IBM Tivoli Monitoring, Version 6.3

Self-describing monitoring agents

IBM® Tivoli® Monitoring V6.2.3 or later monitoring agents that are enabled for self-description have all the required application support files to update the Tivoli Management Services servers. You do not have to perform manual support installation steps and recycle each individual server component that supports the agent. Self-describing monitoring agents apply version updates to other components automatically as the agent connects, without the need to recycle the Tivoli Management Services servers: hub monitoring server, remote monitoring server, and portal server. This automatic product support installation feature helps to eliminate errors that might occur from the inconsistent installation of application data on the IBM Tivoli Monitoring server. To use the self-describing capability your Tivoli Management Services must be at V6.2.3 or later.

If a monitoring agent supports the self-describing capability, application support is installed on the agent system. If the monitoring agent includes the IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.2.3 or later agent framework or is installed on a system where the V6.2.3 or later agent framework is already installed, the monitoring servers and portal servers retrieve the application support files from the agent after agent startup and automatically apply the support. The infrastructure servers retrieve only the application support from a self-describing agent if they have not already applied the application support or if they have an earlier version of the application support.

The self-describing update occurs only once for each specific agent version. The update files are stored at the agent so that when the agent connects to a monitoring server, the monitoring server is automatically informed of the available application support update. If the self-describing function is enabled, the application support is retrieved from the agent, and the monitoring server support is updated.

If you installed your monitoring server on Linux or UNIX, the application support files for all base monitoring agents and other supported agents were automatically installed on the monitoring server. This process is different from installing the monitoring server on Windows, in that the Linux or UNIX installation always automatically installs the application support files for monitoring agents. Check the monitoring server and portal server to ensure that self-describing agent products are installed as expected.

The Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Automation Server component, provided in IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.3, contains the Open Services Lifecycle Collaboration Performance Monitoring (OSLC-PM) service provider. The Performance Monitoring server provider does not support the dynamic refresh of application support files. This means that the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Automation Server must be recycled when new application support is added to a system, regardless of whether the support was added through a self-describing agent, a regular installation, or a manual copy. However, if the monitoring agent does not provide OSLC support, then the automation server does not need to be recycled. Typically, agents before IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.3 do not provide OSLC support. See the agent documentation to determine whether an agent provides OSLC support.

If the self-describing agent feature installs application support on the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server and the dashboard data provider component is enabled, the portal server must be restarted so that the dashboard data provider can pick up the new or changed application support and use to it retrieve data for monitoring dashboards.


Use the following roadmap to help you configure, enable, and use the self-describing feature. Because this roadmap is meant to provide a comprehensive overview, when applicable, links are provided to relevant sections in other Tivoli Monitoring guides.

Step Description and information provided
1 Two types of installation scenarios are available: a pristine installation and an upgrade installation. See "Configuring self-describing agent seeding" in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Installation and Setup Guide.
Additional information:
Seeding information is also provided in Self-describing auto refresh and seeding.
For information about the editSdaOptions command, see the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Command Reference.
2 Configure self-describing at the hub monitoring server. See "Enabling self-describing agent capability at the hub monitoring server" in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Installation and Setup Guide, for more information about this initial setup. This step includes setting each hub monitoring server environment variable KMS_SDA=Y.
Additional information:
For future reference and administrator tasks after initial setup, see Enabling or disabling the self-describing capability at the monitoring server.
3 Note: If you are not running IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.3, skip this step.

In IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.3, by default, the hub monitoring server blocks all self-describing agent installations (even if you turned on self-describing at the hub monitoring server with setting KMS_SDA=Y from step 2) until you issue one of the following commands:

  • tacmd addSdaInstallOptions to specify the products and versions that the self-describing agent facility is allowed to install.


  • tacmd editSdaInstallOptions -t DEFAULT -i ON to allow installations for all products and versions without any blocking. (This setting is essentially the default self-describing agent behavior in V6.2.3 and V6.2.3 FP1.)

This feature provides more control over what products and versions are installed on your monitoring server and portal server by the automatic self-describing agent process.

After modifying your install options, you can use the tacmd listSdaInstallOptions command to display the current installation configurations for the hub monitoring server.

For detailed information and tacmd commands, see "Managing your self-describing agent installations" and "Dynamically controlling the hub monitoring server self-describing agent capability" in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Installation and Setup Guide.

Additional information:
For full syntax information, see the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Command Reference.
For future reference you can update or modify these installation options after initial setup, see Dynamically updating the self-describing installation options.
4 Use the tacmd listappinstallrecs command to monitor the application support installation records.

Use the tacmd listSdaStatus command to monitor the self-describing enablement and suspend status for all monitoring servers in your environment.

See Self-describing agent installation.

Additional information:
For information about installation records that can be tried again and terminal installation records, see Self-describing agent installation errors.
For full syntax information, see the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Command Reference.
5 After a self-describing application update is completed, you can see the following new agent data in the portal client:
  • Historical Configuration is updated with any new attributes
  • Workspaces are updated
  • New or updated situations, policies, and take actions (new situations are distributed and auto-started by using user-configurable seeding options)
  • Queries are updated
  • Help server files are updated
Application support is not automatically applied to the Tivoli Enterprise Portal clients. An Application support event - new indicator is displayed on these clients to tell the user that they need to 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's installation images 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™ WebStart 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.
Additional information:
For more information about support indicators, see Responding to an application support event in the Tivoli Enterprise Portal User's Guide.
6 To begin preliminary diagnostics tests and troubleshoot any problems, see "Monitoring agent troubleshooting" in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Troubleshooting Guide.
Additional information:
For detailed message information, see the IBM Tivoli Monitoring Messages.