A few days ago I received a note in which a DBA reported strange and inconsistent information in some DSNL030I messages that were generated periodically by a DB2 for z/OS subsystem in his charge. The messages in question were tied to authentication failures associated with DDF-using applications (i.e., applications that access DB2 via network connections). Such a failure could occur if an application used an invalid password on a DB2 for z/OS connection request (and that could be the result of the password for the application's DB2 authorization ID being changed on the z/OS side, with the corresponding change to the new password not being made on the application server side, due to an oversight on someone's part).
When a failure of this nature occurred for a DB2 subsystem at the DBA's company, he would see a DSNL030I message from DB2, with a 00F30085 reason code ("The requester's password could not be verified"). Nothing strange there. What struck the DBA as odd was the information that he would see in the LUWID part of the DSNL030I message text. Now, at first glance the form of the information in the LUWID part of the message text might look weird: a three-part string of seemingly meaningless letters and numbers. In fact, the first of the three parts of that string is a client IP address, the second part is the associated port number, and the third part is just a unique sequence number generated by DB2 Connect (or the by the IBM Data Server Driver Package if that DB2 client-side software is being used). OK, but what if the first part of the LUWID string looks like this:
That sure doesn't look like an IP address. And it couldn't be a hex (i.e., hexadecimal) representation of an IP address, could it? Not with a 'J' in the string.
Actually, it is an IP address in hex form, with the twist being that the high-order letter is translated to a number as described in the IBM "Technote" at this URL:
As pointed out in the Technote, the string J56F045C in the first part of the LUWID section of a DB2 for z/OS DSNL030I message would resolve to an IP address of 220.127.116.11 (and using the same scheme for substituting a numerical value for the high-order letter in the second part of the DSNL030I LUWID string, G422 would be seen to be a representation of port number 1058).
The DBA who wrote to me wasn't thrown off by the representation of the IP address in the LUWID part of a DSNL030I message, because he'd already seen the aforementioned Technote and therefore knew how to derive the actual IP address. What had the DBA perplexed was the variability he saw in these IP addresses when there should not have been variability. Sometimes, he would see the IP address of a DB2 Connect "gateway" server (more on this in a moment), and sometimes he would see the address of a client application server "upstream" from the DB2 Connect gateway server. On top of that, when the DBA saw an upstream client IP address in the LUWID section of a DSNL030I message, that address was not always consistent with regard to the actual application server for which the authentication failure had occurred. What was going on?
The inconsistent IP address information that the DBA saw in the LUWID part of DB2 DSNL030I messages is related to the fact that client application servers at his site access DB2 for z/OS via DB2 Connect gateway servers, as opposed to going directly to DB2 using the IBM Data Server Driver Package. Here's how the two situations are linked: when a client application requests a connection to a DB2 for z/OS server through a DB2 Connect gateway server, authentication is a very early step in the process of establishing that connection. IF authentication is successful, the DB2 Connect gateway server will send the client's IP address to the DB2 for z/OS subsystem. If authentication is NOT successful then the client address will not be sent by the DB2 Connect gateway server to DB2 for z/OS.
If the DB2 Connect gateway server does not send the upstream client's IP address to DB2 for z/OS when client application authentication is not successful, why did the DBA sometimes see a client IP address in the LUWID part of a DSNL030I authentication failure message? That can happen when the DB2 Connect gateway server connection associated with the client authentication failure is being reused following a previously successful client authentication (keep in mind that the DB2 Connect gateway, by default, keeps a pool of connections to a downstream DB2 subsystem that it reuses for upstream clients -- a feature that boosts efficiency versus having to frequently terminate and then re-establish connections to the DB2 for z/OS host system). In that case -- when an authentication failure occurs using a pooled connection from the DB2 Connect gateway server to DB2 for z/OS that had previously been used for a successful authentication -- you will see in the LUWID part of the DSNL030I message an upstream client IP address.
What client IP address will that be? It will be the address of the last client to successfully authenticate using the DB2 Connect gateway server connection in question. That may OR MAY NOT be the client for which authentication failed. It WILL be the IP address of the client that encountered the authentication failure IF the same client was the last one to successfully authenticate to DB2 for z/OS using the connection. If the last client to successfully authenticate to DB2 using the connection between the DB2 Connect gateway server and the DB2 subsystem is DIFFERENT from the client that encountered the authentication failure, you'll see the IP address of that SUCCESSFULLY authenticated client application in the LUWID part of the DSNL030I authentication failure message.
