WebSphere MQ – Event-based MQ Monitoring is not Enough

Event-based monitoring may be a solid foundation for monitoring individual technology components of a business’ complex infrastructures, but this model may produce volumes of non-mission critical alerts while completely overlooking the development of mission critical problems. Today’s integrated enterprise business applications combine a wide variety of disparate technology components. If the only view into that heterogeneous IT infrastructure is provided by separate event-based reports, it becomes virtually impossible to identify what is going on.

WebSphere MQ is never the only component in an IT infrastructure. There may also be Oracle databases, an ERP system like SAP, an ESM like IBM’s Tivoli, HP OpenView or CA Unicenter, a network communications platform such as TIBCO, operating systems including UNIX, Windows, Linux and various mainframe operating systems, assorted web servers, etc. The challenge is that each of these components generate thousands of static events and alerts. As the environment becomes more complex, even more static events and alerts are spawned.

It becomes too much information. Unless a business moves beyond event-based monitoring, WebShere MQ and every other application become unmanageable. The sheer volume of information generated makes getting to a problem’s root cause all the more difficult.

This isn’t the only problem posed by event-based monitoring. Because event-based monitoring is typically limited to a specific component, it can provide a false picture of health within the overall IT structure. Every application can be displaying compliance within its own pre-configured event parameters, while the service desk is groaning under a burden of help tickets. This is when the limitation of the event-based monitoring model becomes apparent. At best, event-based monitoring provides pre-defined failure notifications.

Pre-defined failure notifications have some serious limitations. First, you must have already anticipated the prospective problem. Then, you usually have to wait until service is already degrading, disabled or unavailable before the notifications begin flowing.

When it comes to WebShere MQ and every other component in the IT infrastructure, a business cannot afford to depend on event-based monitoring alone. It can miss problems entirely when they are caused by the convergence of disruptive conditions, bottlenecks, disconnects or failures in the interactions between infrastructure components. Why? Because these problems aren’t visible to component-centric monitoring tools!

This is no small concern. Depending on event-based monitoring can result in non-compliance with a business’ Service Level Agreements (SLAs), fines, loss of worker productivity, increased cost to the business and lost revenues.

What is the solution? The right business perspective monitoring technology! The technology must include real-time monitoring, event correlation and dynamic event creation capabilities. It should also enable the user to make adaptations quickly and easily, even when processes are live in production. The technology must be able  to keep pace with changing business processes.

In today’s marketplace, this technology is often called application performance management (APM).  One aspect of APM, business transaction performance (BTP) is so powerful it is the equivalent of giving your IT staff a crystal ball. Not only can IT look into what’s happening now, the BTP can predict and preempt costly system failures and ensure business agility.

Learn more about how application performance management and business transaction performance can complement the event-based WebSphere MQ and other event monitoring systems you have in place. Nastel Technologies, Inc., a leader in this technology, has produced a short 3-minute video on how APM and BTP works to enhance the information your event-based applications produce.

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