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HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Availability Manager User's Guide

Order Number: BA554-90001

July 2006

This guide explains how to use HP Availability Manager software to detect and correct system availability problems.

Revision/Update Information: This guide supersedes the HP OpenVMS Availability Manager User's Guide, Version 2.5.

Operating System:
Data Analyzer:
Windows 2000 SP 4 or higher;
Windows XP SP 2;
OpenVMS Alpha Versions 8.2 and 8.3;
OpenVMS I64 Versions 8.2-1 and 8.3

Data Collector:
OpenVMS VAX Version 6.2 and 7.3;
OpenVMS Alpha Versions 8.2 and 8.3;
OpenVMS I64 Versions 8.2-1 and 8.3

Software Version: HP Availability Manager Version 2.6

Hewlett-Packard Company Palo Alto, California

© 2006 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

Confidential computer software. Valid license from HP required for possession, use or copying. Consistent with FAR 12.211 and 12.212, Commercial Computer Software, Computer Software Documentation, and Technical Data for Commercial Items are licensed to the U.S. Government under vendor's standard commercial license.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Intel and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Javatm is a US trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Printed in the US


Contents Index


Intended Audience

This guide is intended for system managers who install and use HP Availability Manager software. It is assumed that the system managers who use this product are familiar with Microsoft Windows terms and functions.


The term Windows as it is used in this manual refers to either Windows 2000 or Windows XP but not to any other Windows product.

Document Structure

This guide contains the following chapters and appendixes:

  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of Availability Manager software, including security features.
  • Chapter 2 tells how to start the Availability Manager, use the main System Overview window, select a group of nodes and individual nodes, and use online help.
  • Chapter 3 tells how to select nodes and display node data; it also explains what node data is.
  • Chapter 4 tells how to display OpenVMS Cluster summary and detailed data; it also explains what cluster data is.
  • Chapter 5 tells how to display and interpret events.
  • Chapter 6 tells how to take a variety of corrective actions, called fixes, to improve system availability.
  • Chapter 7 describes the tasks you can perform to filter, select, and customize the display of data and events.
  • Appendix A contains a table of CPU process states that are referred to in Section and in Section 3.3.1.
  • Appendix B contains a table of OpenVMS and Windows events that can be displayed in the Event pane discussed in Chapter 5.
  • Appendix C describes the events that can be signaled for each type of OpenVMS data that is collected.

Related Documents

The following manuals provide additional information:

  • HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual describes tasks for managing an OpenVMS system. It also describes installing a product with the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility.
  • HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual describes utilities you can use to manage an OpenVMS system.
  • HP OpenVMS Programming Concepts Manual explains OpenVMS lock management concepts.

For additional information about HP OpenVMS products and services, visit the following World Wide Web address:


Reader's Comments

HP welcomes your comments on this manual. Please send comments to either of the following addresses:

Internet openvmsdoc@hp.com
Postal Mail Hewlett-Packard Company
OSSG Documentation Group, ZKO3-4/U08
110 Spit Brook Rd.
Nashua, NH 03062-2698

How to Order Additional Documentation

For information about how to order additional documentation, visit the following World Wide Web address:



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Chapter 1

This chapter answers the following questions:

  • What is the HP Availability Manager?
  • How does the Availability Manager work?
  • How does the Availability Manager maintain security?
  • How does the Availability Manager identify possible performance problems?

1.1 What Is the HP Availability Manager?

The HP Availability Manager is a system management tool that allows you to monitor, from an OpenVMS or Windows node, one or more OpenVMS nodes on an extended local area network (LAN).

The Availability Manager helps system managers and analysts target a specific node or process for detailed analysis. This tool collects system and process data from multiple OpenVMS nodes simultaneously, analyzes the data, and displays the output using a graphical user interface (GUI).

Features and Benefits

The Availability Manager offers many features that can help system managers improve the availability, accessibility, and performance of OpenVMS nodes and clusters.

Feature Description
Immediate notification of problems Based on its analysis of data, the Availability Manager notifies you immediately if any node you are monitoring is experiencing a performance problem, especially one that affects the node's accessibility to users. At a glance, you can see whether a problem is a persistent one that warrants further investigation and correction.
Centralized management Provides centralized management of remote nodes within an extended local area network (LAN).
Intuitive interface Provides an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). An earlier version of the tool, DECamds, uses a Motif GUI to display information about OpenVMS nodes. The Availability Manager uses a Java GUI to display information about OpenVMS nodes on an OpenVMS or a Windows node.
Correction capability Allows real-time intervention, including adjustment of node and process parameters, even when remote nodes are hung.
Uses its own protocol An important advantage of the Availability Manager is that it uses its own network protocol. Unlike most performance monitors, the Availability Manager does not rely on TCP/IP or any other standard protocol. Therefore, even if a standard protocol is unavailable, the Availability Manager can continue to operate.
Customization Using a wide range of customization options, you can customize the Availability Manager to meet the requirements of your particular site. For example, you can change the severity levels of the events that are displayed and escalate their importance.
Scalability Makes it easier to monitor multiple OpenVMS nodes.

Figure 1-1 is an example of the initial System Overview window of the Availability Manager.

