Load Balancing Provisioning Tier

The prior releases of CA Identity Manager / Identity Suite have a bottleneck with the provisioning tier.

The top tier of the solution stack, Identity Manager Environment (IME/J2EE Application), may communicate to multiple Provisioning Servers (IMPS), but this configuration only has value for fail-over high availability.

This default deployment means we will have a “many-to-one” challenge, multiple IMEs experiencing a bottleneck with provisioning communication to a single IMPS server.

If this IMPS server is busy, then transactions for one or more IMEs are paused or may timeout. Unfortunately, the IME (J2EE) error messages or delays are not clear that this is a provisioning bottleneck challenge. Clients may attempt to resolve this challenge by increasing the number of IME and IMPS servers but will still be impacted by the provisioning bottleneck.

Two (2) prior methods used to overcome this bottleneck challenge were:

a) Pseudo hostname(s) entries, on the J2EE servers, for the Provisioning Tier, then rotate the order pseudo hostname(s) on the local J2EE host file to have their IP addresses access other IMPS. This methodology would give us a 1:1 configuration where one (1) IME is now locked to one (1) IMPS (by the pseudo hostname/IP address). This method is not perfect but ensures that all IMPS servers will be utilized if the number of IMPS servers equals IME (J2EE) servers. Noteworthy, this method is used by the CA identity Suite virtual appliance, where the pseudo hostname(s) are ca-prov-srv-01, ca-prov-srv-02, ca-prov-03, etc. (see image above)

  host="ca-prov-srv-primary" port="20390"

b) A Router placed in-front of the IMPS (TCP 20389/20390), that contains “stickiness” to ensure that when round-robin model is used, that the same IMPS server is used for the IME that submitted a transaction, to avoid any concerns/challenges of possible”RACE” conditions, where a modify operations may occur before the create operation.

The “RACE” challenge is a concern of both of the methods above, but this risk is low, and can be managed with additional business rules that include pre-conditional checks, e.g., does the account exist before any modifications.

Ref: RACE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_condition

Example of one type of RACE condition that may be seen.

Ref: PX Rule Engine: https://techdocs.broadcom.com/content/broadcom/techdocs/us/en/ca-enterprise-software/layer7-identity-and-access-management/identity-manager/14-3/Release-Notes/Cumulative-Patches/Latest-Cumulative-Patch-14_3-CP2.html

New CP2 Loading Balance Feature – No more bottleneck.

Identity Manager can now use round-robin load balancing support, without any restrictions on either type of provisioning operations or existing runtime limitations. This load balancing approach distributes client requests across a group of Provisioning servers.


This feature is managed in the IME tier, and will also address any RACE conditions/concerns.

No configuration changes are required on the IMPS tier. After updates of CP2, we can now use the IME Management console to export the directory.xml for the IMPS servers and update the XML tag for <Connection. This configuration may also be deployed to the Virtual Appliances.

  host="ca-prov-srv-primary" port="20390”   

View of CP2 to download.


Before applying this patch, we recommend collecting your metrics for feed operations that include multiple create operations, and modify operations to minimal of 1000 IDS, Monitor the IMPS etatrans logs as well; and the JCS/CCS logs. After the patch, run the same feed operations to determine the value of provisioning load-balance feature; and any provisioning delays that have been addressed. You may wish to increase the # of JCS/CCS servers (MS Windows) to speed up provisioning to Active Directory and other endpoints.