Frequently Asked Questions

Index

What is UNIX Health Check?
Usually, organizations monitor their computer systems automatically. Which is good. So, when something goes wrong, an alert will be sent out or an incident ticket is created. However, it is better not to wait until something goes wrong. Wouldn't it be nice to know up front if UNIX systems are installed, configured and maintained according to best practices? And wouldn't it be nice to know what is wrong with the UNIX system now, before an automatic monitor alerts about it? That's where UNIX Health Check comes in. We provide health checks to scan UNIX systems, for both AIX and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and CentOS, Oracle Linux and Scientific Linux). It's software that is run on a UNIX system to scan for issues. Just like going to a doctor for a full check-up. A report of all features of the UNIX system is generated, and it shows how the system is doing. If the system is properly installed, configured and maintained, an all green report with a score of 100% will be given. If for some reason, some things are off, we'll let you know in the report what is wrong, and how to fix it. And the best thing is, you can run this yourself.


Products available from UNIX Health Check?
The following two products are available for licensing:
  • UNIX Health Check for AIX

    UNIX Health Check for AIX has been around the longest, and is available for all AIX and VIOS systems. The AIX version of UNIX Health Check will work on AIX 5.1 through 7.2 and runs on VIOS and within WPARs. And it supports HACMP/PowerHA. It runs on POWER4 through POWER8 hardware.

  • UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    The Red Hat Enterprise Linux version of UNIX Health Check, is the latest addition to our portfolio, and supports RHEL 5 through 7.4, and similar versions of CentOS, Oracle Linux and Scientific Linux. It however, does not support Fedora.



  • When to use UNIX Health Check
    UNIX Health Check is beneficial in several stages of a UNIX system life-cycle. Most of our customers simply run the entire health check daily, to provide them with a report of their server status. But doing a health check on your UNIX systems can also be very useful at certain other important points in time:
    • Before putting a new UNIX system into production - to make sure the system was installed and configured correctly.
    • Before and after doing a change on a UNIX server - to make sure no issues exist before applying patches/changes, and that no adverse situations were introduced as part of a change.
    • Before or during audits - to make sure a system is compliant with company and federal regulations.
    • During yearly performance reviews - to determine if the system administrators have taken good care of the UNIX servers.
    • Before or during any Bare Metal Restore or Disaster Recovery exercises - to validate that a UNIX server is recovered correctly.
    • When doing a security review of a UNIX system - ensuring your system's security against outside vulnerabilities, such as hackers.
    • When taking over support of UNIX systems from others or other accounts to perform an initial system scan.
    • ... and of course:
    • As part of the daily routine to check and monitor UNIX systems, because not daily reviewing UNIX systems, can have costly consequences.

    What are UNIX best practices?
    We only employ the best of the best experts on UNIX. All our UNIX experts are certified, and have all gained the highest certification level possible. This requires significant training, reading, and passing at least 5 exams. And most of all, it requires years of on the job UNIX experience. We have seen it all. From minor issues to large system outages; from wrong configurations to large disaster recovery efforts. We have built up an extensive experience on how to configure and maintain UNIX servers. We have gathered all this expertise in our products, UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Hat Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    Also, we derive our best practices from other sources:
    • SAS70 audits
      Statements on Auditing Standards No. 70, or short SAS70, is developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and widely recognized as an auditing standard. It became increasingly common to perform SAS70 audits as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act. UNIX Health Check has helped many of our clients pass the SAS70 audit for their UNIX systems. Every possible question an auditor might ask regarding UNIX systems, has been included as a check in our software.

      The SOX Compliance (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) mandates a set of processes and procedures to help ensure accurate financial disclosure, which helps prevent major corporate and accounting scandals.

    • HIPAA
      HIPAA, short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a United States law regarding security and privacy of electronic patient information in the healthcare industry, issued in 2003. It poses requirements specifically on those companies direct or indirectly involved in handling patient data. We've implemented many of HIPAA's recommendations in our software.

    • DISA
      The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a United States department of defense agency that provides guidelines for (amongst others) information technology. Many of DISA's findings have been implemented in both UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    • PCI DSS
      Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a security standard accepted worldwide. This compliance is to be followed by any business that processes card payments (in other words, not only by the financial services sector) to help prevent credit card fraud.

    • FFIEC
      Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) defines a set of standards for financial service sectors such as online banking.

    • IBM
      Obviously, we also follow IBM's (and other vendor) recommendations, and service and support best practices, as found on http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/best/home.html.

    • IBM System p bulletins
      IBM's issued advisories as found on http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/subscriptions/pqvcmjd.

    • Red Hat
      Many best practices and procedures for optimization of UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, as published by Red Hat, have been included in UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    • Red Hat Notifications and Advisories
      Advisories and notifications issued by Red Hat that may affect the security of your UNIX systems, as published on https://access.redhat.com/security/updates/advisory.


    What happens with the report generated by UNIX Health Check?
    First and foremost: Our software doesn't transmit any information of your UNIX systems outside your organization. Our software is built to run standalone on UNIX servers. You decide what to do with the information produced by UNIX Health Check for AIX or UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. All our software is written in scripting language. For the AIX version of UNIX Health Check, it is written in Korn Shell scripting. For the Red Hat Enterprise Linux version, it is written in Bash scripts. This means that you can review the code yourself, and allows you to make sure that no system information is transmitted outside your company. Besides that, we don't (and can't) access client system(s), and we don't get (and we don't require) access to your UNIX system information at all. Period.

    The only data that can be transmitted through UNIX Health Check for AIX or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is by having the software send a report via email - but you decide where to send that information.

    All our employees adhere to our strict Security and Privacy policies, and on our Website Terms and Conditions of Use we explain how our website operates. We understand that UNIX systems are critical to the businesses they operate in (that's the whole point of using UNIX Health Check), so, in case we receive information about client UNIX systems (for example, as part of troubleshooting an issue), we'll make sure to protect the information that is sent to us. We also don't retain any customer information without prior approval from our customers.


    We only have one issue on our system. Can UNIX Health Check assist with that?
    Both UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux pin-point most issues on UNIX systems, and will most likely help to provide a solution on how to solve a problem on your UNIX system. But first, we always recommend for a single specific issue, that you contact your vendor for support, if you have a support agreement in place. Besides that, you can check out our blog for any specific issues. It contains a wealth of UNIX information, readily available, with loads of hints and tips on best practices for UNIX. You can search in the upper right corner of this website in our blog.

    If no vendor support is available to you and/or you can't find the solution to any of your UNIX issues, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with UNIX Health Check, as we are here to help you.


    UNIX Health Check pricing
    Both of our products, UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, are licensed to customers on a yearly basis. You will receive a site license, so it will not matter on how many UNIX servers you run it on. There are no complex licensing terms; There is no need to figure out how many CPUs or systems you will be running our software on; There is no need to run licensing daemons or entering codes. Our software works straight "out of the box". Well... there is no box. You download the software directly to your UNIX server and start using it.

    We like to keep things simple.

    All our software comes with technical maintenance and support and free updates for a year. The only thing you'll have to choose, is if you wish to use UNIX Health Check for AIX, UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or both products. But just think about how much can be saved by avoiding system outages, or by improving UNIX system performance, or by not having to pay for experts to come on-site to do trouble-shooting or doing an extensive manual health check. And think about how the UNIX system administrators can now put their time to better use, because UNIX Health Check will aid in ensuring systems are configured correctly and performing optimally. UNIX Health Check will save lots of time checking things manually on UNIX servers, so employees can focus on more important tasks.


    How does it work?
    After licensing, download our software from our website. It can be installed and unpacked on UNIX system(s) in whatever location you prefer, as long as you put it in a separate folder. No additional software is required. Simply run the checkall program that will check various items on the UNIX system and that generates a report for you. If it finds any items that need to be corrected, the report will include this. The software does NOT change anything on the UNIX server; it does NOT send out any information; it only reports. Information is included in the report on how to correct any issues discovered.
    How long does it take to run UNIX Health Check software?
    Performance is a big issue here at UNIX Health Check. We've taken every possible opportunity to make sure our software runs smoothly and quickly, and without consuming too many system resources. But of course, it depends on the system you're generating a health check on. Obviously, an older UNIX system takes a bit more time to run a health check, especially if you compare it with a new powerful UNIX system. It also depends on the number of users and the number of devices that are configured on the UNIX system. The more there is to check, the longer it takes to perform the health check.

