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IBM Health Checker adds features to maintain best practices

IBM Health Checker adds features to maintain best practices
Illustration by Coco Masuda

Delete Operator Message (DOM) Control
One advanced check writer line item is DOM control, which prevents the same operator message from being deleted and reissued every time the health check runs. The Health Checker framework deletes messages automatically but can send multiple fresh messages about the same problem. DOM control gives the check team the opportunity to tell the system not to delete messages before the programmer has a chance to fix the problem.

“By using DOM control, you don’t annoy your systems programmer. He gets paged only once and then has time to fix it before he gets another exception message,” Thiemann explains. “DOM control allows the check itself to delete the previous exception message when it thinks it’s appropriate.”

Superuser Class
Health Checker used to require that the user profile associated with a system job had UID(0) authority to have access to resources needed to run certain UNIX* health checks. But UID(0) is often a red flag for auditors. Alternatively, you now have the option to configure a profile to have READ access to the BPX.SUPERUSER facility class. “This option is almost as powerful in the end but auditors don’t frown on it quite so much,” Thiemann adds.

Set It and Forget It

Thiemann says some people haven’t started using Health Checker because they’re afraid of the initial set of exception messages they might get, but typically there are not that many. “IBM is making a conscious effort to ship that standard installation ServerPac with preconfigured packages that you can install that don’t trigger health-check alerts,” he says. “On the other hand, if there are a number of check exceptions, you will get a chance to go through and see if there is something that doesn’t look quite right and, chances are, you’ll want to change that.”

The checks are all intended to provide parameters so that they can be tuned to what is most applicable to the individual customer system. You can set different limits or any other check parameter to satisfy the checks as you see fit.

“It shouldn’t be a lot of work to tune the system and the health checks to a state where you don’t get exception messages at all, only in those situations where there really is something you want to be notified about,” he adds.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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