This document details the deployment instructions for IBM® Connections® Hypervisor Edition in the form of an Open Virtual Archive (hereafter referred to as "OVA" or "image") for deploying through the IBM Workload Deployer Appliance (IWD) and IBM PureSystems.
IBM PureSystems is a new product family of expertly integrated systems from IBM that combine software and hardware to give you a preconfigured, efficient virtualization platform. The offering from PureSystems that functions with the IBM Connections Hypervisor Edition is IBM PureApplication System (IPAS), which includes IBM middleware images and patterns to customize and deploy, and uses the IWD function to handle image and instance management. Because the IWD function is an integral part of IPAS, working with the IBM Connections patterns within IPAS is identical to working with them on IWD.
Use this article to guide you through the steps of deploying the OVA.
This article focuses on the process of setting up an instance of IBM Connections Hypervisor, covering the following topics in detail:
- Initializing a new instance based on the OVA, using deployment patterns created by the user
- Accessing and managing IBM Connections
This documentation is intended for users who have a general knowledge of Linux® and how it works. It is assumed that you have a good understanding of Linux commands and how to manipulate input and output. You should also have a good working knowledge of the IPAS and IWD appliance, its administrative console, and how to deploy patterns using it.
The article provides a basic overview of how to manage IBM Connections, and includes links to product documentation for more detailed information and guidance on how to use the product.
OVA contents and configuration
The IBM Connections OVA is a preinstalled and preconfigured instance of the product. Instances created based on this OVA are ready to use and preconfigured with certain features to make it easier to get started. The product configuration includes:
- Security enablement. IBM WebSphere® Application Server security is enabled with the virtuser user ID, serving as the WebSphere Application Server administrator ID. During the deployment of the OVA, you are required to set the password for the virtuser user ID.
- HTTP Server enablement. The IBM HTTP Server is configured to provide port 80 access to IBM Connections. The IBM HTTP Server is configured in its own part definition.
- External DB2 database. An instance of IBM® DB2 Enterprise Edition is installed and configured as IBM Connections's external database, providing an enterprise-class and highly performing database environment.
- Deployment Manager. A Deployment Manager part is defined to be run in its own virtual machine for managing a cell containing a IBM Connections cluster.
- IBM Connections. The OVA has the IBM Connections applications, including support for Search, News, Home page, Activities, Blogs, Communities, Bookmarks, Files, Forums, Mobile, Moderation, Profiles, and Wikis.
Adding the OVA to IWD and PureSystems
To import the image using the IWD or IPAS web interface:
Figure 1. Creating a new OVA
- Extract the Connections.ova file from the downloaded package. Click the Add virtual images link located under the IWD Administration Welcome page. This takes you to a page containing all the virtual images in the catalog.
- Click the New Virtual Image icon and enter the requested information to add the IBM Connections OVA to the catalog.
- For remote access, specify either an FTP or HTTP URL in the OVA file location field and, optionally, a user ID and password, if the URL is protected (see figure 1).
Creating a new instance of IBM Connections 4 Hypervisor Edition
The following sections outline prerequisite information and steps for creating a new instance or pattern of an image. Details of how to use the IWD and IPAS administrative console, set up an account, and configure a cloud of hypervisors are not provided here. For more information about IWD and IPAS, refer to the IBM Workload Deployer and IBM PureApplication information centers.
Creating Virtual System patterns
To create a new pattern:
1. Click the new pattern icon ( ) on the Patterns tab of the web interface to create a new pattern for the IBM Connections image (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Creating a new pattern
2. Enter the required information and, optionally, include a description. Select the required virtual image from the drop-down menu and click OK.
IWD then creates a new blank pattern with the information specified (see figure 3).
Figure 3. New blank pattern
3. Click the Edit Pattern icon. A list of all the parts provided by the virtual image that are available for the pattern to use displays in the left column (see figure 4). The Editing panel is where you drag parts over to model virtual machines that will be created.
Figure 4. The Pattern Editor
4. To build a pattern, drag the parts for the HTTP server, Database, Deployment Manager, and Connections server on to the Editing panel. See figure 5 for how it should look. If you want multiple Application servers, then increase the number by clicking the Up arrow in the Connections Server part.
IWD automatically detects and creates links between various machines and configures them at deployment. The Connections Server part is used instead of the Standalone Server part to provide more configuration options for supporting more complex configurations. Usage of the stand-alone part is not supported in this release.
Figure 5. IBM Connections cluster of two nodes
5. Ensure that memory and CPUs are set as follows for each of the parts:
|IBM HTTP Server|
Parts of the OVA
The IBM Connections OVA contains the following parts that can be used for defining patterns for deployment:
- Deployment Manager. A virtual machine configured to run the Deployment Manager, and for managing a cell containing a cluster.
- IBM HTTP Server. Sets up a remote IBM HTTP Server to load-balance web access to the cluster.
- Connections Server. Represents the WebSphere Application Server running the IBM Connections applications.
Note: The Connections Server part can be incremented to increase the total number of IBM Connections cluster members.
- Remote DB2. Creates a remote DB2 instance. Tivoli Directory Integrator has been installed on this part so that it can be run to populate the Profiles database. Refer to the steps that follow and product documentation for additional information.
To deploy a pattern:
- Select a pattern to deploy, and then click the Deploy in the cloud icon or the Deploy button. A prompt displays, where you can configure the deployment by setting the virtual system name, scheduling the deployment, and configuring each virtual machine. For the IBM Connections OVA, the configuration consists of setting passwords and the cell and node names, determining whether to federate the node if it is the primary node, and enabling VNC.
