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  The DataPower® XI50 and XI52 are appliances designed to act as Enterprise Service Buses  (ESBs) that take in messages from various sources (HTTP, MQ, TIBCO EMS, WAS SIB). You can configure Policies to handle each message type. Each Policy has a Request Rule and may have a Response Rule. The Request Rule can Accept or Reject Messages, apply transformations (XSL stylesheets) to the data, and route them to one or more targets (HTTP, MQ, EMS, SIB, File, IMSConnect, Database). Each policy is deployed to a given DataPower® Domain.


  The BMC Middleware Monitoring (BMM) DataPower® Extension uses the IBM XML Management Interface to gather monitoring information from XI50 and XI52 DataPower® devices.  The BMM Extension periodically (customizable interval) sends SOAP formatted XML messages over HTTP to the XML Management Interface port of each configured DataPower® device.  This requires sending one query to gather the device properties and then an additional query for each domain.  The response from DataPower® is delivered in a similar SOAP formatted XML structure.


  As this information is gathered on a regular sample interval similar to every other BMM Extension, all the power of the BMC Middleware Monitoring product is immediately available to DataPower® BMM Extension users.

Key BMM capabilities for IBM DataPower® include:

 

  • Web-accessible performance reports
  • Real-time dashboards displaying the state of DataPower® hardware and performance
  • Integrated alerting and notification for DataPower® properties and performance
  • Auto-discovery across domains, which eases the user implementation significantly

In order to communicate with the XML Management Interface in this manner and gather the appropriate monitoring information, the DataPower® user that is used to connect from the BMM extension to the XML Management Interface port typically is configured with device administrative privileges.  However, if device administrative privileges are not available, it is still possible to successfully monitor DataPower® devices by using the Extension with a more limited set of privileges as described below. In order to monitor DataPower® using BMM with a non-administrative user, the user ID used to start the BMM DataPower® Monitoring Extension must be a member of a DataPower® group with the following permissions:

  • Login to the XML Management Interface for the default domain with read authority (deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r)
  • Read authority on all objects in the default domain (deviceIP/default/*?Access=r)

With these authorities, the extension will operate and correctly monitor the device level properties (CPU, Memory, Fan Speed, etc.) and the properties of all objects (multi-protocol gateways, etc.) deployed to the default domain.  These permissions are also sufficient for the extension to get the domain status properties (basic status, saveNeeded, traceOn , etc.). Additionally, the extension userid must have read authority to all objects on each domain that is to be monitored (deviceIP/DomainName/*?Access=r).  No errors will be thrown and no entries written to the log at the default log level if these permissions are not present, but no objects deployed to the domain will be discovered.  If the permissions of the user are reduced after discovery occurs, then the discovered objects will remain in the tree, but no new objects will be discovered and the properties of all previously discovered objects will remain at their last known values.For example:

To set up monitoring for a DataPower® appliiance with PROD, DEV, and TEST

domains you would need to assign the extension userid the following privileges (in addition to the default domain privileges) to monitor all three domains:

  • deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r  (read access to the xml-mgmt login for the default domain)
  • deviceIP/default/*?Access=r  (read access on the default domain for all objects)
  • deviceIP/PROD/*?/Access=r
  • deviceIP/DEV/*?/Access=r
  • deviceIP/TEST/*?/Access=r

If you want to monitor all domains within a DataPower® appliiance, you can use the following settings:

  • deviceIP/default/login/xml-mgmt?Access=r  (read access to the xml-mgmt login for the default domain)
  • deviceIP/default/*?Access=r  (read access on the default domain for all objects)
  • deviceIP/*/*?/Access=r

 

For more information about our BMM DataPower® monitoring extension or any of the other components of the BMC Middleware Management family of solutions, contact your BMC Account Manager or Software Consultant .

 

(Special thanks to Eric, April, and Randall for providing the information used in this post!)

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Self-service without the risk

At IBM IMPACT 2013, we discussed how to modernize IT through middleware best practices. Now we’re taking a deeper dive in our latest webinar.


Join us for “Modernize IT with Self-Service Middleware Administration.” We’ll discuss how self-service, offered with BMC Middleware Administration, can modernize your IT and help you:

  • Increase productivity by providing secure, permission-based user access to middleware components
  • Eliminate delays and bottlenecks in delivering key applications by putting users in control
  • Meet more user requests while reducing risk with an exportable audit trail that records all infrastructure changes

 

Register for the webinar »

 

On Demand Webinar

Webinar title:
"Modernize IT with Self-Service Middleware Administration"

Speaker:
Bob Zerbe
BMC Software

 

 

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BMC Middleware Management (BMM) Install Checklist

 

 

Before installing the BMC Middleware Management solution,
use this handy checklist to make sure you are ready to install.

