IBM WebSphere Application Server Base Edition on Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Installation and Support guide

1. Overview

This guide will provide step by step instructions how to start using the installed products on your Microsoft Azure instance.

This VM contains a ready-to-run IBM WebSphere Application Server base image at the selected version. In order to use this image, you need to launch it with your selected type, and log in via SSH to activate (start) the WebSphere servers.

Visit the WebSphere Application Server Base Edition page on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace

2. Launching an instance

In order to launch IBM WebSphere Application Server (referred as WAS), a few settings need to be configured on the Azure console as follows:

  1. Open new Azure Virtual Machine wizard;
  2. Select the IBM WAS Azure VM image based on your requirements from gallery;
  3. Choose VM name, size, Authentication user and credentials. The Standard DS2V2/General Purpose type or larger is recommended when running IBM WebSphere Application Server Base Edition. Larger instances may be required based on the number of IBM WebSphere application servers, clusters etc required and the expected resource use of each.  Basic DS1V2 is the minimal requirement, which will be sufficient to run WebSphere Application Server Base Edition;
  4. Define cloud service DNS name, Regions and open endpoint ports.
Port 22 to connect via SSH (enabled by default), 
Port 9060 to reach the IBM WAS administration Web Application (Integrated Solutions Console), 
Port 9061 to reach the IBM WAS AdminAgent Console
Port 9090 to reach RapidDeploy web console, 
Port 9080 to reach the DefaultApplication (Snoop Servlet)
Port 20000 and 20100 to open for RapidDeploy Remote Agent (optional)

 3. Initial login and setup

The IBM WebSphere Application Server Base Edition products are shipped with a base binary installation and the necessary profiles created. On the first login to the instance, you will be placed into a console wizard, which will guide you through the process of starting IBM WAS Base profile(s) and other configuration steps. The following is an overview of the steps you will be guided through to get started with the installed products on the instance:

  1. Log onto the instance via SSH with your Azure user and credentials. Once the instance has started up (you can see it by having “Running” status in Azure console), you can connect to the instance via any SSH client. You can log in to your instance with provisioned Azure username  and the credentials which can be based on password or certificate file.
  2. Once the admin user is logged in, please log in as the  ‘midvision’ user via the command ‘sudo su – midvision’.
  3. You are placed in a setup wizard.
  4. Choose whether to start IBM WAS profiles
  5. Set initial password for RapidDeploy user “mvadmin
  6. Choose which ports to open on Red Hat Linux firewall.

All inputs asking for specific data can be left as blank just by hitting [return], which will pick the default value displayed at the end of the question. Once the product is started and configured, you can reach it by default on http://[publicip]:9060/ibm/console (Admin Console) or http://[publicip]:9061/ibm/console (Admin Agent) and log in unauthorized. Note that the IBM WAS Base profiles are bound to localhost ip address in order to work reliably with the changing hostnames.

4. Accessing the web and command line consoles

4.1 Access the default snoop servlet

Confirm installation. The DefaultApplication Snoop servlet is shipped by default and can be accessed on:

http://[publicip]:9080/snoop

4.2 Access the IBM WebSphere Application Server Admin Console

You should now be able to access the WebSphere AdminConsole, at the URL specified below.
http://[publicip]:9060/ibm/console
You can log in to WebSphere console as “wasadmin”  or any other name. Initially, no security is enabled. Please enable security at the earliest opportunity.
 
The Admin Agent can be accessed on:
http://[publicip]:9061/ibm/console

Note that the IBM WAS Base profiles are bound localhost ip address in order to work reliably with the changing hostnames as the instance is restarted. You should not need to change this. However, in case you want to change the bound ip address, there is a script provided in midvision user’s home to change the configuration by replacing the configured hostnames with the new ip address. The script is called setuphost.sh. Please refer to IBM documentation for WebSphere Application Server configuration.

4.3 Access the RapidDeploy Web Console

RapidDeploy server and agent will start up automatically when you start your instance. You can access the web console on:

http://[publicip]:9090/MidVision

Note: make sure you have port 9090 open in your Security group when trying to access RapidDeploy web console. For the first time, you can set the password for the default username ” mvadmin “. 