- On the initial deployment window (see figure 6), specify a name for the deployment. Select a cloud group on which to deploy the pattern, and then click Configure virtual parts to provide the missing configuration details for the pattern, on a part by part basis.
Figure 6. Deploying a virtual system
- As you click each part in the virtual system description window, a dialog displays where you can set the required parameters for each part (see figure 7 for an example). The configuration task includes setting machine sizes, required passwords, and node and cell identities.
The CPUs and memory should be as provided during the creation of the pattern or increased if necessary. Refer to the IBM Connections Performance Tuning Guide for more information.
Figure 7. Configuring the virtual machine
- Click OK after filling out the required values for each part, and then click OK again to start the deployment. IWD optionally notifies you by email when the deployment has completed.
The following section outlines the tasks to perform after initializing a new instance of the OVA.
- Configure the LDAP server.
- Prepare the LDAP server information. For more details, refer to Preparing to configure the LDAP directory in the IBM Connections Product Documentation:
- Set up the LDAP directory on the Deployment Manager. For more information, refer to Setting up federated repositories in the IBM Connections product documentation:
- Run the population wizard in silent mode.
- Navigate to the /opt/IBM/ConnectionsWizards directory.
- Edit the ProfileWizardResponse_Linux.properties response file, including the LDAP server information, database password, and database URL. For more details about the LDAP server information in the response file, refer to The tdisettings.properties file in the IBM Connections Product Documentation:
- Run the following command:
./populationWizard.sh -silent ProfileWizardResponse_Linux.properties
For more information about populating data in to the Profiles database, refer to Populating the Profiles database in the IBM Connections Product Documentation:
- Restart the Deployment Manager and nodes.
Post-deployment steps for stand-alone IWD
Note: The following post-installation steps are for users deploying a stand-alone version of IWD only. IPAS users do not need to complete these steps.
After deploying an instance of the IBM Connections Hypervisor Edition, IWD users must complete the following steps to configure IBM Connections to work with the IBM HTTP Server node. These steps will also disable any unused components on the IBM HTTP Server node.
- Log in to the IBM HTTP Server node via SSH.
- Create a file named "password" in the /opt/IBM/WebSphere/Profiles/.ibm directory and add the WebSphere Application Server administrator's password to the file.
Note: This file will be automatically removed after the post-install steps are completed.
echo "was_password" > /opt/IBM/WebSphere/Profiles/.ibm/password
- Run the following command to complete the post-installation tasks:
/opt/IBM/AE/AS/ConfigConnections.sh -dmgr_hostname Deployment_Manager_Hostname -config true -type ihs
- Check the following log files for any errors:
- Restart the WebSphere Application Servers from the WebSphere administrative console.
Working with an IBM Connections 4 Hypervisor Edition instance
Congratulations on completing the deployment of IBM Connections 4 Hypervisor Edition.
We now brief you on how to get started with the system. For more information on how to administer, customize, and develop applications for the IBM Connections platform, refer to the IBM Connections Product Documentation:
File system locations
The following table summarizes the locations for the file systems. Note that these directories are present in each of the virtual machines, but are only functional and relevant in the corresponding virtual machine.
Table 1. File system locations
|IBM Connections installation directory||/opt/IBM/Connections|
|WebSphere Application Server installation directory||/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer|
|Application server configuration profile for connections||/opt/IBM/WebSphere/Profiles/connections_profile|
|Deployment Manager configuration profile||/opt/IBM/WebSphere/Profiles/Dmgr01|
|IBM Connections DBWizard||/opt/IBM/ConnectionsWizards|
|DB2 install directory||/opt/ibm/db2 |
|DB2 instance directory||/home/db2inst1|
|Installation Manager directory||/opt/IBM/InstallationManager|
|IBM HTTP Server installation directory||/opt/IBM/HTTPServer|
Starting and stopping IBM Connections
You can start and stop IBM Connections clusters from the Deployment Manager's administration console.
Starting and stopping the HTTP Server
The OVA comes preconfigured with the IBM HTTP Server to allow port 80 access to IBM Connections. By default, the HTTP Server is started only on cluster patterns with a remote IHS part. To stop the HTTP Server, change to the /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/bin directory and run the following command:
Likewise, to start the HTTP Server, run the command:
The HTTP Server reads its application server plug-in configuration from /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/config/webserver1/plugin_cfg.xml, which is automatically refreshed during pattern deployment.
On stand-alone server deployments, the HTTP Server is on the same server as IBM Connections. In cluster pattern deployments, the HTTP Server is on the machine running the IHS part.
Accessing the site from a browser
Use the Virtual Machines list on the IWD Console to access the WebSphere Application Server administrative console from your browser. For more information, refer to the following topic:
An IBM Connections instance based on this OVA can be serviced just like any other native installation of this software. Corrective service packages in the form of iFixes (or "interim fixes") that address a particular product issue or fixpacks (regular, cumulative roll-ups of iFixes into a single installable unit) are available for download from the IBM Support website.
From this site, you can search for problem symptoms and obtain information from Technotes, Redbooks, and fixes that can address problems.
To install iFixes and fixpacks, you can use the Installation Manager already included.
You can access release notes for IBM Connections 4 Hypervisor Edition using the following search query: