Using Prometheus to monitor MQ channel status

In 2016 I wrote about how MQ’s resource statistics can work with a number of time-series databases, including Prometheus. This permits monitoring using the same tools that many customers use for monitoring other products. It allows easy creation of dashboards using tools such as Grafana.

Since that original version, we’ve made a number of enhancements to the packages that underpin that monitoring capability. For example, more database options were added; a JSON formatter appeared. One notable change was when we split the monitoring agent programs into a separate GitHub repository, making it easier to work with just the pieces you needed.

And now, I’ve released some changes that allow Prometheus and generic JSON processors to see some key channel status information. In particular, a Grafana dashboard can easily highlight channels that are not running.

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This post was last updated on November 25th, 2019 at 09:53 am

SMF reports for MQ with JSON format

Turn MQ SMF data into JSON for simple consumption and analytics. Use a free open source tool for Windows and Linux to process your mainframe statistics.

On z/OS, MQ produces a lot of information about its usage through SMF records. One tool I published on GitHub a couple of years ago was designed to take collected SMF data and process it into a more consumable format. The goal was to create something that did nothing more than format the data, rather than try to analyse it in the manner of SupportPac MP1B. The analysis would be done using independent tools.

The comma-separated-value format is ideal for importing into spreadsheets and databases. Many of our z/OS customers have been helped by reports created from their data, and analysed through SQL queries.

While I didn’t write about it in a blog post then, I did publish a short video showing it in action. And since the original release, I’ve made regular updates to the code. Mostly these have been to simplify the SQL processing.

I’ve now updated the program to give a further output format option. It is intended to make it easy to feed SMF information to other analytics tools, many of which work with JSON structures. Other aspects of MQ administration can now be done with JSON-format data – the error logs on Distributed platforms, an event formatter (which is also available in MQ V9.0.5), the REST APIs for administration and messaging – and this is one further piece of a consistent story.

Read more about formatting MQ SMF as JSON

This post was last updated on November 25th, 2019 at 09:48 am

Being Producer/Director for someone else’s material

One of the hit sessions at this year’s Impact was not listed in the agenda. A bit like an off-off-Broadway show, it was given to a select few groups. This was the snappily-titled “MQ Workload Distribution in a Sysplex”, given by Lyn as part of the z solution suite activities. It talks about how different systems may process different amounts of work, and how this can be changed to more balanced distribution if you need to.

Since the initial run, she’s been asked to repeat the session for a bunch of customers, and there’s probably more requests than available time. So when she was visiting the UK recently, we took the opportunity to record the session and it is now available on youtube as a three-part playlist. (I quite like playlists, as it makes it easy to replace individual pieces without modifying the published URL.)

See more about the presentation