But sometimes the DB2 DBA saw the IP address of a DB2 Connect gateway server, instead of a client IP address, in the LUWID part of a DSNL030I authentication failure message. Why? That can happen when the first client to use a connection between the DB2 Connect gateway server and the DB2 subsystem gets an authentication failure. In that case, the LUWID part of the DSNL030I message will contain the IP address of the "adjacent" (to DB2 for z/OS) server, and that will be, given a DB2 Connect gateway server set-up, the IP address of a DB2 Connect gateway server.
So, what you know is this: the LUWID part of a DB2 for z/OS DSNL030I authentication failure message will contain an IP address. Depending on the particular circumstances of the authentication failure, the IP address in the LUWID part of the DSNL030I message will be the IP address of the client that encountered the failure, or the IP address of a different client that had previously used the connection (and successfully authenticated to DB2), or the IP address of the DB2 Connect gateway server (if no client had previously used the connection and had successfully authenticated to DB2). The bottom line: you may not see a client IP address in the LUWID part of a DSNL030I message, and even if you do, that client IP address may be different from the address of the client that encountered the authentication failure.
To ensure some consistency in DSNL030I output, the fix for DB2 APAR PM82054 causes DB2 to consistently record the IP address of the "adjacent" server in the THREAD-INFO part of the DSNL030I message when an authentication error occurs. When DB2 Connect is running on a gateway server, that IP address will be the DB2 Connect gateway server's IP address. The information in the LUWID part of the message will not be consistent, and if it does contain a client IP address that address may or may not be that of the client that encountered the authentication failure.
This is another good reason to go to an IBM Data Server Driver Package, direct-to-DB2 connection set-up, versus a DB2 Connect gateway server set-up: if an authentication error occurs, the IP address of the application server on which the Data Server Driver Package is installed will show up -- consistently -- in the THREAD-INFO part of the DSNL030I message, because that server will be the "adjacent server" to the DB2 for z/OS subsystem. Note that entitlement to deploy the IBM Data Server Driver Package is based on DB2 Connect licensing: if you're licensed for the latter, you can deploy the former, and you should deploy the former -- not only for the reason I've just mentioned (having the IP address of the server "adjacent" to DB2 for z/OS be that of an application server versus a DB2 Connect gateway server), but also for a simplified IT infrastructure, better performance (through elimination of a "hop" between application servers and DB2 for z/OS), and easier upgrades to new releases of the DB2 client code (and, speaking of ease, if you license DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for System z, you can deploy the IBM Data Server Driver on any application server or other client that directly accesses a DB2 for z/OS system, without having to have a license file on each of those client servers -- the client licenses are managed on the DB2 for z/OS host system). On top of that, going from a DB2 Connect gateway server configuration to the IBM Data Server Driver Package direct-to-DB2 configuration typically involves little to nothing in the way of application code changes -- it should just be a matter of updating the client's connection string for the target DB2 for z/OS server. In (usually) rare cases, there could be an application dependency on DB2 Connect, such as when an application needs two-phase commit capability AND the client transaction manager uses a dual-transport processing model (IBM's WebSphere Application Server uses a single-transport processing model).
The more you know about the IBM Data Server Driver Package, the better it looks. There was a time when DB2 Connect gateway server configurations made sense, but for most DB2 for z/OS-using organizations that time has passed.
Could you be more specific about this assertiion : "IBM Data Server Driver Package.. enables.. easier upgrades to new releases of the DB2 client code"ReplyDelete
Thanks for your useful insights.
I may not be able to get real specific here, Jean-Francois - I was just repeating an assertion I've heard from people in the Data Server Driver development organization. I figure it may have to do with a couple of things. First, the Data Server Driver is a lighter weight client versus DB2 Connect. Second, the type 4 driver technology employed by the Data Server Driver means that there's one piece of code between the application server and DB2 for z/OS. When you're using DB2 Connect, there's the DB2 client code on the application server and the DB2 Connect server code on a gateway server. Keeping those two pieces of code in synch as you're migrating to a new release might be a complicating factor.Delete