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Compaq Availability Manager User's Guide

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1.3.2 Posting Events

The Availability Manager evaluates each data collection for events. The Availability Manager posts events when data values in a data collection meet or exceed user-defined thresholds and occurrences. Values for thresholds and occurrences are displayed on Event Customization pages similar to the one shown in Figure 1-6. Thresholds and occurrences are described in the next section.

Figure 1-6 Sample Event Customization Page Thresholds and Occurrences

Thresholds and occurrences are criteria that the Availability Manager uses for posting events.

A threshold is a value against which data in a data collection is compared. An occurrence is a value that represents the number of consecutive data collections that meet or exceed the threshold.

Both thresholds and occurrences are customizable values that you can adjust according to the needs of your system. For details about how to change the values for thresholds and occurrences, see Chapter 7.

Relationship between Thresholds and Occurrences

For a particular event, when the data collected meets or exceeds the threshold, the data collection enters a threshold-exceeded state. When the number of consecutive data collections to enter this state meets or exceeds the value in the Occurrence box (see Figure 1-6), the Availability Manager displays (posts) the event in the Event pane.

A closer look at Figure 1-6 shows the relationship between thresholds and occurrences. For the DSKRWT, high disk device RWAIT count event, a threshold of 1 Rwait process has been set. A value of 2 in the Occurrence box indicates that the number of Rwait errors during 2 consecutive data collections must meet or exceed the threshold of 1 for the DSKRWT, high disk device RWAIT count event to be posted.

1.4 How Does the Availability Manager Maintain Security?

The Availability Manager uses passwords to maintain security. These passwords have somewhat different appearances on Windows Data Analyzer nodes and on OpenVMS Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes. On Windows Data Analyzer nodes, passwords are up to 8 characters long. On OpenVMS Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes, passwords are part of a three-part security code called a security triplet.

The following sections explain these security methods further.

1.4.1 Data Analyzer Password Security

For monitoring to take place, the password on a Data Analyzer node must match the password section of the security triplet on each OpenVMS Data Collector node. (A Windows Data Analyzer checks only the password part of each OpenVMS Data Collector security triplet. OpenVMS Data Collectors impose other security measures, which are explained in Section 1.4.2.)

Figure 1-7 illustrates how you can use passwords to limit access to node information. The Testing Department's Data Analyzer, whose password is HOMERUNS, can access only OpenVMS Data Collector nodes with the HOMERUNS password as part of their security triplets. The same is true of the Accounting Department Data Analyzer, whose password is BATTERUP; it can access only OpenVMS Data Collector nodes with the BATTERUP password as part of their security triplets.

Figure 1-7 Availability Manager Password Matching

The Availability Manager sets a default password when you install the Data Analyzer. To change that password, you must use a customization option that is explained in Chapter 7.

1.4.2 OpenVMS Data Collector Security Features

OpenVMS Data Collector nodes have the following security features:
  • Private LAN transport
    The Availability Manager protocol is based on the 802.3 Extended Packet Format (also known as SNAP). The IEEE Availability Manager protocol values are as follows:

            Protocol ID:        08-00-2B-80-48
            Multicast Address:  09-00-2B-02-01-09

    If you filter protocols for bridges or routers in your network, you need to add these values to your network protocols.
  • Availability Manager data-transfer security
    Each OpenVMS node running as a Data Collector has a file containing a list of security triplets. For Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes to exchange data, the passwords on the nodes must match.
    In addition, note the following:
    • Data Collector nodes that have read access allow Windows Data Analyzer nodes to view system data.
    • Data Collector nodes that have write access also allow a matching Windows Data Analyzer node to perform fixes or modifications to the running system.
      Chapter 7 explains security triplets and how to edit them.

  • OpenVMS file protection and process privileges
    When the Availability Manager is installed, it creates a directory (SYS$COMMON:[AMDS$AM]) and sets directory and file protections on it so that only the SYSTEM account can read the files in that directory. For additional security on these system-level directories and files, you can create access control lists (ACLs) to restrict and set alarms on write access to the security files.
    For more information about creating ACLs, see the OpenVMS Guide to System Security.

Chapter 2
Getting Started


Before you start this chapter, be sure to read the explanation of data collection, events, thresholds, and occurrences in Chapter 1.

When this manual does not use the terms Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the term "Windows" refers to both Windows 2000 and XP, but not to any other Windows product.

This chapter provides the following information:

  • How to start the Availability Manager Data Collector
  • How to start the Availability Manager Data Analyzer
  • How to use the main Application window
  • How to display basic node data

For information about installing the Availability Manager on OpenVMS or Windows systems, refer to the appropriate installation instructions. You can access these instructions from the Availability Manager web pages at the following URL:


The installation instructions for OpenVMS systems also include an explanation of how to install and use both DECamds and the Availability Manager on the same system.

