LiveCycle – Global Storage Configuration Using Microsoft Services for NFS

If you are deploying LiveCycle in a horizontal cluster of multiple servers, the global storage folder would have to be shared by all of them since there can only be one global storage folder. If you are running LiveCycle exclusively on AIX, Solaris or Linux, mounting the global storage folder using NFS is relativley straightforward. The same applies to a complete Windows environment. However, if you are running LiveCycle on AIX, Solaris or Linux and you need to configure the global storage folder on a Windows network file share, things get tricky. Open-source and free Samba is one option. For a native Microsoft solution, you can use ‘Microsoft Services for NFS’, a component of ‘Windows Services for UNIX‘.

Install Microsoft Services for NFS on the Windows Server
Microsoft ships Windows 2003 Server with “Microsoft Services for NFS“. This is an optional component that you need to install which consists of an NFS Server as well as an NFS Client. To install it:
– Put the Windows Server 2003 CD/DVD, run setup.exe
– Choose ‘Install Optional Windows Components’
– Highlight ‘Other Network File and Print services’ and click the Details button
– Highlight ‘Microsoft Services for NFS’ and click the Details button
– Check all of the checkboxes including ‘Client for NFS’, ‘Microsoft Services for NFS Administration’, ‘Server for NFS’, ‘Server for NFS Authentication’ and ‘User Name Mapping’
– Click OK
– Reboot server afterwards.

Ensure that you can ping the Windows server hosting the NFS share from all of the UNIX servers
Ensure also that you can ping all of the UNIX servers in the cluster from the Windows server hosting the NFS share

Create Users and Groups on UNIX Nodes
– Create a new user on all UNIX member nodes with the same name as well as UID (‘was_adm’, for example)
– Create a new group on all UNIX member nodes with the same name as well as GID (‘was’, for example)
– Make ‘was_adm’ as well as ‘root’ members of the new group

Configure NFS Server on the Windows Box
– Copy the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files from one of the the UNIX servers to the %WINDOWS_DIR%/msnfs/ folder
Start the ‘Microsoft Services for NFS Administration’ MMC Console (navigate All Programs->Administrative Tools->Microsoft Services for Network File System)
– In the left pane, highlight ‘User Name Mapping’ node, and open its Properties window
– In the ‘UNIX User Source’ tab, choose the radiobutton for ‘Use Password and Group Files’
– In ‘Password file path and name’, browse to %WINDOWS_DIR%/msnfs/passwd
– In ‘Group file path and name’, browse to %WINDOWS_DIR%/msnfs/group
– In the ‘Simple Mapping’ tab, check the checkbox for ‘Use simple maps’
– Click ‘Apply, then ‘OK’.
– In the left pane, expand the node ‘User Name Mapping’ and highlight ‘User Maps’ node,choose ‘Create Map’
– Click the ‘List Windows Users’ button
– Click the ‘List UNIX users button’
– Select the user mapping (for example, ‘Administrator’ – ‘root’) and click Add. It is better to map ‘root’ to ‘Administrator and an additional user (say ‘was_adm’) to a Windows local user, also called ‘was_adm’).
– You can also perform group mapping. Administrators=system, ‘was’=’was’

Make sure the user that WebSphere/WebLogic/JBoss runs as is mapped (‘was_adm’, for example). Also, make sure that this user is exactly the same on all of the cluster members.

– Create a folder on the Windows server to host the shared global storage folder.
– Configure NFS sharing on the Windows folder. For this, in Windows Explorer, highlight the folder and choose the Properties window.
– In the ‘NFS Sharing’ tab, make sure that the folder is shared.
– Click the ‘Permissions’ button. Ensure that the ‘Type of Access’ is ‘Read-Write’. You might also have to check the ‘Allow Root Access’ checkbox.

Configure the UNIX Servers
Login as root and mount the folder on all the UNIX boxes with the following command (where 192.36.51.13 is the IP address of the Windows server, /aix is the folder on the Windows box that is NFS-shared). Make sure that the folder on the UNIX server (/opt/adobe/livecycle8/lc_global_storage/ in the example) already exists and is the same on all the UNIX servers.
mount 192.36.51.13:/aix /opt/adobe/livecycle8/lc_global_storage

Change ownership of the folder to the user WebSphere runs as:
chown was_adm:was /opt/adobe/livecycle8/lc_global_storage
If this throws an authentication error, your user name mapping on the Windows Server does not work. LiveCycle should also have been installed as the user WebSphere runs as.

Test by copying files into the folder from each of the UNIX servers as well as from the Windows server. Also, ensure that the contents of this folder are visiible on all of the UNIX servers using the ls -al command.

If a mistake was made and you want to undo the mount, use the following command:
umount /opt/adobe/livecycle8/lc_global_storage

Configure LiveCycle
Start LiveCycle Configuration Manager (LCM) and point the Global Storage Folder to /opt/adobe/livecycle8/lc_global_storage

Verify
After LiveCycle is bootstrapped and configured, log in to the LiveCycle Admin Console on each and every one of the servers in the cluster
– Navigate to Home > Services > Archive Administration > Archive Management
If there is any mis-configuration, you will get an internal error instead of a list of archives.

To learn more about Windows Services for UNIX, see whitepaper from Microsoft.
More about NFS is available in this note from MIT’s OpenCourseWare.

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