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Staying up to date for the Holiday Season
With the Holiday Season fast approaching, its time to ensure that your Commerce environment is ready to handle the increased load. One aspect that is normally overlooked when preparing for the Holiday Season is maintenance. Ensuring that the environment is on the latest available versions is critical to prevent new issues from arising and allow faster resolution if one does. This is true for the whole software stack. Too often, the supporting software for Commerce is forgotten about. Its important to not only keep Commerce up to date with the latest maintenance, but also ensure that the underlying software is at latest maintenance levels.
Over past Holiday Seasons we have seen several instances where there were production outages from hitting a known issue in the underlying software stack. They could have been prevented if extra steps were taken prior to Holiday Season to ensure the whole environment was upgraded to latest releases. It is recommended that when upgrading the WebSphere Application Server, you also update the supporting components, ie JDK, IHS and Plugin.
WebSphere Application Server:
WebSphere Application server is the foundation of Commerce is built and it is critical that it is maintained and kept at latest level available. The latest available version for WebSphere Application Server v7 is fixpack 37. Use the following links to access the latest maintenance for WAS.
WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment Version Fix Pack 37
WebSphere Application Server and the Commerce application depend on JDK as its base component. Its important to maintain the JDK component with the latest fixes to prevent known issues. Generally when you upgrade WAS, you would also want to upgrade the JDK as well. The latest JDK fixpack is 37 which can be found here.
WebServer plays a significant role in a Commerce environment so it is critical to ensure it is at the latest maintenance level. The following are the Web Servers that Commerce supports and their latest maintenance.
Database is the single most important part of the Commerce Application. It is critical to ensure that the Commerce Database is running at peak performance by routinely running runstats , reort,etc..per Maintaining Commerce Database But its also important to ensure that it is at the latest available maintenance. The following is a list of database versions that are supported by Commerce and links to the latest maintenance available.
DB2 Enterprise Edition Version 18.104.22.168, or higher version 9.5 fix pack. Latest maintenance is Fixpack 10
DB2 Enterprise Edition Version 22.214.171.124, or higher version 9.7 fix pack. Latest maintenance is Fix Pack 10
DB2 Enterprise Edition Version 10.1 which is limited to Commerce version 7 fp7 , fp8 or fp9. Latest maintenance is Fix Pack 5
DB2 Data Server Client Version 10.1.0.1, or higher version 10.1 fix pack limited to Commerce version 7 fp7 , fp8 or fp9. Latest maintenance is Fix Pack 5
DB2 Data Server Client Version 10.5.0.1, or higher version 10.5 fix pack limited to Commerce version 7 fp8 or fp9. Latest maintenance is Fix Pack 6
DB2 Enterprise Edition Version 10.5 64 bit only limited to Commerce v7 fp8 or fp9. Latest maintenance is Fix Pack 6
Refer to Oracle Download Site for latest maintenance.
Oracle 11gR1 Database Standard or Enterprise Edition Version 126.96.36.199, or higher Version 11.1 fix pack
Oracle 11gR2 Database Standard or Enterprise Edition Version 188.8.131.52, or higher Version 11.2 fix pack
Oracle 12c Database Standard or Enterprise Edition Version 184.108.40.206.0, or higher Version 12.1 fix pack 64bit only limited to Commerce v7 fp9
If you are using Extreme Scale as your distributed cache solution, it is important to maintain and keep it at the latest available version. The following are recommended maintenance depending on version installed.
- WebSphere Commerce Server clients using WebSphere Application Server 7.0 and up:
Extreme Scale version 220.127.116.11 and latest cumulative ifix when available.
- WebSphere Commerce Server clients currently using WebSphere Application Server version prior to v7:
Message Broker / Integration Bus / MQ:
If you are using Message Broker / Integration Bus or MQ ensure that they are maintained at the latest supported version. The following is latest releases available.
Message Broker 18.104.22.168
IBM Integration Bus included in IBM Integration Bus Retail Pack 1.0
WebSphere MQ Fix Pack 22.214.171.124
Hopefully this post will shed light on the forgotten aspect of maintaining the underlying software stack. It is just as important to keep the supporting software up to date as it is the Commerce Application. Your worst nightmare is to encounter issues during the middle of "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday" when sales are their peak because of not being on latest maintenance where the issue has already been resolved. We should take every opportunity to limit potential issues during the Holiday Season by leveraging the latest maintenance for each product in your Commerce Environment.