Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement, and health solutions business of Aon (NYSE: AON), has been in a “make it work” situation with its MQ monitoring and management for over a decade, an approach that could no longer satisfy the performance and security needs for its rapidly growing environment.
Before digging into the solution, a little history: The company, which at the time was Hewitt Associates before its 2010 merger with Aon, implemented a monitoring product for its IBM WebSphere MQ environment in 2002. However, from the team’s installation of pieces that didn’t work to its inability to get the project past the company’s security audit, management of the chosen solution at the time proved to be a nightmare from the outset and was never fully implemented across the company, according to Raymond Powers, Messaging Architect and Senior Systems Administrator for Middleware at Aon Hewitt.
When all was said and done, the payoff for the project was not enough to outweigh the effort it took to deploy, particularly on the distributed platforms, where it needed to be installed manually on each host, using the super-user account. Security remained an issue, and Aon Hewitt had to run two di erent versions of the monitoring product for it to work with the disparate groups that needed to be managed: the older version on distributed platforms (such as Unix and Windows) and the newer version on the mainframe.
Meanwhile, Powers wrote scripts and other team members created their own work-arounds for monitoring and dealing with error messages. “Because [the product] wasn’t able to be distributed everywhere, I had written some scripts which ran to do basic monitoring,” he explains. “One of the shortcomings of the scripts for doing monitoring was they weren’t exible for the new features coming with MQ. They just monitored some basic things. Not terribly robust, but it worked.”