Improving Systems Management of large numbers of nodes using business-related hierarchical groupings.
Original Publication Date: 2007-Jan-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Jan-05
Navigation, or even just display, of very large network of system nodes is difficult to present using standard system management tools, as the tools cannot logically group objects of the same type, other than by common attributes. There is no way of showing a business relationship using current tooling as the tools only understand node attributes. This article describes a method of grouping these nodes to facilitate traversal and simplify display. Simply by associating some business data with an attribute of the node, which data can be remotely queried, it is possible to build up a hierarchical "business" view of all the nodes, making it much easier to traverse and display.
Improving Systems Management of large numbers of nodes using business -related hierarchical groupings.
For the purposes of this discussion a "node" may be, for example,a message queue manager or a database instance or an application server instance. System management tools can easily represent groupings of even large numbers of nodes, using some physical characteristic.
Here is an example layout of a set of network nodes, in this case each node representing an IBM* WebSphere** MQ message queue manager, using the connecting channel definitions to form a topology. (IBM and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.)
Current systems do not have a specific mechanism to save a "business-related" description with the node, but do have attributes which can used to provide this functionality. In this example we have used the queue managers' "Description" field.
As a first example, the description field of a named queue manager can be set to "Regions\US\Texas", which is a simple example of a hierarchical description of the layout based on business attributes. This description is completely unrelated to the other attributes of the queue manager. The attribute value can be modified remotely - changing the "topology" from a business perspective. similar attribute values can be set for the other nodes.
When collecting information from all nodes, the content of the specific field (in our case the "DESCR" field) can be saved. A rule can then be set in the navigation tooling which says that the data in the DESCR string is a hierarchy, which uses the "\" character to mark each...