Browse Prior Art Database

Using IBM Local Area Network Server to Support Redundant Resources and Balance Licenses

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118642D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 117K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Murray, DG: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method which provides load balancing and automatic selection from more than one server that is serving identical software. These clones provide backup so that if one server goes down users can still use the products being served. The described method uses nothing more than IBM* Local Area Network (LAN) requester, some custom code, and the GIME tool on the workstation.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 45% of the total text.

Using IBM Local Area Network Server to Support Redundant Resources
and Balance Licenses

      Disclosed is a method which provides load balancing and
automatic selection from more than one server that is serving
identical software.  These clones provide backup so that if one
server goes down users can still use the products being served.  The
described method uses nothing more than IBM* Local Area Network (LAN)
requester, some custom code, and the GIME tool on the workstation.

      Setting up for this is not complicated.  First, the LAN
administrator sets up two or more servers with clones of the software
that is to be served.  Next, the total number of allowed accesses to
all of the product aliases is set to the number of purchased
licenses.  The distribution of these is dependent on the machines
being used as servers and the network topology.  Lastly, entries are
made in the net alias list file that the GIME tool uses.

      Before going into detail on the solution, it would be good to
talk about why the GIME tool is used in this solution.  GIME is a
tool that provides one more layer of aliasing for network resources.
When GIME is called with an alias name, the net alias list is
searched for the alias.  Also, in the net alias list is the actual
server/alias pair.  The server/alias pair that is found for an alias
in the net alias list file is used to attach the resource using an
equivalent to the NET USE command.  If the server/alias pair in the
net alias list file is not formulated properly, then GIME will issue
an error message that contains the improperly formulated data.

      The big advantage to using the GIME tool is the fact that
redundant servers can be added or removed from service simply by
adding a line to the net alias list file and changing the number in
the primary alias line.  It would also be possible to implement this
without the GIME tool but to do so would require the development of a
similar tool.  Example 1 shows a segment of a net alias list file
that has been set up to support redundant resources and evenly
balance the licenses.

Example 1
  * start of the redundant servers for thisapp
  theapp   3#
  theapp1  \\first\theapp
  theapp2  \\second\theapp
  theapp3  \\third\theapp
  * end of the redundant servers for thisapp

      Note that if the GIME tool is called with the alias
theapp1, theapp2, or theapp3, then the corresponding resource will be
attached.  However, if GIME is called with alias theapp then it will
return an error message and no resource will be attached.  This error
message is used to determine the number of redundant servers that
have been set up.  In Example 1, there are three redundant servers as
seen by  the theapp 3 # line.  The number of redundant servers is
followed by the  # character to make it easier to parse out of the
error message.  The other aliases theapp1, theapp2, and theapp3 all
must be named in a
special way.   The first part...