Advanced Server Competence Center Europe, Netherlands
This paper is meant to provide you an insight in Advanced
Server for OpenVMS.
Discussed are the usage of the product, like its use in
clusters and the roles of the server in various domains depending on the
Microsoft functionality that you use.
I will try to shed some light on the fields of
troubleshooting, monitoring, performance and tuning.
I will briefly talk about future plans for Advanced Server.
Advanced Server for OpenVMS, a file and print server based on
Microsoft Windows NT code, gives you most of the Windows NT functionality on
Printing is one of the Windows functionalities that are
supported by Advanced Server. If you have printer queues on your server, you
can setup these printers to be used by your Windows based PCs. In the last
version the ease of use of printers has been transformed to the way Windows
does it. You can manage your printers from any Windows PC and install printer
drivers on the server to be used when you setup this printer on a PC.
Windows functionality like the support of domain structures
is natural to Advanced Server. Advanced Server can be leading in a domain,
maintaining the user community for an organization. Advanced Server can also
play a Backup role in a Windows domain or just be a member server. Supporting
domains can also mean supporting inter-domain relations like trusts and we do.
You can separate your user's login domain from resource
domains and base your security on the user's login domain by trusting that
As we speak about trusting, OpenVMS still is a widely trusted
and reliable operating system.
Many customers use Advanced Server to share out the data of their
OpenVMS applications to the world of Windows, either for presentation purposes
or to use the data in other programs.
Amongst the largest users of Advanced Server are banks, stock
exchanges, lotteries and manufactories.
So basically anywhere where the reliability of OpenVMS is
needed you can find Advanced Server.
There are other ways of using Advanced Server; several
customers use it as the primary source of security in their Microsoft domain.
Here again the reliability of OpenVMS is the main reason for the use of Advanced
Before going into more detail about the functionality, let's
view some history.
Formerly known as PCSA and Pathworks, Advanced Server has
been around since 1988 and has lived through many changes.
A brief overview:
PCSA ( V3.x and lower )
Disk services over LAST - LAD
Most information was stored, not shared, in a container file on OpenVMS.
Sharing was only possible if the container was "mounted" read-only.
File service over DECnet
From version 2.0 onwards it was possible to directly share files from the
OpenVMS file system. DECnet was the only protocol used in those days.
PATHWORKS V4.x ( MSNET server )
Remote boot using LAD (Disk
As all you needed to boot a PC fitted on a floppy, you could create floppy
container files to boot PCs off the server and thus secure and centrally
control the boot environment.
TCP/IP protocol added for File
PATHWORKS V5.x ( LAN Manager 2.2 server )
RIPL Remote Boot (from File
Slowly abandoning the disk service container files, remote boot was
transformed to start off a special file service. This made it more easy to
make changes since you didn't need to dismount the read-only container file
for every change.
NETBEUI protocol added for File
Nowadays only supported on
OpenVMS V5.5-2 on VAX ( V5.0F ECO 2 )
PATHWORKS / Advanced Server V6.x
Now based on Windows NT 3.51 code
(LAN Manager 3.0)
Based on code from AT&T most Windows NT 3.51 functionality became
available on OpenVMS.
No remote boot, no Disk services
Old technologies were discarded, Windows became too big for remote boot,
giving network load issues and container files were no longer used as file
services became faster and more common.
Advanced Server V7.2
Introduction of the OpenVMS
Functional this release was the same as Pathworks V6.0. The only differences
were the replacement of an ini file by the registry and the introduction of
ODS5 disk structures with the use of extended character set and lowercase
Advanced Server V7.3
Member server function
As it lacked from the AT&T code Member server functionality was added by
our own labs to enable us to participate in Windows 2000 Active Directory
domains. This functionality is also available for VAX in Pathworks version
Advanced Server V7.3A (ECO-2)
Windows NT 4.0 based server
Lots of bug fixes and performance improvements over version 7.3.
This document is based on the functionality of the latest
version: V7.3A patch level ECO2.
This version is a complete rewrite of large parts of the
product to make the transition from Windows 3.51 to Windows 4.0 code base. The
functional changes that have been made in Service pack 4 of NT 4.0 are all
implemented in this release. This makes the product interact and function well
within Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Active Directory domains.
In a Windows NT domain there are three different roles that a
server can perform within the domain.
Primary Domain Controller (PDC)
This is the domain master in maintaining the security identifiers in the
domain. All users and groups are given a security identifier by the Primary DC
to be used for assigning access throughout the domain. The Primary DC
distributes all changes in the domain to the Backup DC's. Without the Primary
DC, no change in the domain, like a user's password, is possible.