 

 

  • Review and verify all hardware and software
    prerequisites have been satisfied and are supported by BMC.  These are outlined in the BMM install guide.
  • Verify all applicable ports and firewall(s) are
    open
  • Verify IP connectivity between all applicable
    pieces of the BMM solution
  • Verify a BMM userid has proper OS security
    authorization
  • Verify the BMM database has been created and
    initialized
  • Verify the BMM database ID/PSWD is known
  • Validate the appropriate database client
    software is installed on the BMM Enterprise Server
  • The ping time from the BMM server to the DB
    server should be less than 5 MS
  • Verify the BMM software is onsite or has been
    downloaded
  • Verify all applicable outstanding BMM fixes have
    been downloaded from the BMC Support site
  • Verify you have a valid BMC support ID
  • Verify you can logon to the BMC support site and
    update your support profile
  • Validate you can see the BMM products on the BMC
    Support website with your BMC Support ID
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Register for the “Modernize IT with BMC Middleware Monitoring” webinar
Modernize your middleware

 

Get a real view of your middleware environment


Didn’t get a chance to see us at IMPACT 2013? You’re in luck. We’re bringing our presentation to you.

Join us for “Modernize IT with BMC Middleware Monitoring.” We’ll discuss how to modernize your IT organization with BMC Middleware Monitoring, and provide best practices tips that will help you:

  • Gain visibility into and control of your middleware environment
  • Eliminate blind spots that can cause productivity slowdowns and outages
  • Proactively manage your middleware to detect problems and avoid missed SLAs

And if you need even more incentive to join us, we’ll be giving all registered users a free “No more blind spots” T-shirt. Don’t miss out … sign up today!


Register for the webinar »

June 12, 2013
11:00 a.m. CDT


Webinar title:
"Modernize IT with BMC Middleware Monitoring"

Speaker:
April Hickel, Lead Product Manager, BMC Software

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Applications that cross computing platforms or share processes and data with other applications communicate through a complex middleware layer. This middleware layer has traditionally been a software component, with IBM® WebSphere® MQ as the dominant player. With the popular introduction of the WebSphere® DataPower® Integration Appliance, middleware is available as hardware and IT organizations are supplementing their middleware structure with the functionality available in DataPower boxes.

 

Because DataPower Appliances are enclosed pieces of hardware, you can’t see what’s going on internally. The appliance has a processor and storage, as well as additional components, such as fans. If any piece of the appliance fails, your appliance will fail.  Great appliance, but that sure seems like a lot of risk if you’re relying on these appliances in your datacenter.  What if you can minimize or even eliminate that risk with visibility into the appliance?

 

Download this short brief that discusses best practices for monitoring both your hardware and software middleware components to ensure optimal middleware health, performance and available in your environment.

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Let's talk Middleware Management

 

Be sure to stop by and see us at Booth #S11 at IBM Impact 2013 Conference!

 

During your visit at our booth, you will get to experience live demonstrations of BMC Middleware Management v7.

 

Don't forgot to pickup your free "Know Now - Act Before Impact" t-shirt and enter for a chance to win an Apple iPad mini!

 

In addition to live demonstrations, we are scheduling private meeting sessions with BMC expert, Eric Olson, Principle Solutions Consultant for BMC Middleware Management solutions, or any of the BMC Team one-on-one. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting session, please email us to arrange or for more information.

 

Look forward to seeing you at Impact!

 

IBM Impact 2013 Conference

April 28 - May 2, 2013

The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

Register for Impact here

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Tired of listening to my dear colleague Steve all the time? Well, I'm not. I could listen to him all the time. Keeps me awake in fact. Interesting stuff and a clear voice - what more do you want?

 

Anyway, for all those who already are well awake, we prepared a couple of more self-learning videos touching on various topics from the BMC Middleware Management product space featuring other speakers. Me for instance...

 

Today's featured video will show you how you can easily back up your event templates and the associated triggers and action pipelines.

 

"Back up" is probably not quite right - it's rather an "export". You can then import the exported event templates and everything that belongs to them on another machine and so migrate them from one environment to another. Dev -> Test -> Prod. The import (or restore) process will be discussed in another video however.

