System administration in WebSphere Application Server V8.5, Part 2: Using the Centralized Installation Manager

Many system administrators are familiar with the IBM® Installation Manager tool for installing IBM WebSphere® Application Server, but a new tool in recent versions of WebSphere Application Server gives you the ability and flexibility to install WebSphere Application Server to a large number of remote machines. This article explains how to set up and use the Centralized Installation Manager in WebSphere Application Server V8.5. This content is part of the IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal.

Felix Wong (fmhwong@ca.ibm.com), Advisory Software Developer , IBM

Felix Wong is an Advisory Software Developer at the IBM Toronto Lab. Felix has 15 years of IT experience with IBM. He is currently the development lead of the Centralized Installation Manager.



20 June 2012

Also available in Chinese Japanese

Introduction

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Centralized Installation Manager provides an easy, repeatable, centralized user interface for installing IBM® WebSphere® Application Server to a large number of remote target machines, all without requiring the administrator to log in to each machine and repeat the same install operation.

Centralized Installation Manager (CIM) has been available in WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment since Version 7.0. A number of major improvements were made to CIM for WebSphere Application Server V8.0 and 8.5. Beginning with WebSphere Application Server V8.0, CIM drives remote installation of WebSphere Application Server and its supplementary products using IBM Installation Manager, which provides a single user interface for managing the product lifecycle. CIM also enables you to install the product and apply maintenance (fixpacks and ifixes) — separately or together in one operation.

Centralized Installation Manager versus IBM installation Manager

Although they have similar names, CIM and IBM Installation Manger are different tools: CIM helps you install to remote target machines, which IBM Installation Manager installs products on the local machine only.

Because CIM is now integrated with the Job Manager, you can submit installation jobs from both the Job Manager administrative console and wsadmin command line. Table 1 compares CIM features between WebSphere Application Server V7.0 and V8.0 and 8.5, and Table 2 lists the available CIM jobs and their functions.

Table 1. Centralized Installation Manager features by version
Centralized Installation Manager featuresWebSphere Application Server V8.0 and 8.5WebSphere Application Server V7.0
User interfaceJob Manager and Deployment ManagerDeployment Manager
Installation technologyIBM Installation ManagerInstallShield
Installable productsIBM WebSphere Application Server
IBM HTTP Server
Application clients
DMZ Secure Proxy Server
Web Server Plug-ins
WebSphere Customization Toolbox
IBM WebSphere Application Server
Installation scopeNo cell limitSingle cell
Job schedulingYesNo
RepositoryRemote and localLocal
File transferYesNo
Manage profilesYesNo
Run commands and scriptsYesNo
Table 2. Centralized Installation Manager jobs
JobNameDescription
inventoryInventory Use to collect what has been installed on remote targets, it will be run automatically right after you register a host. The inventory information is a snapshot of what has been installed on a remote target at that moment. Rerun this job to get the most updated inventory information as needed.
installIMInstall IBM Installation Manager Use to install IBM Installation Manager on remote targets.
updateIMUpdate IBM Installation Manager Use to update IBM Installation Manager on remote targets to a newer version.
uninstallIMUninstall IBM Installation Manager Use to uninstall IBM Installation Manager on remote targets.
manageOfferingsManage offerings Use to install or uninstall WebSphere Application Server and its supplementary products. Can also be used to install or uninstall fixpacks and interim fixes.
manageprofilesManage profiles Use to create or delete WebSphere Application Server profiles on remote targets.
collectFileCollect file Use to remotely retrieve files from remote targets to the Job Manager machine.
distributeFileDistribute file Use to transfer files from the Job Manager machine to remote targets.
removeFileRemove file Use to delete a file on remote targets.
runCommandRun command on remote host Use to run an operating system command or shell script on remote targets.
testConnectionTest connection Test the connection between the Job Manager and remote targets.
installSSHPublicKeyInstall SSH public key Before you can use the SSH public and private key authentication, you need to install the public key to remote targets first. Use this job to install the pubic key to remote targets.
findDataLocationAdd or search for Installation Manager agent data locations Use to find additional Installation Manager agent data locations on remote targets. This is for advanced users who need to use more than one agent data locations.

Setting up Centralized Installation Manager

Initial setup

To use CIM, you need to have two or more machines connected in a network and perform the following steps (see the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Information Center for detailed instructions).

