Tips for deploying Rational Insight 1.0 in a large enterprise

Ways to capitalize on available computing resources

In preparing to deploy IBM Rational Insight performance management software in your large enterprise, you need to take into consideration the performance demands of running data-intensive reports against a wide set of heterogeneous data sources. The key is to capitalize on the division and specialization of available computing resources by distributing components strategically on different machines. This article describes the flexible options available and walks you through installing Version 1.0.1.1 in an enterprise-scalable distributed topology that uses an IBM DB2 database and IBM WebSphere Application Server.

Ali Manji (amanji@ca.ibm.com), Software Developer, IBM

author photoAli Manji is a software developer with the Rational Insight team. He has several years of background with the Rational brand and experience in working with a multitude of IBM offerings. You can follow him on Twitter @torontoIBMer or read his developerWorks blog, Random Rational Tidbits.



06 March 2012

Also available in Chinese

IBM® Rational® Insight performance management software helps decision-makers to better monitor software development projects that are critical to their organizations, thus to govern projects better, too. It does this by providing development intelligence from a combination of information sources. There are flexible options available to deploy Rational Insight for a large enterprise that needs to run information-intensive reports that use a large amount of aggregated data. This article will walk you through the key steps for installing Version 1.0.1.1 in an enterprise-scalable topology that uses IBM® DB2® Version 9.7 and IBM® WebSphere® Application Server 7.0.

Considerations for an enterprise deployment architecture

Regardless of the size of your enterprise, Rational Insight users in your organization need quick-running, responsive reports and dashboards.

Typical use considerations

To meet their needs, be sure to consider the following as part of your deployment planning:

  • Average (and maximum) number of concurrent users that you expect to be using Rational Insight. Take into consideration any expected growth rates in your user community.
  • Amount of data that typical reports will require.
  • Variety and heterogeneity of data sources from which user reports will need to extract information.

Component installation considerations

Rational Insight provides the option to install and deploy various components across a distributed topology. In doing so, the deployment architect or engineer can address those considerations by capitalizing on the division and specialization of available computing resources.

There are three components that you can deploy onto separate machines:

  1. Data server (which contains the Data Warehouse and the Content Store databases)
  2. Extract, transform, and load (ETL) server
  3. Report server

Consider all of these factors in deciding how you will install these components:

  • Weigh the option of installing the data server onto a separate machine if you expect your organization to store large amounts of data for reporting.
  • If you expect frequent scheduled jobs and requests to extract large amounts of data from various stores, consider deploying your ETL server on a dedicated machine.
  • Finally, if you believe you will have a large number of concurrent users making report requests, install your report server on a separate machine, as well.

For this article, assume that all three of those situations are factors, so you will install all three components on separate machines.


Rational Insight enterprise deployment architecture

End-user report authors can separately install a few Rational Insight client packages onto their desktops to design, generate, and schedule reports. (Note: This article does not provide a detailed description of the steps to install the client packages for the Rational Insight report authoring capabilities.)

Figure 1. Enterprise Rational Insight deployment topology
The 3-tier Insight enterprise solution for deployment

Figure 1 outlines the overall enterprise deployment topology that you will create, using a separate physical machine for each of the key Rational Insight components: the data server, the ETL server, and the report server.

From Figure 1, there are a couple of important items for your awareness:

  • Each of the machines in this architecture uses a 64-bit operating system; however, Rational Insight v1.0.1.1 runs in 32-bit mode only. You will need to install 32-bit versions of all of the prerequisites for Rational Insight (for example, DB2 and WebSphere Application Server).
  • The report server requires a permanent license, which is installed into and accessed from the IBM Rational License Key server v8.1.1 (or greater). You can install the Rational License Key server on a machine that is remote from the Rational Insight servers shown in Figure 1. You will not discuss further how to install and consume the licenses required by Rational Insight.

Before you start

To perform the steps in this article to achieve the target deployment topology shown in Figure 1 you will need:

  • Three physical machines to create our enterprise deployment of Rational Insight
  • An installation of DB2 Enterprise Server Edition v9.7 on the machine designated as the Rational Insight data server
  • An installation of DB2 data server Client v9.7 (32-bit) on the machine designated as the Rational Insight ETL server
  • An installation of DB2 data server Client v9.7 (32-bit) on the machine designated as the Rational Insight report server.

Important:

  • Both the ETL server and report server require the DB2 data server Client for remote database communication with the DB2 Enterprise Server Edition hosted on the machine that will host the Rational Insight data server.
  • The Rational Insight report server requires an installation of WebSphere Application Server v6.1 or v7.0 on the same physical machine. You have a number of options on how you wish to install the Rational Insight report server with WebSphere Application Server. You can:
    1. Have Rational Insight install WebSphere Application Server along with the Rational Insight report server component
    2. Install the Rational Insight report server in an existing WebSphere Application Server installation
    3. Indicate that you want to manually deploy the Rational Insight report server to WebSphere Application Server yourself
  • In this article, you will select the first option and let Rational Insight install both WebSphere Application Server v7.0 and deploy the Rational Insight report server to WebSphere for us.
  • In carrying out the steps of this article, you will assume that you have root user access for Linux/UNIX and Administrator user privileges for Windows.

