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Monitoring Cache Battery Status With IBM Systems Director 6.3

April 3, 2012

A few weeks ago, I wrote about IBM Systems Director 6.3 and IBM i, summarizing the major enhancements in the latest release of Systems Director that are applicable to i. I briefly mentioned that you can now get information about your IOA cache batteries through Systems Director inventory. This week, I want to expand on the support within Systems Director for IOA cache batteries and tell you how you can monitor their status with Director. This blog expands upon all the other ways you can Display the Status of your IOA cache batteries.

First of all, the support for IOA cache batteries information in the Systems Director inventory requires that you have the latest IBM Universal Manageability Enablement for i licensed program product (5770UME) installed on each IBM i partition you will be working with. This program product is part of IBM i at no additional charge, but it isn't installed by default. The process of installing the underlying Systems Director agents required for IBM i is most succinctly documented in the PDF for Installing Systems Director Agents on IBM i.

When you collect inventory for IBM i with Systems Director 6.3, you will now be able to view information about your cache batteries as part of that inventory. The default columns aren't the most useful however; if you click on the resource for the cache battery inventory (e.g., DC01), you can see the properties that are available, as the following image shows:


You can customize the columns that are displayed to directly view more useful information--such as days to warning and days to error--as you can see in the following screen capture:


However, you can do much more than simply view the status of your IOA cache batteries through Systems Director. You can now monitor the status of your cache batteries and receive CIM indications for the “Days to Error” value.

You create your own monitor for IOA cache batteries through the Create Monitor wizard. Start with the IBM i you wish to monitor and drill into the CIM monitoring metrics. The monitor path you need to follow is IBMi/CIM Agent/root/cimv2/IBMi_IOACacheBattery->device (where device is one of the device selections you can see). The following screen capture shows how you find this within theCreate Monitor wizard:


You will see a list of possible metrics to monitor, but not all of them are implemented for IOA cache batteries. Of particular importance for monitoring are the Days to Warning and Days to Error metrics.  The following screen capture shows you the battery metrics that are applicable.


Once you have created a monitor with the desired metrics, you can then set thresholds and automation plans just like you can for other monitors within IBM Systems Director. In my contrived example, I set low level thresholds on the Days to Error metric for warning and critical levels. Because my IOA cache battery has many days left until it gets into an error state, I had to set my levels to artificially high levels to force the threshold to trigger.


When an IOA Cache Battery event occurs, it's logged in the event log just like any other event in IBM Systems Director. You can create event filters and enable automation plans to easily get notified about a pending cache battery low warning or error. And remember, all of the kinds of things that you can do with a single resource can generally be done with groups of resources, so using IBM Systems Director, you can set up thresholds, event filters, and automation plans to monitor ALL of your IBM i partitions for potential cache battery issues.

The IOA Cache Battery providers topic in the IBM i 7.1 Information Center describes the values supported for IBM i IOA cache batteries.

Posted April 3, 2012| Permalink