Backup Domain Controller (BDC)
A Backup DC has two main functions. First
it aids the Primary DC with logon validation. All users that logon to the
domain are checked, validated, by a Domain Controller, PDC or BDC. This is a
form of load balancing. A second function of a Backup DC is to maintain domain
consistency and availability. Should your Primary DC disappear in smoke, you
still have your domain based on the domain copy that is held by all Backup
DC's. In such a disastrous event you can promote a Backup DC to Primary DC in
order to allow changes to the domain.
Note: Running a domain without a Backup DC is like living dangerously, it's not
the question IF you will heart yourself but when. Since all Windows machines
change their password autonomously, you can never be sure that a restore from
backup will bring back your domain completely. Some PC's or servers may have to
be brought back into the domain manually because they changed their password
after the last backup. Also trusts to other domains may fail the same way.
A Member Server is only file and/or print server, it does not maintain a
copy of the domain database and requires the availability of a Domain
Controller for validation to allow users access to its shares.
Advanced Server for OpenVMS V7.3A can perform each of these
Each of these roles has its specific usage and the list below
is what we see most in the field (numbering as above).
Server as Primary DC is most often used in environments where system management
is split up and where OpenVMS and Advanced Server are managed separately from
the Windows environment. In these cases a trust is needed between the Advanced
Server world and the Windows world to make management easy and security common. See the next section for more information
As in any domain, a Windows NT or Advanced Server domain needs a Backup DC to
secure the validity of the domain user database (SAM). This BDC can be any
out-of-the-box PC running Windows NT or another OpenVMS or UNIX machine running
Advanced Server can also be a BDC in a Windows 2000 domain as long as this
domain is running in mixed mode.
The member role for Advanced Server is most often used in conjunction with a
Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 domain. If such a domain is running in Active
Directory integrated mode, this is the only role which Advanced Server can
perform in such a domain.
As we briefly touched inter-domain relations above, I will
now go into more details on relations between domains.
Inter-Domain Relations, Trusts
With many customers, there are multiple domains on the
network. This can be due to various departments managing their own domains, a
geographical separation or just a boundary between production and test
Often it is needed to give users from one domain access to
resources in another domain. In the past this had to be done by creating a
username in both domains for such a user and give him the task to keep the
passwords in sync. With Windows NT, and Pathworks version 6, the option was
introduced to have a username in only one domain and use it throughout the
network. To do this, the other domains have to trust your login domain. Once a
trust is in place, you can take a username or a global group from the trusted
domain and use it in the security masks of trusting domains. Please note that a
domain local group cannot be used beyond the own domain. A domain local group
can also not be used on a member server because a member server has its own
Like any Windows domain, a domain with Advanced Server in it
can trust any other domain or can be trusted. There is a configurable maximum
to the number of domains that can be trusted. If you need to configure your
domain for more then 31 trusts, increase the following registry setting;
NumClient_Session REG_DWORD 5 - 128.
Default value is 32.
Limits the number of trust relationships that a server can
maintain with other domains.
This value should be at least one greater than the number of
domains trusted by the servers' domain.
You can best set such a registry value by the REGUTL command
on OpenVMS to prevent typos, since REGUTL knows which registry keys are known
to the server.
$ REGUTL SET VALUE * NUMCLIENT_SESSION 44
There is a server configuration element to take into account
when using trusts.
Trusts use up sessions, so you will have to increase the
number of PC clients that you configure your server for if you have a large
number of trusts.
For details about configuring your server, see the section
entitled: Monitoring and Performance.
For PCs and servers to communicate with each other you need a
common language or protocol.
There are several protocols available for machines to
communicate, including TCP/IP, AppleTalk, IPX, DECnet and many more.
Advanced Server can be configured to use one or more three
Because the TCP/IP protocol is used more and more these days,
we normally see systems that are configured to use TCP/IP only. Some details
about this protocol; TCP/IP is built around the usage of network numbers or subnets.
This feature is mostly used for the purpose of routing the protocol between
several sites of a company but can also be used to divide the local network
into manageable parts. Apart from the necessary segmentation of your network,
the principle of subnets can give you some headaches. Windows NT connectivity
is partly based on the principle of browsing and this functionality is not routable
between subnets or sites. There are many OpenVMS systems using multiple TCP/IP
subnets on multiple network cards. This could bring a challenge for Advanced
Server, especially when this happens in a cluster. For Advanced Server it is
not supported to have individual cluster nodes in different subnets only. They
must have, at least, one subnet in common on all nodes of the cluster. This has
to do with the way Microsoft designed browsing.
Since the NETBEUI protocol and some functionality of the
other protocols, like browsing are not routable you may have to configure
Advanced Server to use a specific interface on a system that has multiple
This can be done by defining a logical name per protocol that
For DECnet: $ DEFINE /SYSTEM/EXEC NETBIOS$DEVICE FWA0:
For NETBEUI: $ DEFINE /SYSTEM/EXEC PWRK$NBDAEMON_DEVICE FWA0:
For TCP/IP: $ DEFINE /SYSTEM/EXEC PWRK$KNBDAEMON_DEVICE FWA0:
When you define the above logical name for TCP/IP you also
have to specify the IP address for this device with the following logical name:
You can also use this method if you have an interface that is
not yet recognized by Advanced Server.
