Impactful Automation Features to Help With Administration for IBM MQ

Impactful Automation Features to Help With Administration for IBM MQ

As the Customer Success Manager for Avada Software, I have heard from our customers a lot about how certain automation features of Infrared360 have had impactful benefits across their enterprise. Two lesser known but crucial automation features include our Certificate Inspector and Reporting functionalities. 

Inspecting an MQ Certificate can be an arduous task. When it comes to MQ SSL/TSL, MQ administration and management teams need to know two things:

  1. When the MQ SSL/TSL certificate is expiring
  2. To be able to renew it before expiration to prevent a potentially catastrophic failure

The MQ Certificate Inspector allows a user to inspect the certificates available on an endpoint and, if required, pull them into a local trust store or create one if there is none. Options in the Certificate Inspector include Fetch Key Store, View Certificate from Host, and Add Certificate to Key Store.

One of the coolest things is if a Certificate is about to expire, Infrared360 can generate an alert to inform the user, as well as renew the certificate all on its own. Since IBM MQ uses a proprietary key repository called Key Database (KDB), Infrared360 is the only MQ Administration solution with key management software that can access the KDB. So, other Key Management software can request new certs, but cannot replace them. For that, you have to do it manually or write a script that requires deployment (an added security risk) and maintenance (what if the person who wrote that script leaves???).  

Infrared360 can renew 100’s of certifications with 1 click as opposed to taking an hour just to do one with other solutions. That’s hundreds of hours saved just from automating MQ certificate renewal. 

Another great automation capability that’s often touted by our customers is automated reporting capabilities. 

With IT being an important part of innovation in a business, delivering reliable reporting to management in a timely manner is very important. This allows for full visibility into your middleware stack to help problem solve and ensure everything is working as needed. This can help improve performance as well by making sure any problems are spotted before there is a critical issue so the informed decision making from these timely reports is imperative.

With Infrared360 there are tons of different things you can do with reporting, but the main idea is getting the important information to specific users or groups at the time they need it. Infrared360 can generate reports on whatever data you need and send them automatically to your users as an HTML report, PDF, CSV and/or an excel spreadsheet.. So if you need a daily/weekly/monthly report, you can set that up and send it automatically to whoever needs it, even if they are not a user of Infrared360! Generating reports manually can still be done if needed, but it’s just a more time-consuming process. Automating the process allows you to use that time for more valuable initiatives. 

One last thing you can do is customize reporting by only sending important reports to avoid alert fatigue. Alert fatigue is when an overwhelming number of alerts desensitizes the people tasked with responding to them, leading to missed or ignored alerts or delayed responses. By only setting up alerts and reports to notify you of the important things you want to know about, you will not miss anything that could cause an outage, cause downtime and more. These are just a few of the ways you can save some time with MQ Automation.

To learn more, we have a webinar upcoming on January 25th, 2023 about 4 Things You Can Automate to Save Time and Effort on MQ Administration.

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