Visual Configuration Explorer (VCE) is a free tool available in the IBM Support Assistant. The major features I like about it are: 1) it can visualize parts of a WAS configuration such as servers, core groups, etc., 2) it can run the configuration against a database of common issues, and 3) it can compare parts of a configuration to each other (e.g. compare two nodes or servers), or compare two or more different WAS configurations (e.g. compare two cells). This blog post will cover #3 (as a side note, for #2, just right click on a configuration in VCE and click "Validate").
First, a custom VCE data collector must be uploaded to the target WAS machine and run on it to produce the configuration file:
- Install VCE in ISA and restart ISA
- In ISA, click File > Preferences. Under Visual Configuration Explorer, click Utilities. Choose a directory where you want to export the VCE runtime, choose "Visual Configuration Explorer Headless Automation Runtime," and click Deploy.
- This will create a file named VCEHeadlessRuntime_v*.zip in the target directory.
Upload the ZIP file to a temporary directory on the deployment manager and unzip it. If you are running WAS as a non-root user, it's good to chown vce to this user.
Change directory into the vce directory and run the following commands:
- export JAVA_HOME=$WEBSPHERE_INSTALL/java/bin
- export PATH=$WEBSPHERE_INSTALL/java/bin:$PATH
- java -jar startup.jar -buildfile wasexporter/wasexport.xml -Dwas.root=$WEBSPHERE_INSTALL -Dprofile.name=$DMGR_PROFILE_NAME
Important Note: VCE can be quite CPU intensive.
Replace $DMGR_PROFILE_NAME with the profile name of the deployment manager. If you're not sure what that is, run manageprofiles.sh -listProfiles from the install root bin directory.
This will create a file underneath wasexporter/output/ called $DMGR_PROFILE_NAME.configuration
Ensure in the standard output of the java command that you see "BUILD SUCCESSFUL."
Then run this on the other cell's deployment manager, and download both configuration files in binary mode.
Next, launch VCE from ISA. If this is your first time using it, a welcome screen will pop up -- just click the X button to close this to get back to the main VCE screen.
- Create a new Workspace > In Configurations > Right Click > Add Configuration
- Load both .configuration files
You should see something like the following.
In the Object Compare Results view, VCE will show all differences (you may need to explicitly match differently named cells/nodes/servers in any "unresolved" nodes):