMS, or email should unexpected growth occur or pre-defined thresholds are breached. Administrators can perform comprehensive trend analyses using point and click technology via the GUI or, if they prefer, from the Halcyon IBM i menu options. Disk space can now be analyzed to the granular level of “member.” The ability to group objects means you can analyze and report at the application level or by project, department, or client.

Spool File Management Module

The spool file management module provides easy archiving, distribution, and general housekeeping of spool files. The new software can now cater to spool files in excess of a million pages and there also is an uncapped limit on the number of spool files per output queue. Administrators can now email spool files as Excel, CSV, or PDF files.

The software  ships with comprehensive scripting templates that enable users to split files by criteria (e.g. account number or department). The spool file manager component has its own scripting language that allows users to create their own scripts to suit their specific operations.

Message Management Module

Improved message handling effectively automates an organization’s response to a given situation and templates for business application monitoring means that companies can deploy and implement the solution and gain real operational benefit within minutes of installation.

Reporting

Reporting has been improved and extended across all of the software modules contained within Halcyon’s Operations Center V 3.0. The product is ships with standard reports and users can also customize their own.

An additional enhancement is the comprehensive service level agreement reporting tool and system “uptime” tool that shows subsystem availability allowing users to monitor multiple subsystems at regular intervals. These, combined with “out-of-the-box” monitoring and alerting templates, which are shipped as standard, allow customers to automate their operations within hours of installation.

Enterprise Console Module

Operations Center V3.0 ships with Enterprise Console, a user interface that enables centralized systems management to give the administrator a single dashboard view of the entire infrastructure, regardless of system location.

Operations Center is designed so that users can install, test and configure the software without affecting their live environment. Enhanced scheduling of resources also allows customers to emulate company working schedules across multiple time zones.

Says MacColl: “We pushed the boundaries of programming techniques to get the best out of the IBM development tools. More importantly we had the opportunity to consult with our customers and added new enhancements to solve their current and future operational challenges. In response to their important feedback we made the software as intuitive as possible, introduced more templates to ensure it can be swiftly deployed, and made administration much easier, especially with the new GUIs," he says. "Administrators can still navigate conventional and familiar menu options for managing their IBM i, but with Halcyon’s new framework, dashboards, and interfaces, the software has a broader appeal.”

SunGard Public Sector is a major provider of software and consulting solutions for clients in the public sector and uses Halcyon Software in its data centers.

Sue Dumas, Technical Project manager, SunGard Public Sector said, “We specifically like Halcyon’s software because it’s intelligent and it emulates what a computer operator would do. We are now worry-free about the stability of our hosted solutions because our systems are monitored 24/7, and we are notified immediately if there are any problems.”

Halcyon Software announced at COMMON the release of two completely new versions of its IBM i and mixed system network monitoring suites—Halcyon Operations Center and Halcyon Network Server Suite. 

Halcyon Operations Center V3.0 represents a complete rewrite of the company's state of the art flagship solution for monitoring and automating IBM Power Systems running IBM i. The company's proven system monitoring solution, Network Server Suite 7.1, has been upgraded to include a new Linux Server Manager component. 

The new modules contained within Halcyon Operations Center V3.0 provide administrators with advanced job scheduling, system message handling, automation of manual tasks, performance, disk and spool file management as well as impressive updated graphical user interfaces and additional reporting features. The product ships with more templates than previous versions to include easy monitoring of typical ERP solutions such as JDE, Lawson and SAP. Designed to appeal to individual data centers and managed services companies, Halcyon Operations Center's cost-effective and feature rich systems management software addresses real business needs, particularly with companies that must reduce operational costs and prove a return on investment to senior management. 

Network Server Suite has been redesigned to fully support the latest technology for IBM Power Systems by providing a native solution for any platforms running on the server, and the new Linux Server Manager integrates with existing Windows or IBM i monitoring tools, eliminating any future need for multiple screens to monitor different environments or platforms (see related story for additional details on Network Server Suite 7.1).

Operations Center V3.0 is capable of monitoring multiple IBM i systems in a very demanding environment, freeing up valuable resource time and minimizing the risk of human error. The new software also has improved audit trails with security journaling to maintain application integrity.

“Over the last 18 months, we have made a significant investment by embarking on a major modernization program for our range of products for IBM I," said Donnie MacColl, Halcyon’s Technical Services director. "Operations Center V3.0 is the flagship solution and completes the final phase of the project," he said. "We created new software modules to take advantage of the latest IBM APIs and to ensure that we continue to support the forward direction of IBM Power Systems including the new Power 7 technology."

All of the modules contained within Operations Center v3.0 have been significantly updated and are compatible with the latest IBM Power Systems technology. New features and enhancements include:

Performance Analyzer Module

A major new module is Performance Analyzer; a dynamic dashboard allowing administrators to view and manage an unlimited number of partitions (LPARs) via the modernized GUI display.