 

But of course you can also keep the exported files for backup purposes. Can't have enough backups!

 

Enjoy and don't forget about our jump page that gives you access to all videos we published so far. An ever growing list ...

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The Problem

In service oriented architectures, just as with any composite application environment, the biggest problem associated with management isolating a problem to a specific service.  Is a service slow because of internal problems or because it has called another service and is waiting on a response?  Is the fault seen by an end user caused by the Enterprise Service Bus or is it within one of the actual back end services?  Solving such problems is the function of BMC Application Transaction Tracing (BATT).  BATT handles formal services very well since it gathers the needed information by intercepting the data of the service requests and responses directly at the protocol level.  BATT supports virtually all common HTTP and JMS providers including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, TIBCO, JBoss, and Apache among others.  This allows BATT to monitor solely based on the service interfaces without a dependency on the internal runtimes.

One of the challenges of implementing BATT, however, is that it requires a “Transaction Id” to uniquely identify each service call and relate those calls together as part of a larger business transaction.  While BATT can get this transaction id from anywhere in the SOAP Header, SOAP Body, or the transport metadata (HTTP Headers, JMS Properties, …), there must be such a field.  It is often difficult to get multiple services to agree on this.

The Solution

This same issue applies across all Service Monitoring solutions and having such a transaction id can be greatly useful to the services themselves so the global community has defined a standard location for this in the WS-Addressing standard.  At the simplest level, WS-Addressing provides a MessageID field in the SOAP Header to hold this unique identifier.  Where you are handling more complex transactions (e.g. one request generates multiple responses or is fanned out to multiple providers), WS-Addressing also provides a RelatesTo field to hold the MessageID of related messages. (For people used to MQ or JMS work, this is much like the Correlation Id field in those transport headers).  BATT V7 provides full out-of-the-box support for the WS-Addressing standard so, in the attached doc, I’ll first take a bit of time to discuss the standard itself and then finish up with showing you how to use the WS-Addressing Fields in BATT.

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Hello my dear friends,

 

while you are in the process of implementing a solution for making sure your data center doesn't go ablaze, we from the BMM Customer Support Team are continuously producing more of the popular short BMM training videos that will help you with accomplishing this task.

 

Today I have one for you coming from the troubleshooting corner. There isn't much that makes less sense than talking into (or probably I should say "talking at") a phone that's not connected. No one will listen, respond or do anything with the information you are passing along.

 

The same is obviously true for the BMM Extensible Agent which is the component that passes on the monitoring information to the BMM Services. An agent which is not connected to the services can send as much monitoring data as it wants - if no one is listening on the other end of the line, not much more will happen.

 

My colleague Steve Meschke hates doing things that don't make sense and so produced this little video which will help you with troubleshooting agent connection issues. You may event want to watch it before you roll out the agent and the monitoring extensions, just to make sure you won't get into trouble.

 

I promise to check back more frequently again in the future, as we have plenty of more videos waiting to be discovered, so stay tuned!

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Today is the day decided to start upgrading your BMC Middleware Monitoring software to version 7. You've read through the documentation and you've made a backup of your server set and database. You downloaded the software from the electronic product download site yesterday and are all set to begin. You proceed to shut down all of your agents and services. In doing so you realize you've got a few machines that you haven't installed agents on and on the systems that you do have agents installed on your not sure what version of the agents you have. Your BMC software consultant has told you that you don't need to upgrade all of your agents at the same time, the latest server set that you are installing will support back leveled agents as long as they aren't more than two releases old. You call your software consultant and asked him how you can determine the version of the individual agents. He tells you you can check the status of the agents in the management console and also see what version they are but since you've already shut down your agents you can also look in the agent log file and the version will be at the very beginning of it. He then recommends that you document your installation. You agree with him but really don't want to try to put together a document from scratch. Since he is your friendly neighborhood BMC Software consultant, he tells you he will e-mail you a Word doc template that you can use to document your install. When you receive the e-mail, you see that he not only has a section for your services, installed system, and ports; but he also has included a page for each agent with all the required information. In addition there is a section to document your event templates, history templates, and even issues you have open with BMC support. You wish you had this when you first installed BMC middleware monitoring as it would've your job a lot easier but you know moving forward this will make calls to the service center and your next upgrade a breeze to plan.

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So you have heard there is a fix pack out for BMC Middleware and Transaction Management 7.0.  So where exactly is it located on www.bmc.com/support?

 

Please see the attached .ppt for the exact location of the download.

 

Enjoy!