    On average, a UNIX system takes a couple of minutes to run a full health check. Some of the latest and greatest UNIX systems can get close to running it within 60 seconds. Large enterprise systems, with thousands of users and thousands of devices, may take up to 30 minutes to run a full health check.


    System performance impact when using UNIX Health Check software
    As mentioned earlier, performance is a big issue here at UNIX Health Check. And again, we've taken every possible opportunity to ensure that UNIX Health Check software runs without consuming too many system resources.

    Our software has been tested on literally thousands of UNIX systems. And one thing that stands out from all those tests, is that the performance impact of running UNIX Health Check software is negligible. Most customers don't experience any system impact. So, you need not worry about any system performance impact when using our software.


    How to order UNIX Health Check
    We're a virtual company in an online world. We don't ship any documentation, CD-ROMs, USB thumb-drives or anything else to our customers. Everything is available online. You can order our software online, purchase it online, download our software online, and get started today!




    How soon after ordering your software will I receive login credentials?
    We strive to provide you a login and password to our website as soon as possible, after you've ordered either UNIX Health Check for AIX, UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or both, by providing us a purchase order, or by purchasing online using a credit card. Usually, we'll send you the login and password within the hour. In case you have an urgent need to start using UNIX Health Check for AIX right away, please give us a call and we'll assist you promptly.
    I'd rather test the software first, before buying it
    We understand! Unfortunately, we do not hand out full evaluation versions of our software, but lucky for you, we do provide a demonstration version of both UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. So, you can give it a test run yourself.

    If you'd like to try out the demonstration version of UNIX Health Check for AIX, please have a look at: We also offer a full 100% money-back guarantee with our products. We believe our software is the best UNIX Health Check solution available. It's robust, and thus we provide a 100% money back guarantee. If you do not like it, you'll just get your money back. By the way, our software is completely coded in scripting language, so you will have the ability to verify our code, and to confirm that it safe to run on UNIX systems.

    We do always recommend running our product on a test server first, before running it on any production systems. But we have run our software on thousands of UNIX systems, and therefore can guarantee that it's safe to run our software on any AIX and Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.


    What are the requirements for a UNIX Health Check?
    UNIX Health Check for AIX

    The following levels of IBM AIX are supported:
    • AIX 5.2
    • AIX 5.3
    • AIX 6.1
    • AIX 7.1
    • AIX 7.2
    Any IBM POWER4 through POWER8 hardware is supported.

    UNIX Health Check for AIX is also capable of running several checks for PowerHA (or HACMP) clusters. The following versions of PowerHA (or HACMP) are supported:
    • HACMP 5.4.1
    • PowerHA 5.5
    • PowerHA 6.1
    • PowerHA 7.1
    Note 1: To make sure that all PowerHA/HACMP checks included in UNIX Health Check for AIX can be run optimally, SSH keys for user root are required to be set up between the cluster nodes, so that commands can be run as user root on remote nodes.

    Note 2: Up to two nodes in a PowerHA/HACMP cluster are supported.

    UNIX Health Check for AIX is also supported on Virtual I/O Servers (VIOS). A Virtual I/O Server however, should be treated as a black box system as much as possible, similar to an HMC (Hardware Management Console). Making any changes to a VIOS on the operating system itself is not recommended, except when directed by IBM.

    UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    The following levels of UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) are supported:
    • RHEL 5.1 through 5.11
    • RHEL 6.1 through 6.8
    • RHEL 7.1 through 7.4
    Both Intel and Power architecture hardware is supported.

    UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux also supports matching CentOS, Oracle Linux and Scientific Linux levels (version 5 through 7), but only on Intel x86-64 hardware. Fedora and/or other Red Hat Linux derivates are not supported.

