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Are you prepared ? Getting ready for that Fixpack install.

Technical Blog Post


Are you prepared ? Getting ready for that Fixpack install.


Your not alone.

imageWe've all done it.  We've all assumed at some point in our lives that our actions can't possibility have any consequences.  Its not always the case though.  After all, even that clever bloke wrote a law for it - "To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction"

So why do so many IT professionals fail to take adequate measures before upgrading their software?

IBM periodically releases Fixpacks for the software that it produces.  Probably without exclusion every Fixpack has the potential to going wrong.  Very wrong.  Take IBM Tivoli Monitoring as an example.  Installation of a Fixpack could wipe out a TEMS, or a TEPS.   How many angry phone calls are you going to have when your TEP clients are all logged out?  Or none of the situations are running or firing?  You did do that backup.  Didn't you ?

The world is full of people who have laid claim to the knowledge that they accept things can do wrong and preparation is key.  Why is installing an ITM Fixpack any different ?

IBM goes through great lengths and significant amount of testing to ensure that data loss is mitigated through installation of a Fixpack.  Can you honestly say the same for your procedures ?

Can you work out who said the highlighted quotes (and no searching on Google!)?


"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

There's no easy way to say this.  Preparation is hard. Time consuming.  And if everything goes according to plan, actually, its redundant.  But preparing for what could go wrong will save you hours of work one day.  Its often said, "There are two types of people in the world; those that HAVE lost data and those that WILL".  I include myself in the former category unfortunately, having lost 1000's of digital photos after a hard drive crash a few years ago.  Did I backup ?  Of course not - I'm an IT Professional!  Needless to say, I bought an external hard drive for backup on the afternoon of that fateful day.

I know periodically spend an hour or so every now and again and make sure that all those photos and videos of the kids growing up, or the puppy chewing my wife's new slippers, are backed up.  I know I'll loose data again at some point.  But I also know I'm prepared for it.


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

So the disaster has happened.  The phone is hot from all the calls you've been fielding.  You need to fix the problem, and like, yesterday.  You did a quick and dirty backup of a system - "that will be enough ?" you quietly convince yourself.  Except its not, and you know it.   Spending time knowing what to backup and save before you need it will reap dividends if (sorry, when) the time comes for it to be called into play.


"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."

So you look out of your window now, and hopefully the sun is shining for you.  So what actions should you be doing NOW ahead of installing that Fixpack ?


Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server (TEMS).  I cannot write any advise any better than my colleague John Alvord (round of applause please) wrote in one of his Sitworld: Best Practice TEMS Database Backup and Recovery articles.  I will highlight one point.  If you do nothing else after reading this article, backup the TEMS QA1 files.  This is far from an ideal method of an effective backup / recovery plan, but if there's no other option, this will, get you running again.  John eloquently outlines every option to you in the afore mentioned article.


Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server (TEPS)You should at least have a copy of the TEPS database.  Preferably you should do a backup courtesy of the tools provided by your database vendor, eg DB2's "backup database" command.  If not - at least run "migrate-export.bat|sh" to generate an SQL file of the TEPS database.

Unix/Linux : ./itmcmd execute cq ""

Windows : <%CANDHLEOME%>\cnps\migrate-export.bat

Better would be to use the following command to backup your portal server database where DB2 Database for Linux, UNIX, and Windows is the relational database management system of choice.

db2 backup database yourtepsdatabase to /yourbackuplocation

If an existing connection prevents you from backing up the database, use the following commands.

  1.     db2 connect to yourtepsdatabase
  2.     db2 quiesce database immediate force connections
  3.     db2 connect reset
  4.     db2 backup database yourtepsdatabase to /yourbackuplocation
  5.     db2 connect to yourtepsdatabase
  6.     db2 unquiesce database
  7.     db2 connect reset

If your using Derby for an embedded TEPS database solution, then consider following procedure to back up

  1. Shut down the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server.
  2. To back up the Derby database, you can have the portal server export the IBM Tivoli Monitoring records stored in the Derby database, or you can manually back up the entire Derby database.
    • To export the Tivoli Monitoring data in the Derby database, use the migrate-export script, as documented in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring: Administrator's Guide.
    • To manually back up the entire Derby database, copy the database directory to a backup location. This database is stored in either of these locations:
      • Windows®: ITMHOME\CNPSJ\derby\TEPS0
      • Linux/UNIX: ITMHOME/platform/iw/derby/TEPS0


Warehouse.  All that data.  Gigabytes of it.  Its taken you months, even years to collect it all.  You don't want to lose it.  Fact is, its highly unlikely that any Fixpack installation could wipe out the Warehouse database.   But you should still get the data backed up.  Just like the TEPS, on DB2, the command is

db2 backup database yourwarehousedatabase to /yourbackuplocation

If an existing connection prevents you from backing up the database, use the following commands.

  1. db2 connect to yourwarehousedatabase
  2. db2 quiesce database immediate force connections
  3. db2 connect reset
  4. db2 backup database yourwarehousedatabase to /yourbackuplocation
  5. db2 connect to yourwarehousedatabase
  6. db2 unquiesce database
  7. db2 connect reset


As I said, IBM places a huge amount of resources into ensuring the quality of the Fixpacks that we release to customers.  The fact is, that we can't control every step of every process of the Fixpack install.  Hard drive failure, power outage, network blip, user error.  The little blighters waiting to strike when your not expecting them.

But you are expecting them now.  Aren't you.  Your PREPARED.


The above quotes were by, in order of their appearance in this article : Colin Powell,  United States Secretary of State; Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States and John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

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