The Best Way to Stop a Business Objects Server

Minimal Impact of Administrative Actions on BOXI

I would like to think that I am unique in many ways, but I think that I am very similar to others when it comes to my desire to minimize the impact of my administrative actions on my Business Objects XI instances. One way that I accomplish this is to carefully shutdown Business Objects servers in a very particular and simple manner.

Changes to Web Intelligence Report Server Require Restart

From time to time we all make changes to our Business Objects environment. Frequently I find myself making changes to the the Web Intelligence Report Servers (WIRS). Whether it is tweaking command-line parameters, CMC properties, logging status, making some obscure registry setting, or even patching DLLs; I am changing my WIRS and I need to restart it in order for the change to take effect. In some cases, my client runs 24/7 and has no real downtime and in other cases I need to make the change immediately and I need them to take effect yesterday. ;-)

The Cleanest Restart You Can Ever Perform

In most cases the changes I make will not take effect without a restart. However, if I go directly to the Central Configuration Manager (CCM) and just stop the server(s) and then restart it, any reports (edits, paging, refreshes, etc.) will fail on the user’s side (or for the scheduled job). So what can I do to guarantee this does not happen??? Disable the server. Wait. Stop server. Restart Server. Enable the server.

Detailed Cleanest BO Server Stopping Procedure

  1. Disable the server: do this either in the Central Management Console (CMC) or in CCM, which ever you prefer, but I think that internally BO engineers prefer to use the CCM (its the icon with the cylinder and check mark).
  2. Wait: there is no golden rule on how long to wait, any amount of waiting is still better than none. During this period the server is finishing whatever work it was assigned and the CMS is not assigning it any new requests. You can observe this on the metrics tab of the CMC page for the server (if your server has metrics). I generally wait 30 minutes and I watch the CPU utilization (CPU time) of the WIRS’s process (yes, in Windows) to see that it is dormant.
  3. Stop the server: this one is easy. Just go to the CCM and stop the server you are targeting. You can do this from any server in the cluster. You should watch the executable to be certain that it goes away, disappears, or dies.
  4. Restart the server: Again stay in CCM, allow for at least 15 seconds from the stop, but this will depend a lot on how long you waited since the disabling of the server, I mean if it still has any active threads it will take longer to stop (see previous step for proper shutdown before restart). Allow the server to get fully started and registered with the CMS.
  5. Enable the server: again use CCM or CMC to do this. I suggest you make sure the server is started for a period of 30 seconds before you enable it and let the CMS have it back for abuse.

Note: I believe this same technique should work well for all Business Objects server, not just Web Intelligence Report Servers.

Please let us all know if you have any comments, suggestions, or anything else on your mind loosely related to this topic by leaving a comment.