    General requirements

    Please note that both UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux require to be executed as user root, not by any other account. This is because several root-level access commands are run by our software. Of course, our software does not change anything on the UNIX server; it only reports, so it is safe to run using the root account.

    To view HTML reports that UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux produce, one of the following browsers is required:
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or higher
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Google Chrome
    • Microsoft Outlook 2003/2010/2016 or Windows Live Mail (to receive HTML-style reports)
    For more information, check out the online support page:

    What items are checked by UNIX Health Check?
    Listing all items checked by our software would simply be too much to do here. There are hundreds and hundreds of checks included in both UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    Some examples of items that are checked by our software are:
    • Are the paging spaces set up correctly with the correct sizes?
    • Are any unnecessary daemons properly disabled?
    • Are the correct levels of openSSH and openSSL installed?
    • Is the 64-bit kernel running on a 64-bit capable system?
    • Are there valid disks in the bootlist?
    • Are the firmware levels up to date?
    • Are the network options set the same on all cluster nodes?
    • Are system backups being created?
    • Does your system have at least 2 power supplies for redundancy?
    • Are volume groups properly mirrored?
    • Are the settings correct for user accounts and passwords?
    • Are the retention settings correct for backups?
    We could go on and on. But you can also look at a sample reports. This will give you a good idea of the items that are checked when running UNIX Health Check software.

    Please keep in mind that not every item of a UNIX system can be checked by our software automatically. For example, items that can only be checked manually are:
    • For UNIX systems configured in a cluster, are the cluster nodes located in separate physical locations?
    • Are the dual power supplies of a drawer connected to separate PDUs?
    • Are proper change procedures in place within your organization?
    • Is the root password known only to experienced system administrators?
    These items will still require manual checking from time to time.


    Can you provide sample reports?
    We've put several sample reports on this website for your reading pleasure. It will show you different options available for the reports, as well as output from running many checks on a UNIX system.
    What is included in the UNIX Health Check offering?
    UNIX Health Check for AIX includes:
    • 1,365 AIX operating system configuration, performance, PowerHA/HACMP and security checks. *
    • Reports generated in text, HTML, CSV or XML output. Reports can be sent out to one or more email addresses.
    • Online documentation for UNIX Health Check for AIX.
    • One year support from our technical experts.
    • One year of software updates.
    • A fixed price, to plan IT budgets more easily.
    • Absolutely no hassle: It's easy to use!
    • A 20% discount on the price if UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux is licensed at the same time.
    * Note: The number of checks included in UNIX Health Check for AIX may change. We're continuously developing UNIX Health Check for AIX and including more and more checks over time.

    UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes:
    • 538 Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system configuration, performance, and security checks. *
    • Reports generated in text, HTML, CSV or XML output. Reports can be sent out to one or more email addresses.
    • Online documentation for UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    • One year support from our technical experts.
    • One year of software updates.
    • A fixed price, to plan IT budgets more easily.
    • Absolutely no hassle: It's easy to use!
    • A 20% discount on the price if UNIX Health Check for AIX is licensed at the same time.
    * Note: The number of checks included in UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux may change. We're continuously developing UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and including more and more checks over time.

    How do I install and run UNIX Health Check?
    Please have a look at our documentation. It describes the full installation and how to run UNIX Health Check for on your AIX and Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.
    Do I need a license key to run UNIX Health Check?
    UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not use any license keys to run. It is not keyed, and is not bound to any host IDs, CPUs, or any specific hardware, and you can run it on as many UNIX systems as you like.


    How long can UNIX Health Check be used?
    After you've acquired a license for UNIX Health Check for AIX or UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or both, your organization is entitled to one full year of support. Along with that, you'll have the opportunity to download updates for our software. Once your first year has expired, UNIX Health Check for AIX and UNIX Health Check for Red Hat Enterprise Linux won't stop working, and you can continue to use it if you like. However, if you do not renew your license(s), you will no longer be eligible for support and downloadable updates.