Business Objects XI 3.0 introduced us to an entirely new architectural concept called the Server Intelligence Agent (SIA). The SIA takes over Business Objects service/server management from the Central Configuration Manager of XI Release 2. When you start a SIA you can configure all, some, or none of the servers contained in/managed by the SIA to also be started. All BO servers in a SIA must belong to the same cluster. A BOXI SIA is much more than a server group, in fact, aside from also providing a grouping of BO servers in CMC it does not behave like a Server Group because you cannot schedule to it or any other such process assignment.
Sorting Through the Confusing Naming Conventions
Business Objects terminology can be a little confusing to those who equate “node” with “server”, “machine”, “host”, or “machine”. In the world of Business Objects XI 3.0 and 3.1 SIA and node have a 1-to-1 relationship. SIA and node even share the same name, so for all intents and purposes they are synonymous. Machine and host are also synonymous; however, in general “host” will be used in CMC. “Server” still refers to a single instance of the Business Objects service run on a host/machine which is a member of a SIA/node. Got it? Good.
Note of PronunciationBy the way, within SAP Business Objects it seems that most people say the word “see-ah” when they speak of Service Intelligence Agents or SIAs. Get used to it, people will pause to think when you say “S-I-A” spelled out (and we don’t want anyone pausing and thinking, do we?).
Managing Your SIA
The Server Intelligence Agent does not have its one graphical use interface (GUI), but parts of it can be managed through CCM, Central Management Console (CMC), and the utility called “ServerConfig” (Unix/Linux only, utility built in CCM for Windows). In the CMC, you should look under “Servers” and you will find the SIA called “Nodes” here.
Naming Your SIA
There is a character limit but I cannot tell you exactly what it is yet. The BO installer does have a 15 character limit, but this is a limit enforced by the installer only and you can always create longer named SIA later. You cannot use spaces, dashes, or periods in your SIAs name. You also cannot start the SIA with a number, but you can use numbers after the first character. I try to name my SIA by its main purpose and I include the short host name as well, such as “cms_myserver”. SIA names will default to the host name or even the host’s fully-qualified domain name.
Porting Your SIA
The default port for a SIA is 6410. In most cases you would want to use this one first. Then if you must add more SIA to the host/machine I suggest following some incremental like 6510, 6610, 6710 or perhaps 7410, 8410, 9410. It really will depend mostly on your hosts available ports. Sticking to tens will make it easier for you to remember in the future and easier for your successors to guess what is going on.
Can 2 SIA Run on the Same Host???
Yes, in fact, you can run many different SIA on the same host and each SIA can either point to the same cluster or possibly to an entirely different cluster. Think about this. It means that if you only had enough machines to stand up one environment, you could put 3 SIA on each machine and point each SIA to a different CMS database and Viola! you have 3 distinct BO XI 3.x environments running on the same hardware. How cool is that? Not so cool if your host doesn’t have enough RAM and CPU, but very cool otherwise.
Here are some things to look out for working with Server Intelligence Agents:
- You cannot rename a SIA, but you can create a new one with the name you want, and delete the old one with the name you no longer want.
- When you are installing the BO software for the first time be sure to give a name to the SIA that you want to stick with. If you later delete this SIA and have no SIA with this name present it will cause you trouble when patching the Business Objects Enterprise software. You can later workaround this trouble by updating your “ccm.config” file, but better to prevent than to cure.
- It is always best to shutdown all BO servers/services/executables running on the machine on which you intend to setup a new SIA.
- If you do not have a valid license key loaded (see CMC) then you cannot create more than one SIA in the cluster.
- A SIA can be effectively reinitialized or even redirected to a new cluster if you create a new SIA on the same host with the same SIA name.
- In order to completely delete a SIA from a cluster and from the host you must: (1) stop the SIA and all of its servers on the host, (2) have a SIA with the same name present on both host and CMS
- The easiest way to clean-up orphaned/phantom SIA in the cluster (which have no host) is to add a new SIA to the cluster/CMS and select “noservers” as the kind of SIA you want to create
- Although CMC permits you to manage the servers in your SIA without the SIA running, it is recommended that you do not attempt to add any servers to your SIA unless it is started. Cloning servers to a down SIA can really create a mess.
- If you are creating a SIA that will have a CMS then you will need to enter in the database credentials for the CMS InfoStore database.
- If you are create a SIA that does not include a CMS then you will need to have a CMS running in the cluster where you intend to create the SIA and you will need to be able to provide a BO Administrator user’s login information.
- You cannot delete a SIA that is running. Shut it down completely, make sure all of its servers are stopped, and then try to delete it.
- I do not recommend removing all SIA from a Business Objects host machine. If you want to delete all
- If you use CCM or cmsdbsetup.sh (Linux/UNIX) to copy a CMS to a new database then it will copy all SIA. You will want to be very careful here and leave the source system down until you have deleted all of those copied SIA. How do you delete the SIA??? See above. 😉 Hint: if you need to delete a SIA from a CMS, you can create a noservers SIA of exactly the same on any host machine and that host machine will take over that SIA.
BOXI SIA, the One and Only
Most SAP Business Objects documentation states clearly that the acronym SIA stands for Server Intelligence Agent, but I have seen it also referred to as a “Software Intelligence Agent” in at least one BO document. For example, the Service Pack 3 release notes say, “After installing Service Pack 3 on a system where the Software Intelligence Agent (SIA) node has been removed…” I only mention this in hopes of clarifying any confusion. We can take away at least 3 points from this: (1) There is no such thing as a Software Intelligence Agent. (2) SAP Business Objects documentation is fallible (also it does omit a lot of things too, such as registry information and “Repo Scan”, but I digress). (3) It is not a good idea to delete all SIA from a host machine.