On the first machine:

  1. Install IBM Installation Manager version 1.5.2 or later.
  2. Use Installation Manager to install IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5.
  3. Create a Job Manager profile using the Profile Management Tool.
  4. Start the Job Manager.
  5. Open the Job Manager administrative console.

Installation Manager repositories

IBM Installation Manager fetches product files to install from repositories, and it is able to access its repositories in a variety of ways. It can access repositories from your local file system, from CD or DVD, network file systems, or from HTTP or FTP servers.

If your machine has direct access to the Internet and your IBM ID is authorized to access the WebSphere Application Server repository from IBM, then you don't need to setup a local repository. Otherwise, you can use the IBM Package Utility to create a local repository from the product DVDs you wish to load, or use a separate machine with access to the Internet and download the repository for WebSphere Application Server.

See Resources for more information.

Locating CIM

You can access CIM from several places:

  • CIM was integrated with the Job Manager in WebSphere Application Server V8.0. Installation functions are implemented as jobs in the Job Manager.
  • Figure 1 shows the Jobs section in the Job Manager's navigation panel. All of the CIM functions for installing WebSphere Application Server V8.0 or later are located in the Jobs section (Submit, Status, targets, and so on).
  • The Job Manager functions are also available in the Deployment Manager (since V8.0). You can access the Job Manager functions by creating either a Deployment Manager profile or Job Manager profile.
  • There is also a Centralized Installation Manager group under the System Administration section in the Deployment Manager, which is where you find the CIM functions for managing V6.1 and V7.0 nodes. These functions are not available in the Job Manager profile.
Figure 1. Job Manager navigation
Figure 1. Job Manager navigation

Installation kits

Before you can install WebSphere Application Server V8.0 or later onto a remote machine, you must install IBM Installation Manager onto each machine. With CIM's help, this is an easy task that only needs to be done once:

  1. From the administrative console, expand the Jobs section and click Installation Manager installation kits.
  2. You will need to get a copy of the IBM Installation Manager installation kit for your target machine. If you are using the console on the Job Manager machine, you can simply download it directly to the location specified by the IBM Installation Manager installation kit's location. (The default location is <INSTALL_ROOT>\profiles\JobMgr01\IMKits.) If you are using the console from the other machine, you can click the Add button to upload the kit. You may obtain a kit from here.
    Figure 2. Installation Manager installation kits
    Figure 2. Installation Manager installation kits
  3. After you have put the kit into the “IMKits” directory, you will see an entry in the table which tells you the version and operating system of the kit (Figure 3).
    Figure 3. Installation Manager installation kits with a Windows kit
    Figure 3. Installation Manager installation kits with a Windows kit

Using CIM

Register a new host

In order for CIM to perform operations on a remote host, you must register it with its credential:

  1. From the console, expand the Jobs section and click Targets. Click the New Host button.
  2. Enter the Host name of the remote Windows® machine; for example, testmachine.ibm.com.
  3. Enter a username for the Administrative user with installation authority field; for example, administrator.
  4. Select Password authentication and then enter and confirm your password.
  5. To save the credential, check the Save security information checkbox. (If you choose to save the security information now, you will not need to enter it again during future job submission.)
  6. Click OK (Figure 4).
    Figure 4. Registering a new host
    Figure 4. Registering a new host

The hostname will be displayed in the table of the Targets panel.

Install IBM Installation Manager

You are ready to install the IBM Installation Manager:

  1. From the console, expand the Jobs section and click Submit. A five step job submission wizard displays.
  2. In the Job type drop down selection box, select Install IBM Installation Manager. Enter a description to identify this job (optional). Click Next.
    Figure 5. Step 1: Choose a job type
    Figure 5. Step 1: Choose a job type
  3. Enter the hostname of the target machine and click Add. You can also use the Find button to find the hosts if you have many hosts registered. You can add or select many targets in this step. You can also create a target group using the Target groups panel so you do not need to select the same targets every time when you submit a job. Because you saved the credential when registering the host, you don't need to enter username and password here. Click Next.
    Figure 6. Step 2: Choose job targets
    Figure 6. Step 1: Choose a job type
  4. Because you put the corresponding installation kit in the IMKits directory, CIM will pick up that kit for the Windows target. You do not need to specify the Installation Manager kit here. For the Installation Manager agent data location and installation directory, you can leave them blank and the default values will be used. Check the I accept the terms in the license agreements checkbox if you accept the license agreements for the software you are installing. Click Next.
    Figure 7. Step 3: Specify job parameters
    Figure 7. Step 3: Specify job parameters
  5. You can schedule the job to run in future or get an email notification (see Resources for more information). Click Next.
  6. Click Finish to submit the job.
  7. You can get the latest status by clicking the Refresh icon on the Status Summary column (Figure 8).
    Figure 8. Job status
    Figure 8. Job status

