WebSphere – The backupConfig script your friend


This is just a short post – But the built-in utility you get with the backupConfig script is worth looking into for everybody!

if you have worked with WebSphere for any significant time you have come across the built-in backup and restore utility that each WebSphere server has by default: [backupconfig.bat] or on Unix/Linux [backupconfig.sh] and the corresponding restore scripts [restoreConfig.bat] and [restoreConfig.sh]. 

At my current client we are working on application customizations and testing them on new servers. This is where the backupConfig comes in handy as it does not just back-up your application server(s) but the deployment manager and all the node(s) configuration as well – so you can replay a whole server configuration along with the installed applications and any application specific configuration. backupConfig can also be used to migrate servers from one piece of hardware to another (or VM server or, …. any combination is possible).

The process is simple: find the scripts in the [/bin] folder of either the Dmgr or the node,  execute the script and it will check your servers configuration, stop all server instances including nodeagents and then create a zip file of ALL files necessary for the back-up – and all of this wonderfulness is  unencumbered by the human thought process … 🙂

Whenever I am about to install a new application, install any fixes or make configuration changes to a WebSphere  server I run the backupConfig script once first and keep a copy of the zip file it created on a local machine – just to be safe.

Where to run:

Depending on your architecture you can run it on the Deployment Manager and/or all nodes. When you run it on the Deployment manager it will grab all the configuration for the Dmgr, nodes and application servers in one go. This is essential if you have to restore an environment. On a managed node (separate HW) it will capture the configuration and applications installed on that physical node – so you might need to run it on each physical WebSphere server in your environment once to get a total base back-up. Once I have that I usually just run the scripts on the deployment manager as most of the work happens there anyway and all changes are synchronized out to the nodes.

Restores:

On windows it is simple – just run the restoreConfig script and tell it which zip file to use … and presto. On Unix/Linux you have to think a bit more. The backupConfig script does not keep any file rights or ownership information, when restoring it basically sets the file ownership to the account being used to run the script – so make sure you are using the same account and have read/write rights to the folders involved. 

Here is the link to the documentation in the WebSphere Infocenter – I hope you find it useful and make a back-up of your servers soon!

Get Free Training! New Complimentary IBM WebSphere Education Courses Available from the Global WebSphere Community


I think everybody following me knows that I am telling everybody to learn WebSphere – it will come your way like it or not. Here are some free training courses/videos that you can look at – all you have to do is become a member of the Global WebSphere Community – and PRESTO – free training for you. I will be looking at this later tonight …

Dear WebSpherians,Last year, we polled our Global WebSphere Community members asking you what WebSphere topics you were most interested in having additional training information on from the GWC. The results came back showing a strong interest in WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere MQ. The Global WebSphere Community is pleased to announce the availability of these complimentary IBM WebSphere Education courses to our GWC members.We are pleased to offer the following courses to our members:

  • WebSphere MQ v7 Installation and Configuration
  • WebSphere MQ V7 High Availability Considerations
  • Using WebSphere MQ V7 Traces, Error Logs, and Failure Data Capture Files
  • WebSphere MQ V7 Clustering
  • WebSphere Application Server V8 Architecture
  • WebSphere Application Server v8 Workload Management

Click here for more information or to view one of the courses

Sincerely

The Global WebSphere Community Management Team

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End of Support for IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1 is 30 Sept 2012


This came across my desk the other day – if you are still running WebSphere servers in the 6.1 code stream you will need to upgrade son. I don’t think many of those servers are still out there unless you are still running a few applications that require older versions of WAS to run.

 

This is fun …. it’s upgrade time again!!!!

Java: it’s your fault! Connections on AIX


Just a quick one during my lunch hour …. ran into an issue yesterday at my current client that shows once more that when you do not work with a specific OS for a while, you really loose your touch for the small details.

The Saga of WAS, AIX and the damn Java Cache

We installed iFixes yesterday and that all went well. However the syncing of the nodes (kicked off from the Dmgr console) took forever, and then one of the app clusters on one of the nodes would not restart (it eventually did after 4 hours).

To clean the system and get rid of any old temp files we:

  • Stopped all WebSphere servers:  /WAS_Profile/bin/stopServer.sh xxx -user xxx -password ****
  • Stopped the NodeAgent:  /WAS_Profile/bin/stopNode.sh -username xxxx -password ****
  • Cleaned all temp files /WAS_Profile/temp  and /wstemp (everything inside of both folders)
  • Ran  /WAS_Profile/bin/osgiCfgInit.sh
  • Ran  /WAS_Profile/bin/clearClassCache.sh

Note: you can also use the command “./stopNode.sh –stopservers -username xxxx -password ****” to shut down the node agent AND the servers at the same time. We wanted to see the individual servers come down as we had issues with one of them.

We then tried to restart the node agent ….. and it failed. We found this in the startserver.log for the node agent:

ADMU3011E: Server launched but failed initialization

Damn, nothing worked … re-cleaned, checked, cursed, cried ….. and then opened a Sev 1 ticket with IBM support online. (had a REALLY fast response – thanks guys!)

The Cavalry to the Rescue …

The Connections support guy had a look at the logs and brought in a WAS support specialist who had me repeat the clean-ups steps above AND clean this location as well (everything in this folder, but not delete the folder itself):

/tmp/javasharedresources

The IBM tech thinks we had a corrupted system level java cache that was causing the issue.  After that a ./startNode.sh worked like a charm and the servers started fine as well.

Total Clean-up

Incidentally, we ended up shutting each AIX WAS server (including the Dmgr) down one by one so we do not have a service outage and ran the above maintenance once more. On the nodes we also ran a “./synchNode.sh” with the node agent turned off – just to eliminate any possibility of the nodes maybe being out of synch (thanks for the idea Stuart).

We will also be going through our automated scripts to test adding some more items to them (email notifications when individual steps are done, add the “/temp/javasharedresources” to the list of folders to be cleaned,  etc.).

Lessons to be learned:

  • When you don’t work with an OS for a while you forget the important SMALL stuff (/tmp/javasharedresources) – I had run into this very issue a few years ago and totally forgot about it. I actually did not remember it until this morning, the day after.
  • When in doubt – call support RIGHT AWAY, if for no other reason than to validate your thought process is correct and you are not barking up the wrong tree. We did not wait very long to call, but sometimes even 5 minutes can mean the difference between failure and success.

 

 

Websphere Technote: Application Server does not start – OSGi permission issue


http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21578438&myns=swgws&mynp=OCSSEQTP&mync=R

This one just came in via a feed. I ran into this recently during my first forray into WAS 8 … The errors kicking in were a great way to develop my shaky WAS confidence. I solved it because i deal with Linux allot and access rights/file rights are a commkn problem when a team use different/personal IDs when installing systems instead of a common account. Both are acceptable as long as everybody plays by the rules.

For my friends from the Domino world this is similar to a Domino server not having the correct rights to system databases and therfor crashing. Does not happen often but is can.

WAS is not hard, jump in and learn!