2.1 Starting the Data Collector

Beginning with OpenVMS Version 7.2, the files needed to run the Data Collector on OpenVMS nodes are shipped with the OpenVMS operating system. However, if you want the latest Data Collector software, you need to install it from the Availability Manager Version 2.2 kit. Once the Data Collector is running on a node, you can monitor that node using DECamds or the Availability Manager.

To use the Data Collector on a particular node, do either of the following:

  • Run the following command procedure:

  • Add the following command to the SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM command file in the SYS$MANAGER directory:


2.2 Starting the Data Analyzer

This section describes what you need to do after the Availability Manager Data Analyzer is installed. Starting the Data Analyzer is somewhat different on OpenVMS and on Windows systems. However, on both systems, starting the Data Analyzer automatically starts the Java graphical user interface (GUI) that allows you to view information that is collected from the Data Collector nodes.

The following sections contain the sequence of steps required to start the Data Analyzer on an OpenVMS node and a Windows node.

2.2.1 How to Start the Data Analyzer on an OpenVMS Alpha Node

Make sure the Data Analyzer has been installed on the OpenVMS Alpha node from which you want to monitor other nodes. (Installation instructions are at the web site referred to at the beginning of this chapter.)

To start the Data Analyzer, enter the following command:

   $ avail/avail

The Availability Manager then displays the main Application window, which is shown in Figure 2-1.

Refer to the Installation Instructions for qualifiers you can use with the AVAIL/AVAIL command.

2.2.2 How to Start the Data Analyzer on a Windows Node

Make sure the Data Analyzer has been installed on the Windows node from which you want to monitor other nodes. (Installation instructions are at the web site referred to at the beginning of this chapter.)

Starting the Data Analyzer

To start the Data Analyzer, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the following options beginning with the Windows Start menu:
    Start ---> Programs
  2. Choose Availability Manager.
  3. Choose Data Analyzer Startup.

The Availability Manager then displays the main Application window, which is shown in Figure 2-1.

2.3 Using the Application Window

Once it starts, the Availability Manager watches for notifications from nodes running the Data Collector. After receiving notification from the Data Collector, the Availability Manager attempts to connect to a node. This is called the attempting collection phase.

If the node passes the security check while the Availability Manager is attempting the connection, the connection succeeds, and data collection starts. This is called the data collection phase. If the node fails the security check, it is in the connection failed phase.

While collecting data, if a node goes down, or a network connection fails between the graphical user interface and the node, that node is placed in the path lost phase.

The Availability Manager notifies you of these phases and other states in the Application window, which is shown in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1 Application Window

The Application window is divided into three segments, or panes:

  • Group pane
    The Group pane is at the top left of the window. In this pane, you select the group of nodes that you want to monitor. The first number in parentheses after "OpenVMS" is the number of groups that are listed. The second number is the total number of nodes in the listed groups.
    The number in parentheses after each group name is the total number of nodes in the group. Preceding the name of each group, you might see as many as five color-coded columns of numbers.
    From left to right, the columns display the number of nodes in the group that are in the states described in Table 2-1.

    Table 2-1 Node Information Displayed in Group Pane
    Column Number Color Description
    1 Brown Number of nodes for which attempts to configure the node have failed---for example, because the node is in a connection failed phase.
    2 Yellow Number of nodes that are in the attempting collection phase.
    3 Black Number of nodes that are in a path lost phase.
    4 Red Number of nodes that are in the data collection phase but that have exceeded a threshold, thereby causing an event to be posted.
    5 Green Number of nodes that are in the data collection phase.
  • Node pane
    The Node pane occupies most of the top right of the window. In this pane, the Availability Manager displays a list of the nodes in the group you select in the Group pane, along with summary data for each node. In Figure 2-1, the Debug cluster group has been selected. Chapter 3 contains more information about using the Node pane.
    Figure 2-1 shows the node information that is displayed when you select a group of OpenVMS nodes. Somewhat different information is displayed for a group of Windows nodes. For more information about this, see Chapter 3.
  • Event pane
    The Event pane occupies the entire bottom of the window. In this pane, the Availability Manager displays events that occur on all the nodes being monitored on your system. (Events signal potential problems that might require further investigation.)
    An event must reach a certain level of severity to be displayed. You can customize the severity levels at which events are displayed (see Chapter 7). For more information about displaying events, see Chapter 5.

You can change the size of the panes as well as the width of specific fields in the Application window and also the borders between the fields by clicking on a border and dragging it. Scroll bars indicate whether you are displaying all or part of a screen. For example, clicking a right arrow on a scroll bar allows you to view the rightmost portion of a screen.

2.3.1 Other Window Components

In addition to panes, the Application window also includes the following components (see Figure 2-1):

Title bar

The title bar runs across the top of the window and contains the product name.

