Altium Designer Documentation

Monitoring the Health of Altium NEXUS Server

Created: January 14, 2020 | Updated: June 10, 2021
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Parent page: Altium NEXUS Server

The Altium NEXUS Server includes a comprehensive server health monitoring system that allows Administrators to quickly ascertain and analyze the condition, or ‘health’ of a NEXUS Server. The health monitor is available from the Admin section of the server browser interface (the Server Health page), or as a standalone executable tool that is included in the NEXUS Server installation on its host PC (the Server Health Monitor tool).

The server health feature delivers a visual summary of the state the NEXUS Server's configuration and services, information on the host machine's system resources, and also provides access to server status reports and log files. This provides an immediate overview of the server's status, which allows administrators to preemptively detect and resolve any issues that may affect NEXUS Server users.

Each approach to monitoring the server's health and status has its own distinct advantage:

  • Server Health page – As part of the NEXUS Server browser interface the Server Health page is available to administrators over the local network, which offers the convenience of remote access.
  • Server Health Monitor tool – The standalone Health Monitor executable (avhealth.exe) is accessible regardless of the state of the server, and will therefore provide crucial data and information in the unlikely event that the server is not fully functioning.

Server Health page

Within the NEXUS Server's browser interface, select Admin » Health in the main menu to access the Server Health reporter page, which will indicate the overall status of the server installation at the time stamp reference shown in the top Status section of the page (Updated at: <timestamp>).

The Server Health page provides an instant view of the server's status and that of its support infrastructure.The Server Health page provides an instant view of the server's status and that of its support infrastructure.

The Server Health page information is periodically updated (as indicated by the Status time stamp), but an update may be triggered on demand with the associated refresh status link.

Click the refresh link to update the server health information.Click the refresh link to update the server health information.

Errors and Warnings

As a highlighted overview of the server status, the Server Health page provides distinct warning/error icons and associated descriptions for status entries of concern. Common alerts include overdue data backups, pending license expiries, an active admin/admin user account or detected error entries in a log file:

  • OK  – the detected metrics are within an acceptable range or condition.
  • Warning  – the NEXUS Server and its supporting infrastructure is functioning correctly, but a change is recommended to resolve a potential or future issue.
  • Error  – part of the NEXUS Server or its supporting infrastructure is not functioning or configured correctly and requires immediate attention.

Correcting Common Issues

While any Performance and System issues are likely to be addressed by improving the server host PC's available resources and infrastructure, problems in the Environment and configuration section of the Server Health page can generally be resolved using the features and tools available to server administrators:

  • Admin password – Create one or more specific administrator accounts in the Users page , if you have not already done so, and change the Password (and preferably the User Name) of the default admin account.
  • Log level – If required, change the server logging level by editing the LogLevel= entry in the General section of the LocalVault.ini file, located in the server's installation folder on the host PC.
  • Licenses – A pending server license expiry error is addressed through the Licenses page of the browser interface (Admin » Licenses). An already expired license can be resolved by accessing the browser interface of the on server host machine.
  • Backups – A server backup can be completed using the avbackup.exe tool, available in the Tools\BackupTool folder within the server installation on the host PC.

Reports and Logs

The performance of both the server and host PC are tested and summarized (in the Performance and System sections), and report logs made available for generation and download:

  • Logs – Server Logs download as a zip archive to the browser's default download location (Download all logs). These Include plain text logs for all services hosted by the server, where the log file for each service includes time based events (and errors) since the server was installed, or the logs cleared (Clear logs).
  • Reports – The Server Status Report downloads as a zip archive to the browser's default download location (invoked by the Generate link in the top Status section of the page). This reports the condition status and setup of all core server elements. Intended as key information for Altium support teams, the reports also include status and performance information on the host PC's supporting infrastructure.

Health Monitor tool

The Altium NEXUS Server installation includes the comprehensive NEXUS Server Health Monitor tool that allows Administrators to quickly ascertain and analyze the condition, or ‘health’ of the NEXUS Server at a local level. Provided as a stand-alone, independent application with the server's installation, the Health Monitor delivers a visual summary of the state of the host machine, and the NEXUS Server's configuration and Services. Its interface also includes context related hints, plus information and paths to important locations and log files.

