Siebel Troubleshooting Steps - What To Do When Siebel Server Down

Siebel as the ultimate customer management system (CRM) is widely implemented in big enterprises.  Although its user base goes down in recently years, partly due to SaaS and cloud computing, Siebel is still a hot and highly paid job.

Siebel administration is rather an easy job.  The only time of stressful saturation is when Siebel servers are down for no reason.  When it happens, managers from all departments come and stand behind you, watching your hands nervously moving on keyboard, demanding a magic to bring the system back up and running.   Get it up, that’s what you get paid for, as a Siebel administrator.

Don’t panic, if this happens to you.  Walk through this following steps and you’ll most likely get the crisis resolved, - your Siebel servers back to work and you are a hero,  - they all think you are.

Let’s back to the topic, steps for Siebel server troubleshooting:

Check Database Connection

In many cases the Siebel server went down because database server was down.  The backend db box is a more complicated toy, it may be suffering performance problems or deadly crashed.  Ask your database team to check it out, that’s DBA’s job.  In fact, it is a common practice in IT, - blaming the database.  That’ll win you some time.

It is not enough to just try a connection from TOAD from your desktop.  You need to each of the Siebel server boxes, especially the gateway server, open SQL Plus and verify the connection.

Check Network Connection

Another good practice is to blame the network.  Network administrators nowadays maintain complicated network systems with firewalls, big IP, routers, and layers after layers of hardware and software, and they make mistakes.  A small change in network configuration may unknowingly affect Siebel serve connection.  So ask the net admin team if there are recent changes in network configuration and ask them the check current status of connection between database and app server and connections within Siebel server boxes.

Don’t simply take the words from net admin.  You have to verify by yourself.  Go to each Siebel server and ping the database server, web server and other Siebel servers to prove all connections are sound.

Check Siebel Web Server

Both Seibel Call Center and eSales interact with  end-users from Siebel web server, usually running on IIS with Windows OS.  Check windows Services to make sure World Wide Web Publishing Service is up and running.  Siebel cannot be accessed when the IIS is down.

Check Direct Connection to Web Server Box

There are usually multiple web servers with load-balanced configuration.   If there is difficult to connect Siebel via the configured web URL, i.e., http://crmctr/callcenter_enu, then try to connect directly to one of the web server box, for example, http:/sblweb01/callcenter_enu/start.swe and see what happens.  If you can connect directly, that means a problem with web servers’ load balance setup, which should be easy to fix.

Check Siebel Server Service

For Siebel running on Windows platform, each server has a Windows Service called “Siebel Service”, named something like “Siebel Server [SBA_81_CRM_SYS]”.  Check each server and make sure this service is up and running.   If for some reason it went down, just start it up and the problem is solved.

Check Siebel Cluster Administration

For enterprise production system, Siebel gateway name server and server manager are often configured as a cluster servers with two or more Windows server boxes bond together. Siebel provides Cluster Administrator utility to manger the cluster server. 

First you need to check if the Gateway Name Service (gtwyns) and Siebel server (SiebSvr) are on the designated OS server box.  If they are not, that means the system had failed over to another server due to certain issues.  In this case, you should try to switch the server back.  Right-click “Cluster Group” and select “Move Group”, that will do.

Reboot and Fix

If you identify any servers are down, bring it up and Siebel should start to run.  If nothing helps, then power down every Siebel server box and reboot them up.  Reboot and fix, that is the most common and effective way to resolve IT problems.  It works 80% of time.

What if still not working?  Create a SR to get help from Oracle Support.  Yes, your Siebel is still down, no user can login to work, but nobody will kill you because of this fact, no matter how much money your company is losing as you boss states.  In fact, your co-workers may love you for such a nice break.

You may lose your job though, so get your resume ready.  I hope it’s not that bad.  But in case there is an unlucky moment, get my book The Ultimate IT Resume Guide, it will help you get a new and better job, I know this part.

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