The user interface has flexible configuration options allowing bespoke views to be created and includes an auto-cycle function of multiple systems or LPARs to provide continuous monitoring.

Performance Analyzer also has “auto scaling”—a dynamic auto learning feature.  For example, if a system has uncapped processors and usage  rises above 100 percent, the graph on display will instantly and dynamically auto scale to accommodate the increase and dynamically shrink again when usage is reduced. The new dashboard has been written to Microsoft Windows standards, and encompasses the latest Windows technologies. The back-end performance graphs displayed on screen enable administrators to drill down to individual job level to identify resource-hungry jobs or users.

Companies can select performance statistics that are important to their operations and choose to have these displayed on screen for example, CPU, ASP%, pool transitions, jobs, batch jobs, and response times. Individual users can also create their own tailored views of performance statistics.

Advanced Job Scheduling Module

The Advanced Job Scheduling module contained within Operations Center V3.0 is the most comprehensive scheduler available in the marketplace for software specifically supporting IBM Power Systems technology, according to Halcyon.

It provides multiple LPAR and cross-platform scheduling capabilities. Jobs can be scheduled to run on IBM i, Windows, AIX, UNIX and Linux systems or any other systems that have a remote executing daemon.

Jobs are organized into groups that use a common schedule and can run either sequentially or concurrently within their group. The software can cater to multiple job dependencies, where complex job sequences must complete before other jobs can be initiated. Notification options keep the administrator informed of the progress of important jobs and processes.

In addition, the software is shipped with flexible calendar options and customizable parameters. Administrators can import jobs from other basic schedulers so that everything can be consolidated into Operations Center V3.0.

Disk Space Management Module

Important enhancements to the disk space management module include reports scheduling and the ability to output data to the IFS or into Excel or CSV formats. Multiple IBM i systems or LPARs can be viewed through the color-coded graphical user interface providing a centralized view of both internal and external enterprise-wide storage systems from a single screen.

The ability to check the percentage of deleted records in files and automatically reorganize them is included as standard. System administrators can identify files that haven’t been saved across a pre-defined time frame, or have never been saved, as well as objects that have missing or out-of-date source. Historical growth of objects can be monitored so administrators are alerted by a console message, SMS, or email should unexpected growth occur or pre-defined thresholds are breached. Administrators can perform comprehensive trend analyses using point and click technology via the GUI or, if they prefer, from the Halcyon IBM i menu options. Disk space can now be analyzed to the granular level of “member.” The ability to group objects means you can analyze and report at the application level or by project, department, or client.

Spool File Management Module

The spool file management module provides easy archiving, distribution, and general housekeeping of spool files. The new software can now cater to spool files in excess of a million pages and there also is an uncapped limit on the number of spool files per output queue. Administrators can now email spool files as Excel, CSV, or PDF files.

The software  ships with comprehensive scripting templates that enable users to split files by criteria (e.g. account number or department). The spool file manager component has its own scripting language that allows users to create their own scripts to suit their specific operations.

Message Management Module

Improved message handling effectively automates an organization’s response to a given situation and templates for business application monitoring means that companies can deploy and implement the solution and gain real operational benefit within minutes of installation.

Reporting

Reporting has been improved and extended across all of the software modules contained within Halcyon’s Operations Center V 3.0. The product is ships with standard reports and users can also customize their own.

An additional enhancement is the comprehensive service level agreement reporting tool and system “uptime” tool that shows subsystem availability allowing users to monitor multiple subsystems at regular intervals. These, combined with “out-of-the-box” monitoring and alerting templates, which are shipped as standard, allow customers to automate their operations within hours of installation.

Enterprise Console Module

Operations Center V3.0 ships with Enterprise Console, a user interface that enables centralized systems management to give the administrator a single dashboard view of the entire infrastructure, regardless of system location.

Operations Center is designed so that users can install, test and configure the software without affecting their live environment. Enhanced scheduling of resources also allows customers to emulate company working schedules across multiple time zones.

Says MacColl: “We pushed the boundaries of programming techniques to get the best out of the IBM development tools. More importantly we had the opportunity to consult with our customers and added new enhancements to solve their current and future operational challenges. In response to their important feedback we made the software as intuitive as possible, introduced more templates to ensure it can be swiftly deployed, and made administration much easier, especially with the new GUIs," he says. "Administrators can still navigate conventional and familiar menu options for managing their IBM i, but with Halcyon’s new framework, dashboards, and interfaces, the software has a broader appeal.”

SunGard Public Sector is a major provider of software and consulting solutions for clients in the public sector and uses Halcyon Software in its data centers.

Sue Dumas, Technical Project manager, SunGard Public Sector said, “We specifically like Halcyon’s software because it’s intelligent and it emulates what a computer operator would do. We are now worry-free about the stability of our hosted solutions because our systems are monitored 24/7, and we are notified immediately if there are any problems.”

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