Installation Integration Performance Customization Technical tips and tricks More...
Data Center Automation
obriend 120000NV9S 2,736 Views
Welcome to the Data Center Automation blog. This blog is one of several within the
Isabell Sippli(IBM) 060000X124 5,141 Views
The Tivoli System Automation development team just released a whitepaper on SAP High Availability with Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms on AIX and Linux.
Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms is a high availability cluster solution and automation product that provides several monitoring mechanisms to detect system failures and a set of rules to initiate the correct action without any user intervention. The set of rules is called a policy, this policy describes the relationships between applications or resources. This policy and the monitoring mechanisms provide System Automation for Multiplatforms with extensive up-to-date information about the system landscape so that it can restart the resource on the current node or move the whole application to another cluster node.
To protect the SAP Central Services, System Automation for Multiplatforms will be deployed on the cluster nodes and will be configured to monitor the SAP Central Services.
The paper will detail why companies need HA solutions for SAP, and introduce degrees of availability. Furthermore, it describes which components of an SAP system should be
Download the paper here.
* Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms provides high availability and policy-based automation for applications and services for distributed environments like AIX, Linux, Solaris or Windows.
* Tivoli System Automation Application Manager is the solution for end-to-end automation in an heterogeneous data center. It helps coordinate and manage across cluster technologies, so you can better control your enterprise business services.
This is an introduction into IBM Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms.
* Sophisticated knowledge about application components and their relationships
* Quick and consistent recovery of failed resources and whole applications either in place or on another system of a cluster
If you use System Automation for Multiplatforms, the following advantages and improvements apply:
* Policy-based automation reduces skill requirements and improves automation quality and flexibility.
* Plug and play automation modules can reduce automation costs, implementation time and support effort.
* Less operator errors and effort through operations at the application level using a Web-based GUI.
* Consistent automation across all platforms.
* Protection of critical resources through quorum. Dead man switch and a disk and network tiebreaker.
* Builds small, large, and complex clusters (n:m) which reduces the number of required backup systems.
* Goal driven automation avoids operator errors.
* Integrates with Tivoli System Automation Application Manager to automate and operate composite applications and to facilitate reporting.
* Web-based, easy to use, and powerful graphical user interface.
* Integrates with CCMDB using System Automation Application Manager, TEC, TEP, TPM.
This is an introduction into IBM Tivoli System Automation Application Manager.
IBM Tivoli System Automation Application Manager helps coordinate and manage application availability across cluster technologies, so you can better control your enterprise business services. Use it as single point of control to manage heterogeneous business application landscape.
* Leverage a single interface to manage operations of composite applications, for managing and controlling the planned and unplanned outages across the enterprise.
* Policy-based advanced automation enables modeling application behavior during failures, thus helping in reducing complexity and speeding time to value.
* Application-centric approach to automated high-availability for end-to-end application landscapes and provides automatic recovery mechanism on service disruption due to failure of application, component, resource, or system.
* Extend automation to application components that reside on single node clusters or unsupported platforms, through an agentless adapter technology.
* Speed problem resolution by using a Web-based interface to access clear views of applications and their relationship to other applications, servers and systems, and then drill down to determine the root cause of failures
* Mitigate the impact of service disruptions by using centralized control for all clusters and Sysplex environments to help make time-critical decisions that prevent unplanned outages and to better prepare for planned outages, such as routine maintenance
* Include applications running on single node servers or unclustered servers in the automation scope through the agentless adapter
* Expand capabilities with an additional disaster recovery component for System z mainframes which integrates with Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS). It is designed to notify GDPS to trigger disaster recovery actions
* Integration with Tivoli Productivity Center - Replication (TPC-R) allows System Automation Application Manager to become the single point of control for both multi-tiered business applications and the corresponding data replication between two sites. This provides disaster recovery (DDR) functionality for a purely open system landscape
The tool appcmd can be used for testing IBM Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms policies as well as IBM Tivoli System Automation Application Manager end-to-end and Agentless Adapter policies. In order to verify that your policies work as expected, they need to be tested. In particular, it has to be tested whether resources are recovered as expected in failure situations. It is very time-consuming to perform such tests with real applications because all failures to be recovered need to be injected manually. This application simulator is capable of injecting all failures recognized by SA MP and SA AM Agentless Adapter and logs the initiated recovery actions.
You can use appcmd to instrument IBM.Application resources or IBM.RemoteApplication resources. appcmd simulates these applications, allows to mimic failures and tracks the execution of commands which makes it a useful tool to develop and test policy constructs without need to install real applications or impacting real applications.
