Friday, January 29, 2010

Some minor Tivoli issues I’ve dealt with lately

As part of getting back on the saddle with my blog, I’m going to list a few of the problems I’ve encountered lately and, more importantly, how I solved them.

ITM 6.2.1 on Windows

I had a case where a universal agent simply would not start. Looking at the logs showed nothing wrong, it was just not registering with the TEMS. The Perl script was unchanged, the owner of the script had not touched it.

I googled “script Universal Agent restart” and one of the first hits I got was for an APAR (patch) called IY86181: UA RESTART MAY FAIL IF A SCRIPT LAUNCHED WITHIN UA IS RUNNING. Interesting.
Unfortunately, this patch is for Unix servers and came out back in 2006! It did get me thinking and I checked the Task Manager for running processes. There were lots and lots and lots of Perl.exe…. hmm. I killed all the Perl.exes and lo and behold – the UA connected to the TEMS!

Pity it still didn’t show any data :(

I then opened up a command window and ran the script. Wouldn’t you know? The script hung because it asked me to press ‘y’ or ‘n’ for some security setup.

Pressing ‘y’ a few times solved the problem and the Universal Agent ran properly from then on. Oh, and the script owner remembered that he had added a few more servers to the config file.

Lessons learned?

  1. NEVER believe whatever the client tells you. ESPECIALLY if they say “nothing changed, but now it doesn’t work”.
  2. If something external to the application stops working, first test it by itself.
  3. When researching a problem, look at similar-but-not-identical-problems and see if their solution can be fitted to suit you too.
  4. Not every problem will show up as an error in the log. In this case, the UA was functioning properly, it was simply waiting forever for someone to press ‘y’!
  5. Practice your skills. I haven’t been working on bugs in production environments lately, I’ve been busier installing new systems.
    This list of suggestions is written in the fastest way to solve the problem, but the exact opposite of the order I did them in!

6.2.2 on Redhat Linux

I was trying to configure the Warehouse Proxy on a new installation, but when I right-clicked configure then the Messages window shows 'Starting configuration ...' but the configuration screen never displayed.

I found a PMR which had my exact case and it even had the solution!
Removing the file $CANDLEHOME/<arch>/bin/ksz.jar and restarting the management console enabled me to configure the Proxy agent.

Lessons learned?

  1. One of the advantages of working for IBM (or having IBM support) is, of course, the common databank of lots and lots of people working on the same systems.
    It would have taken me ages to solved the problem on my own, or a week or so if I’d opened a PMR. Having had someone else, on the other side of the world perhaps, do that once – enabled me to solve my problem in about an hour and a half  (one hour to play around with the system, half an hour to search the PMR databank, find the solution and implement it)

-- Edit 01-Feb-2010
Of course, NOW I find a technote which presents the solution: In my defense, I encountered the problem prior to the technote being published. I’ve been told that this bug will be fixed in an upcoming fix pack.

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