Should you be unable to have at least one subnet in common on
your cluster nodes, you will encounter problems with the browser service like a
permanent state of "Start Pending" on some nodes in the cluster. In such a case
you will have to disable the Browser service. Do this by setting a registry key:
$ REGUTL SET PARAM * MAINTAINSERVERLIST NO /CREATE
After a restart of Advanced Server you will no longer see the
PWRK$LMBROWSER process and you will get a report of this in the system event
log, where it reports you the message numbers 7024 and 2550, indicating that
the browser service had nothing to do and exited at startup.
So far for protocols, now I come to the way a machine can
find another one on the net.
There are various ways to file a combination of name and
address for a machine. You don't want to define every machine on every PC, this
can largely be automated.
Depending on the version of operating system there is a
variety of options that are used in different sequences to find an address for
a machine on the network.
As in Windows NT, name resolution for Advanced Server is
based on a combination of broadcasting, WINS and DNS. WINS, (Windows Internet
Naming System) is for Windows NT, and thus for Advanced Server,
the preferred way to find an address for a machine. This is also the first
option to try on the network, after checking the local memory cache. If WINS
doesn't provide an address for the machine you are looking for, Advanced Server
will use broadcasting to get the address. Broadcasting, however, will only
travel as far as the TCP/IP subnet reaches. This makes broadcasting very
limited and not so useful. Broadcasting relies on the machine itself to answer
the call so it will only be effective if the machine is in your own subnet. As
a last resort, DNS can be used, in order to find an address for a machine name.
I did not mention a domain name in the sequence above. This
is because for searching a domain name, DNS will NOT be used. In the search for
a domain name or a domain controller, Advanced Server uses WINS and
broadcasting only, Just like Windows NT. This makes it important to keep WINS
if you are transferring your domain to a Windows Active Directory domain, based
The above mentioned local name cache can be preloaded by the
use of a file called: PWRK$LANMAN:LMHOSTS. (without extension). This file has
the same layout as in Windows;
22.214.171.124 TESTPDC #PRE #DOM:TESTDOM
This line loads the name TESTPDC in cache with the address 126.96.36.199.
This line also loads the domain name TESTDOM in cache and
associates it with the same address.
This way your machine knows that it has to go to 188.8.131.52
if it needs to contact a domain controller for the domain TESTDOM.
You can configure the use of WINS, DNS and the use of an
LMHOSTS file using the configuration utility: $ADMIN /CONFIG, in the
TRANSPORTS section. By default none of them is enabled and your system relies
on broadcasting only, something you don't want to do in a modern domain.
New in version 7.3A-ECO2 is that you can edit and reload the
LMHOSTS file without restarting the server. To do this, you can use the command
$NBSHOW KNBCACHE RELOAD. The command $ NBSHOW KNBCACHE, without the
reload option, can be used to display the current content of the name cache.
Troubleshooting name resolution
Troubleshooting name resolution can best be started using the
$ NBSHOW KNBSTATUS
You should expect to receive a list of claimed names from the
server or client requested, like the output from the Windows following command:
$ NBTSTAT -a
Following is sample output (partial) of $ NBSHOW KNBSTATUS command with explanations of the various clamed names:
Pwop01-System > nbshow knbstatus pwop08
Local name table (11 names):
Name Soc Num Status explanation
PWOP08 x20 1 Unique Registered <- Server name, server service
PWOP08 x00 2 Unique Registered <- Server name, workstation service
PWDOM2 x00 3 Group Registered <- Domain name
PWDOM2 x1c 4 Group Registered <- Domain Controller in PWDOM2
PWDOM2 x1e 5 Group Registered <- Used for Browser elections
PWOP08#D x00 6 Unique Registered <- Internal usage
PWOP08#B x00 7 Unique Registered <- Internal usage
PWDOM2 x1d 8 Unique Registered <- Master Browser
^^__MSBROWSE__^ x01 9 Group Registered <- Master Browser
PWDOM2 x1b 10 Unique Registered <- Domain Master Browser (PDC)
PWOP08_65 x00 11 Unique Registered <- Internal usage
Important in this output are the server name and the domain
name. They are both listed multiple times in this output and here you can see
the functions this server is performing. You can also use this method to search
for the PDC or PDC emulator (Windows 2000) of a certain domain. If you
encounter difficulties in joining a domain during the configuration of Advanced
Server you can use the command $ NBSHOW KNBSTATUS to see if you
can resolve the domain name to find the PDC. Since version 7.3A, the command $
NBSHOW KNBSTATUS accepts a third parameter where you can
specify the last byte of the NetBIOS name (listed under the column "soc" in the
table above). For example, if I issue the command $ NBSHOW KNBSTATUS PWDOM2
1B, I will get the same output as above while searching for the PDC in
You can use this if you encounter problems while joining a
domain during initial configuration. You can do this because the PWRK$KNBDAEMON
process that interfaces to TCP/IP is not shutdown when you leave the
So far for communication between machines, let's take a
closer look at configurations.