 

Ross Cochran

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Introduction

 

Current users of the MQ KM (aka BMC Performance Manager for WebSphere MQ for Distributed Systems or BMC Performance Manager for WebSphere Business Integration) may be wondering “how to” technically migrate to BMC Middleware and Transaction Management (BMTM) V7.0.  (Please see your BMC Account Manager on how to migrate your MQ KM license).  This paper will be a high level “how to” cookbook in migrating from one technology to the other.  Additionally, BMC can have a software consultant help you with a complimentary one hour migration planning session.  Just let your friendly BMC Account Manager know you want it.

 

Please see the attached document for more technical details.

 

Ross Cochran

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Service Models Using Data from BMC Application Transaction Tracing

The Problem

Applications are typically and increasingly composites that run across multiple systems and use multiple technologies.  When a problem occurs, it may be visible to the end user, but it is often extremely difficult to find the root cause.  Similarly, parts of the application are increasingly shared services that may be reused as part of multiple applications.  This makes it difficult to understand the impact of outages or changes.

In order to address these problems, organizations work steadily to define service models that store and show the relationship between components.  We have moved a long way toward standardizing the infrastructure components that applications depend on and the possible relationships between them using Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs).  However, to complete the picture, it is just as important to standardize the way that we think about application components and their relationships and to connect these objects to the infrastructure object that they depend on.

The Solution

The attached Microsoft Word Doc describes in detail how to build an effective BPPM Service Model of a composite application using the data monitored by BMC Application Transaction Tracing and BMC Middleware Monitoring.

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I was working with a customer recently who wanted to create a report for a specific issue and track it over time.  He wondered if there was a way to create a custom report to achieve this goal, and if he could easily share this new report with his colleagues.

 

I was happy to tell him that it can be done much more easily and completely in BMTM 7, because BMTM version 7 integrates the Eclipse-based Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) as its new reporting engine.  BIRT provides:

  • Lists: basic reporting of data inluding grouping to organize related data together. You can easily add totals, averages and other summaries.
  • Charts: Pie charts, line & bar charts and many more.
  • Crosstabs: Crosstabs show data in two dimensions.
  • Compound Reports: Many reports need to combine the above into a single document.

 

Among the new BMM specific features included with integrated BIRT are:

  • Improved look and feel
  • Browser viewable reports
  • Reports available in several formats (e.g. Word, Excel, PDF)
  • Ability to schedule report generation using external tools
  • Eclipse-based Report Designer to create custom report designs

 

The customer created the report using the provided eclipse based report designer, published it to BMM, then placed it on the default view for every queue.  He was also able to share the link to the report as an easy way for his co-workers to view it.

 

To get started designing reports in BIRT, consult the BMTM 7 documentation, specifically the Operations User Guide, Chapter 6, 'Report Designer'.  You'll find the guide to getting started there.

Is Something Burning?

Posted by Terry House Jan 17, 2013
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   You've just returned from your much deserved vacation where you spent five glorious days fly casting in the wilds of Montana. You're looking forward to a quiet day of catching up on e-mails.

 

   All of a sudden you see everyone running into the computer room, so you follow the crowd. You notice the smell of smoke emanating from the backend of your rack of DataPower appliances. It seems the fan in one of them failed overnight and no one knew. Fortunately, there was a failover appliance configured and your company lost no processing time. You did, however, lose an important piece of hardware. While waiting for the replacement to arrive and the IBM CE to install it, you wonder if there is anything that could have been done to prevent this. Since DataPower is part of the WebSphere family, maybe your BMC Middleware Monitoring product suite can help you here. Upon reviewing the agents manual, you discover that there is an support for WebSphere DataPower. You make a call to your BMC SC and he makes arrangements to get a temporary key so you can try the agent. You discover just how easy it is to set up the agent on a Windows box and you like the fact that it uses the XML management port of the DataPower appliance to extract data. Your BMC SC helps you set up some basic event triggers for memory usage, CPU usage, file system usage, and, most importantly to you, system temperature and fan speed.

 

  With the help of your SC, you're able to simulate conditions conducive to testing your triggers. After showing the results to your boss, he agrees that your company needs to add this feature to your BMM implementation. He contacts the account rep and in a matter of days the paperwork is complete, your license key is updated and you can kick back and relax knowing BMM is watching your back once again.

 

  You pick up the phone and call your BMC SC and start telling him some of the wonderful fishing stories from your recent trip. You think to yourself, I really need to take him out for dinner and drinks.

 

 

 

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