We publish appcmd for free in our IBM System Automation for Multiplatforms Wiki page here
With version 3 appcmd supports:
* Internal serialization was refactored and a problem regarding node reboot was fixed so that all simulated resources are reliably set of Offline in case of a node outage before the first Monitor is invoked.
BerndJostmeyer 110000B97C 3,042 Views
From Zero to z Hero Workshop: End-to-End Automation und Hochverfügbarkeit mit Tivoli System Automation
Dieser Hands-on Workshop veranschaulicht Ihnen den Mehrwert einer Tivoli End-to-End Automations Lösung, die es ermöglicht, heterogene Anwendungen auf distributed Plattformen und System z von einer zentralen Konsole aus zu bedienen und zu automatisieren.
06.10.2011 - IBM Forum Ehningen
Die GSE Herbst-Tagung steht vor der Tür, zum ersten Mal durchgeführt durch die beiden neuen GSE-Gruppen “Automation and Business Resiliency on Open Systems” und “Automation and Business Resiliency on Mainframe”.
Wann: 25.10.2011 - 28.10.2011
Wir haben bisher Präsentationen in den folgenden Bereichen geplant:
die Repräsentanten der beiden Automation Groups
Frank Beckers Dietmar Knodel
Manfred Farwick Sylvia Koch
Bernd Jostmeyer Dr. Richard Rothermel
Already last year members of the GSE Automation group decided it is worth to create a new work-group concentrating on Automation and Business Resiliency matters especially on open systems. This was the day we decided to found a new work-group "Automation and Business Resiliency on Open Systems".
What is GSE?
Guide Share Europe (GSE) is an international nonprofit association of companies, organizations, and individuals involved in Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) solutions based on IBM architectures. The key aims of GSE are
What is this workgroup about?
Automation and Business Resiliency for Open Systems is a workgroup to exchange information between
IT professionals related to automation and availability of their IT environment on non-mainframe
platforms (Open Systems). This includes business relevant workload running on AIX, Linux, Solaris,
Windows and integration of this workload with IT business components running on the z/OS
The focus of this workgroup is on the following products and integration scenarios:
also fosters the exchange of technical information with the workgroup Automation and Business Resiliency
on Mainframe, GSE Id: CAUTD.
Why should I join the workgroup?Contact Information
Workgroup members have the opportunity to meet with peers and IBM experts from all over Europe. The
Members of this workgroup meet twice a year either at IBM or at the site of one of its members. These
conferences will usually be held together with the workgroup Automation and Business Resiliency on
Mainframes – which is of special interest for those people who make use of all System Automation family
If you are interested in more information about our workgroup you can contact the following people:
Frank Beckers, Finanz Informatik GmbH & Co KG
Manfred Farwick, GAD eG
Bernd Jostmeyer, IBM Research and Development Boeblingen,
For more information please also have a look at the following product information pages.
ThomasLumpp 120000EDEY 3,177 Views
see on Youtube our Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms high availability solution for SAP. You can find two videos.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k22CYXM-f4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGwqQnIGv9E
p.s.: These are both posted to the Tivoli Demos YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/tivolidemos?feature=mhee
New Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms (SA MP) video on YouTube:
High Availability for SAP environments with Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms
The Tivoli Provisioning Manager development team has implemented usability testing in the Agile development process. By allowing customers to experience the product while in development, we are building a strong partnership with our customers to shape the solution that they need.
Here are the main points that we followed to be able to fit formal usability testing into the Agile schedule. By doing so, our team greatly improved the task flow and user interaction for the features tested.
1. We created a team
Our usability team is cross-functional, made up of people who have a "day job” but are also passionate about usability. Our team is composed of: a user interface (UI) developer, a tester, an Information Development (ID) representative, an Outside In Design (OID) representative, and a sponsoring manager.
2. We tested with 4-6 users
Our team conducts 5-6 usability sessions at the beginning of a sprint, each with a single user. We recruit users who are typical for our product: either external customers (existing or new, who are participants in the Early Adoption Program) or internal customers (Level 3 Support, Services, or Sales).
Testing with 5 users is sufficient to reveal 80 percent of the usability issues. This way we received enough feedback on the main flow, and we were able to figure out the top priority issues. For more information about testing with 5 users, see Jakob Nielsen’s article Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users.