Figure 1-1 System Overview Window

The System Overview window is divided into the following sections:

  • In the upper section of the display is a list of user-defined groups and a list of nodes in each group. You can compress the display to only the name of a group by clicking the handle preceding the group name. The summary group line remains, showing the collected information for all the nodes in the group.
    If a node name displays a red icon, you can hold the cursor over the icon, the node name, or the number in the Events column to display a tooltip explaining what the problem is; for example, for the node DBGAVC, the following message is displayed:

         HIHRDP, high hard page fault rate

    This section of the window is called the Group/Node pane.
  • In the lower section of the window events are posted, alerting you to possible problems on your system. The items on the pane vary, depending on the severity of the problem: the most severe problems are displayed first. This section of the window is called the Event pane.

1.2 How Does the Availability Manager Work?

The Availability Manager uses two types of nodes to monitor systems:

  • One or more OpenVMS Data Collector nodes, which contain the software that collects data.
  • An OpenVMS or a Windows Data Analyzer node, which contains the software that analyzes the collected data.

The Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes communicate over an extended LAN using an IEEE 802.3 Extended Packet format protocol. Once a connection is established, the Data Analyzer instructs the Data Collector to gather specific system and process data.

Although you can run the Data Analyzer as a member of a monitored cluster, it is typically run on a system that is not a member of a monitored cluster. In this way, the Data Analyzer will not hang if the cluster hangs.

Only one Data Analyzer at a time should be running on each node; however, more than one can be running in the LAN at any given time.

Figure 1-2 shows a possible configuration of Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes.

Figure 1-2 Availability Manager Node Configuration

In Figure 1-2, the Data Analyzer can monitor nodes A, B, and C across the network. The password on node D does not match the password of the Data Analyzer; therefore, the Data Analyzer cannot monitor node D.

For information about password security, see Section 1.3.

Requesting and Receiving Information

After installing the Availability Manager software, you can begin to request information from one or more Data Collector nodes.

Requesting and receiving information requires the Availability Manager to perform a number of steps, which are shown in Figure 1-3 and explained after the figure.

Figure 1-3 Requesting and Receiving Information

The following steps correspond to the numbers in Figure 1-3.

  1. The GUI communicates users' requests for data to the driver on the Data Analyzer node:
    • On Windows systems, the Windows driver is part of the Windows kit.
    • On OpenVMS systems, the OpenVMS driver is called the Data Collector driver and is included in the Data Collector kit. This is the same driver that is on the Data Collector node.
  2. The driver on the Data Analyzer sends users' requests across the network to the driver on the Data Collector node.
  3. The driver on the Data Collector transmits the requested information over the network to the driver on the Data Analyzer node.
  4. The driver on the Data Analyzer node passes the requested information to the GUI, which displays the data.

In step 4, the Availability Manager also checks the data for any events that should be posted. The following section explains in more detail how data analysis and event detection work.


More than one Windows or OpenVMS Data Analyzer node can collect data from the same Data Collector node.

Communicating Through a 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 your routers filter protocols in your network, add these values to your network protocols so that the private transport is propagated over the routers.

1.3 How Does the Availability Manager Maintain Security?

The Availability Manager uses passwords to maintain security. Passwords are eight alphanumeric characters long. The Data Analyzer stores passwords in its customization file. On OpenVMS Data Collector nodes, passwords are part of a three-part security code called a security triplet.

The following sections explain these security methods further.

1.3.1 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. OpenVMS Data Collectors also impose other security measures, which are explained in Section 1.3.2.

Figure 1-4 illustrates how you can use passwords to limit access to node information.

Figure 1-4 Availability Manager Password Matching

As shown in Figure 1-4, 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's Data Analyzer, whose password is BATTERUP; it can access only OpenVMS Data Collector nodes with the BATTERUP password as part of their security triplets.

The Availability Manager sets a default password when you install the Data Analyzer. To change that password, you must use the OpenVMS Security Customization page (see Figure 7-21), which is explained in Chapter 7.

1.3.2 OpenVMS Data Collector Security

OpenVMS Data Collector nodes have the following security features:

  • 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 these nodes must match.
    In addition, the triplet specifies the type of access a Data Analyzer has. By specifying the hardware address of the Data Analyzer, the triplet can also restrict which Data Analyzer nodes are able to access the Data Collector.
    Section 1.3.3 explains security triplets and how to edit them.
  • Availability Manager security log
    An OpenVMS Data Collector logs all access denials and executed write instructions to the operator communications manager (OPCOM). Messages are displayed on all terminals that have OPCOM enabled (with the REPLY/ENABLE command). OPCOM also puts messages in the SYS$MANAGER:OPERATOR.LOG file.
    Each security log entry contains the network address of the initiator. If access is denied, the log entry also indicates whether a read or write was attempted. If a write operation was performed, the log entry indicates the process identifier (PID) of the affected process.
  • OpenVMS file protection and process privileges
    When the Availability Manager is installed, it creates a directory (SYS$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 HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security.

1.3.3 Changing Security Triplets on OpenVMS Data Collector Nodes

To change security triplets on an OpenVMS Data Collector node, you must edit the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file, which is installed on all Data Collector nodes. The following sections explain what a security triplet is, how the Availability Manager uses it, and how to change it.

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