Configuring a Clustered Server on Business Objects XI-R2

BO Guru Abishek What is Clustering?

Clustering is connecting two or more computers together in such a way that they behave like a single computer. Clustering can be used for parallel processing, load balancing and fault tolerance. That is as far as the definition goes.

What exactly happens in real life? Let's consider an example. John is the administrator in a company responsible for administering BO. On a typical day,several reports are run on the CMS (Central Management Server). One day, John finds that CMS is down for some reason. Yes, the service will mail system engineers that it is down. But, there are many reports that are waiting to be run. What can John do to better handle the situation in the future?

Enter Clustering. John can set up a Clustered environment, where in two or three CMS will run in parallel. So, one CMS will be active, and the others will be passive. If the active one is down for some reason, the other CMS will be up automatically. The end users would not even know that one of the servers is down. It is that quick.

Why is Clustering important for Business Objects?

If for some reason the hardware crashes then BO environment will be on its knees.
•With Clustered environment, if one of the server goes down the other comes up immediately and this is done automatically by BusinessObjects without any external interference.
•With Clustered environment, we can have multiple Job Servers which can run the jobs (reports) in parallel, distributing them between servers.
•We can load balance the server so that resources are distributed evenly between servers.

When is using Clustering recommended?

If there is an Environment with thousands of Jobs running everyday and would need high availability of BO.

What is the procedure to setup a Clustered environment?

Make sure you have all the requirements to build a server like Oracle Client, Java. For SSO, IIS need to be installed on the server. It is better if IIS is installed before installing BO, as BO will install the Web Component Adaptors for IIS and Java during install. 



Install: First Sever

a) Insert the BO XI CD.


b) Select “Perform Server Installation”, click “Next”.
c) Enter Product Registration Code, click “Next”.
d) Select the location for BusinessObjects, click “Next”.
e) Setting up the Repository, click “Next”.


f) Setting up the BusinessObjects Repository, click “Next”. Make a note of the credentials as they are needed in second server with same credentials and they are also case sensitive.


g) Select the Web Component Adapter, click “Next”.


h) Click “Next”.


i) Installation will begin once “Next” is clicked. If any changes have to be made it can be made at this time by clicking “Back”.


j) Follow the instructions.


k) Leave the Administrator credentials empty, Click “Finish”.

Install: Second Server (Clustering)

a) Insert the BO XI CD.


b) Select “Perform Server Installation”, click “Next”.
c) Enter Product Registration Code, click “Next”.
d) Select the location for BusinessObjects, click “Next”.
e) Setting up the Clustered Environment, select “Expand” 


    •Type in the existing CMS Name ex: ASVMB0S302 (First server)
    •Check the services which you want to be clustered

Note: It is better to uncheck “File Repository Servers” as each BO XI Environment would have one location to get the reports and post the reports. Once you uncheck “File Repository Servers”, “Enable servers upon install” will be highlighted. Check this box so that the servers are enabled after the install. 


f) This is the important part about setting the repository, make sure the credentials are same as the first server (case sensitive) 

g) Follow the instructions.


Setting up Single Sign-On (SSO):

This needs to be done on all the servers which are in the cluster. 

I -  Modifying IIS Settings on the Server
a) Go to IIS Manager on the server


b) Right Click on “businessobjects” by expanding “Web Sites”->”Default Web Site”
c) Click on Properties

d) Click on Directory Security tab

e) Click “Edit” in Authentication and access control
   i. Uncheck “Enable Anonymous Access”
   ii. Check “Integrated Windows authentication”

f) Click OK and Apply
g) Repeat the steps for “crystalreportviewers115” and “Styles” under “Default Web Site”

II.  Modifying web.config file

•Open the web.config (C:\Program Files\BusinessObjects Enterprise 11.5\Web Content) add the below line under <authentication mode="Windows" />. This is to enable the use of SSO in CMC.

<identity impersonate="true" />

If authentication mode is set to “None” change it to “Windows”.


•Save and close the file

Note: This file is different from the one in BusinessObjects Enterprise 11.5\ \InfoView

•Open the web.config using Notepad (C:\Program Files\BusinessObjects Enterprise 11.5\Web Content\Enterprise115\InfoView). This is to enable the use of SSO in InfoView.

a. In the <configuration> section, find the line which reads, <add key="cmsdefault" value="" />. Fill the “” with default CMS machine name.

Note: For the second server (clustered) make sure have the same Default CMC machine name. 

<add key="cmsDefault" value="ASVMBOS301" />

b. Find
<add key="authenticationDefault" value="secEnterprise" />
and replace with
<add key="authenticationDefault" value="secWinAD" />

c. Find
<add key="ssoEnabled" value="false" />
and replace with
<add key="ssoEnabled" value="true" />

d. In the <system.web> section under <!– AUTHENTICATION, find the line which reads
<authentication mode="None" />
replace with
<authentication mode="Windows" />
<identity imperonate="true" />

•Save and close the file
•Restart IIS by restarting World Wide Web Publishing Service in CCM (Central Configuration Manager)


Note: Login to CMC -> Manage->Authentication, if the tabs are grayed out go to License Keys and check if the License keys are present. If they are Restart the Server.

•Login to CMC and go to Manage->Authentication, click on Windows AD tab.
•Check “Windows Active Directory Authentication is enabled”

•Click in the box under “Windows AD Configuration Summary” where it says “”



•Click “Update”
•This is how it looks after the credentials are accepted.


Mapping the AD groups

•Click “Add”

•Check the first option under “New Alias Options”. This option will assign the AD account to an Enterprise account, if Enterprise account is already available.
•Check the second option under “Update Options”. This option will not create an account in BO until the first time access BO XI using Windows AD,.

•Click Update
•The mapped AD group will be converted something like


Note: The group is added in BO XI under Groups but there will be no Users in that group. The Users will shows up as they login to BO Enterprise using Windows AD credentials.

Note: The AD credentials should have administration privileges.

•Right click on Central Management Server and click on Properties, under the configuration tab the CMC Data Source should point to the same cluster on both servers.

•For all of the other servers on the second server CMS name should be pointed to the first server.


This completes the process of clustering multiple servers with SSO.

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Large Media Outlet Beats Up On The City Of Los Angeles For Not Running A Decent Data Warehouse

You know life is good when…

1. You are a data warehousing / Business Objects professional


2. A Major media outlet like the Los Angeles Times beats up on a public municipality for *not* having a data warehouse.

I must confess that I had a bit of a sinister gleam in my eye when I read the following times article about the city of Los Angeles' data practices. According to the article, the city collects vast amounts of valuable, useful data…

but LA only keeps the valuable data for a couple of days…then discards it.


L.A. doesn't save data on traffic growth

City officials said they don't have traffic counts for some of the city's busiest intersections and can't say how much congestion has increased over the years

Information gathered by the city's vast signal system is kept for only a few days, limiting the city in its long-term planning.
By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 1, 2007

Los Angeles' traffic signal system is the envy of traffic planners around the world, recording millions of cars each year as they pass over sensors embedded in city streets.

But although the sensors and computers collect massive amounts of data about traffic patterns and congestion, they do little to help engineers plan for the city's growing transportation needs — or determine how development is affecting traffic.

That's because the city does not save the information for more than a few days, using it only to direct traffic in real time by adjusting the speed at which lights turn from green to amber to red.

Because the information is discarded, it cannot be used to determine over time where traffic is increasing — or by how much.

In fact, city officials said they don't have traffic counts for some of the city's busiest intersections — and can't say how much congestion has increased over the years

Many at City Hall believe getting better traffic data is crucial.

"It's appalling," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. The chronic lack of information makes it impossible to determine "where density should go and where it shouldn't go."

But city officials said that they don't know how much the boom has affected traffic, because there is little historical data.

Public awareness of the value of data is on the rise.

This is the first article that I've seen that is blatant attack on a public agency for not storing data. What the article doesn't discuss is the technical challenge of capturing traffic data for a city the size of LA. For example, what level of granularity is needed to accurately plan for the future - and how much data would this be?

Life is good when the media is on our side… 


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Creating a Business Objects XI development environment running in a VMWare virtualized Red Hat Linux machine

With the wide adoption and availability of virtualization technology, and with smart companies like VMWare willing to give away free versions of their expensive products…

Virtualization technology is now available as freeware.

This is great news for us as developers. We Business Objects developers are now able to create inexpensive and clonable BOXI development environments.

VMWare now offers a free version of their virtual server software, thus enabling developers to run multiple virtual computers in their development environment. With low cost of memory (RAM) and hard disk storage, most developers already have hardware powerful enough to run several virtual servers with good performance.

On our laptops.

The officially supported Linux OS for Business Objects XI is Redhat Enterprise 4.0. What many developers might not realize is that there is a free version of Red Hat Enterprise 4 built from the same sources as the RedHat Enterprise build.

The "free" RedHat is called CentOS.

It's kind of humorous. CentOS is not "officially" able to mention on their website that they are RedHat compatible (due to legal reasons).

But they are…

On their site they speak of Red Hat in "abstract" terms And the version numbering is parallel between RedHat and CentOS. CentOS 4.5 is currently the latest and greatest version of the RedHat Enterprise 4 family.

Here's what they say on the CentOS site:


"CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.  CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.)  CentOS is free. CentOS is now accepting donations via PayPal, please click the button for more information."

Pretty funny. If that doesn't bring a grin to your face… nothing will.

"prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor"

That's great. :)

More details to follow in future posts.


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