Tools and Utilities for CommCell Troubleshooting

Table of Contents

Overview

Troubleshooting problems that occur in the CommCell involves finding and eliminating the cause of the problem. This process begins as soon as you encounter a problem for which you do not know the cause. Such failures are generally characterized by certain symptoms, which can be traced to potential problems, and from there to the root cause. For this, a systematic approach will work best, using specific techniques and tools.

A systematic approach to troubleshooting will involve the following, although this is not a rigid problem-solving model:

  1. Record the symptoms.

    Depending on the type of problem encountered, you might receive an alert or error message that indicates that there is a problem. Always record such messages,  which sometimes contain cryptic information that only makes sense as you investigate the problem further. Multiple error messages that look similar can contain subtle differences, and by recording the details of each one, you can learn more about where the problem exists.

  2. Use diagnostic tools and techniques to identify the root cause.

    Narrow the scope of your problem by eliminating components that are not causing the problem. By using a process of elimination, you can simplify your problem and avoid wasting time. For instance, you might investigate whether anyone else has experienced the problem, or verify that you have applied any Updates that might solve the problem you have encountered. As a more advanced task, log files and tools can be used to analyze and diagnose problems with the CommCell.

  3. Implement the solution.

    This might be as simple as applying an Update, or in the worst case might require Disaster Recovery, depending on the root cause of the problem.

Remember that it is always easier to recover from a failure if you prepare in advance. Possibly the most important requirement in any environment is to have current and accurate information about the enterprise, and the CommCell in particular, available to the operations and support personnel. Only with complete information can intelligent decisions be made based on the diagnostic efforts, and only with complete information can troubleshooting be done as quickly and as easily as possible. In addition, it is important to have a proper plan for disaster recovery, including regular Performing a Disaster Recovery Backup.

Tools and Utilities

The following tools are available and can be helpful in diagnosing problems encountered in the CommCell.

Remote Troubleshooting

The Remote Troubleshooting setting allows the CommVault Enterprise Support Team to collect the following information from your CommCell:

  • CommServe log files and database (.dmp) files
  • MediaAgent log files and Index Cache
  • Client log files

The above information is collected and hosted on an FTP or HTTP location for troubleshooting problems in your CommCell environment. For information on modifying the default FTP or HTTP locations, see:

If you do not want to use Remote Troubleshooting, you can disable the Remote Troubleshooting settings in the Control Panel. For instructions, see Disabling Remote Troubleshooting.

DBMaintenance

DBMaintenance utility can be used to perform the maintenance tasks on the CommServe database, such as check the database for inconsistencies, re-index all database tables, and shrink the size of the database. See DBMaintenance Utility for more information and usage.

GxTail

GxTail is a real-time log monitoring tool that can display multiple log files in a single window. This full-featured tool has many features for dramatically reducing debugging time. It is a read-only file viewer that makes no changes to the files being monitored. It can change the view of a log file through filters and markers, but the actual file on disk is never modified. For more information about the use of GxTail, see GxTail: Overview. An example of using GxTail is found in Using GxTail to analyze a log file for job failure.

Process Manager

The Process Manager is a real-time CommCell administration tool used to view, monitor and manage services and processes of the CommCell components installed on local and remote Windows computers.

See Services - Getting Started for more information and usage.

Prediction Techniques for Data Protection and Recovery

You can use already-existing tools within the CommCell Console to predict which files/objects will be backed up or restored for certain agents, based on the current configuration. These techniques are useful for validating that your backup/restore options and filter settings will achieve the desired result without actually backing up or restoring any data. For step-by-step instructions, see:

Prediction tools are also available on the Resource Pack for the following agents, to assist in determining the outcome of their associated data protection operations:

  • ContinuousDataReplicator: CDRPredictor
  • DataArchiver for Exchange Mailbox: ExMBDMPredictor
  • DataArchiver for Windows: FileSystemDMPredictor
  • Domino Mailbox Archiver: LNDMPredictor
  • SharePoint Archiver: SPDMPredictor

Refer to Resource Pack for more information on the use of these tools.