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PI Buffering User Guide

Version 1.0
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Published: 7/31/2009
Table of Contents
Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................... 3

Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 4
Advantages of the PI Buffer Subsystem ............................................................................ 4
Bufserv (API Buffer Server) ............................................................................................... 5
Data Flow and Buffering for PI Systems............................................................................ 5

Buffering Method Recommendations .......................................................................................... 6

Install and Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem .......................................................................... 7


PI Buffer Subsystem Requirements .................................................................................. 7
Where to get the PI Buffer Subsystem software ............................................................... 7
Set up PI Trusts ................................................................................................................. 7
Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem ................................................................................... 8

Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Operational ......................................................................... 12


Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Connected to the PI Server ....................................... 12
View Buffering Sessions .................................................................................................. 12

Install and Configure Bufserv ..................................................................................................... 15


Bufserv Requirements for Windows ................................................................................ 15
Where to Get the Bufserv Software ................................................................................. 15
Installing Bufserv ............................................................................................................. 15
Set up PI Trusts for Bufserv ............................................................................................ 16
Enable Bufserv on the Interface Node............................................................................. 17
Configure the Bufserv Service ......................................................................................... 18
Configure Services Startup Order ................................................................................... 20
Run Bufserv ..................................................................................................................... 20

Verify Bufserv is Operational ...................................................................................................... 21


Verify Bufserv is Connected with SMT ............................................................................ 21
Use bufutil to Examine the State of Buffering .................................................................. 22

Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX ................................................................................... 25


Supported UNIX Operating Systems for Bufserv ............................................................ 25
Install Bufserv on UNIX ................................................................................................... 25
Configure Bufserv on UNIX ............................................................................................. 26

Appendices ................................................................................................................................... 28
Appendix A: Additional sources of information ................................................................ 28
Appendix B: Resolve Common Setup Problems ............................................................. 28
Appendix C: Buffering Settings ........................................................................................ 29
Appendix C: Technical Support and Resources .............................................................. 31

PI Buffering User Guide 3


Introduction

Introduction

OSIsoft provides a buffering service that protects against data loss for PI interface nodes.
Buffering is a utility program that stores and forwards events to a PI Server, and allows
continuous data collection during network outages, or when the PI Server is down for
maintenance, upgrades, backups, or unexpected failures. The buffering service maintains
buffers on disk, and sends interface data to each PI Server - whether it is configured as a
single server or contained within a collective.

Note: There are a few interfaces, such as the Batch File Interface and Event File (EVT)
Interface, which work better without the buffering service. If you are not sure
whether a particular interface is compatible with the buffering service, check the
documentation for that interface.

There are two methods of buffering available for PI Systems:


PI Buffer Subsystem (Recommended in most cases)
Bufserv (Buffer Server)

Note: Bufserv is also known as the PI Buffer Server or the API Buffer Server, because it
uses the PI API to distribute data. This guide uses the term Bufserv to refer to the
Buffer Server.

This guide describes the requirements for each buffering method. It also provides procedures
to set up, configure, and verify proper buffering for PI interface nodes.

Advantages of the PI Buffer Subsystem


The PI Buffer Subsystem offers the most advantages over Bufserv when it is connected to
redundant PI Servers that are configured as a Collective (PI Server Replication) for High
Availability (HA). Other advantages apply to non-replicated PI Servers too. Among these
advantages are:
Compression is performed the interface node, rather than on the PI Server itself. This
allows PI Archive data to be strictly identical across all replicated PI Servers. Using
Bufserv makes replicated data identical within the specified compression limits only.
System administration and maintenance is simplified. If you add a server or make other
changes to an HA Collective, the PI Buffer Subsystem detects these changes and
automatically updates its configuration.
You may choose the disk volume that stores the buffer files. You can also pre-size the
buffer files, and if the files become full, new files are created automatically. Buffering
capacity is therefore limited by the available disk space.

4
Bufserv (API Buffer Server)

Like the Snapshot Event Queue (pimapevq.dat), these buffer files can be reprocessed into
PI Server archives if they become isolated or damaged.
Because compression is performed in a distributed fashion, PI Server resources are
available for other tasks, which may lead to higher throughput and improved
performance.

Note: Even though the data are compressed on the interface node, all data is sent to PI
Server, including events that do not pass compression. This means snapshot data
is visible with client tools. Events that pass compression are flagged for archiving.

Bufserv (API Buffer Server)


Bufserv is the predecessor of the PI Buffer Subsystem. There are specific situations where
Bufserv is recommended and offers advantages over the PI Buffer Subsystem. For a
complete discussion on when to use Bufserv instead of the PI Buffer Subsystem, please
refer to the section Buffering Method Recommendations (on page Error! Bookmark not
defined.)

Data Flow and Buffering for PI Systems


When an interface node is running the buffering service, data flows from the data source,
through the interface to either the PI Buffer Subsystem or the Bufserv service and from
there to the Snapshot Subsystem on the PI Server.

Data Flow with Buffering

If the PI Server is not available, the buffering service stores the data in a file buffer on the
interface node. When the PI Server becomes available again, the buffering service sends all
the stored data from the buffer back to the PI Server, in chronological order.

PI Buffering User Guide 5


Buffering Method Recommendations

Buffering Method Recommendations


OSIsoft recommends the use of the PI Buffer Subsystem over Bufserv. There are some
situations when Bufserv should be used instead, which are noted below.
Both buffering methods support continuous collection of data on a PI interface node
regardless of the status of the destination PI Server or the network link to the PI Server;
However, the PI Buffer Subsystem is specifically designed to enhance the High Availability
(HA) features of the PI Server and provides several advantages over Bufserv (see Advantages
of the PI Buffer Subsystem, page 4).

Note: Although both buffering services can be installed on the same computer, the PI
Buffer Subsystem cannot run at the same time as Bufserv.

Always use the PI Buffer Subsystem if your PI System:


Uses PI Server version 3.4.375.38 (PR1) or later
Has interface nodes that are connected to a single PI Server or a single PI Server
Collective
See Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem (page 7) for details.