3. We tested every sprint
Our team calls the first week of a sprint “the usability week.” Usability sessions are 1.5-2 hours long. Additional time is needed to set up the environment for the session, write the script, and summarize the results. We conduct moderated sessions, both in-person (in the Usability Lab) and remotely (using IBM LotusLive).
By keeping a consistent schedule, we know we are getting feedback from customers every sprint, so we can plan accordingly to fix the issues in a timely manner. After a few sprints of consistent usability testing, it becomes second nature for teams to validate their developed features with users, as shown below.
1. Obtain feedback within first week of sprint. Incorporate feedback into the design.
2. Incorporate usability feedback. Depending on the severity of the problems found, the feedback is applied to the development or the design work.
3. Validate solutions by a combination of internal testing and additional usability tests.
4. Repeat entire cycle every sprint.
In addition, we have other channels of communication with customers, like the EAP forum, where we keep the communication ongoing throughout the development cycle. Forum communication can cover additional topics of discussion, which are not necessarily covered by the usability sessions.
Continue with How Tivoli Provisioning Manager integrated usability testing in Agile - Part 2, where I am sharing some other important points.
In How Tivoli Provisioning Manager integrated usability testing in Agile - Part 1 we talked about 3 points on how usability testing fits into the development cycle. In part 2, I will be sharing some other points to make this activity successful.
4. We tested “anything”
For example, we tested various designs to validate the general flow of a task from the business perspective. The feedback received from a design validation session helped us determine the right choices to provide. We also tested draft documentation to identify gaps and to validate the effectiveness of search results.
In addition to testing working code and documentation during usability sessions, our team conducts validation sessions for features that are in the design phase. In these sessions, we are gathering feedback from customers from the start. This way, they are helping to shape the product functions.
5. We involved everybody
For all usability sessions, in-person and remote, our team encourages stakeholders to participate in listen-only mode. This process helps the team understand the customer’s perspective because everybody can see where the users are confused and if they are struggling to complete their tasks.
6. We recorded feedback
Our team uses a wiki to store the information that we collect for each sprint, session, and feature tested. We are using IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) to open defects, to track how many defects have been fixed at any point in time (and for which feature), and to remind us what issues still need to be addressed.
7. We presented results
In the report, we summarize the ratings and overall task success, the positive feedback, and the number of defects opened. We also store this report in the wiki along with the notes from the sessions.
Conclusion: We improved usability
We took the following actions based on usability issues identified in our testing:
Did you know that you can comment on or rate pages in an information center? Feedback on the documentation helps us to understand which areas of the documentation need improvement or more information, and what topics our customers find useful.
This video shows the Tivoli Provisioning Manager information center, but the same steps can be used for any information center that has the collaboration features enabled. The Tivoli Provisioning Manager team checks for comments regularly, and we use the feedback to improve the information when we publish updates to the documentation.
The IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager development team continues to enhance the next release (TPM v8.1) with new features and usability improvements which are targeted for future delivery. We have just announced the availability of our first BETA.
If you are an existing TPM customer or stakeholder and would like to participate in the BETA and provide feedback, please contact Kimberly Mungal (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join the TPM 8.1 Early Access Program.
Today the Tivoli System Automation team published a WhitePaper in the product Wiki.
The title is "Case Study: Configure SA AppMan for non-root usage" and describes how customers can configure their SA Application Manager installation to be able to run without root-privileges.
Detailed descriptions for operating system, DB2 database, WebSphere Application Server, and System Automation Application Manager itself are provided.
The direct link is: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/tivoli/Tivoli+System+Automation+Application+Manager+Best+Practices
Tivoli Provisioning Manager for OS Deployment and Tivoli Provisioning Manager for Images documentation is now available in ePub format
Starting from October 14th, Tivoli Provisioning Manager for OS Deployment and Tivoli Provisioning Manager for Images documentation is available also in ePub format at the following links:
Tivoli Provisioning Manager for OS Deployment:
EPUB (short for electronic publication) is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub. EPUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that the displayed text can be optimized for the particular display device used by the reader of the EPUB-formatted book, like tablets or e-book readers.
A new Whitepaper has been published now also on the SA for Multiplatforms WIKI: SAP HA with SA for Multiplatforms Whitepaper. Read the story how to use the new SAP HA feature of SA for Multiplatforms to create wizard-driven an high available cluster environment for your SAP installation.
