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Cisco ONS 15300 Series

Field Notice 17239: Cisco ONS 15454 CTC and Supported Java Runtime (JRE) Versions


January 24, 2002


NOTICE:

THIS FIELD NOTICE IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE FIELD NOTICE OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE FIELD NOTICE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE THIS FIELD NOTICE AT ANY TIME.

Products Affected

Product

Comments

ONS 15454 CTC versions 2.0-2.2.1

Class 1

ONS 15327 CTC version 1.0.0

Class 1

ONS 15454 CTC versions 2.2.2 and later

Class 2

ONS 15327 CTC version 1.0.1 and later

Class 2

Problem Description

There are two distinct problems associated with the two classes of products.

  1. JRE version 1.2.2 is required in order to launch Cisco Transport Controller (CTC) from class 1 nodes. JRE version 1.3.x does not work.

  2. JRE version 1.3.1 is strongly recommended in order to run CTC on class 2 nodes. JRE version 1.3.1 is effectively required to support large networks, given that JRE version 1.2.2 can encounter "Out of Memory" failures.

Background

CTC is a Java application that is launched from an Internet browser and runs as a standalone process on a Windows or Solaris computer. As such, it makes use of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) provided by Sun Microsystems. The JRE provides CTC with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and a standard set of application programming interfaces (APIs).

  1. Although JavaSoft tries to maintain binary compatibility from release to release, an incompatibility in JRE 1.3 causes CTC launched from class 1 products to fail. Please refer to item 6 in the Java 2 Platform Compatibility leavingcisco.com list.

    As of Cisco ONS 15454 CTC version 2.2.2 and Cisco ONS 15327 CTC version 1.0.1 (class 2 systems), CTC was recoded for class 2 products to allow it to run on either JRE version 1.2.2 or version 1.3.

    Note: CTC launched from a class 2 node does successfully manage class 1 Cisco ONS 15454 nodes encountered as part of network discovery. One exception is that a version 2.2.2 Cisco ONS 15454 cannot manage a version 1.0.0 Cisco ONS 15327.

  2. The JVM provided with JRE version 1.2.2 had a deficient garbage collector. The JVM sets a memory limit at startup time. As applications reach that limit, JVM's garbage collector tries to reclaim memory. If unsuccessful, the application's memory requests start failing with OutOfMemory errors, and the application becomes unusable. CTC launched from class 2 products stresses the JVM's memory allocation to a greater degree than CTC launched from class 1 products, especially for large numbers of nodes or circuits. JRE version 1.3.1 has a much better garbage collector, allowing CTC to avoid OutOfMemory errors. The Sun Microsystems document, Tuning Garbage Collection with the 1.3.1 Java Virtual Machine leavingcisco.com , describes the improved garbage collector.

Problem Symptoms

  1. After login, the CTC main window contains only the menu bar; the rest stays completely gray. On Solaris, the Java xterm window, which is not present in Microsoft Windows environments, displays a NullPointerException stack trace. The user cannot do anything since there are no user interface (UI) components.

  2. "Out Of Memory" is not directly reported to the user. Its usual symptoms are as follows.

    • Failure of UI navigation (clicking a tab or a button, or double-clicking a node or card graphic).

    • Failure of the CTC windows to repaint properly ("grayed-out window").

Workaround/Solution

The best solution is to upgrade all CTC computers to JRE version 1.3.1. JRE version 1.3.1_02 is available from Sun Microsystems now leavingcisco.com , and will be provided on future Cisco ONS software CDs. Once this is done, Cisco ONS products in class 1 should be either:

  1. Upgraded to at least version 2.2.2 (Cisco ONS 15454) or version 1.0.1 (Cisco ONS 15327).

  2. In the case of Cisco ONS 15454s, managed only by a CTC launched from a class 2 Cisco ONS.

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods:

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