1. Utilizing the ‘Count’ field

Whenever possible, Halcyon always advocates the use of automation and this is easy to setup for IBM i.

In the example below we’ll looking for message CPA5305 (file member is full) appearing on the QSYSOPR message queue. Should the message appear, rather than simply notifying somebody or replying to every occurrence (no matter how many messages arrive) you can use the handy ‘Count’ feature. In this example we’re saying reply to the first three instances of the message with an ‘I’ to ignore the message and increment the file size by one. On the fourth occurrence we’re using an Action Schedule to do something different (for example, raise an Enterprise Console alert to bring this issue to somebody’s attention) and resetting the count back to zero, ready for the next occurrence.

Using the Count Field

2. Clever Escalation by Using the ‘Delay’ field

In this example we’re again looking for message CPA5305 (file member is full) appearing on the QSYSOPR message queue but this time we have adopted a different approach. For every instance of CPA5305 occurring we’re using an Action Schedule, which in turn generates an Enterprise Console alert. If the alert is still outstanding 5 minutes later we send a SMS text alert to the Operations Group before finally replying ‘I’ to ignore the message incrementing the file size by one, should the inquiry message still be outstanding some 10 minutes after the original message.

Using the Delay Field

3. Embrace the Power of the ‘Acknowledge’ Feature

Using the example detailed in above, where we’re notifying technicians 10 minutes prior to replying to the inquiry message, there may be occasions where technicians are investigating what the underlying issue is and don’t want the automated Halcyon reply to be generated. This is where you can utilize the powerful Acknowledge feature, available via the Enterprise Console, IBM i green screen, mobile app or SMS two-way reply.

Acknowleding Alerts

Alert Acknowledged

4. Managing Message Storms

Halcyon’s Enterprise Console provides a neat, single pane of glass approach to systems management. It allows you to manage all of your applications, irrespective of platform, from a consolidated, graphical focal point.

With the Console comes complete flexibility, definable at user level to control how the system alerts are presented. The Enterprise Console enables you to see exactly which alerts are relevant to you and your role.

A 'Storm' of Alerts In Enterprise Console

The Console also has the facility to escalate alerts. This is especially useful if you are not in local view of the Console as the alerts can “come and find you” by way of an email or SMS.

On occasions, host systems can legitimately generate hundreds or thousands of messages which Halcyon then processes and routes through to the Console. This is often described as a message storm. From April 2014, the Enterprise Console has the ability to group alerts associated with a message storm under a single wrapper, with just the most recent alert visible. One of the main advantages of this feature is that no important other alerts get lost or scroll off the screen. Below is an example of how duplicate alerts are now represented via the collapsed view in the Console. Note the small arrow indicating that there is more than one alert and that others will appear when clicked.

Managing a Message Storm

And here’s the original way in which the same alerts are shown. As you can see, critical alerts could easily get lost due to the sheer volume of duplicate alerts on display.

Message Storm Original Display

All the features illustrated in this article are standard and included with Halcyon's Level 1 to 4 Suites.

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Last Modified On: February 27, 2019