You can prevent auto starting RapidDeploy on instance startup by removing it from the system chkconfig list.

systemctl disable rapiddeploystart.service 

5. Maintaining the installation

The following sections cover some of the activities you might want to perform after the instance has been started.
  • azureuser: This is the provisioned Azure user. The username can vary due to can be customised. It is permitted to use all SUDO rights. To switch to the midvision user, type “sudo su - midvision“.
  • midvision: This is the midvision user, You can log in as any other user without using passwords. E.g: “su wasadmin“. To switch to the root user, type “sudo su“. If you want to switch back to root user, type “exit“, this will take you back to the previous user session.
  • root: This is the superuser in linux systems. You can log in as any other user without using passwords. E.g: “su -azureuser“, “su wasadmin“, “su midvision” If you want to switch back to root user, type “exit“, this will take you back to the previous user session.
  • wasadmin:  This user does not have SUDO rights. If you want to switch back to root user, type “exit“, this will take you back to the previous user session.
  • mbadmin:   This user does not have SUDO rights. If you want to switch back to root user, type “exit“, this will take you back to the previous user session.

The IBM WebSphere Application Server Base Admin Console is initially configured without security enabled.

You can further configure WebSphere security in the normal way according to your requirements. 

You can open the necessary ports quickly using the setup wizard.  To re-run this section of the wizard, from the midvision home directory run open-wasports.sh. There is an option to open all ports used by IBM WebSphere services, by entering ‘process‘ input. Alternatively, you can choose to open all ports on the instance by entering ‘all‘ input. If you are creating a distributed cell over multiple nodes, we strongly recommend you don’t try to estimate which ports should be opened, but select the ‘process’ option, which will open all the required ports to ensure node agent synchronisation will work correctly. Port opening options:

  • <port number> – Open this port. Multiple ports can be entered, separated by pressing the ‘[return]’ key.
  •  ‘process’           – Open all WebSphere ports for all WebSphere processes detected on the instance.
  • all’                    – Open all ports on the instance (effectively remove the firewall).
  • exit’                  – Exit the port opening script.

Two scripts are provided in the midvision home directory to start and stop the WebSphere Base edition servers. These are named startwas.sh and stopwas.sh.

CentOS instances are shipped with a firewall by default to protect your machine. For security reasons, the instance is only accessible via SSH (port 22) at first, so further ports can be opened on the firewall as needed. You will need to open all the ports in this internal firewall, which you have open in your Security group. There is a script placed in the user home of the mqm user (/home/mqm), which is also the starting location when logged in. You will need to be the root user to run this script. Example usage:

[mqm@ ] sudo ./open-firewall.sh 9090
Open firewall port 9090 iptables: Saving firewall rules to /etc/sysconfig/iptables:[ OK ]
 

There are a few scripts and other files in midvision and root users home directory, which will need to remain unchanged in order to keep the provided scripts working. Files are placed under /root/WAS_install are required to create the IBM WebSphere profiles. There are a set of scripts in midvision home directory. Those scripts are executed when logging into the instance controlled by .bash_profile, but you can also execute them manually whenever they are needed. There are some hidden files used as well:

.firstrun indicates that the setup wizard has already ran once,

.dontask indicates that the user will not be prompted again for running the setuphost script (if chosen not to ask again),

.host file is needed to determine the previously bound hostname to WebSphere service.

To restart RapidDeploy manually from the filesystem, use the rapiddeploy linux service. The RapidDeploy version is 5.0.3. RapidDeploy home is located at /var/rd/midvision Example usage:

[mqm@ ] sudo service rapiddeploystart start 
[mqm@ ] sudo service rapiddeploystart stop

The RapidDeploy server uses an in-memory database, so your RapidDeploy framework needs to be shut down properly to save your work. This happens when the instance is stopping or when calling the stop service manually from the command line. Note that on instance restart, unsaved data will be lost.

If you don’t want to use RapidDeploy and free memory on your instance you can stop rapiddeploy service using command:

[mqm@ ] sudo service rapiddeploystart stop

Then in order to make sure it will not start when an instance starts again run this command:

[mqm@ ] sudo systemctl disable rapiddeploystart.service

For security reasons, you will need to change the default password (default value is mvadmin) for user mvadmin. This will be requested the first time only when you log in to the RapidDeploy server.

6. Troubleshooting

6.1 Session loss during setup

If you lose your SSH connection to the target instance during the first run setup script execution (e.g. as a result of a network problem), we advise you to delete and recreate the Azure VM instance and run the script again.

6.2 Profile startup exceptions

If the profile fails to start with the ${PROFILE_HOME}/bin/startserver.sh, or the ${USER_HOME}/startwas.sh commands, check that you are running as the root user, either by being in a root shell, or by prepending ‘sudo’ to the start command.

6.3 Cannot access the IBM WebSphere admin console (ISC)

Check that  the deployment manager is running, and you have correctly opened all the required ports on the firewall, and that your instance was created using a security group definition that allows TCP access to the instance on the required ports.

6.4 Contacting MidVision support

Please visit our support website.