Install the Rational Insight data server

You will use a DB2 Database Server, v9.7, to store two important databases that the Rational Insight data server uses:

The Rational Insight Data Warehouse
Stores aggregated data used by reports. This database is subject to scheduled refreshes to keep the information up-to-date.

You will also install and use a data warehouse that comes with sample data (SAMPLEDW) so that you can run some of the reports included with Rational Insight to get an idea of the valuable development intelligence that this tool provides.
 
The Rational Insight Content Manager
Contains metadata for the Rational Insight software's inner workings.

Installation steps

You are installing the data server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux Edition 5.5, using the root user.

  1. From the disk1 folder, run:
    • ./launchpad.sh (for Linux or UNIX)
    • launchpad.exe (for Microsoft Windows 32-bit OS)
      or launchpad64.exe (for a Windows 64-bit OS)
  2. In the Launchpad window, click Install IBM Rational Insight.
  3. After the IBM Installation Manager launches, select IBM Rational Insight 1.0.1.1, and then click Next.
    Note:
    If Rational Insight 1.0.1.1 does not detect a full version of Installation Manager on your machine, it will attempt to install version 1.4.3 of a complete Installation Manager.
  4. Close running programs, disable or shut down any running or active antivirus software, and click Next.
  5. Select the I accept the terms in the license agreement radio button, and click Next.
  6. Either leave or change the default for the Shared Resources Directory value to a location that you prefer, and click Next.
  7. Leave or change the default for the Rational Insight Installation Directory value to a location that you prefer, and click Next.
  8. Select check boxes for any additional language translations that you need, and click Next.
  9. On the "Select features to install" page, choose all of the items under the Database Server package (and only those), as shown in Figure 2, and click Next.
Figure 2. Installing the Rational Insight database server packages
Be sure to select only Database Server packages

Note:
To validate the installation and run some of the available sample reports that Rational Insight provides, you are installing the Data Warehouse with the Sample Data component. You might also want to install it for training purposes or choose not to install it all. It will require 3 GB of space on your file system (on Linux).

  1. For "Fill in the configurations for the packages:"
    1. From the Installation mode drop-down menu, select Automatic: Create the databases for me.
    2. From the Database type drop-down menu, select DB2 9.7.
    3. In the "Database application location" field, enter the location of your DB2 installation". (The default location for a Linux installation of DB2 is usually /opt/ibm/db2/V9.7 and for Windows, it is normally C:\Program Files\IBM\SQLLIB.)
    4. Enter the DB2 administrator user OD and password. For Linux, the administrator user ID is normally db2inst1, and for Windows, it is usually DB2ADMIN.
  2. Click Next.
  3. On the "Review the summary information" page, click Install".
  4. You will receive notification that all of the packages installed successfully, click Finish.
  5. Close the Launchpad.

Post-installation steps

(Optional) Inspect DB2 to ensure that the SAMPLEDW, Data Warehouse, and Content Manager databases were created.


Install the Rational Insight ETL server

The Rational ETL server is the component that carries out these important data-warehousing functions:

  1. Performing extractions periodically from various data sources
  2. Transforming data for both storage and up-to-date, real-time reports
  3. Loading transformed data into the warehouse for future reports

Installation steps

You are installing the Rational ETL server on Windows with a user account that has Administrator privileges.

  1. Repeat the Installation steps 1-8 from the section "Installing the Rational Insight data server section.
  2. On the "Select features to install page, choose all of the items under the ETL Server package, as shown in Figure 3, and then click Next.
Figure 3. Installing the Rational Insight ETL server packages
Make sure to select only the ETL server packages

Note:
Installation of the Data Manager client package will occur due to a dependency from the ETL server packages.

  1. On the "Review the summary information" page, click Install.
  2. After you receive notification that all packages were installed successfully, click Finish.
  3. Close the Launchpad.

Post-installation steps

Because Rational Insight and the IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence server access DB2 through the call level interface (CLI), you will need to create a DB2 alias for the SAMPLEDW, Data Warehouse, and Content Manager databases. You can create these aliases in at least two different ways: either through use of the DB2 CATALOG DATABASE command or through the DB2 Configuration Assistant tool (see the Resources section in this article for links to both)


Install the Rational Insight report server

The Rational Insight report server component packages and extends he Cognos Business Intelligence server, and key packages deploy and run under a Java-based application server. This component hosts your deployed reports for your users to run.