Menu bar

The menu bar, immediately below the title bar, contains the following menu options:

  • File
    The File menu contains the Exit option, which allows you to stop the Data Analyzer and close the window.
  • Customize
    The Customize menu contains options that allow you to customize various aspects of the Availability Manager. These options are explained in Chapter 7.
  • Help
    The Help menu offers different types of online help for the Availability Manager. These options are explained in Section 2.5.

Status bar

The status bar runs across the bottom of the window. It displays the name of the selected group and the number of nodes in that group.

2.3.2 Displaying More Information

In the initial Application window (Figure 2-1), which is displayed by default, you can do the following at any time:

  • Click a field to select it.
  • Double-click most fields to display a page containing information specific to that field.
  • Right-click a field to display a popup menu.

2.3.3 Understanding Groups of Nodes

When you start the Availability Manager, the Group pane lists groups of nodes that the Data Analyzer has found. If the Data Analyzer finds Windows nodes, those are also displayed.

To monitor specific nodes, you must select the group in the Group pane that contains those nodes (see Figure 2-2).

Figure 2-2 Group Pane

Groups are set up during installation on Data Collector nodes and are user definable. You might define groups by function, type of hardware, or geographical location.

For example, if you were to set up groups of nodes by geographical location, you might assign nodes A and B to a group called Dallas and nodes C, D, and E to a group called Denver. When you select a group, the Availability Manager displays only the nodes in that group, as shown in the following table:

Group Selected Nodes Displayed
Dallas Node A
Node B
Denver Node C
Node D
Node E

By default, all nodes are members of one group, DECAMDS, when your system is set up. If you want to change the groups being monitored, you need to to use a customization option to make changes. See Section 7.1 for instructions.

Compaq recommends that you define a cluster as its own group.

2.4 Displaying More Information about Nodes

The Node pane of the Application window allows you to focus on resource usage activity at a high level and to display more specific data whenever you want. This section explains the basic use of the Node pane. For more detailed information, see Chapter 3.

Within the group of nodes you select, the Availability Manager displays all the nodes with which that group can communicate. Figure 2-3 shows a list of OpenVMS nodes.

Figure 2-3 OpenVMS Node Pane

Each node name has an icon next to it. The color of the icon represents a state similar to those described in Table 2-1:

Color Description
Brown Attempts to configure the node have failed---for example, because it failed the security check.
Yellow Node security check is in progress or has failed.
Black Path to node has been lost.
Red Security check was successful. However, a threshold has been exceeded, and an event has been posted.
Green Security check was successful; data is being collected.

2.4.1 Choosing a Node

To choose a node on a Windows or an OpenVMS system, double-click a node name in the Node pane to highlight the name of the node and display the Node Summary page (Figure 2-4). Alternatively, you can right-click a node name to display a popup menu. To display the Node Summary page, select the Display... option.

Figure 2-4 OpenVMS Node Summary Page

The data displayed on this page is explained in Chapter 3.

At the top of the Node Summary page are tabs that correspond to most of the types of node data displayed in the Node pane. When you click a tab on the Node Summary page, the Availability Manager displays most of the same pages that are displayed when you double-click a data item in the Node pane (see Figure 2-3).

2.4.2 Specifying Data to Collect on OpenVMS Nodes

For OpenVMS nodes, if you want background data collection (and the associated event detection), you must turn on data collection for each type of data you want to collect. On Windows nodes, background data collection is always enabled and cannot be turned off.

To turn on various types of data to be collected, follow these steps:

  1. In the Application window, click the Customize menu.
  2. Click Customize OpenVMS....
  3. Click the Data Collection tab.

The Availability Manager displays the Data Collection Customization page (Figure 2-5).

Background and foreground collections are explained in Chapter 1.

Figure 2-5 Data Collection Customization Page

The following types of data are collected by default:

  • Node summary
  • Single disk
  • Single process

To stop collecting Node Summary data, for example, clear the check box for "Node summary" in the "Collect" column. You cannot, however, turn off the collection of single disk and single process data. These types of data are collected by default when you open a Single Disk Summary page or a Process Information page, respectively.

To turn on a type of data to be collected, select the check box for that type in the "Collect" column. Table 7-1 identifies the page where each type of data that is collected appears.

On the Data Collection Customization page, you can also change the intervals at which data is collected. Collection intervals are explained in Chapter 7.

2.4.3 Sorting Data

You can sort data in many OpenVMS displays, for example:

Depending on the field, you can sort data alphabetically or numerically. An alphabetical sort is performed using ASCII character values; for example, dollar signs ($) precede letters in the sort order.

To sort the values in a field, double-click the corresponding column heading. To reverse the sort order, double-click the column heading again.

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