There's an article on IBM developerWorks that provides step by step instructions for deploying the IBM® Support Assistant (ISA) v5 Beta using the IBM Application Pattern for Java:
"The Support Authority: Deploying IBM Support Assistant 5 Beta into an IBM cloud environment"
(Chris Bailey, IBM developerWorks, 12 Sep 2012)
The IBM® Support Assistant (ISA) is a free application that provides features for problem determination and a platform for obtaining diagnostic tools. The most recent release of ISA, version 5.0, which is currently in beta, brings these capabilities into a server environment enabling team-based collaboration on analysis and the deployment of server-level system resources to carry out analysis. This article covers some of the advantages of deploying ISA 5 into a server environment, and how to do this with the various IBM cloud offerings environment using the IBM Application Pattern for Java™.
The new 5.0 version of ISA is a "server" application with a rich browser-based front end. Whilst this can still be run on a desktop using the browser locally, it has the added value of being able to be run on remote servers. This provides a number of key additional features, including:
- Collaborative analysis: Previously, any analysis carried out using ISA was only stored locally on users’ desktop. If there was a need to share that analysis, then the information (notes, screen captures and data) would need to be packaged up and sent to the other users who also needed access to the information. ISA 5.0 provides collaborative case and file management on the server, allowing analysis to be immediately shared with other users that have access.
- Remote analysis: Some data artifacts, in particular dump files, can be many tens of hundreds of megabytes in size. This makes it a time consuming and costly process to download the data to a local network, especially if the network bandwidth is low. With the ability to run ISA 5.0 on the server, it can be run locally to the software deployments, and therefore the data being analyzed is on the same network, or even on the same machine. The user can then be on a much lower bandwidth connection to the ISA 5.0 instance, making it possible to provide analysis from a home office for out of hours support!
- Increased resources: Some problem determination tools can require large amounts of memory and processor time in order to be able to carry out their analysis. This is particularly true when analyzing a large data files that can be typical from server-side application deployments. Whilst there is an increase in the availability of 64bit desktops, and an increase in the amount of memory and processor capability that they provide, they will always lag behind the level of resources available to a server. Deploying ISA 5.0 in a server environment enables the use of that level of resources in order to analyze large dump and log files, and to do so rapidly.
The article shows how to build the an ISA v5 application and provides a template for download:
Along with what ISA v5 looks like when its deployed and running: