Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Troubleshooting Guide

Chapter 1 Overview

This chapter provides a description of the tools, methods, and information sources available for troubleshooting the Sun Java System Web Server Server 7.0. Guidelines for evaluating and investigating a problem are included.

Planning Ahead

As applications get deployed, un-deployed, and redeployed, and as you experiment with different server configuration settings, there may be times when your server gets into an unstable state. In such cases, it is useful to have a previously saved working configuration on which to fall back. This is not problem solving, but rather a way to avoid problems in the first place.

Refer to the Web Server Administrator's Guide for complete instructions on using the CLI and GUI options. Briefly, however, for the purposes of this Troubleshooting Guide, use the following procedure to backup the virtual servers in your configuration:

ProcedureTo back up your virtual server

  1. Go to Common Tasks page.

    The Common Tasks page is the home page when you access the administration console. Fore information on accessing the administration console, refer to the Administrator's Guide.

  2. Select the Configuration.

    From the Configuration Tasks page, select the configuration from the drop down box.

  3. Copy Virtual Servers.

    Select the virtual server from the list and click Copy button. A window will pop up. Provide the new virtual server name and click OK. The web applications also gets copied.

Identifying the Problem

Sun Java System Web Servers are typically deployed in complex and highly sophisticated operating environments. The Sun Java System Web Server covers a broad range of technologies, including Java, Java Servlets, XML, JSP, JDBC data sources, and more. Understanding and diagnosing complex issues involving so many disparate components requires thorough knowledge and a careful diagnostic process.

Gathering any or all of the following information will make it easier to classify a problem and search for solutions. Note that operating system utilities, such as pkginfo and showrev on Solaris and rpm on Linux, are helpful in gathering system information.

ProcedureVerifying Server Platform

  1. What are the exact version numbers of the operating system and products installed?

  2. Have any patches been applied? If so, specify product and operating system patch numbers.

  3. How is the system configured?

    1. What system resources does the system have (memory, disk, swap space, and so on)?

    2. How many web servers and directory servers are installed?

    3. How is the Web Server connected to the directory server?

    4. Are web servers in a cluster or not?

    5. Was any upgrade done? If so, what were source and target versions?

    6. Was a migration done? If so, what were source and target versions?

  4. Have any new web applications been deployed?

  5. Is SSL enabled or not?

  6. What database is being used?

  7. What JDBC driver is being used to access the database?

  8. What JDK version is being used?

  9. What are the JVM heap, stack, and garbage collection-related parameters set to?

  10. What are the JVM options?

  11. What third-party technologies are being used in the installation?

  12. Are the interoperating component versions in compliance with the compatibility matrix specified in the release notes?

    After gathering this information:

    • Collect web server error and access log data (web server instance-specific).

    • Collect any Web Server stack traces. Note that a fresh set of logs associated with the specific problem should be run. This avoids scanning gigabytes of irrelevant log information.

    • Determine the sequence of events that occurred when the problem first appeared, including any steps that may already have been taken to resolve the problem.

      Note –

      When you encounter a problem, do not panic. It is better to approach the problem more systematically by collecting the necessary system specific details.

Seeking a Solution

After identifying the problem, you are ready to do some investigation.

The following topics are addressed in this section:

Verify System Configuration

Sometimes the most obvious solutions are overlooked, and so the first step is to verify the system configuration. Refer to the Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Release Notes for the most up-to-date system requirements and dependencies.

Evaluate Messages

Messages generally include information about the attempted action, the outcome of the action, and, if applicable, the cause of jeopardy or failure.

Types of Messages

The log files contain the following general types of message entries:

Error Messages

A problem is often accompanied by an error message that prevents the application from proceeding.

Examine Log Files

A number of the Web Server subsystems create log files and log their events to these files. The primary purpose of these log files is to provide troubleshooting information.

Note –

Web Server Error Logs are the first place you should look for information, when you need to troubleshoot a runtime issue. For issues related to installation, see the installation log files.

In addition to the message text, a logged message provides the following information:

Log Levels

The Web Server has many log levels that can be set in the Administration GUI (FINEST, FINER, FINE, CONFIG, INFO, WARNING, SEVERE, ALERT, and FATAL). All messages are logged when the log level is set to FINEST and only serious error messages appear if the log level is set to FATAL.

Note that the more detailed log levels (FINEST, FINER, FINE) can generate high volumes of log information for certain events, which may make it appear at first glance that there is an error condition when in fact there is not.

All messages with a log level less than the default level of INFO (FINEST, FINER, FINE, and CONFIG) provide information related to debugging and must be specifically enabled. Instructions for doing this are contained in the Sun Java System Web Server Administrator's Guide.

In addition to the standard JDK log levels, the Web Server has added log levels designed to map more intuitively to the Web Server log file (server.log) and to tightly integrate with Solaris. The log levels ALERT and FATAL are specific to the Web Server and are not implemented in the JDK1.4 logging API.

Note –

For information on the event log mechanism used in the Microsoft Windows operating environment, refer to the Windows help system index using the keywords Event Logging. If you choose to send logs to the Windows server.log file, only messages with a log level of INFO, WARNING, SEVERE, ALERT, or FATAL are logged to the Windows Event Log.

Log Options

The Administration GUI provides the following two logging options:

See if the Problem has been Solved Before

A good initial step is to scan this Troubleshooting Guide to see if the problem is addressed here. If so, select the appropriate solution. Many of the solutions contain references to other documents in the Web Server document collection for additional details, explanations, or examples.

Search the Product Documentation

Start by reading the Release Notes for the version of the product you are troubleshooting.

The documentation for this Web Server product release is available at Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Documentation Center.

Search the Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base is a collection of articles on product issues that provide information helpful for troubleshooting. To access the Knowledge Base:

ProcedureTo search the Knowledge Base

  1. Go to SunSolve.

  2. Under SunSolve Collections, click the Search Collections link.

  3. Select the checkbox for the collection(s) to search.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Enter the search criteria.

  6. Click Go.

Search or Participate in the Online Forum

Browse directly in any of the online forums, or log in and register to start posting messages. The Web Server online forum is available at:

Contact Support

When necessary, gather together the information you have acquired and contact technical support at