Admin Alert: When Management Central Server Won’t Start
April 21, 2004 Joe Hertvik
In 2002, I wrote an article on how to troubleshoot IBM’s OS/400 V5R1 Management Central GUI when it simply refuses to start. The Management Central GUI is used for a number of valuable OS/400 functions, including graphing performance data, running commands on other systems, and synchronizing PTFs between iSeries boxes.
The problem is that the Management Central GUI can be fussy, and there are a number of parameters that need to be correctly set in order to make it run. As I explained in my earlier article, these issues include having an enabled QSECOFR user profile and defining your iSeries box as a Management Central end-point system.
This week, I found another obstacle to running the Management Central GUI on an OS/400 V5R1 system: when the Management Central server inside OS/400 fails to start. I found this problem when I wasn’t able to access the Graph History function in AS/400 Operations Navigator because the OS/400-based TCP/IP Management Central server wasn’t running. (It’s important to note that the Management Central GUI and the Management Central TCP/IP server are two different items; the Management Central GUI communicates with the OS/400-based Management Central server in order to run its tasks.)
To restart the server, I tried using the following Start TCP/IP Server (STRTCPSVR) command, as follows:
The command took an extremely long time to run, and after it looked like it had finished correctly, it turned out that the server had never started at all. Undaunted, I turned to OpsNav and tried to start the server through the partition’s Network, Servers, and TCP/IP nodes. Following that path, I right-clicked the Management Central server (which was listed as “stopped”) and selected the Start option through the pop-up menu that appeared. It was still a no go. The Management Central server was just not going to start, and that meant I wouldn’t be able to use OpsNav’s Graph History function to review my system, because it relied on the Management Central GUI, which used the server.
After some research, I found that this problem was an OS/400 TCP/IP configuration issue. It turns out that the Management Central server uses the OS/400 host table to determine whether the TCP/IP address of the iSeries or AS/400 machine that the server is running on. It finds this address by referencing the OS/400 host table entry for the “fully qualified domain name” of a partition, which yields the TCP/IP address that the Management Central server uses in initialization.
To do some basic TCP/IP review, a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) represents the full DNS name of a particular computer. It includes the computer’s host name, as well as the domain that the system belongs to. Furthermore, the domain name part of the FQDN consists of the complete domain name, including the second-level domain that the computer belongs to (the unique part of the domain name, such as “IBM,” “midrangeserver,” or “google”), and the top-level domain (the rightmost or end portion of an Internet domain that the computer belongs to, such as .com, .biz, or .org). Given this setup, if you have a computer with a host name of “ralph” that resides in the “midrangeserver” second-level domain, which belongs to the “.com” top-level domain, the FQDN for this computer would be “ralph.itjungle.com.”
And computers looking for this computer would find it through DNS services or a host table entry that translates this FQDN into its IP address.
This is all basic TCP/IP, but the FQDN and its corresponding OS/400 host name entry need to be configured correctly in order for the Management Central server to start. And configuring it properly is simply a matter of reviewing your partition’s OS/400 TCP/IP configuration information. To view OS/400 TCP/IP configuration information from the green screen, start the Configure TCP/IP menu by executing the following Go to Menu (GO) command:
Look up your computer’s IP address by selecting option 1, “work with TCP/IP interfaces.” This screen shows you all the TCP/IP addresses that are configured for your system and the communication lines they are attached to. Find the IP address that the PC running the Management Central GUI will use to contact your Management Central server. Write this address down.
Next, you can determine the FQDN of your AS/400 partition by selecting option 12 from the “configure TCP/IP” menu, and “change TCP/IP domain information.” This screen will show you the host name assigned to your partition as well as the second-level and top-level domains that the computer is assigned to. The host name and domain name are contained in two different fields that you combine to create your FQDN name, as explained above.
Finally, use option 10 on the “configure TCP/IP” menu, “work with TCP/IP host table entries,” to ensure that you have an OS/400 host table entry configured for your system’s FQDN. This screen shows you all the IP addresses assigned to the partition’s host table, as well as the host names assigned to each IP address. Check to see whether the system’s FQDN is already assigned to a host table entry. If it is, you’ve satisfied Management Central’s requirements. If not, you can either add your FQDN to an existing entry for your system’s IP address or create a new entry that assigns your FQDN to the proper OS/400 IP address. At this point, your Management Central server should initialize properly at startup. This solution worked for me.
The lesson here is that TCP/IP configuration is important in making sure all of OS/400’s TCP/IP-based features are operating properly. And for Management Central, be sure to check that FQDN is set up properly in OS/400’s host table.