Target resources

Use the Target Resources panel to see what has been installed on a host. From the console, expand the Jobs section and select Target resources. The example in Figure 9 shows that IBM Installation Manager has been installed on the target cimvm02.canlab.ibm.com host.

Figure 9. Target resources
Figure 9. Target resources

Installing WebSphere Application Server

Follow the steps below to install WebSphere Application Server and its supplementary products. You must provide a response file for Installation Manager. Installation Manager has the ability to record a response file without doing the actual work. An Installation Manager response file is an XML file that contains data required to complete installation operations silently. If you use a password protected repository, you can also record a key ring file at the same time, or you can use a sample response file from the Information Center. A key ring file is a file that contains the credential information to access the protected repository. See Resources for more information on how to record a response file and a key ring file. Listing 1 shows a sample response file for a 32-bit Windows target.

  1. From the console, expand the Jobs section and click Submit. The job submission wizard will display.
  2. From the Job type drop down box, select Manage offerings and click Next.
  3. Enter the Host name and click Add. You can also use the Find button to find the hosts if you have many hosts registered. Since you have saved the credential when registering the host, you don't need to enter username and password here. Click Next.
  4. Enter the fully qualified name of the response file or select the Browse button to locate it on the Job Manager machine. You can leave the Installation Manager path and agent data location empty and the default values will be used. If you use a password protected repository in the response file, you will need to provide the key ring file and its password if it is password protected. Check the I accept the terms in the license agreements checkbox. Click Next.
    Figure 10. Step 3: Specify job parameters
    Figure 10. Step 3: Specify job parameters
  5. Click Next, then Finish to submit the job.
Listing 1. Sample response file that installs WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.5 into a 32 bit Windows target
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!--The "acceptLicense" attribute has been deprecated. Use "-acceptLicense" command 
line option to accept license agreements.-->
<agent-input acceptLicense='true'>
<server>
<repository location='<Put your repository location here>'/>
</server>
<profile id='IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5' installLocation=
'C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer'>
<data key='eclipseLocation' value='C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer'/>
<data key='user.import.profile' value='false'/>
<data key='cic.selector.os' value='win32'/>
<data key='cic.selector.ws' value='win32'/>
<data key='cic.selector.arch' value='x86'/>
<data key='cic.selector.nl' value='en'/>
</profile>
<install modify='false'>
<offering id='com.ibm.websphere.ND.v85' version='8.5.0.20120501_1108' 
profile='IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5' 
features='core.feature,ejbdeploy,thinclient,embeddablecontainer,com.ibm.sdk.6_32bit' 
installFixes='none'/>
</install>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.eclipseCache' 
value='C:\Program Files\IBM\IMShared'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.connectTimeout' value='30'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.readTimeout' value='45'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.downloadAutoRetryCount' 
value='0'/>
<preference name='offering.service.repositories.areUsed' value='true'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.ssl.nonsecureMode' 
value='false'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.http.disablePreemptive
Authentication' value='false'/>
<preference name='http.ntlm.auth.kind' value='NTLM'/>
<preference name='http.ntlm.auth.enableIntegrated.win32' value='true'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.preserveDownloadedArtifacts' 
value='true'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.keepFetchedFiles' 
value='false'/>
<preference name='PassportAdvantageIsEnabled' value='false'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.core.preferences.searchForUpdates' 
value='false'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.agent.ui.displayInternalVersion' value='false'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.sharedUI.showErrorLog' value='true'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.sharedUI.showWarningLog' value='true'/>
<preference name='com.ibm.cic.common.sharedUI.showNoteLog' value='true'/>
</agent-input>

You can use the Manage offerings job to install WebSphere Application Server fixpacks and interim fixes (ifixes). To install a fixpack, all you need to change in the response file are the version attribute of the offering tag and the repository location that contains the fixpack.