BerndJostmeyer 110000B97C 2,985 Views
A new link has been added to the Best Practices section of the SA Application Manager WIKI. Following this link will provide you with information how to use SA z/OS, SA for Multiplatforms and SA Application Manager to automate and manage an SAP environment cross-platform. Best Practices SA Application Manager
Automation with Tivoli System Automation products family in virtual environments has been presented on the GSE Power-Systems conference in Munich on 21.11.2011.
Virtualization technologies play an important role in datacenters – they also provide the base for currently hot discussed “cloud” infrastructures.
There is a lot of focus on virtualization technologies for distributed server platforms like zVM, VMware, System p’s Hypervisor, SUN Solaris Zones, and others.
Of course, virtualization provides several benefits this presentation concentrated on the aspects of availability, high availability and disaster recover.
More than 80% of enterprises have adopted server virtualization, but only 20% of all server workload is on virtual machines
Key points which have been addressed in the presentation:
These topics are addressed in the given presentation - if you are interested to learn more pls. contact us.
I am pleased to announce that Tivoli Provisioning Manager for OS Deployment and Tivoli Provisioning Manager for Images Fixpack 8 (including System-x Edition) have been shipped and can be downloaded from Fix Central.
This release delivers 14 APARs, internal defects and minor enhancements to our customers, plus a complete refresh of InfoCenter.
Notice that this fixpack is a full build so that the IBM ID needs to be entitled to download it from fixcentral.
If a customer or IBMer is experiencing a problem with the entitlement, suggest the following links:
- Page where IBM internal can be entitled:http://www-947.ibm.com/systems/support/fixes/en/fixcentral/help/index.html
- Entitlement error and resolution for customers:http://www-947.ibm.com/systems/support/fixes/en/fixcentral/help/faq_sw.html#entitlement_error
The fixpack and the related readme file can be also accessed internally (GSA):
Thanks to the extended team for the hard work in getting this done!
in case you haven't seen this so far......
With the introduction of Tivoli System Automation Application Manager (SA Application Manager) version 220.127.116.11 (available since Q4 2011) the SA Application Manager has been enhanced to automate (start/stop) resources that are monitored by IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM).This new capability allows ITM customers to not only monitor SW components, but also control and automate SW components which are so far monitored by ITM. A simple example is a multi-tierd online banking application with software components spread across many servers. With this new integration it is possible to start, stop, or restart this complex business application or its sub-components with a single mouse click.
Here are some details:The SA Application Manager provides simple control of multi-tiered business application landscapes found in today's data centers. For example, an "Online Trading Application" consisting of a set of Webservers, several WebSphere (JEE) servers, and a back-end database,
can be managed as a single entitiy. Therefore, an operator can restart this "Online Trading Application" in a single step. Adding SA Application Manager to an existing ITM monitored infrastructure will:
SA Application Manager integrates with IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) by using existing ITM resource instrumentation (ITM agents). Therefore, the SA Application Manager:Software components that have until now only been monitored by ITM, also become resources managed by the SA Application Manager. ITM resources can even become automated members of complex business applications within SA Application Manager automation policies.
ITM delivers many different types of agents. The integration of SA Application Manager and ITM allows almost every type of ITM agent to be integrated: Application agents (also referred to as non-OS agents), including custom agents. OS agents
For further information about this new feature contact me, refer to the release notes of the SA Application Manager 18.104.22.168, or look into the SA Application Manager Wiki.
BerndJostmeyer 110000B97C Tags:  manager aotc application sa z/os saam samp conference 5,409 Views
For AOTC members and people interested in System Automation Product Family - there is an exciting change for our 2012 AOTC event. For the first time in 2012, the Automated Operations Technical Council (AOTC) joins IBM Pulse at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas March 4-7, 2012 and we invite you to take part in the action!
The first three days will be open to all Pulse attendees. There will also be a special evening reception for you to network in an informal setting with other attendees. For AOTC members only, a special fourth day Client Council will be held, where discussions typically include product futures and requirements; therefore, as in past years, all attendees for day four will be required to sign a confidential non-disclosure agreement.
BerndJostmeyer 110000B97C 3,003 Views
SA for Multiplatforms (SAMP) automates applications and ensures their availability in a so called "High Availability Cluster". The product itself delivers the framework to create such an High Availability Cluster and to manage any kind of resource in it. In simply words - anything what can be started, stopped and monitored by an operator using commands can also be managed as so called "resources" by System Automation for Multiplatforms on those systems. You need to configure SAMP and tell the product which resources to manage on the systems within the cluster. In a first step you define the resources (tell SAMP how to start, stop and monitor). I a second step you group the resources logically together and create relationships. This allows you to define the scope of automation (start a group of resource by one command) and control (observe the status of all resources by just checking the group state). In addition SAMP knows in which sequence resources (and therefore the represented applications) should be started or stopped. An operator does not have to remember this ans last but not least SA for Multiplatforms can do it automatically after an unexpected outage was detected without having an operator to react manually.
Creating resources, defining groups and relationships takes a considerable amount of time - more than just the installation of SAMP. In order to help our users to create those policies we provide a set of so called "pre-canned policies" for free. They can be downloaded from the IBM Integrated Service Management Library (also known as OPAL).
Find a link to the pre-canned policies in our WIKI: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/tivoli/Tivoli+System+Automation+for+Multiplatforms+Best+Practices
between May 7th to May 11th the annual EOTC will happen again in the IBM Boeblingen R&D Lab. Like last year this conference with international customer participation will run in two tracks - one concentrating on "SA z/OS" and "Netview" topics - the other tracks sharing news, demos and workshops concentrating on the products "SA for Multiplatforms" and "SA Application Manager". Although the whole EOTC is happening from monday to friday - this "distributed EOTC track" will start on tuesday at lunch time and end on thursday afternoon.
You will learn whats coming in the next release of SA as well as getting first-hand experiences from other customer using these products.
Hope to meet you soon in Boeblingen
"System Automation on IBM Total Solution Event for System z"
One topic on the annual "IBM Total Solution Event for System z" in Berlin was a presentation and discussion of how Tivoli System Automation product family can be used to handle automation and disaster recovery tasks in a zEnterprise Environment. We presented how the SA product family integrates with GDPS for disaster recovery solutions. In the presetnation we showed the value of using SA Application Manager and SA for Multiplatforms on top of the zEnterprise URM (Unified Resource Manager) to manage business critical applications starting from the hardware the virtualization layer and finally the application stack.
Find the presentations of this 2-days event using following link: TSE 2012 Event in Berlin in the "Presentations" tab. The SA presentation you find on Track 9 "Integrated Management and Monitoring on zEnterprise"
I am interested in your opinion what kind of education is required.
At this link I have posted the current course contents. Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms Installation and Administration (SM952) has been updated to a 3.2.1 level. It can be also used to do a special class for operators.
At EOTC 2012 there was support for an Operator training about combined e2e and SA MP. In addition DB2 and SAP could be of interest, both of which are covered in Pulse 2012 workshops, see next entry.
Please send me your input as email or create another blog entry - thx
The Pulse 2012 workshops including VMware images (IBMers only) are available:
F05 DB2 High Availability and Disaster Recovery
In this lab exercise, you learn how the IBM DB2 High Availability and Disaster Recovery feature works with automatic failover using IBM Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms to make DB2 highly available.
Three virtualized Linux hosts are preinstalled with the appropriate software packages (DB2 production installation without instance, db2_install).
However, no other configuration has been applied to give you a realistic setup experience from start to finish.
F06 SAP High Availability
In this lab exercise, you learn how to make SAP highly available. You use the updated SAP wizard of Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms 3.2.2 to define automation in your own cluster. You learn to start and stop an entire SAP cluster with a single click. You perform a critical outage scenario of the SAP central instance and watch Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms recovering your SAP application.
Note: IBMers can download the VMs for this workshop at SPLL
A new developerWorks article has been published, which helps Tivoli System Automation users get up and running. This new Getting Started Guide was written by Frank Goytisolo, an IBM IT Specialist who has spent several years working with Tivoli System Automation for High Availability (TSA).
Here is an excerpt from the overview:
The purpose of this guide is to introduce Tivoli® System Automation for Multiplatforms and provide a quick-start, purpose-driven approach to users that need to use the software, but have little or no past experience with it.
This guide describes the role that TSA plays within IBM’s Smart Analytics System solution and the commands that can be used to manipulate the application. Further, some basic problem diagnosis techniques will be discussed, which may help with minor issues that could be experienced during regular use.
When the Smart Analytics system is built with High Availability, TSA is automatically installed and configured by the ATK. Therefore, this guide will not describe how to install or configure a TSA cluster (domain) from scratch, but rather how to manipulate and work with an existing environment. To learn to define a cluster of servers, please refer to the References appendix for IBM courses that are available.
Click here to read the entire article.
A new presentation with tips and tricks for the following user interfaces of SA Application Manager has been published on the WIKI:
Find the presentation in the Best Practices How To's section using the following link: