Software Diversified Services Releases New Monitoring Tool

Software Diversified Services (SDS) has released the latest version of the Vital Signs IP Monitor (VIP) for z/OS mainframe networks. VIP 7.1 provides administrators of z/OS networks with real-time and historical monitoring of TCP/IP and HPR networks.

"One of the key features about our product is ease of use because it was built from the ground up with a browser-based graphical user interface," Colin van der Ross, senior systems engineer at SDS, tells 5 Minute Briefing. While other products require "intense training" to understand what the product is about, says van der Ross, "With our product if you can use a browser and you have a limited amount of knowledge you will be able to find the information you are looking for on the product itself. It is very intuitive to learn."

The latest release gives customers the ability to monitor devices that are external to the mainframe, notes van der Ross, through an all-new Remote Application Monitor that tracks the availability of any remote TCP server-including web servers-with a minimum of network overhead. Administrators can receive immediate alerts to unreachable or unresponsive applications.

Additionally, VIP's tool for IP packet tracing, has been improved to allow a trace to run indefinitely-making it easier to track down intermittent problems. The traces can now be "wrapped," notes van der Ross, so for example if someone wants to leave a trace running overnight, they can do so and then stop the trace in the morning and view the contents.

The new release also provides a single sign-on feature for VIP monitoring of multiple z/OS systems, even when those systems use different security databases. "You don't have to sign on and off continuously when you have lots of systems in the Sysplex environment," van der Ross observes.

Among other enhancements, VIP 7.1 offers the ability to define specific groups of z/OS systems any one user is interested in, and to easily switch VIP displays from one group or another; TCP Client Monitoring shows VIP users outgoing traffic from TCP clients, database requests, for example; and VIP's tools for pinging, tracing routes, and monitoring remote hosts can now send TCP requests to specific ports, with the result that they more accurately report the state of the network as seen by production applications.

For additional details about the product, go here.