The cluster is the server
This means that there must be one single entity that is seen
as the cluster from the outside world.
When you use an OpenVMS cluster, you will have to give this
cluster a cluster alias name. You can configure many nodes in a cluster to run
Advanced Server. They will all listen to the same cluster alias name.
There is, however, no need to configure all of the cluster
nodes for the use of Advanced Server.
File access in a cluster
It is important to mount the disks that you want to share out
to the Windows world on all nodes that you configure to run Advanced Server.
Failing to do so will make a file unavailable through some nodes and this will
look inconsistent from a user's perspective. Unlike a Windows cluster, you will
be able to access all disks through every node in the cluster and at the same
time. This feature, unique to OpenVMS and Tru-64 UNIX clusters, does provide
some overhead in the server which may cost some performance.
Should one of the nodes in an Advanced Server cluster leave
the cluster, the clients connected to it can resume work through one of the
other, remaining, nodes without user intervention. To use this feature, clients
must use the cluster alias to connect to the cluster and not a specific node
Advanced Server has a set of databases to store the reference
to shares, users and parts of the security.
In an Advanced Server cluster there is only one set of these
These files must reside on a common disk that is mounted on
all nodes that run Advanced Server. This disk must preferably not be local
inside one of the nodes but in a separate storage enclosure to prevent
unavailability if one node fails.
The cluster in a domain
As I told you above, the cluster can and should be addressed
by its cluster alias name. This is one name for one or more machines. In the
Domain, only the cluster alias name must be registered as a server or domain
controller, depending on its role in the domain. It is not allowed to create a computer
account in the domain for individual nodes of the cluster. This and the fact
that there is one set of databases, mentioned above, means that the whole
cluster performs the same domain role. If you make your cluster the PDC, this will
lead to the situation that you will see multiple PDC's when browsing the
domain. This is intended behavior since the browser gathers information on both
the cluster alias as well as the individual nodes. If you look at domain
members only, you will just see the cluster alias, not the individual node names;
they only exist in Browser information.
In the OpenVMS administrators utility this looks as follows:
$ ADMIN SHOW COMPUTERS
Computers in domain "PWOP":
Computer Type Description
------------- ---------------------------- -----------------------------
[PD] PWOP01 OpenVMS (NT 4.0) Primary Advanced Server V7.3A for OpenVMS
[PD] PWOP02 OpenVMS (NT 4.0) Primary Advanced Server V7.3A for OpenVMS
[PD] PWOPCLU OpenVMS (NT 4.0) Primary Advanced Server V7.3A for OpenVMS (Alias)
Total of 3 computers
$ ADMIN SHOW COMPUTERS/TYPE=DOMAIN
Computers in domain "PWOP":
Computer Type Description
-------------- --------------------------- -----------------------------
[PD] PWOPCLU Windows NT Primary
Total of 1 computer
Note that when you look at the domain members only, the
server comment (description) is omitted since this is browser information and
the browser information is not used with this command.
Dos and Don'ts
This section provides recommendations for Advanced Server and
things that you must not do with Advanced Server.
A PC client will have more then one session to a
server, most likely two sessions per PC. This means that you have to configure our server for a little more then
twice the number of PC clients that you expect to use the server.
You can configure any node in the cluster for as
many clients as you expect to use it but make sure to have enough room to
accept clients that failover from a node that exits the cluster. For example, if you have a two-node cluster
and 400 clients, configure both nodes for at least 850 sessions.
All cluster nodes must be in the same TCP/IP
Configure the server to use WINS for name
Add a multihomed entry for the cluster alias in
the WINS server database, even if your cluster has only one node running
Don't configure any server for less then 40 PC
clients. It will also use client sessions for inter domain sessions, trusted domains
All nodes in the cluster MUST speak the same
protocols. Don't let one speak TCPIP only and the other TCP/IP and DECnet.
Don't configure your server to speak DECnet if
your PDC doesn't. The Primary Domain Controller must speak all the protocols
that are in use throughout the domain. See below for details.
Don't build a domain with only a PDC. Always add at least one BDC to the domain.
Don't create a computer account in the domain
for the individual cluster nodes, just for the cluster alias.
A little explanation on the protocols of your PDC, mentioned
Suppose your PDC is a Windows machine that is configured to
run TCP/IP only and you want some old PC's to connect to Advanced Server
In this scenario your Advanced Server for OpenVMS could be
the only server that speaks DECnet. If that is the case, it will become Domain
Master Browser on the DECnet protocol since there is no higher machine that
claims this role. The Browser service is not built to have a different role on
different protocols so this will bring your PDC in trouble because the PDC
should be the Domain Master Browser.
This situation will create an error condition on TCP/IP which
is hard to find since the cause is not on TCP/IP but on the DECnet protocol.
You can avoid this by installing DECnet on the PDC. DECnet is
supported on all current Windows versions and can be installed from the
Pathworks 32 CD kit.
Any connection to Advanced Server must be licensed.
Nowadays there is only one type of license that you need to
install in order to get access to shares on Advanced Server. This is the Client
Access license, named PWLMXXXCA07.03.
There are two principal ways to use this license.
If you have only a few servers you can buy a set of licenses for each node and
just load the license into LMF. In this setup, you configure Advanced Server to
NOT use the License Server.
If you do this, Advanced Server will
subtract a license for each PC that makes a connection to the server. There is
nothing to manage with this license setup, just make sure that you have enough
licenses on each server.
You can check the license usage with the command $ PWLIC. Please keep in mind
that license usage in a cluster is always cluster-wide, so PWLIC will show you
the combined license usage for the whole cluster.
One more remark on licenses in a cluster: The license processes on the cluster
nodes talk to each other to give this combined license usage. You must setup your cluster to use one license database for the whole
cluster. If you don't do this and use multiple license databases (e.g. per
node), Advanced Server nodes will negotiate about the total number of licenses
for the cluster and the node with the smallest number of licenses will overrule
the others. To have multiple license databases in a cluster is officially
This is the easiest and preferred
setup and is called server-based licensing.
If you have many servers or when PCs make use of multiple servers, it may be
cheaper to setup one or more servers as a license server.
To do this, like with option 1, load
your licenses into LMF on one node in your network and configure Advanced
Server on this node to run WITH License Server. Now the License Server will
allocate all these licenses and will give them to PCs that request a license.
To make a PC client request a
license, you need to install license software on each PC client that needs to
connect shares on Advanced Server. This license software is available on the
Pathworks 32 CD kit and on the share pwlicense on each Advanced Server node.
With the license software installed,
the PC client will present its license to any server it needs to make a
connection to. The server that a PC client with a loaded license connects to
does not need to have any license installed.
This license will remain with the PC
client that requested it until it is released manually.
The license server will maintain a
database for all the licenses it has given out.
You can create reports on the usage
of licenses through the license utility:
$ ADMIN /LICENSE
As mentioned above, you need manual
intervention to release a license from the database if a PC client leaves the
This is called Client-based
licensing and is more labor intensive.
You can also create a mix of options 1 and 2.
If you run your server with the License Server, you can move a number of
licenses to a special group called "Server-based". By this mean you can make a
new PC client connect to this server to install the client license software
from a share on this server.
You can also install the client
license software from the Pathworks 32 CD kit that comes with your OpenVMS
License shortage will be reported in the general event log
that you can examine with the following command:
$ ADMIN /ANALYZE [/SINCE[=
Monitoring and Performance
Basic monitoring of Advanced Server is pretty easy and can be
done at three places.
There is a general error log about OpenVMS related issues and licensing.
This file is: PWRK$ROOT:EVTLOG.DAT.
You can access this error log with the
$ ADMIN /ANALYZE [/SINCE[=
We consider it good management if you take a regular look at
these three places for errors.
More monitoring options will be discussed in the next
Performance and Tuning
As with any product, you have to know what to expect if you
want to do some tuning.
This means that you will have to know what the normal
workload is for your system and for Advanced Server, a baseline. In other
words, if you take your first look at performance when your users start
complaining about the performance you don't know what you are looking at.
Advanced Server performance breaks down into OpenVMS
performance and Advanced Server itself.
Advanced Server performance should be about equal to a
Windows NT server.
Only when many small files are involved, like in a user
profile, we are a bit slower.
BUT, as often done, you should not compare last century's
Alpha server 2100 with a Proliant server that you bought recently, even if they
are about the same size.
My intention with this chapter is to give you a few handles
to do basic tuning to your server, not to give a detailed, five day training in
What aspects are there in tuning?
There are CPU, memory, disks, the transport protocol and the
Then there is OpenVMS and the Advanced Server product.
Let's start with Advanced Server itself.
When you have installed Advanced Server, you have to
configure it. In the first part of the configuration you will go through a menu
that you can also start at a later stage with the command
$ ADMIN /CONFIGURE.
The first screen of this menu contains important settings for
Some remarks about this first page, in order of importance:
Never use a client capacity below 40, your
server normally needs sessions to other servers and domains. And each PC client
creates, most often, two sessions to your server. So, at average, you setup a
server for 2 times the number of expected PCs plus some extra (at least 20
Choose a proper value for your data cache size.
Shown here is the upper limit which could be an overkill for a 15 user system
like this one (Client Capacity: 50). 32000 to
64000 is often adequate. The default value of 8192Kb can be considered a small
cache size but could do for a small system in a small domain. The Advanced
Server data cache only caches open files! I'll show you in more detail how to
examine the data cache, later in this article.
Percent of Physical memory used: 80. This is the
default and this number is only used to make a calculation for the system
parameter WSMAX (process memory usage) and to see if your system can support
the number of clients that you specify. It is good practice to reduce this
number only if there is also a lot of interactive usage on your system. Please
keep in mind that your server process may be representing a 1000 user workload
or more and in such a case, the server will need quite an amount of resources.
There are two other sections in this menu:
The Advanced section of the menu is normally not changed.
Go here if you need to change
permission settings to include OpenVMS rights like the usage of resource
identifiers in your security masks.
Or, to turn off the Open File Cache.
This is a file header cache only, not the file data and could be in your way if
you have an OpenVMS job that needs to process a file as soon as it is put on
the server. If the OpenVMS job can wait the five seconds of the Open File Cache
timeout, then do that and leave the Open File Cache enabled. The Open File
Cache is a major win for batch jobs and applications like Word that open and
close a file 10 or more times before they really start to read it.
The Transports section of the menu.
Normally you do visit this part of
the menu to turn off DECnet and enable TCP/IP. You must choose a way of name
resolution like WINS or DNS. Remember that Advanced Server uses WINS as the
primary way for name resolution, so if you need to access any machine outside
your TCP/IP subnet, you must have a WINS server and enable WINS.
We do advise you, these days, to
enable the usage of the LMHOSTS file, even if it is not there, since in this
version you can reload it dynamically. This can be very handy should you be
confronted with sudden changes in your network. The way to reload the LMHOSTS
file is through the following command:
$ NBSHOW KNBCACHE RELOAD
Configuration When the Server Is Running
You can use the $ ADMIN /CONFIGURE command at
any time during normal system operation; it will not interrupt the system or
the server. One good moment to use this command is when you anticipate growth
of your PC community. You can use it to see if your sever needs parameter
maintenance in order to accept more pc client connections. Increase the client
capacity and do "verify" to see what message it will produce. You can
always bail out of this action by not accepting the change.
My advice: don't let the menu run AUTOGEN for you because it
will never use the feedback option.
As I wrote before, when you want to do tuning, you need to
know what the system's normal behavior is.
With the command $ PWMON you can get a good
overview of server activity.
Notes: In the
older versions of Advanced Server you have to set your screen to a width of 132
columns to use the PWMON command.
All PWMON commands in version 7.3A-eco2 will work on a screen
that is set to a width of 80 columns but several commands will give you more
information if you set your screen to 132 columns.
I'll give a few examples of how to use PWMON.
Let's start with the data cache, as promised.
I'll show you the most important part of the output to keep
$ PWMON DATA_CACHE
Advanced Server Data Cache/Process=PWRK$LMSRV
Cache buffer size. 8192 Cache buffer count 8192
Cache buffers free 7808 Cache buffers used 384
Nr of assigned handles 22 Cache user limit 0
Data lookup rate 5423213 Cache misses 0
Cache hits 4298693 Cache hitrate (%) 79
In the above screen, first line, you see a count of 8192
buffers, all 8192 bytes in size. This system is configured for 65536 Kb data
cache size with $ ADMIN /CONFIG. (See for a reference the screen shot
of the menu two pages back where you see "Data
Cache Size (Kbytes): 131072").
On the second line you see there are 7808 buffers free which
means there is plenty of free space.
On the bottom line you see a cache hit rate of 79%. Depending
on your system usage, this can be good or bad.
In this case the usage of the system consist for 90% out of
large files that are opened and closed regularly and both read and written to,
so the hit rate number is good. Remember only open files are cached, so if your
application keeps the file open, cache results will improve.
Your system is generally OK but sometimes very slow.
In this scenario it is likely that someone is hammering your
server with some batch job, you can find out quite simple who that is by the
command: $ PWMON CLIENT
If you issue this command without parameters or switches you
will just get a list of connected PCs and how many commands they issues to your
server. See below:
This output has little value if the number of PC's connected
to your server is more then will fit on one screen. You will scroll from page
to page without getting the real overview.
It will be much handier to make use of the new qualifiers
available in this version. There is /OPERATIONS, /RESOURCES and /TIMES
but also /TOP=(OPERATIONS | RESOURCES | TIMES) to sort on the usage by the PC clients.
PWMON client is one of the PWMON commands where you will get
more columns at a screen width of 132.
$ PWMON CLIENTS /TOP=OPERATIONS
Advanced Server Clients
by top operations
Name File Opens File Locks Dir Lookup Transact's Latest SMB
Latest SMB Latest API
CLIENT_LM_VANVELZEN01 26 12 0 199 5
CLIENT_LM_UTOJSCHO1 2 0 6 53 113
CLIENT_LM_HOUBENE02 43 40 15 652 113
CLIENT_LM_HHOSANG02 46 26 11 556 50
I omitted the last column in the display to make it fit on
the page; this is showing the latest API call.
This screen will give you an overview of the top working PCs.
Please pay special attention to the column "Dir Lookup" as this is known to
generate a large load on the server and could point you to a badly designed
program, running on a client.
Should the badly designed application be unavoidable, your
next step is to take a look at the disks; how is the server dealing with disk
Disk Cache Statistics
$ PWMON ODS2
This will show you disk related caches in Advanced Server.
The important ones are File ID cache, Directory cache and the
Path cache. All of these caches should have a hit rate of around 90% or more.
Advanced Server ODS2 Cache/Process=PWRK$LMSRV
Nr of PATH cache lookups 1246127 Nr of PATH cache hits 1222885
Nr of PATH cache misses 23242 PATH cache HIT RATE (%) 98
Nr of PATH cache invalidates 0 Nr of PATH cache searches 0
Nr of DIR cache lookups 2078357 Nr of DIR cache hits 1962628
Nr of DIR cache misses 115729 DIR cache HIT RATE (%) 94
Nr of DIR cache invalidates 1 Nr of DIR cache refreshes 614
Nr of DIR cache thrashes 3553 Nr of DIR cache CTXT's free 256
Nr of DIR cache entries free 3 Nr of DIR cache blocks free 1391
Nr of DIR cache buf's total 4 Nr of DIR cache buf's in use 0
Nr of FID cache lookups 5842722 Nr of FID cache hits 5452852
Nr of FID cache misses 389870 FID cache HIT RATE (%) 93
Nr of FID cache invalidates 35963 Nr of FID cache searches 13334112
Nr of FID cache thrashes 0 FID cache size 1152519
Nr of FID cache entries 2250
Nr of DAT cache lookups 28588 Nr of DAT cache hits 26400
Nr of DAT cache misses 2188 DAT cache HIT RATE (%) 92
Most important in this page is the FID cache. As all
Microsoft products want to know information from the file header like date and
size, this cache is used a lot.
To influence the FID cache you can run the configuration
utility $ ADMIN /CONFIG, go to the advanced menu and increase the number of open
files per client. The number of FID cache entries can grow up to 16384.
A restart of the server is needed to effectuate this change.
If you have a system that is configured for a small number of
clients, the above modification will not lead to much of a change. In this case
you can better create a logical name as follows:
This shows that our server is using the value of 2250 for the
file ID cache.
The same mechanism can be used for the other ODS2 caches.
where ODS2 is mentioned, this is also used for ODS5 disks.
I've recently come across a customer who complained about a
very high CPU usage.
After a lot of testing I ran the command $PWMON CLIENT /TOP=OPERATIONS as described above.
I discovered that a few PCs had high and rapid increasing
numbers in the transactions column.
Transactions are commands that are not file related like
domain queries or device queries.
To find out what such a PC is doing you have to take a look
at the network.
You can take a snapshot of the traffic between a PC and the
server using the command $ TCPTRACE.
TCPTRACE is a part of HP TCP/IP for OpenVMS and is not
available if you use TCPware.
The syntax is:
$ TCPTRACE /PACKET=10000 /OUTPUT=FILE.TXT
When you omit the TCP/IP address of the PC you will capture
all traffic to and from the server.
When looking at the output of $ TCPTRACE, I found that the PCs
were constantly looking for printer information while they had no need for a
printer on this server. I de-installed this printer on those clients and the
amount of CPU usage decreased by about 5% per PC.
The easiest way to take a look at the output of TCPTRACE is
through the use of the product ETHEREAL which you can download for free from http://www.ethereal.com. But in this case all the
traffic to this PC contained the comment of the printer share, a type of the
output file was sufficient. This example shows that you don't always need in
depth knowledge of network protocols to see what is happening. Just don't be scared to take a look.
Another known CPU intensive item is large directories. If you
have directories that contain thousands of files then you will certainly have a
high CPU usage if they are accessed frequently. The simple reason is the fact
that Windows requests information from the file header of each file. The only
thing you can do against this is to reconsider the layout of your directory tree.
When something "undefined" goes wrong, where do you start
Say, a user calls with the report that your server is
I'll give you a few hints and tips where to look.
To start, make sure that you defined the specific commands
for Advanced Server in your LOGIN.COM by:
I' ll start with the command; $ PWSHOW [CLUSTER]
This will give you an overview of all Advanced Server related
processes, per node or cluster wide, if you specify the parameter "cluster".
You have to know what processes your server normally runs to discover if one is
missing. Normally you should see between 6 and 10 processes.
Should one or more processes be missing, issue the following
$ ADMIN /ANALYZE [/SINCE[=DATE-TIME]]
This will give you an error message and the name of the
failing process, if any.
You may also find license related errors here.
$ PWSHOW tells you that all the PWRK$LM processes are
$ ADMIN /ANAL tells you that the process PWRK$LMSRV was the one that
Then the next step would be to take a look at the process log
Here you can find the signature of the real problem. Please
report this to your support centre to get a solution.
Let's look at another scenario, same report from a user;
server is unresponsive.
PWSHOW tells you that all processes are there. So there is no
failure, its just slow.
The next step would be to take a better look at the output of $ PWSHOW, and maybe repeat the command.
Look at the process PWRK$LMSRV, this is the process that is
handling all File and Print Server traffic.
Is the PWRK$LMSRV process in HIB state, in LEF state or in
the state is HIB(ernating), take a look at $ PWMON CLIENT /TOP=OPERATIONS.
It is likely that you will find a PC client here who is heavily communicating
with the server. You should check what the PC is doing. For example, it could have turned on virus
scanning of network drives.
If the state of the PWRK$LMSRV process is LEF, you may have a problem with one of
your disks. This state means that it is waiting for an I/O completion.
Start looking at $ SHOW
DEVICE D. This may indicate, for example, a device in trouble
like mount verification. Another approach to disk related issues could be $ ANAL /SYSTEM. Then, within SDA>, do a "SHOW PROCESS PWRK$LMSRV /CHANNEL" and look for busy
channels to a disk or file.
If the state is RWSCS it indicates the process is communicating to another node in
the cluster. Very often this is locking, you can take a look at $MONITOR
DLOCK and $MONITOR RLOCK. If $MONITOR DLOCK reports high activity and $MONITOR RLOCK shows
little lock remastering, there is nothing you can do about it, the server is
working hard. If MONITOR RLOCK shows
high lock remastering, you could contact your support center to discuss a
change of system parameters to influence lock remastering. What is considered
high lock remastering depends completely on your system capabilities, specially
the channel between the systems.
Your user cannot get a connection to his shares but others
can still work.
This could have various sources.
$ ADMIN /ANALYZE /SINCE can give you a lead to a licensing issue.
You could see an error like:
Event Time: 18-JUN-2003 20:35:45.96 Node: UTURBO
Process Id: 20A00285
Event: No server license for client - access denied
Event Source: LAN Manager Server
Event Class: Warning
This error report will also show the PC that is struck by the
error which you can use to verify the user that is complaining.
In such a case, check with the command: $ PWLIC to see if
you have sufficient licenses available.
UTURBO > PWLIC
Advanced Server for OpenVMS (V7.3-120A): Server-Based License Report:
License Total Cluster Use Available
PWLMXXXCA07.03 1750 29 1721
If this is the case, your action depends on whether you have
the license server running.
If you have, the process PWRK$LICENSE_S is running, then you
may consider moving some licenses to the group called server-based.
If you do not use the license server, you will have to buy
more licenses or reduce the number of clients that is using the system.
Reducing the number of clients cannot be achieved by configuring the server for
fewer clients since you cannot tell how many sessions each client will create
to your server. You can only achieve this by changing the usage, for example,
turn off browsing. Please be careful when you consider turning off browsing. A
PDC will need the browser service but a member server will normally not need
it. In case of a Backup Domain Controller it completely depends on your network
To turn off browsing use the REGUTL utility to create or set
the MAINTAINSERVERLIST key to NO.
$ ADMIN /ANAL /SINCE
does not show any license errors.
You may have configured your server for too few clients. To
monitor this you have to check a few things.
First start with $ ADMIN SHOW SESSIONS and check the current
number of PCs using your system.
This can give a rough indication but does not include
inter-domain sessions and browsing sessions.
Next thing to check is the protocol usage: $ NBSHOW
The output of this command shows the sessions that are in use
over TCP/IP ONLY.
There is a similar command for the NETBEUI protocol: $ NBSHOW NBSTATUS
Take a look at the line:
Sessions: In use: 99 of 100;
This will tell you if you ran out of session slots. If these
numbers get close, like in the example above, you will have to reconfigure your
server and increase number of clients.
To do this start $ ADMIN /CONFIG, you will find the number of clients as "Client Capacity" on the first screen.
Please also note that the list of sessions at the end of the
output of NBSHOW (K)NBSTATUS only
lists maximal 112 sessions. The line
containing "Sessions: In use:", mentioned above, is the one
you should check.
You do not have to shutdown your server immediately to do
this reconfiguration but you will have to reboot to effectuate it.