Managing profiles

After you have installed WebSphere Application Server on a target, you can submit a job to create a profile. You will need to have a response file for the manageprofiles command. The manageprofiles response file is a text file which contains a command and name value pairs for the manageprofiles command to operate silently. Depending on how the response file is written, you can create, augment, or delete a profile. Listing 2 shows a sample response file for creating a Job Manager profile.

  1. From the console, expand the Jobs section and click Submit. The job submission wizard will display.
  2. From the Job type drop down box, select Manage profiles and click Next.
  3. Enter the Host name and click Add. You can also use the Find button to find the hosts if you have many hosts registered. Because you saved the credential when registering the host, you don't need to enter username and password here. Click Next.
  4. Enter the fully qualified installation location of WebSphere Application Server on the target. Enter the fully qualified name of the response file or use the Browse button to locate it. Click Next.
    Figure 11. Step 3: Specify job parameters
    Figure 11. Step 3: Specify job parameters
  5. Click Next, then Finish to submit the job.
Listing 2. Sample response file which creates a Job Manager profile
create
profileName=JobMgr01
profilePath=C:\\Program Files\\IBM\\WebSphere\\AppServer\\profiles\\JobMgr01
templatePath=C:\\Program Files\\IBM\\WebSphere\\AppServer\\profileTemplates\\management
serverType=JOB_MANAGER

Transferring files

CIM can help you transfer files between Job Manager and your target machines. For example, if you would like to examine the install log files, you can use the Collect file job to retrieve files from target machines.

  1. From the console, expand Jobs section and click Submit. The job submission wizard will display.
  2. From the Job type drop down box, select Collect files and click Next.
  3. Enter the Host name and click Add. Use the Find button if you have many hosts registered. Click Next.
  4. Enter the fully qualified file name of the target machine. You can use a wildcard * to get all files in a directory; for example, C:\foo\bar\* You can leave the destination field and distribution provider fields empty. Click Next.
    Figure 12. Step 3: Specify job parameters
    Figure 12. Step 3: Specify job parameters
  5. Click Next, then Finish to submit the job.
Figure 13. Job status
Figure 13. Job status

After the job is completed, you can click the links under the Output Files column to view the files, which are located at <PROFILE_HOME>\config\temp\JobManager\<Job ID>\<hostname>.

To transfer files, submit a Distribute file job. The source files must be placed under <PROFILE_HOME>\config\temp\JobManager\. Specify the relative path of the file to be transferred from this location in the source field. Specify a fully qualified path for the Destination field. You can leave the Distribution provider empty.

Run commands or scripts

You can run commands in operating system shell scripts on remote targets. For example, you can use the run command job to start a server:

  1. From the Job type drop down box, select Run command on remote host and click Next.
  2. Enter the Host name and click Add, or use the Find button to find the hosts you need it. Click Next.
  3. Enter the command in the Command or script field. Enter the fully qualified path to the command in the Working directory field. Click Next.
    Figure 14. Specify job parameters
    Figure 14. Specify job parameters
  4. Click Next, then Finish to submit the job.

Conclusion

This article presented the steps for setting up CIM, installing IBM Installation Manager, installing WebSphere Application Server, creating a profile, and transferring files.

Although there are several steps involved in setting up CIM, most of these steps need to be done one time only. Once setup is complete, you can use CIM to install WebSphere Application Server and its fixpacks to many machines using the centralized interface.

If you are a WebSphere administrator and need to install and maintain a large number of WebSphere installations, CIM will be a valuable tool to you. It provides you a centralized interface for installing and applying maintenance with efficiency and reliability. All of the GUI functions mentioned here also have equivalent wsadmin commands.

All the new features mentioned here apply to WebSphere Application Server V8.0 and later. If your environment also involves WebSphere Application Server V6.1 or 7.0, CIM for managing these nodes have been brought forward into WebSphere Application Server V8.0 and 8.5, and you can still find it in the Deployment Manager administrative console and the wsadmin command line.

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ArticleTitle=System administration in WebSphere Application Server V8.5, Part 2: Using the Centralized Installation Manager
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