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How does IBM ECM System Monitor interact with IBM Watson AIOps and Instana?

By Roland Merkt posted Thu July 08, 2021 03:35 AM


Automating the health checks in the daily operation of IBM Business Automation solutions and providing relevant events and metrics to central AIOps solutions does not only make the administrators’ life easier, but enables IT Operations to predict and prevent outages – and therefore protect the lines of business from disruptions. IBM ECM System Monitor collects these Business Automation specific events and provides them to IBM Watson AIOps and Instana, allowing for faster and more proactive responses.

IBM’s Business Automation (BA) solutions are business critical, so they need to be managed proactively 24/7. With IBM ECM System Monitor (ESM) IBM has an offering in its Business Automation portfolio to address this requirement. However ESM is not an isolated solution helping only FileNet, CMOD, and other BA administrators in their daily operation. ESM also interacts with central AIOps solutions like IBM Watson AIOps and Instana, adding the BA platform to the bigger picture and leveraging the central AI capabilities.

 While BA administrators focus on their own application platform, IT Operations has to cover the entire IT landscape of an organization. They need to respond to incidents across all technologies used – applications, middleware, network and infrastructure. The constant drive for more automation also helps them, supporting their DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering initiatives with AI and machine learning. Sophisticated solutions like IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps help them not just to automate mundane work, but use the AI-infused capabilities to provide better service quality at lower costs – and with less frustration for the various IT teams involved.

 The IBM AIOps Field Guide provides a great overview of the key elements and benefits of AI-infused IT Operations. These tasks are key in operating an application platform:

  • Event Analysis – analyze and prioritize events to take action or prevent outages
  • Metrics Analysis – analyze performance and capacity metrics to better understand application behavior and detect anomalies
  • Log Analysis – analyze log entries to detect anomalies

 Automating these tasks helps to reduce noise and get to the roots of problems much faster, especially if the AI engine is able to detect repeat offenders in advance and point the administrators to those incidents that require immediate action. The quality of analysis and automated actions however strongly depends on the quality of data provided to the AI engine. Here ESM can play an important role to support the “Discover” activity and provide relevant Business Automation specific events to the Intelligence Layer of Watson AIOps and the Observability Engine of Instana.


These Business Automation events, performance and capacity metrics are pre-processed and classified by ESM, provided to the AIOps solution and there put into context with other events from applications, middleware, infrastructure, and network components. As ESM is a standard solution in IBM’s Business Automation portfolio, providing best-of-breed functionality for BA administrators, there is no need for the customer to reinvent the wheel by building basic capabilities in their central tools.

ESM provides multiple ways to feed the relevant events to the central AIOps solution:

  • SNMP: Send events as SNMP traps.
  • Database: Write events into a database via JDBC
  • Logfile: Write events into a dedicated logfile on the ESM Management Server. The AIOps solution reads this logfile and processes the events.
  • Webhook API: Events can also be created by Webhook sending notifications to the central AIOps solution. This method also works well to create trouble tickets directly in service management tools like ServiceNow.


The benefits are obvious: The central AIOps solution is enriched with Business Automation specific events and metrics – collected from both traditional deployments and Kubernetes deployments. BA administrators and central operations get better insights and can respond to incidents much faster and with less efforts – 24/7. This results in better service quality in the business units and reduced costs in IT and the business.




Mon July 19, 2021 10:06 AM

A great synergy exists between Instana & Watson AIOps with ECM System Monitor. This provides real value to our customers, leveraging the benefits of observability & AI-infused operations for our Business Automation platform.