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WebSphere for z/OS: Updating an Existing Configuration HFS to Use Intermediate Symbolic Links

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Additional Author(s):

Don Bagwell
John Cowel

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Abstract: This utility will sweep through a configuration HFS and change all the embedded symbolic links so they point to a new location. It is intended for those who have constructed cells where all nodes point to the same place -- the actual mount point of the WebSphere SBBOHFS data set, otherwise known as the "product HFS" or the "WebSphere SMP/E HFS".

When all nodes point directly at the product HFS, each node is "tied" to the level of code in that product HFS. Applying maintenance then means updating all nodes at the same time. Changing the embedded symbolic links is not something you do by hand; there are too many of them. This utility does it programmatically.

This Techdoc consists of the instructions only. John Cowel or Don Bagwell must be contacted before receiving the utility itself.

Background Information

    When a WebSphere Application Server for z/OS Version 5 node is built, the configuration HFS is peppered with hundreds and hundreds of symbolic links. These symbolic links point to files in the "product HFS" supplied by IBM. There is good reason for having this design. Unfortunately, if you configure two or more nodes that point directly to the mount point of the product HFS, then applying maintenance to the product HFS necessarily means updating all the nodes at once.

    The way to provide flexibility is to configure what's known as an "intermediate symbolic link" between the node's configuration HFS and the actual mount point of the product HFS. The result is two symbolic links -- one in the configuration HFS pointing to the intermediate link, and the intermediate link then pointing to the product HFS. The value of this is that a node can be "pointed" to a new level of the product HFS by simply changing the one intermediate symbolic link.

    Unfortunately, one must plan for this intermediate symbolic link
    before the node is built. If all the nodes point directly at the product HFS mount point, then updating the product HFS means updating all your nodes at once. If you're in that spot, you may have wondered if there was a way to get around it short of completely redoing the configuration. There is ... with this utility.

    Note: Changing the contents of all those embedded symbolic links is a very difficult task. Doing it manually, one by one, is not recommended. There's just too many of them.
The Utility

    What this utility is designed to do is programmatically sweep through the configuration HFS for a given node and change all the embedded symbolic links from their initial value to a new value you specify. This allows you to change a node's construction from a "direct" pointer to one that uses an "intermediate symbolic link". Configurations built to use a direct pointer to the product HFS can be changed so an intermediate symbolic link is used instead. The instruction PDF attached here gives you a more detailed view of how the utility actually works.

    The utility is NOT supplied in this Techdoc. Only the instructions are supplied here. In order to receive the files that comprise the utility, you must contact either John Cowel or myself (phone and e-mail on cover of instruction document) so that we may assess your environment and determine if the utility is right for you.
Instructions For Utility
    PRS1558 - Instructions for Embedded Symlink Change Utility.pdf




Operational Management


IBM System z Family

S/W Pillar(s):

Information Management; WebSphere




WebSphere, configuration, intermediate, symbolic, links, changing

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