Use Bufserv for buffering if one or more of the following conditions is true:
Your PI Server version is older than 3.4.375
Data streams must be buffered to multiple independent PI Servers (one of which may be
a Collective).
The interface does not run on Windows, or runs on Windows NT4 or earlier. If your
interfaces run on UNIX, see Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX (page 25).
See Install and Configure Bufserv (page 15) for details.

Note: PI Server buffering methods currently support buffering to one collective, or to one
collective and any number of non-replicated PI Servers. If you want to support
other configurations, contact OSIsoft Technical Support.

6
PI Buffer Subsystem Requirements

Install and Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

PI Buffer Subsystem Requirements


The PI Buffer Subsystem is available only for the Microsoft Windows platform. You must
run PI Server version 3.4.375 or later to use the PI Buffer Subsystem.

Requirements for PI interface nodes with the Buffer Subsystem

Aspect Description and Details

Operating Any of the following:


System Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
PI SDK Version 1.3.4 or later recommended

Management PI Interface Configuration Utility (ICU) or PI System Management Tools (SMT)


Tools

The ICU is installed on the PI interface node when you run the self-extracting executable for
the interface. If you run only the interface .msi file, then you need to install the PI ICU
separately.

Where to get the PI Buffer Subsystem software


The PI Buffer Subsystem is distributed with:
PI Interfaces (PR1 or later) on the Windows platform
The PI Interface Configuration Utility (ICU)
To configure and run the PI Buffer Subsystem, use PI Interface Configuration Utility (PI
ICU).

Set up PI Trusts
For each interface node, PI Trusts must be configured on the PI Server for both:
The PI Buffer Subsystem
The PI Interface(s)

PI Buffering User Guide 7


Install and Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

Note: If a DNS provides both forward and reverse name lookups, define PI Trusts by
using Fully-Qualified Domain Names (FQDN). In other cases, IP addresses are
accepted. In all cases, OSIsoft recommends restricting trusts by specifying the
AppName (Application Name), which is pibufss.exe for the Buffer Subsystem.

See the PI System Management Tools (PI SMT) help or the PI Server System Management
Guide for more information on how to set up PI Trusts.

Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

Enable the PI Buffer Subsystem

Run the PI Interface Configuration Utility (PI ICU) on the interface node, then:
1. Choose Tools > Buffering.
2. Select Choose Buffer Type in the left-hand menu of the ICU Buffering dialog.
3. Select Enable buffering with PI Buffer Subsystem.
4. Click OK.

Note: OSIsoft recommends that you disable buffering while you install, configure, or test
an interface and re-enable buffering when you are finished with these procedures.
This allows you to more readily address potential problems because it prevents
the logging of buffering process errors and allows you to view server messages
prompted by the interface.

Select a Server or Collective for Buffering

After buffering is enabled, use the PI ICU to define the PI Server or PI Collective that the PI
Buffer Subsystem will write data to.

Note: The PI Buffer Subsystem buffers data only to a single PI Server or Collective.

1. Run PI ICU and choose Tools > Buffering.


2. Select Buffered Servers in the left-hand menu of the ICU Buffering dialog.

8
Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

3. Select the PI Server or PI Collective from the Buffering to collective/series drop-down


list box. If the server is not included in the known server list, from the Start menu, select
About PI-SDK > File> Connections. In the PI Connection Manager, select Server >
Add Server to add the server.

Note: The PI Buffer Subsystem automatically detects whether a server is part of a


collective.

4. Select one of these options to determine how the name is used by the PI Buffer
Subsystem in the Buffered Server Names field:
a. Path: The path from the SDK known server list
b. Name: The name from the SDK known server list
c. IP Address: The IP address of the server
5. By default, the PI Buffer Subsystem replicates data to all collective members. If you are
buffering to a collective and do not want to replicate buffered data to all collective
members, deselect the Replicate data to all collective member nodes check box. Then,
select or deselect the check box next to the PI Collective members in the Server list.

Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem Service

1. Select PI Buffer Subsystem Service in the left-hand menu of the ICU Buffering dialog.

PI Buffering User Guide 9


Install and Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

2. Change or verify these settings:


A user name in the Log on as: field that defines the Windows account under which
the buffering service will run. If you leave this field blank, Local System is used.
A password in the Password field for the Windows account under which the
buffering service will run. Leave this field blank if a password is not required.
Services on which the PI Buffer Subsystem service is dependent in the
Dependencies field list. To create or remove dependencies, see View and Modify
Dependencies (page 11).
Services on the PI interface node that have a dependency on the PI Buffer
Subsystem service are listed in the Dependent Services list. It also shows their
current status.
The Startup Type:
It is recommended to leave the default of Auto, which starts the PI Buffer
Subsystem automatically when the machine reboots.
3. Click Apply to save any changes you make in the dialog.
4. Start or restart the PI Buffer Subsystem for configuration changes to take effect.

Run the PI Buffer Subsystem Service


Use the Start and Stop buttons on the ICU Buffering dialog to stop or start the PI Buffer
Subsystem Service.

Note: If you do not stop services dependent on the PI Buffer Subsystem service first,
you will be prompted to stop these services before you can stop the PI Buffer
Subsystem.

10
Configure the PI Buffer Subsystem

Configure PI Buffer Subsystem Services Startup Order

PI Buffer Subsystem dependencies are the services that must start before the PI Buffer
Subsystem. You can view PI Buffer Subsystem dependencies in the Buffering tool of PI
ICU, (see Tools > Buffering > Service).

Note: By default, pinetmgr is always added to this list of dependencies by the ICU.
OSIsoft does not recommend adding more dependencies to the Buffer
Subsystem.

To correctly configure buffering, any PI interfaces installed to start automatically on the PI


interface node must depend on the buffering service you are using. Dependencies are
configured during installation of each service.
The Dependent Services list in the PI ICU Buffering tool shows all services on this
machine do not start until the PI Buffer Subsystem service starts.

View and Modify Interface Dependencies


When you configure automatic startup for any PI interfaces on a PI interface node, you must
ensure that the buffering service starts before the interface(s). To do so, set the interface(s) to
be dependent on the buffering service when you install the buffering service.
The Installed services list is a list of the services currently installed on the PI interface node.
Services upon which this interface is dependant should be moved into the Dependencies list
using the arrow button.
Use the Add and Remove buttons to move services between the Installed
Services and Dependencies lists.
Add pibufss for the Buffer Subsystem or bufserv for the Buffer Server.
Often interface services also depend on a vendor program, such as the Fisher-Rosemount chip
service. See the interface manual for details on what dependencies a specific interface may
require.
When the PI interface is started as a service, the services listed in the dependency list are
verified as running, or an attempt is made to start them. If the dependent service(s) cannot be
started for any reason, then the PI interface service will not run.
See the PI Message Log and Operating System Event Logger for messages that may indicate
the cause for any service not running as expected.

PI Buffering User Guide 11


Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Operational

Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Operational


The PI Buffer Subsystem sends all errors, warnings, or informational messages to the PI
Message Log or the Windows Application Event log when the PI Message Subsystem is not
running. Use the PI ICU, PI SMT, or pigetmsg utility in the PIHOME\ADM directory to view
the contents of the PI Message Log.
To view messages in PI ICU, select Tools > Log Files. For details about using PI SMT, or
pigetmsg to view messages, see the PI SMT help, or the PI Server System Management
Guide, respectively.

Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Connected to the PI Server


You can run the PI System Management Tools (PI SMT) on Windows PI interface nodes
and use its Network Manager Statistics tool to determine if the buffering service is running.
To verify that the PI Buffer Subsystem is running on a Windows-based interface node:
1. Start PI SMT.
2. Select the PI Server that is connected to the interface nodes you want to check.

Note: It is easier to check one PI Server at a time, so in the PI Servers pane,


deselect all other PI Servers until there is only one checkmark in the PI
Servers pane.

3. In the System Management Plug-ins pane, select Operation > Network Manager
Statistics.

Note: If you are looking for a particular interface node among many, click the
PeerName heading to sort the table by host name.

4. Look in the Name column for the buffering service. For the PI Buffer Subsystem, the
service name is pibufss.exe.
5. For each row in the table, look under the PeerName column to find the hostname for the
interface node associated with that particular buffering service. The IP address is also
listed, under the PeerAddress column.

View Buffering Sessions


You may use the Configuration command, pibufss -cfg, to view the number of buffer
sessions that are running.
You can run pibufss -cfg from the PI ICU or from a command prompt window. In PI ICU,
select Tools > Buffering. In the Buffering dialog, select Tools > Buffer Subsystem > Run
PIBufss -Cfg.

12
View Buffering Sessions

The output shows the activity on each buffering queue:


--- PIbufss Interactive Mode, Time: 20-Nov-08 15:54:06
Configuration Query, status: [0] Success
*** Validated API servers (bufferedserverlist), count: 2
1 S1.DOMAIN.INT
2 S2.DOMAIN.INT
*** Cached PI server configuration, count: 1
server/collective: HASRV (last update: 20-Nov-08 15:47:05)
serverid: dbe4d7ca-7a9c-4d5d-9b35-14618c0127fe - replicated hosts: 2
1 hostname: s1 (bsl: S1.DOMAIN.INT), role: 1
fqdn: s1.domain.int, id: 209d6f49-8d3d-470d-a23e-18a3ebcbb92b
2 hostname: s2 (bsl: S2.DOMAIN.INT), role: 2
fqdn: s2.domain.int, id: 98a80524-9d57-48e4-8b0e-be9abc28df1d
*** Current buffer sessions, count: 2
1 [s1] state: Registered, successful connections: 1
firstcon: 20-Nov-08 15:46:51, lastreg: 20-Nov-08 15:46:52, regid: 1
events sent: 0, snapshot posts: 0, queued events: 0
2 [s2] state: Registered, successful connections: 1
firstcon: 20-Nov-08 15:46:54, lastreg: 20-Nov-08 15:46:55, regid: 1
events sent: 0, snapshot posts: 0, queued events: 0

Each buffer session should be in the Registered state, which indicates the Buffer Subsystem
is connected, authenticated, and successfully registered with the Snapshot Subsystem.
A state of Disconnected indicates a failure to connect. A state of Connected could be a
transient, or most likely, a failure to authenticate. Check the PI Trust definition if necessary.

Use pibufss to Verify Buffering

To use pibufss interactively to verify that a PI interface is buffering data without


disconnecting the PI Server or PI interface node:
1. From a command prompt, change to the PIPC\BIN directory.
2. Stop the buffer session from sending data to the PI Server while continuing to allow the
PI Buffer Subsystem to receive and buffer data:
pibufss -bc stop

Note: If you have more than one buffer session (PI Collective), you will be prompted
to select which PI Server should stop receiving data.

3. While the queue is suspended from sending data, you can check the buffer to see if the
number of events are growing in the queue:
a. Run pibufss -cfg from ICU (see View Buffering Sessions above) a few times.
b. Check that Total Events Sent remains the same while Queued Events increases. If
this is true, then the PI interface is buffering data correctly.
4. Restarts the PI Buffer Subsystem session to resume data transfers:
pibufss -bc start

PI Buffering User Guide 13


Verify the PI Buffer Subsystem is Operational

Use PI Server Tools to Verify Buffering

You can use piconfig on the PI Server to force the PI Buffer Subsystem to disconnect and
buffer data. By default, the PI Buffer Subsystem will try to reconnect in 2 minutes. To extend
this time, change the RETRYRATE parameter from PI ICU.
Follow these instructions to temporarily disconnect the PI Buffer Subsystem:
1. On the PI Server, use PI System Management Tools (PI SMT) Network Manager
Statistics tool to locate the ID of the connection from pibufss.
2. Use the following piconfig commands to force the PI Buffer Subsystem to disconnect:
PI\adm> piconfig
(Ls - ) PIconfig> @tabl pinetmgrstats
(Ls - PINETMGRSTATS) PIconfig> @mode del
(Dl - PINETMGRSTATS) PIconfig> @istr id
(Dl - PINETMGRSTATS) PIconfig> ID

3. See Use pibufss to Verify Buffering (page 13) to verify that buffering is taking place. If
you are using Bufserv, see Verify Bufserv is Running (page 21).

Use the PI Firewall to Simulate Network Outages

To test buffering for an extended duration, use piconfig to edit the PIFirewall Table to block
connections from the PI interface node.
To edit the PI Firewall Table:
1. Open a Command Prompt window on the PI Server.
2. Change to the PI\adm directory and enter the following commands (Replace 1.2.3.4
with the IP address of the Interface node):
piconfig
@table pigen, pifirewall
@mode create
@istructure hostmask,value
1.2.3.4,disallow
@exit

3. Wait 15 minutes to make sure the PI Firewall Table is updated in memory.


4. Use PI SMT and piconfig to disconnect the Buffer Subsystem and the PI Interfaces.
Refer to the previous section Use PI Server Tools to Verify Buffering on page 14.
5. Use pibufss to determine if buffering is working correctly on the PI interface. For details,
see Use pibufss to Verify Buffering (page 13). If you are using Bufserv, see Verify
Bufserv is Running (page 21).

Note: Changes to the PI Firewall Table are not replicated among PI Collective members.
To test buffering to all servers, perform the above steps for each member in the PI
Collective.

14
Bufserv Requirements for Windows

Install and Configure Bufserv

Bufserv Requirements for Windows


Requirements for Interface Computers with Bufserv

Aspect Description and Details


Operating Any of the following:
System Windows Server 2008 32- and 64-bit
Windows Vista 32- and 64-bit
Windows Server 2003 32- and 64-bit
Windows XP 32- and 64-bit
Windows 2000
Windows NT4 SP6*
If running on a UNIX platform, see Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX
(page 25) for a list of supported UNIX operating systems.
Buffer Bufserv 1.6 or later
application
PI API Version 1.6.0.4 or later
PI SDK Version 1.3.4 or later release recommends to run PI SDK-based management
tools PI SMT and PI ICU locally on Windows computers

*Note: If your interface runs on Windows NT4, See KB00129 at techsupport.osisoft.com


for instructions on how to install the PI API 1.6.x or later on this platform.

Where to Get the Bufserv Software


Bufserv is distributed with:
All Windows PI Interface installation kits (as part of the PI SDK/PI API)
The PI Software Development Kit (PI SDK)
The PI API
The PI Interface Configuration Utility (PI ICU)

Installing Bufserv
To install the Bufserv software, install your interface, and Bufserv will be automatically
installed.
To upgrade Bufserv, install the latest PI ICU to your PI interface node.

PI Buffering User Guide 15


Install and Configure Bufserv

These products are available at the Download Center on the OSIsoft Technical Support
Website (techsupport.osisoft.com).
When you install a PI interface on a new system, you are given the options to:
Enable Bufserv (PI Buffer Server) operation
Automatically start the Bufserv service

Note: The PI SDK delivers the PI API and Bufserv software on 32-bit Windows.

To enable and configure Bufserv any time after installation, you can use the PI ICU. For
further details, see Enable Bufserv on the Interface Node (page 17 ).

Note: UNIX users must directly edit the piclient.ini configuration file. For details
about the piclient.ini file, see Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX (page
25) and the PI API Programmer's help, which you can find the file in PIHOME\DAT
directory (for example, C:\Program Files\PIPC\DAT).

Set up PI Trusts for Bufserv


When Bufserv is configured on the PI interface node, a PI Trust must be configured for:
the Bufserv service (application name: APIBE)
all PI Interfaces that run on the Bufserv node

16
Enable Bufserv on the Interface Node

See the PI System Management Tools (PI SMT) help or the PI Server System Management
Guide for more information on how to set up PI Trusts.

Enable Bufserv on the Interface Node


To enable Bufserv on Windows, OSIsoft highly recommends using the PI Interface
Configuration Utility (PI ICU).
On the interface node:
1. Run the ICU and choose Tools > Buffering . . .
2. Select:
a. Choose Buffer Type in the Tools menu of the ICU Buffering dialog
b. Enable buffering with API Buffer Server if buffering is disabled:

Note: Any running interfaces with a dependency on Bufserv or PI Buffer Subsystem


will be stopped and restarted, if you change the buffering type. For complete
information about buffering dependencies, see Configure Services Startup Order
(page 20).

c. Click Yes when the dialog confirming your choice to change from No Buffering to
API Buffer Server appears.
d. Click OK.
3. Complete the steps in Configure Bufserv with PI ICU (page 18).

PI Buffering User Guide 17


Install and Configure Bufserv

Configure the Bufserv Service


To configure the Bufserv service on Windows, OSIsoft highly recommends using the PI
Interface Configuration Utility (PI ICU).
On the interface node:
1. Open ICU.
2. Choose Tools > Buffering.
3. Select API Buffer Server Service in the left-hand menu of the ICU Buffering dialog.

4. You can change or verify these settings:


A user name in the Log on as: field that defines the Windows account under which
the buffering service will run. This account must be a local administrator on the PI
interface node with the service. If you leave this field blank, Local System is used.
A password in the Password field for the Windows account under which the
buffering service will run. Leave this field blank if a password is not required.
Services on which Bufserv service is dependent in the Dependencies field list. To
create or remove dependencies, see View and Modify Interface Dependencies (page
11).
Services on the PI interface node that have a dependency on the Bufserv service are
listed in the Dependent Services list. It also shows their current status.
The Startup Type: It is recommended to leave the default of Auto, which starts
Bufserv automatically when the machine reboots.
5. Click Apply if you use this dialog to update any settings.

18
Configure the Bufserv Service

6. Click Yes in the dialog that advises that the buffering service and interface services that
are dependent on it must be stopped and restarted.
7. Complete the steps in Select Servers for Interface Buffering (below).

Select Servers for Interface Buffering

Before you start the buffering service, use the Buffering dialog of the PI Interface
Configuration Utility (PI ICU) to define which individual PI Servers or single PI Collective
that Bufserv will write data to.

Note: The PI Buffer Server buffers data only to multiple PI Servers and/or to a single PI
Collective.

To select additional servers for buffering:


1. Open ICU on the interface node.
2. Choose Tools > Buffering.
3. Select Buffered Servers in the left-hand menu of the ICU Buffering dialog.

4. Type the server name into the Add a server text box.
5. Click Add Server to add a server to the list of servers to be configured for buffering
and/or replication.
6. To change the buffered status of a server, use the toggle in the Buffered column for that
server. Data written to a server will be buffered if the Buffered column for the server is
marked Yes. If the column is marked No, data will not be buffered to that server.

PI Buffering User Guide 19


Install and Configure Bufserv

7. For each server that you want buffered data to be replicated to, change the entry in the
Replicated column to Yes. Change the entry to No for each server that you do not want
buffered data to be replicated to.

Note: A server must be configured for buffering in order to be replicated. If you turn
off buffering, replication for the server is disabled. Similarly, if you change
Replicated to Yes, the Buffered option is automatically enabled. To reset the
Buffered and Replicated setting to off for all servers, right-click on the Server
list and select the Reset all to Off.

8. Review or edit the Buffering Settings. For details about these settings, see Appendix C:
Buffering Settings (page 29).

Configure Services Startup Order


Bufserv dependencies are the services installed on the computer that must start before the
Bufserv service can start. You can view Bufserv dependencies in the Buffering tool of PI
ICU, (see Tools > Buffering > API Buffer Server Service).

Note: By default, tcpip is always added to this list of dependencies by the ICU. OSIsoft
does not recommend adding more dependencies to Bufserv.

To correctly configure buffering, any PI interfaces installed to start automatically on the PI


interface node must depend on the buffering service you are using. Service dependencies are
configured during installation of each interface.
Please refer to View and Modify Interface Dependencies to set up PI Interface service
dependencies on page 11.

Run Bufserv
Use the Start and Stop buttons on the ICU Buffering dialog to stop or start the PI Buffer
Server:

20
Verify Bufserv is Connected with SMT

Verify Bufserv is Operational

Bufserv offers command-line tools to verify the status of buffering. This results from the
necessity of deploying Bufserv on a diverse set of environments. bufutil is a command-line
utility for monitoring and verifying the status of Bufserv. To use bufutil, the Bufserv service
must be running. You can use PI SMT to verify that Bufserv is running and connected, and
then run Bufutil to see that the buffers are properly created.

Verify Bufserv is Connected with SMT


Run the PI System Management Tools (PI SMT) against the target PI Server and use its
Network Manager Statistics tool to determine if the buffering service is properly running.
To determine if the Bufserv service is connected, look for the process name APIBE.
1. Start PI SMT on the PI Server node or Interface Node.
2. Select the PI Server you want to check.
3. In the System Management Plug-ins pane, select Operation > Network Manager
Statistics.
4. Look in the Name column for the Bufserv service, which will be shown as APIBE.

PI Buffering User Guide 21


Verify Bufserv is Operational

5. For each row in the table, look under the PeerName column to find the hostname for the
interface node associated with that particular buffering service. The IP address is also
listed, under the PeerAddress column.

Note: If you have many PI Interface nodes, click the PeerName heading to sort the
table by host name.

6. Interface nodes that do not have an APIBE application associated with them are not
running the Bufserv buffering service, or they may be disconnected at the time of query.

Use bufutil to Examine the State of Buffering


Bufutil is installed in the \PIPC\BIN directory. You can run this utility from the PI ICU, the
PI System Management Tools (PI SMT), or the command line.
To test buffering, you can simulate a network disconnect by editing the PI Firewall table. See
Use the PI Firewall to Simulate Network Outages (on page 14).

Run bufutil with PI ICU

To run bufutil from the PI ICU:


1. Verify that the Bufserv service is running.
2. Open PI ICU and select Tools > Buffering.
3. In the Buffering dialog, select Tools > API Buffer Server > Run Bufutil:

22
Use bufutil to Examine the State of Buffering

4. You will see a menu of choices:


(1) Show Primary buffer header
(2) Show Secondary buffer header
(3) Show file buffer header
(4) Kill server and quit
(5) Quit
(6) Change Server
(7) Display this menu

For further details about how to use these choices, see bufutil Options and Interpret bufutil
Output (below).

Run bufutil from the Command Line

The syntax to run bufutil from the command line is:


bufutil [-host=piserver]

If provided, the string piserver must exactly match what is defined in the PICLIENT.INI (case
does not matter). If bufutil finds and attaches to the shared-memory buffers, it displays the
following menu:
Connected to server: piserver
Choices 1,2,3 may take optional arguments of [ #repeats #seconds]
( 1) Show Primary buffer header
( 2) Show Secondary buffer header
( 3) Show file buffer header
( 4) Kill server and quit
( 5) Quit
( 6) Change server
( 7) Display this menu
Enter choice: _

PI Buffering User Guide 23


Verify Bufserv is Operational

bufutil Options

1. Use options 1, 2, or 3 to check the contents of the memory and file buffers. These options
display a static output of the state of the memory buffers at the moment the option is
entered. To view a series of the output at a given interval, add two numbers as the
number of times for the display to repeat, and the interval in seconds. For example: 1, 10,
1 allows monitoring the primary buffer for 10 times at one-second intervals.
2. Use option 6 to select each destination PI Server in turn.
3. Option 7 redisplays the option menu.

Interpret bufutil Output


Primary Buffer Header Data
-------------------------------------
Version: 1
Mode: Single
Server status: Connected
-------------------------------------
Size: 32768
Next write location: 36
Next read location: 36
Write ptr before wrap: 0
Unprocessed entries: 0
-------------------------------------

The Mode, Server status and the Unprocessed entries are the most significant for
monitoring the buffering process.
Mode shows the current buffering state. In the display above, buffering is using a single
memory buffer. The other modes are Dual Memory and Dual Memory and File.
The Server Status may indicate Connected, Disconnected or Connected [Buffering
OFF]. When the status is Disconnected, Bufserv will buffer events until the server is
once again connected. If the status is Connected [Buffering OFF], buffering is not
enabled. See Install and Configure Bufserv (page 15), for instructions on how to enable
and configure Bufserv.
Unprocessed entries show the number of events in the buffer that have yet to be sent.
To monitor buffering, you can:
Watch the buffers grow and shrink if you select a specified buffer and observe the Mode.
Observe data flows from the interface to Bufserv and from Bufserv to the server by
watching the how the write location, read locations, and unprocessed entries change.
If buffering is functioning properly, you should see the Unprocessed entries value grow
greater than 0 and then become 0 occasionally. These changes indicate that the buffering
service is receiving time-series events from an interface and is able to send the data to the
destination PI Server.

24
Supported UNIX Operating Systems for Bufserv

Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX

Supported UNIX Operating Systems for Bufserv


Requirements for Interface Computers with Bufserv on UNIX

Aspect Description and Details


Operating Any of the following:
System IBM AIX (4.3.x: version 0, 5.x: version 2)
HP-UX 32-bit (10.20: version 0, 11.x: version 2)
HP-UX 64-bit pa2 (11.x)
HP-UX Itanium IA64 (11.x version 2)
HP OSF1 Tru64 or DEC UNIX (4.0D: version 0, 5.x: version 2)
Sun OS Solaris 2 on SPARC (5.5.1: version 0, 5.8: version 2)
Linux x86-32 (x.x version 2)
Linux x86-64 (x.x version 2)
Buffer Bufserv 1.6 or later
application
PI API Version 1.6.0.4 or later

The PI API distribution on UNIX distributes two separate libraries. This is due to the fact
that various UNIX versions have only recently standardized on the POSIX threading model
(often referred to as pthreads). The two PI API libraries (designated version 0 and version 2,
respectively), offer equivalent functionality for non-pthreads-compliant (version 0) and
pthreads-compliant (version 2) PI API applications. Consult the PI API Help file or
documentation for the application that uses the PI API to determine which version should be
used.

Install Bufserv on UNIX


The PI Buffer Server (Bufserv) is installed with the PI API. UNIX users must download the
API Installation kit separately from the PI Interface. The PI API installation kit is available
from the techsupport.osisoft.com.
Follow the API installation instructions from the PI API Installation Instructions User
Manual to install and verify that the PI API is installed correctly.
You do not need to complete any additional installation steps for the Bufserv after PI API
is installed.
PI Buffer Server installs the following files:

PI Buffering User Guide 25


Install and Configure Buffering on UNIX

File Name Purpose


bufserv Buffering process
bufutil.exe Utility for managing buffering process
piclient.ini Buffering configuration file

On UNIX platforms, awareness of buffering is built into the pistart script delivered with the
PI API. The script runs a small program, isbuf, to determine if the piclient.ini file
contains instructions to turn buffering on. If this is true, pistart will run bufutil with a -u
argument to clean up any outstanding resources and then start Bufserv.

Configure Bufserv on UNIX


Configure Bufserv on each interface computer to support N-way buffering to each of the
servers in the collective. To do this on UNIX or Linux, edit the piclient.ini file.
On UNIX systems, piclient.ini is found in the dat subdirectory of the PIHOME directory
(for example, /opt/piapi/dat). If buffering parameters are changed, the buffering
processes must be restarted for those changes to take effect.
For Bufserv, all of the servers in the collective must be in the BUFFEREDSERVERLIST and in
the REPLICATEDSERVERLIST, so the interfaces send time-series data to all members of the
server. Changes to piclient.ini take effect only when Bufserv starts.
For buffering to work properly, Bufserv must start before all interfaces. As soon as
configuration changes are complete, stop all interfaces on the interface computer, stop
Bufserv, restart Bufserv, and then start the interfaces. Do this as quickly as possible to avoid
data loss corresponding to the time that the interfaces were not running.
Launching and terminating site specific applications are accomplished through the sitestart
and sitestop scripts which are called by the installed scripts pistart and pistop. Modify
the sitestart and sitestop scripts as appropriate for your sites local applications.

Example 1 - Upgrade to Bufserv version 1.6 or later

In this example, Bufserv version 1.6 is being installed for the first time. There is one
interface node connected to a single server. There are two entries in the piclient.ini file
that you must edit:
[APIBUFFER]
BUFFERING=1
[BUFFEREDSERVERLIST]
BUFSERV1=MyPIServer

Under the [APIBUFFER] section, the entry BUFFERING=1 turns on buffering with Bufserv.
BUFSERV1=MyPIServer is the only entry required for the [BUFFEREDSERVERLIST] section
because there is only one PI Server available for buffering from the interface.

26
Configure Bufserv on UNIX

Example 2 - Buffer to Multiple Independent PI Servers

When you want to buffer an interface that is connected to multiple, independent PI Servers,
you must list each of the PI Servers in the [BUFFEREDSERVERLIST] section:
[APIBUFFER]
BUFFERING=1
[PIBUFSS]
BUFFERING=0
[BUFFEREDSERVERLIST]
BUFSERV1=PIServer1
BUFSERV1=PIServer2

Example 3 - Buffer to a PI Collective from a Single interface node

If you want to buffer a single interface node to a collective, you must add all servers included
in the collective to both the [BUFFEREDSERVERLIST] and [REPLICATEDSERVERLIST] section:
[APIBUFFER]
BUFFERING=1
[PIBUFSS]
BUFFERING=0
[BUFFEREDSERVERLIST]
BUFSERV1=MyPrimary
BUFSERV1=MySecondary
[REPLICATEDSERVERLIST]
REPSERV1=MyPrimary
REPSERV1=MySecondary

Note: Bufserv can buffer to a single collective. That is, all the servers included in the
replicated server list must be from the same collective.

Example 4 - Buffer to Multiple Server Connections

You can use PI Buffer Server to buffer an interface node to multiple types of server
connections, such as a collective and a single server. In this case, you would list all servers
that will be buffered to in the [BUFFEREDSERVERLIST] and the servers that are members of
the collective in the [REPLICATEDSERVERLIST]:
[APIBUFFER]
BUFFERING=1
[PIBUFSS]
BUFFERING=0
[BUFFEREDSERVERLIST]
BUFSERV1=MyPIServer
BUFSERV2=MyPrimary
BUFSERV3=MySecondary
[REPLICATEDSERVERLIST]
REPSERV1=MyPrimary
REPSERV2=MySecondary

PI Buffering User Guide 27


Appendices

Appendices

Appendix A: Additional Resources


For additional PI Buffering Subsystem information, consult the PI Buffer Subsystem User
Guide.
For additional Bufserv information, see the PI API (piapi.chm) or PI SDK Help file
(pisdk.com), which includes the PI API Help. On Windows systems, you can access the PI
API Help by running AboutPI-SDK.exe and choosing View Help. Open the PI-API
Programmers Help> Overview of the PI-API> API Node Buffering.
All documentation is also available in the Download Center at techsupport.osisoft.com.

Appendix B: Resolve Common Setup Problems


The most common issues with buffering include:
Issue Solution
Server Shutdown events get Set the Shutdown attribute for the PI Point to 0 or
improperly written to all buffered points configure the PI Shutdown subsystem on the PI
when the PI Server is shut down Server to exclude that point source (see your
interface manual for setting the Point attribute or the
PI Server System Management guide for more
information on the Shutdown service).
No new data is received on the PI Make sure a PI trust is configured correctly for the
Server. PIPC.log writes -10401 or No buffering application to the Pi Server. After you
Write Access Errors. This is caused by enable buffering, it is the buffering applicationnot
security configuration issues. the interface programthat writes data to the PI
Server. See KB1197OSI8 from
techsupport.osisoft.com.
PIbufss or Bufserv starts after one or Stop all interfaces, stop PIbufss/Bufserv; then start
more interfaces start PIbufss/Bufserv followed by the interfaces.
The piclient.ini or pilogin.ini Correct the configuration. In order to have the new
files are not configured properly configuration read, stop all interfaces and
PIbufss/Bufserv; then start PIbufss/Bufserv
followed by the interfaces.
The /host= parameter in the interface Correct the startup command file parameter, stop the
startup command file is not set properly interface and then restart the interface

If you are using bufutil and the utility fails to connect to the API buffers, the following
message appears:
APIBUFFER: Unable to open shared memory buffers. Buffer server may not be
running

To resolve this error:


If you edited piclient.ini to configure buffering, verify the spelling of the API
server string is correct.

28
Appendix C: Buffering Settings

Otherwise, shut down PIbufss/Bufserv and verify that the shutdown was complete; that
is, that no bufserv.exe is running. If you find one, terminate it using the Windows Task
Manager's End Process command. Also verify that no processes use the PI API
(piapi32.dll). If you find any, stop them. Finally, restart PIbufss/Bufserv and rerun
bufutil.
A utility such as listdlls.exe (from sysinternals.com) can be used to list processes
with a certain DLL loaded. The following is example syntax and the corresponding
output:
C:\> listdlls.exe -d piapi32.dll

random.exe pid: 13400


Command line: "C:\Program Files\PIPC\Interfaces\Random\random.exe"

Base Size Version Path


0x65600000 0x81000 1.06.0001.0005 C:\WINDOWS\system32\PIAPI32.dll

Appendix C: Buffering Settings


The Buffering Settings dialogs in ICU contain the settings that may require user intervention.

Note: Below are some of the most common settings. For a full listing of all API
references see the PI API Help or documentation from techsupport.osisoft.com.

Maximum buffer file size (KB) is the maximum size of the buffer file, found in
PIHOME]\DAT\APIBUF.DAT. When the buffering service cannot communicate with the PI
Server, it writes and appends data to this file. When the buffer file reaches this maximum
size, the buffering service discards data.
The default and maximum value is 2,000,000 KB, which is about 2 GB.
The PI Buffer Subsystem creates this buffer file, but doesnt use it during normal operations.
For information on how to resize the buffer size for the PI Buffer Subsystem, see Queue File
Sizing (page 30).
Primary Memory Buffer Size (Bytes) and Secondary Memory Buffer Size (Bytes) are key
parameters for buffering performance. The sum of these two memory buffer sizes must be
large enough to accommodate the data that an interface collects during a single scan. A
typical event with a Float32 point type requires about 25 bytes. If an interface writes data to
5,000 points, it can potentially send 125,000 bytes (25 * 5000) of data in one scan. As a
result, the size of each memory buffer should be at least 62,500 bytes.
The default value of these memory buffers is 32,768 bytes. The range is 64 to 2,000,000
bytes (about 2 MB). It is recommended to set both parameters at the same value.
Retry rate is the number of seconds the buffering process will wait before attempting to
reconnect when the home node is unavailable. The default value is 120 seconds (2 minutes).
The acceptable range is 0 to 2,000,000 seconds.
Send rate is the time in milliseconds that the buffering service waits between sending up to
the Maximum transfer objects (described below) to the PI Server. The default value is
100ms. The valid range is 0 to 2,000,000 milliseconds.

PI Buffering User Guide 29


Appendices

Pause rate (Bufserv only) is the time in seconds that Bufserv will wait when buffers are
empty. The default value is 2 seconds, and the range is 0 to 2,000,000.
Maximum transfer objects is the maximum number of events that the buffering service
sends between each Send rate pause. The default value is 500 for BufServ and 5,000 for the
Buffer Subsystem. The valid range is 1 to 2,000,000 events.
Max theoretical send rate
This is the theoretical max send rate in number of events per second. It is calculated like this:
max = MAXTRANSFEROBJS / SENDRATE * 1000

The default value is 5,000 for BufServ and 50,000 for the Buffer Subsystem.

Queue File Sizing (Buffer Subsystem only)

Proper sizing is based on the desired capacity (buffering time) and the data rate of the PI
interfaces or API applications. To estimate how much buffer space is required per unit of
time, run pibufss -qs. If prompted, you can choose any buffer sessions since data rate is
identical across all replicated PI Servers.
To start pibufss with the -qs option:
1. Open a command prompt window, and change to the PI\BIN directory.
2. Enter pibufss -qs.
3. Review the output over several displays:
Counters for 20-Nov-08 18:17:47 (C:\...\PIPC\dat\pibufq_s1.dat)
Physical File Size (MB): 32 0
Page Size (KB): 1024 0
Total Data Pages: 31 0
Write Page Index: 0 0
Read Page Index: 0 0
Total Page Shifts: 0 0
Available Pages: 31 0 (100.0%)
Average Events per Page: 36946 0
Estimated Remaining Capacity: 1145326 0 (95.4 mn)
Total Bytes Written (MB): 21 0
Total Event Writes: 786170 1001 (200/sec)
Total Event Reads: 786170 1001 (200/sec)
Current Queue Events: 0 0
Overflow Queues: 0 0
Total Overflow Events: 0 0
Current Queue Id: 0 0

The numbers in parenthesis indicate that the file on disk is 100% empty, and based on the
current data rate, queue capacity is approximately 95 minutes before a new file must be
created. The top of the output indicates that the queue file is 32 MB in size.
If, for example, we were to guarantee a buffer capacity of 24 hours, and assuming the data
rate is about constant, the queue size must be at least:
24 (hours) x 60 (minutes) / 95 (minutes) x 32 (MB) = 485 MB

Assuming disk space is available (on the volume of the buffer files), changing the
QUEUESIZE parameter and restarting the PI Buffer Subsystem are the only steps required.

30
Appendix C: Technical Support and Resources

Note: The disk space required is always N times the calculated size, where N is the
number of target PI Servers. In the above example, 970 MB would be necessary
with a Collective of two PI Servers. The Buffer Subsystem aborts on startup if the
primary buffer queues cannot be created with the specified size.

Appendix C: Technical Support and Resources


You can read complete information about technical support options, and access all of the
following resources at the OSIsoft Technical Support Website:
http://techsupport.osisoft.com

Before You Call or Write for Help

When you contact OSIsoft Technical Support, please provide:


Product name, version, and/or build numbers
Computer platform (CPU type, operating system, and version number)
The time that the difficulty started
The message log(s) at that time

Help Desk and Telephone Support

You can contact OSIsoft Technical Support 24 hours a day.


Use the numbers in the table below to find the most appropriate number for your area.
Dialing any of these numbers will route your call into our global support queue to be
answered by engineers stationed around the world.
Office Location Access Number Local Language Options
San Leandro, CA, USA 1 510 297 5828 English
Philadelphia, PA, USA 1 215 606 0705 English
Johnson City, TN, USA 1 423 610 3800 English
Montreal, QC, Canada 1 514 493 0663 English, French
So Paulo, Brazil 55 11 3053 5040 English, Portuguese
Altenstadt, Germany 49 6047 9890 English, German
Manama, Bahrain 973 1758 4429 English, Arabic
Singapore 65 6391 1811 English, Mandarin
86 021 2327 8686 Mandarin
Perth, WA, Australia 61 8 9282 9220 English

Support may be provided in languages other than English in certain centers (listed above)
based on availability of attendants. If you select a local language option, we will make best
efforts to connect you with an available Technical Support Engineer (TSE) with that language

PI Buffering User Guide 31


Appendices

skill. If no local language TSE is available to assist you, you will be routed to the first
available attendant.
If all available TSEs are busy assisting other customers when you call, you will be prompted
to remain on the line to wait for the next available TSE or else leave a voicemail message. If
you choose to leave a message, you will not lose your place in the queue. Your voicemail
will be treated as a regular phone call and will be directed to the first TSE who
becomes available.
If you are calling about an ongoing case, be sure to reference your case number when you call
so we can connect you to the engineer currently assigned to your case. If that engineer is not
available, another engineer will attempt to assist you.

Search Support

From the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site, click Search Support.
Quickly and easily search the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site's Support Solutions,
Documentation, and Support Bulletins using the advanced MS SharePoint search engine.

Email-based Technical Support

techsupport@osisoft.com
When contacting OSIsoft Technical Support by email, it is helpful to send the following
information:
Description of issue: Short description of issue, symptoms, informational or error
messages, history of issue
Message logs: See documentation for your PI System for information on obtaining
message logs pertinent to the situation.

Online Technical Support

From the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site, click Contact us > My Support > My Calls.
Using OSIsoft's Online Technical Support, you can:
Enter a new call directly into OSIsoft's database (monitored 24 hours a day)
View or edit existing OSIsoft calls that you entered
View any of the calls entered by your organization or site, if enabled
See your licensed software and dates of your Service Reliance Program agreements

Remote Access

From the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site, click Contact Us > Remote Support
Options.

32
Appendix C: Technical Support and Resources

OSIsoft Support Engineers may remotely access your server in order to provide hands-on
troubleshooting and assistance. See the Remote Access page for details on the various
methods you can use.

On-site service

From the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site, click Contact Us > On-site Field Service
Visit.
OSIsoft provides on-site service for a fee. Visit our On-site Field Service Visit page for more
information.

Knowledge Center

From the OSIsoft Technical Support Web site, click Knowledge Center.
The Knowledge Center provides a searchable library of documentation and technical data, as
well as a special collection of resources for system managers. For these options, click
Knowledge Center on the Technical Support Web site.
The Search feature allows you to search Support Solutions, Bulletins, Support Pages,
Known Issues, Enhancements, and Documentation (including user manuals, release
notes, and white papers).
System Manager Resources include tools and instructions that help you manage: Archive
sizing, backup scripts, daily health checks, daylight savings time configuration, PI Server
security, PI System sizing and configuration, PI trusts for interface nodes, and more.

PI Buffering User Guide 33