Intro to ISA / ISA Lite and Data Collection
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September's featured Electronic Support Tools are the IBM Support Assistant (ISA) and ISA Lite.
IBM Support Assistant has a number of features to help you automate the manual tasks involved with software troubleshooting. When you run into an issue with IBM software, IBM Support Assistant can help you gather the relevant diagnostic information automatically so you do not have to manually locate the resources that can explain the cause of the issue.
IBM software is used in a multitude of processing environments; a development machine, such as a notebook or desktop computer, has different applications and user access restrictions versus a server running a different set of enterprise applications. To cater to these different scenarios, the IBM Support Assistant provides different mechanisms for running data collection:
The IBM Support Assistant Workbench can be installed on a Windows® or Linux® desktop system so you can collect data from the local system. The workbench-based collection has a nice graphical interface that provides an intuitive organization of collection scripts and easy analysis of collected data. This is a logical choice for collecting data from desktop applications, such as IBM Rational® Software Architect. The ISA Workbench also provides access to several different serviceability tools which can assist you in many areas of problem diagnosis such as Java troubleshooting, product configuration analysis, log analysis, and more. IBM Support Assistant can be customized for over 350 products and over 20 tools.
IBM Support Assistant Lite is a special offering of IBM Support Assistant. Install IBM Support Assistant Lite to quickly collect diagnostic files so your problem can be solved faster. IBM Support Assistant Lite provides quick deployment of IBM Support Assistant's data collection tool. It is customized to automate product specific data collection. ISA Lite is a lightweight application that provides GUI and text-based interfaces for running collector scripts for a specific product. It also provides a silent execution mode when run with a response file. This is a logical choice for collecting data from application middleware.
Several products currently have ISA Lite packages available for download. If an ISA Lite package is not yet available for your product, you can easily export an ISA Lite collector from the ISA Workbench for use on another system.
Choosing the right IBM Support Assistant data collection method for your environment will be based on factors such as your level of pre-planning, how many systems will be serviced, target platform for data collection, whether they are connected, the authority required to install, the authority required to run, and so on. The table below summarizes these factors.
So there you have it, whether you need a full troubleshooting support workbench or something lightweight to gather data and go, IBM Support Assistant has it covered.
**With special thanks to Mihaela Herescu for providing the content for this article.