IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Applications, Version

Self-describing agents

IBM® Tivoli® Monitoring V6.2.3 or later infrastructure provides the self-describing capability, which can automatically install agent application support on IBM Tivoli Monitoring servers. ITCAM agent for WebSphere® MQ and ITCAM agent for WebSphere Message Broker are self-describing agents. Before you install a self-describing agent, decide whether you want to turn on the self-describing capability.

The self-describing agent, which includes all the required application support files, pushes any updates to the application support files to the IBM Tivoli Monitoring components (monitoring server and portal servers) after startup. With the self-describing capability, you no longer have to manually install the application support for each agent on IBM Tivoli Monitoring infrastructure as you must do for earlier versions. After a self-describing agent is installed and started, the application support for the agent is automatically installed and activated in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring infrastructure without the need to recycle the servers.

In IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.2.3 and V6.2.3 fix pack 1, when the self-describing agent capability is turned on, any available products and versions are automatically installed. This default self-describing agent behavior has been changed since IBM Tivoli Monitoring 6.3. In IBM Tivoli Monitoring 6.3 or later infrastructure, the hub monitoring server blocks all self-describing agent installation until you issue one of the new tacmd commands. This changed self-describing agent behavior and new tacmd commands provide more control over what products and versions are installed on your monitoring server and portal server by the automatic self-describing agent process.

By default, the self-describing agent environment variable is set to Y to enable the self-describing agent capability at all components, except for the hub monitoring server. The environment variable KMS_SDA is disabled (KMS_SDA=N) by default only on the hub monitoring server. All components that connect to the hub monitoring server adjust their self-describing agent function to disabled if the hub monitoring server has the self-describing agent function disabled, or if the hub monitoring server is older and does not support self-describing agents. This allows control of all self-describing agent enablement from a single point - the hub monitoring server. A best practice is to use the KMS_SDA variable only at the hub monitoring server to control self-describing agent enablement, but it can be controlled at each component:
  • Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server uses the KMS_SDA environment variable.
  • Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server uses the TEPS_SDA environment variable.
  • Self-describing agents use the TEMA_SDA environment variable.

You can also use tacmd commands to enable or disable the state of the self-describing agent function at the hub monitoring server, without having to recycle any hub monitoring servers. This control is only applied when the hub Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server is configured for self-describing agent capability with the environment variable KMS_SDA=Y.

The following table describes the administration commands for managing your self-describing agent installations. For details about these commands, see IBM Tivoli Monitoring Command Reference.

Table 1. The tacmd commands to manage your self-describing agent installations
Command Description
tacmd addsdainstalloptions Specify the products and versions that can be installed by the self-describing agent facility.
tacmd editsdainstalloptions Modify an existing product version configuration, or change the default self-describing agent installation behavior.
tacmd listsdainstalloptions Display the existing self-describing agent installation configurations from the hub monitoring server.
tacmd deletesdainstalloptions Remove a specific version configuration, or remove all versions for a product.
  • The self-describing capability is available only for the ITCAM agent for WebSphere MQ and ITCAM agent for WebSphere Message Broker.
  • Although Tivoli Management Services servers (hub monitoring server, portal server, and any remote monitoring server) can automatically install the application support files and refresh their facilities without recycling, application support is not automatically applied to the Tivoli Enterprise Portal clients. An indicator is displayed on these clients to tell the user that they must recycle their client to apply new or modified application support.

    If you are using the Tivoli Enterprise Portal desktop client, you must use the monitoring agent installation image to install the Tivoli Enterprise Portal application support on each of the desktop clients. If you are using the Tivoli Enterprise Portal browser client or Java™ Web Start client and you have the required user permissions to view the updated application, after the indicator is displayed, you can choose to close and restart these clients to see the new updates.

  • You can edit the monitoring server and agent environment variables at any time that you want to enable or disable the self-describing capability. After you change the variable values, you must restart the monitoring server to which the monitoring agent connects for your changes to take effect.
  • If you want to remotely deploy the agent from Tivoli Enterprise Portal, the self-describing capability is not supported. Make sure that the self-describing capability is disabled at the monitoring server (KMS_SDA=N) before you remotely deploy the agent from the portal.
  • If the hub monitoring server is running on a z/OS® system, the self-describing behavior of IBM Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.3 is retained during the upgrade from IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.2.3 to V6.3.
Important: The self-describing capability for the ITCAM agent for WebSphere MQ and ITCAM agent for WebSphere Message Broker requires 32-bit shared libraries that are provided by IBM Tivoli Monitoring. If you install the ITCAM agent for WebSphere MQ or ITCAM agent for WebSphere Message Broker version 7.3 on a system where no IBM Tivoli Monitoring components are installed, you must upgrade the shared libraries to the minimum required version of IBM Tivoli Monitoring. If you installed any IBM Tivoli Monitoring components on the system where you install a monitoring agent, make sure that the 32-bit shared libraries are upgraded to the minimum required version of IBM Tivoli Monitoring.

To upgrade the shared libraries, install the Tivoli Enterprise Services User Interface Extensions component that is included with IBM Tivoli Monitoring on the system where you installed the agent. Remember to choose 32-bit User Interface Extensions for all 64-bit operating systems. When you install 32-bit User Interface Extensions on a 64-bit operating system, use the silent installation method because 32-bit User Interface Extensions is not displayed on the installation GUI for you to select.

Tip: After the agent installation is complete, you can use one of the following commands to view the build and installation information for a specific component, where pc is the product code to identify each agent (see Product codes).
  • UNIX or Linux system: cinfo -t pc
  • Windows system: kincinfo -t pc
For example, when you issue the cinfo -t mq command on a Linux system, the output of this command shows the build and prerequisite information of ITCAM agent for WebSphere MQ.

For more information about how to enable the self-describing capability, see IBM Tivoli Monitoring: Installation and Setup Guide and the IBM Tivoli Management Services on z/OS: Configuring the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server on z/OS, SC27-2313.