Installing HP iMC with remote SQL Server

When installing HP Intelligent Management Center, you have a choice on where to store your data. If you are on a Windows system, your options are SQL Server or Oracle. When installing on a Linux system, your options are MySQL or Oracle.

Initially, my install was on a Linux system (CentOS), for reasons beyond the scope of this post. I installed MySQL and setup all the configurations as defined in HP’s “MySQL 5.5 Installation and Configuration Guide (for Linux)” guide. Everything worked great. MySQL server was up and running, and I was able to connect to it with other tools. But, iMC would not pass the database connection check on the installer. I could not get past it, and I was forced to use Windows. By the way, even though CentOS is technically RHEL, just without the support, iMC Tech Support will not support it.

So, Windows (cough) it is. It’s not that Windows is terribly bad…. I just prefer Linux/Unix when it comes to Network Management Systems (and for Java-based software). Hmmm… that’s my 2nd note about Linux…. I’m thinking I need to write something up. :)

Since I don’t use Oracle, I can only use SQL Server. Now, you have 2 kinds of SQL Server. You have SQL Server Express, which is a freebie version giving you 10GB of storage per database. However, not only are you limited to the database size, but installing locally means your Disk IO may not be utilized best. But, it’s easy, and works for small to medium size management needs. I chose to use our current SQL Server which doesn’t have storage limitations and is tweaked for best usage (plus, I will be using heavy data collections and reporting).

Caveat #1 – I didn’t see it in the docs, but thanks to Twitter, @netmanchris tips me to installing SQL Server Tools. If you don’t, then iMC will assume a local install of SQL Server Express, and it won’t ask you about a remote SQL Server.

Caveat #2 – Make sure the SQL Server you are using is setup for Mixed Mode authentication. I could not get the installer to use a Windows login for setup.

To make sure you are prompted for a remote SQL install, choose a “Custom” installation when installing iMC. It seemed that choosing “Typical” assumed a local install. I could be wrong about this, as I did not have SQL Tools installed, but the docs say to use “Custom”, so I did.

On one of the screens, you will be prompted for the data location shown below. The installer requires SA permissions because it creates logins and databases.

This is the directory on the remote SQL Server that will host the databases. You will need to create the directory.

Caveat #3 – If you are using a remote SQL Server, chances are, you are storing your logs and db’s on seperate disk arrays to keep Disk IO down. Since you are not creating the DB’s yourself (the installer is), you are bypassing the standard SQL policy on file storage. This means that the db’s and logs are put in the same directory. This is not efficient, and you’ll need to move them.

To move your log files, you’ll need to stop iMC services, detach the databases that were created, and move the log files (ldf) to the other drive. When you attach the database, it will say “Not Found” next to the log file (Duh, you just moved it). Change the path to where you moved the log file, and say OK.

You will have to do this on each DB that was created. If you are installing just about everything, the DB names are:

aclm_db
config_db
etl
icc_db
invent_db
monitor_db
perf_db
report_db
reportplat_db
syslog_db
unba_master
unba_slave
vlanm_db
vnm_db


And there you have it. Remote SQL Server for iMC.  Once you understand it, it kinda makes sense.  However, if I were to have a feature request list:

1).  Allow a prefix to be added to the DB’s.  If this is a remote server that is using a shared instance name, then it’s best to identify them from all the other DB’s.  Prompt for a “Prefix” to be added with an underscore.  Such as:  Prefix: “IMC”.  Thefore, the DB names will have IMC_name_db on them.

2).  Don’t assume a local install unless SQL Server Tools are installed.  Ask if it’s a local or remote.  If it’s remote, then prompt a dialog box saying SQL Tools could not be found and are required.  Of course, SQL Tools can also be installed using SQL Express, so, maybe just install them?

3).  Allow for the user to define BOTH the data and log file locations.

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