The Health Monitor presents NEXUS Server status information via a simple GUI, and in general terms, covers the following critical areas:

  • NEXUS Server Environment – the state of the host PC’s hardware, such as its hard disks, memory, CPU and the adequacy of its performance.
  • NEXUS Server Backend – the state of the server’s supporting database, file storage and repository.
  • NEXUS Server Services – the state the server’s range of services, hosted as IIS Application Pools, such as the Identity, Authorization, License Manager and Network Installation services.

Tool Access

In a default installation of the Altium NEXUS Server, the Health Monitor tool can be found in the \Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium NEXUS Server\Tools\HealthMonitor folder as the avhealth.exe executable. Note that the folder also includes a simplified command-line tool: avConsoleHealth.exe.

When the GUI Health Monitor tool (avhealth.exe) is run, the program immediately interrogates the NEXUS Server and its hosting systems to populate the main Health Monitor Dashboard screen – as selected (by default) in the upper tabs. Click the Refresh button () to retrigger the process and update the screen.

The Health Monitor Dashboard GUI provides an instant view of the server's status and that of its support infrastructure, plus links to more information.
The Health Monitor Dashboard GUI provides an instant view of the server's status and that of its support infrastructure, plus links to more information.

Errors and Warnings

The status of each item in the Dashboard is indicated by a message and associated icon:

  • OK  – the detected metrics are within an acceptable range or condition.
  • Warning  – the NEXUS Server and its supporting infrastructure is functioning correctly, but a change is recommended to resolve a potential or future issue.
  • Error  – part of the NEXUS Server or its supporting infrastructure is not functioning correctly and requires immediate attention.

Hover the mouse over an item’s status for more information. For an Error or Warning that is shown in the Dashboard, further details are (in most cases) available by clicking the status entry for that item. The following image demonstrates a failure of the server's NIS service, while all other services are OK.

Hover over a status entry to access more detailed information.Hover over a status entry to access more detailed information.

Responsive links

Many of the Error/Warning conditions detected by the NEXUS Server Health Monitor offer links intended to help resolve the situation. These are included in the item’s detailed information, available when clicking on its status entry.

Where common event issues occur, the associated information provides further details and links to help resolve the condition of concern.    Where common event issues occur, the associated information provides further details and links to help resolve the condition of concern.
Where common event issues occur, the associated information provides further details and links to help resolve the condition of concern.

In the above example screen on the left, the Health Monitor has detected that the NEXUS Server has not been backed up. The associated information provides a link to documentation that will help to resolve the situation.

The example screen on the right (above) indicates that the server's default admin/admin sign in credentials still exist, which poses a significant security risk. The Fix It link in the associated information directly accesses the server's sign-in page through the browser interface, where the Administrator User profiles can be corrected.

Note that the Dashboard also includes static links to key locations such as the root Server and Storage paths (under ABOUT) and Log folder location (under FILE STORAGE).

Log Browser

The Health Monitor’s Log Browser screen, accessed by the Log Browser tab, presents Error and Warning entries from all of the server’s available Log files – normally located in the C:\ProgramData\Altium\NEXUSServerData\logs folder. To view the log file that contains the event entry, select the associated Open file link or simply double-click on the entry itself.

The cumulative event entries in the list are sectioned by date and will include all available Error/Warning events that are available from all log files. To find specific events, choose a time period from the Show logs drop down menu, and/or use the dynamic filter field () to search for key words within the Subsystem and Message columns.

The Log Browser interface allows you to zero in on events of interest using a selectable time period and keyword filtering.
The Log Browser interface allows you to zero in on events of interest using a selectable time period and keyword filtering.

Select the button to remove the accumulated log entries from the Log Browser list – this will archive then delete all existing log files.

Status Report

The Health Monitor’s Status Report screen, accessed by the Status Report tab, is used to create and display NEXUS Server status report files. The generated reports collate all the event debug information in a single Zip archive (*.zip) that can be sent, when necessary, to Altium Developers.

To create a report, select an appropriate event time period from the Include Logs drop down menu, enter your contact details and select the sharing agreement, and then initiate the process with the button.

Use the Status Report screen to generate collated Log report files for debug purposes.
Use the Status Report screen to generate collated Log report files for debug purposes.

Use the button to open and view an existing, previously saved, Report File. The loaded report will populate the Log Browser screen list and disable the Dashboard readout – since the loaded log events are historical (a snapshot) rather than current events. When finished reviewing the loaded logs, select the button to refresh the Health Monitor to show the server's current status.

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