Rational Insight license

The Rational report server component is also responsible for validating and enforcing license entitlement.

During the installation of the Rational report server component, you have the opportunity to provide your Rational License Key Server information. This information includes the hostname and port where the license server is running. You need to install the appropriate licenses for Rational Insight onto the server for successful license validation.

If you would like a dedicated Rational License Key Server installation to host your Rational Insight license, or you do not have an existing installation of the license server, Rational Insight also includes version 8.1.1 for you to install.

Installation steps

You are installing the Rational ETL server on Windows with a user account that has administrator privileges.

  1. Repeat the installation steps 1-8 from the Installing the Rational Insight data server section.
  2. On the "Select features to install" page, choose all of the items under the main Report Server package (see Figure 4), and click Next.
Figure 4. Installing the Rational Insight report server packages
Be sure to select only report server packages
  1. On the "Fill in the configurations for the packages" in the directory tree panel on the left, under the Common Configurations entry, you should see two entries: Common Licensing and Application Server.
    1. Select the Common Licensing entry.
    2. Here, you can enter the host name and port of one or more Rational License Key servers that will host your Rational Insight licenses. You can also leave these values empty and enter this information after the installation or at the end of your 180-day trial license, which will activate until you enter valid License server details.
  2. Click Next to advance to the Application Server leaf of this page:
  3. In the drop-down menu for choices of server installations, select WebSphere Application Server 7.0 (new installation).
  4. Leave the port that WebSphere will use as 9080 unless it poses a conflict.
  5. Check the Enable administrative security check box, and enter a user name and password to use to make any necessary future administrative changes within the WebSphere Administrative console.
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Review the summary information page, click Install.
  8. After you receive a successful installation notification, click Finish.
  9. Close the Launchpad.

Post-installation steps

  1. Copy the following DB2 driver files from the DB2 data server client installation directory:
    • db2java.zip
    • db2jcc.jar
    • db2jcc_license_cu.jar
    • db2policy.jar
    to the following locations:
    • Insight installation directory\cognos\webapps\p2pd\WEB-INF\lib
    • Insight installation directory\AppServer\profiles\RationalReport\installedApps\hostnameNode01Cell\IBM Cognos 8.ear\p2pd.war\WEB-INF\lib
  2. The Rational Insight report server also requires that you repeat post-installation step 1 from the Installing the Rational Insight ETL server section.
  3. Launch the IBM Cognos Configuration utility by selecting Start > IBM Rational Insight > IBM Cognos 8 > IBM Cognos Configuration, and enter these values (also shown in Figure 5:
    1. Select Content Store found under Data Access > Content Manager.
    2. Select DB2 database for the Type entry.
    3. For the database server and port number, enter the hostname and port for the DB2 server that is located on the same machine as the Rational Insight data server.
    4. Change the value for the "Database name" field from CM to RICM for the Content Manager (on case-sensitive platforms, you might need to use lowercase: ricm).
    5. Save your changes by selecting File > Save.
    6. Close the IBM Cognos Configuration utility.
Figure 5. Setting the Content Store values
Enter the correct database server host and port
  1. Start the Rational Insight Server: Start > WebSphere > App Server v7.0 > Profiles > RationalReport > Start the Server. Wait 5-10 minutes for start-up and initialization to occur.
  2. Use the web-based IBM Cognos Administration tool to update the data source for the Data Warehouse to provide correct connection details for Rational Insight to reach the SAMPLEDW.
    • Launch Rational Insight: Start > IBM Rational Insight > Open Rational Insight
    • On the right hand side, within the IBM Rational Insight ribbon, click the Launch arrow and follow these instructions to update the connection string to provide the correct host and port information to the DB2 server that co-exists on the same machine as your Rational Insight data server.

Run sample reports

Your deployment of Rational Insight for the Enterprise is finished. Test out your distributed installation by running some of the available reports and dashboards that Rational Insight includes.

  1. Launch Rational Insight: Start > IBM Rational Insight > Open Rational Insight.
  2. Under the Public Folders tab, select Sample Report Definitions.
  3. Browse and run the reports under the Dashboard Reports or Data Warehouse Reports folder.

Figure 6 is the Defect Distribution across Component report, an example of the many reports Rational Insight provides that you can use. You can find this report by selecting Public Folders > Sample Report Definitions > Dashboard Reports > Project Level Reports.

Figure 6. The Defect Distribution across Component report
Shows severity of defects by component

Summary

In deploying Rational Insight to your enterprise, consider installing various components across a distributed topology to capitalize on the division and specialization of available computing resources. This article showed, step by step, how to install Rational Insight components across three separate machines to allow certain functions of Rational Insight to benefit from exclusive use and specialization of hardware resources.


Acknowledgement

The author would like to thank Arthur Ryman for his review of this article.

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