Monitoring IBM MQ Appliance health remotely with SNMP
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One of the new monitoring features introduced in the 9.0.1 release of the MQ Appliance is full support of SNMP monitoring. SNMP is a powerful tool for system admins to monitor the health of their hardware remotely. In addition to traditional SNMP monitoring, it is also possible to extract MQ specific information from the IBM MQ Appliance such as Queue Manager status.
The appliance supports both the v2 and the v3 SNMP protocols and SNMP traps.
What is SNMP?
SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol and is a tool used to remotely monitor machines. It can display and configure parts of a system over a network by requesting specific packets from the machine.
There are currently two versions of SNMP: version 2 and version 3. Version 2 provides almost no security and provides all available function to anyone that knows a single passphrase (known as a community string). Version 3 ramped up security entirely and now not only asks for a user and a password, but also encrypts the data in the packet vi AES or DES.
One of the main benefits of using SNMP are Traps. Traps is the SNMP term for an “Alert”. You can set up Traps to automatically alert you if certain events should occur. For example, this could be if a fan stops spinning or a user has been locked out a machine due to too many failed password attempts.
For traps to be used effectively, a remote listener machine must be pointed at by the SNMP device to send its alerts to when thresholds are triggered. Several SNMP listening applications are in existence made by several developers, however the main function they will likely provide is to act on any traps it received in a way that you ask it to. For example, if an appliance is overheating, then an e-mail can be sent to the system admin when the SNMP trap is triggered.
Some examples of the types of data you may want to monitor are:
A management information base (MIB) is a collection of data used to manage entities on the network. A MIB is essentially a text file that contains a dictionary of data that can be communicated from a machine over SNMP.
Both the monitored device and the listener must know of the MIB as it instructs the monitored device on which pieces of information should be passed to the listening device. On the IBM MQ Appliance, the MIBs can be downloaded from our Web UI, we have 3:
An example using snmpwalk
Snmpwalk is a linux program that allows you to browse the data on the appliance using SNMP. You must supply it the MIB for the data you are querying.
An example below queries Queue Manager status from the appliance using SNMP v3.
[goulden@goulden ~]$ snmpwalk -v 3 -u admin -x AES -X aespassword -a MD5 -A md5password -l authPriv -m ~/mqStatusMIB.txt mymq
SNMP is a powerful tool for monitoring and should be considered by system admins. This is particularly useful on the MQ Appliance, allowing you to monitor status of MQ specific objects such as Queue Managers.
Check out the page on SNMP at our knowledge centre below for more info.
You can also view other blog posts about the MQ Appliance 9.0.1 release here: