Thursday, September 23, 2010

ITNM 3.8 NMAPScan Agent

Recent updates to IBM Tivoli Network Manager 3.8 introduced a new discovery agent that utilizes Nmap (Network Mapper) to provide some extra details about devices without SNMP access or certain types of end nodes. The extra information includes operating system type based on nmap’s OS fingerprinting capability along with port and service information.

This sounds great, but there are some serious drawbacks…

A. It’s slow. It’s a typical ITNM perl based agent that handles parallelism by spawning more instances of nmap to scan individual hosts rather than utilizing the large volume scanning capabilities inherent to nmap.

B. The required version of nmap is 4.85 and most enterprise *nix platforms are still shipping 4.0-4.11 so chances are you will need to acquire a recent version from the Nmap project page (

C. You can’t just turn the agent on. After you get an appropriate version of nmap installed you have to edit $NCHOME/ precision/disco/agents/perlAgents/ to uncomment and set the path to nmap :

my $nmapBinary = '/usr/bin/nmap';

D. Running ITNM as setuid root does not work with the default nmap arguments. If you do not want your ITNM processes running as root you will need to adjust the scan settings in or chown root ncp_disco_perl_agent then chmod u+s ncp_disco_perl_agent and then modify root’s environment so that the ITNM perl is used rather than the system perl. Or you could just run as root.

E. The OS type value is really just a guess. Sometimes it is a little off. For example CentOS 5 indentified as Gentoo.

F. Did I mention that it is slow?

Here are some screen shots of examples of the information collected.

So what would be a good use of the NMAPScan agent? For starters it would help classifying NoSNMPAccess devices.

Consider this AOC file that defines the class Linux_NoSNMPAccess:



// File : Linux_NoSNMPAccess.aoc



active object 'Linux_NoSNMPAccess'


super_class = 'NoSNMPAccess';

instantiate_rule = "ExtraInfo->m_OSType LIKE '.*Linux.*'";

visual_icon = 'NoSNMPAccess';


With this solution it is possible to create buckets to dump your devices into to provide the ability to at a minimum do ping polling via a class filter without pinging stuff you could care less about.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Adding web pages to WebTop/TBSM/ITNM

You can add any web page you want to be protected by WebTop/TBSM by putting that file under the directory:


accessed via:


Now, where it gets pretty exciting is that WebTop 2.2 and above are hosted on WebSphere, a full-fledged app server, and it supports JSP pages (which basically let you write server-side Java code to do anything you want, PLUS output HTML). An example JSP file can be found here:

Just put that file into the above directory and you'll see all of the session and request information available to your JSP.

Have fun.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tivoli Common Reporting 1.3 - Framework Manager Installation

The latest and greatest TCR product, as previously noted, contains both BIRT and Cognos reporting engines and you are free to develop reports in either one of those formats.  To develop custom reports in BIRT, you need to use the Eclipse based report designer. How about Cognos?   For Cognos, you should be able to develop reports using the browser based Report Studio tool.  End users with right permissions should be able to modify the reports according to their needs.  However, there is one limitation.   The Report Studio tool can operate only on already published Cognos packages.  So, the question is, how do you publish new packages containing data model for your reports?   That is where the Framework Manager comes into picture.    Framework Manager lets you define your own data sources, Query Subjects, etc.  and package these definitions into a Cognos package, which will be published on the TCR server.



Before installing Framework manager, you will need the following.


1.       A Windows box to install framework manager. IT is NOT supported on other operating systems.

2.       Necessary ODBC data sources or Database client software installed  on the Windows system.  You can't use JDBC type-4 drivers.  


Installation and Configuration


Installing Framework manager is pretty straight-forward. The installation media contains a separate folder named "CognosModeling". You basically run the issetup.exe from win32 subdirectory to install it.    However, you need to perform couple of easy post install configurations to get the product to work.   The steps are given below.


1.       Bring up the Cognos Configuration under Programs->IBM Cognos 8->IBM Cognos Configuration. Note: There is another "IBM Cognos Configuration" under Tivoli Common Reporting.  Do not make changes to it as it will break the TCR product.

2.       Select the Environment Group under Local Configuration.

3.       Change the Gateway URI property to https://<tcrserver>:16316/tarf/servlet/component

4.       Change the "Dispatcher URI for external applications" to http://<tcrserver>:16315/tarf/servlet/dispatch

5.       Again the above values for default TCR installation (assuming 16316 is HTTPS and 16315 is HTTP). You can double check by bringing up the "IBM Cognos Configuration" under Tivoli Common Reporting and comparing the property values for "Gateway URI" & "External dispatcher URI" with the above values. 


Once you configured these values, you should be able to bring up Framework Manager, create a new project and signin with your TIP id (e.g. tipadmin) to create your custom data model.


Hope this helps.