Heartbeat-based server down and agent availability KS

over 12 years ago


The Server Down Knowledge Script (KS) uses a 'data heartbeat' to identify down servers and non-functioning AppManager agents. The main benefit of this approach is that it does not ping every server to determine up/down status; only those which have not returned data to the database recently, which may make it more suitable for large AppManager environments. It also provides a mechanism to identify non-functioning agents if, for example, they are stopped, hung or no longer installed.

The monitoring process consists of two parts: a Stored Procedure and a KS.  The Stored Procedure, which must be installed into each AppManager database, determines which agents have not returned a data point from a designated KS within a specified interval in minutes. Separate KSs may be defined for Windows and UNIX agents. There are two versions of the code included, one for version 7 and another for version 8 onwards but that in many cases it may not be necessary to run this script in version 8 due to out-of-the-box server down monitoring performed by AppManager 8 as part of its new self-monitoring capabilities.

The agents identified by the stored procedure are pinged (i.e. ICMP echo) to determine up/down status.  Windows servers which ping up may be further checked to determine if the NetIQ AppManager Client Resource Monitor (netiqmc) service is running or not, based on the availability of its TCP port. This type of check is not possible for UNIX agents or the Client Communication Manager service.

The Knowledge Script may be configured to raise up to three different types of Event as follows:

  • The server is down, i.e. it did not respond to a ping check.

  • Inactive AppManager agent, i.e. the AppManager agent is not running (Windows agents only).

  • Heartbeat failure, i.e. the agent has not returned data from the specified KS within the defined interval (but pinged up and agent responded to port check).

To provide flexibility for most circumstances, the KS has numerous parameters to include (i.e. to limit monitoring to) or exclude certain agents from monitoring based on Maintenance Mode, (CC or OC) Group membership, Management Server assignment, host name or custom properties. These criteria may be used in any combination, but exclusion criteria take precedence over inclusions if an agent satisfies both. The more filters applied, the more queries the script will need to execute to process them, so they should be kept to a minimum for performance and load reasons.

Under most circumstances, only one instance of the script needs to be deployed to monitor all agents in a repository, typically on the agent of the AppManager repository server, though any Windows agent may be used. However, there may be situations where multiple Jobs are required, for example where no agent exists that can ping every server in the the repository. If multiple server down Jobs are deployed in a single repository, then they should be scheduled to avoid them executing at the same time.

The KS needs access to the AppManager database (which it accesses via ADO) in order to execute. This may be provided by running the agent services with a Windows account which has been granted access in SQL Server to the repository, or by defining a SQL login in the script's parameters. Note that if inclusion or exclusion parameters are defined for Control Center Management Groups then the KS will also need access to the Control Center database, NQCCDB.

Version History

The latest version of this KS is 3.63, released 06-Mar-2014. See code body for detailed change history.

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