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Are you Still on Track?
For those of a certain age group, or for those with a sense of history, you may have been aware of the NonStop Open System Interconnection / Message Handling System (OSI/MHS) subsystem.
Insider Technologies developed “ActionView.400”, the OSI/MHS X.400 monitoring product which was shipped with the older Tandem/HPE NonStop platforms and since December 2018, has been marked by HPE, as obsolete.
However, we support customers in the Government and Military sectors where the monitoring and tracking of X.400 and SMTP/MIME emails is essential to ensure that SLAs are met and every message can be accounted for – for the military especially, a pretty critical requirement one would think?
Insider also has customers in message tracking arenas for BASE24, XML, MQ, including solutions for “WayPoint”, aka Store-and-Forward mechanisms (SAF), BAM, JMX, again, across multiple platform and vendor environments – all monitored via a single Sentra interface.
A description of two types of our message tracking solutions follows but to start with…
Architectural design for monitoring and tracking email/MTAs across multiple platforms and MTAs.
1) X.400/SMTP Message Tracking
The manual monitoring of these types of protocols requires highly skilled engineers who understand the infrastructure and flow of the messages amongst large-scale global networks.
To assist with their monitoring requirements, our multi-vendor and multi-platform enterprise monitoring solution – Sentra – provides them with an invaluable addition to their toolset.
Note: Sentra does not interrogate the message content; it is purely concerned with tracking the delivery of messages through their global mail delivery systems.
Government and Defence Message Tracking
- Track Government and Defence mail systems processing >100,000 messages per day.
- Provide an interface so that individual mail items can be tracked and queried.
- Measure delivery response times for mail.
- Alert on other attributes such as mail ‘deleted before read’.
- Interface to a billing system.
- Monitor the infrastructure that the application executes on.
- Use Sentra’s centralised software installation and management facilities to deploy tracking software to >200 remote, multi-vendor platforms and multi-vendor MTAs.
- Relay SMTP and X.400 email data from the remote nodes to the standard Sentra facilities for storage and analysis.
- Create service level rules to prove timely delivery of mail.
- Issue an alert when as SLA has not been met.
- Alerts viewed by engineers via a tailored Sentra web console.
- Proof that Customer Service Levels are being met.
- This data helps to influence charging tariffs.
- Pro-active fault resolution.
- No lengthy analysis, as all provided via a single web interface
Sentra Hypervisor for MTA
Top-level example for an MTA infrastructure based at Insider.
Drill-downs available to show message flows per platform and per SMTP/MTA agent. This is an extremely simple example compared to our Government and Military configurations.
Graphical Message Tracking
Graphical message tracking results allow you to see clearly, what happened to any given message without having to look inside it. In the example below, you can view the path the message has taken and obtain individual diagnostics.
Message Tracking Results
Drill-down from any point in the diagram to get detailed diagnostics from the MTA.
Highlighted alert detail.
2) WayPoint (SAF) Message Tracking
Payments, messages can be sent across multiple platforms.
Each message contains a particular id that is stored within Sentra, where its inbuilt correlation engine will track the required journey.
A series of XML agents are deployed to key monitoring points (WayPoints) within a payment / messaging processing infrastructure to monitor the message flows and calculate transaction volumes and trends, payment volumes and trends and end-to-end processing times.
Based on the Sentra stored data, rules can be configured to monitor service level compliance and abnormal processing volumes. Trend charts, alerts, queries can be created via the Sentra browser interface.
Note: A single Sentra installation provides this fully encompassed monitoring and tracking solution.
Without Sentra WayPoint Tracking
Messages stored on each platform, with no waypoint tracking to determine for example, where the message is; if it is meeting its SLA delivery time; if there is any corruption.
With Sentra WayPoint Tracking
Sentra Correlation Engine
I trust this article will illuminate you as to how we at Insider Technologies are pretty creative in providing in-depth tracking solutions for all types of messages, across any vendor and any platform; not just on HPE NonStop.
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