An Option Manager option does not appear to be applied on the Standby Server of an Advanced Availability configuration. How can this be updated to match the state and value of the option on the Background server?

Document ID : KB000012354
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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CA Service Desk Manager (CA SDM) administrators may install or uninstall options and environment variables that affect the behaviour of CA SDM. Administrators may also update the value of options and environment variables.

In an Advanced Availability configuration, when an Option Manager option is installed, uninstalled, or updated on the Background server, it is not immediately and automatically updated on the Standby server(s).  And so, you may notice that an Option Manager option that is installed on the Background Server is not installed on a Standby Server.


How can the Options Manager options on the Standby server be synchronized with the Options Manager options on the Background server?

CA Service Desk Manager 12.9 and above, in an Advanced Availability configuration.


  1. There are some important considerations so be sure to read and understand the "Additional Information" section, especially all Warnings.
  2. As a best practice, at a minimum, backup the following files and directories that exist on the Standby server:

    The file named "NX.env" that exists in the base CA Service Desk Manager directory (i.e. referred to as $NX_ROOT; the default path on a Windows installation is: C:\program files (x86)\CA\Service Desk Manager).

    The file named "NX.env_nt.tpl" that exists in $NX_ROOT\pdmconf.

    All files in the $NX_ROOT\samples\pdmconf directory.

    All files in the $NX_ROOT\site directory such as ddict.sch and everything under $NX_ROOT\site\mods.
  3. On the Standby Server, compare the NX.env and the NX.env_nt.tpl files, checking that all unmanaged environment variables exist and match in both files. For any missing or unmatched environment variables, ensure that they are specified, according to your requirements, in the NX.env_nt.tpl file.  If you update either of the 2 files, take another backup of the files.
  4. Decide if the Standby server should be restarted with or without Version Control.  For more information, see the "Version control" subsection of the "Additional Information" section of this document. 
  5. On the Standby server, if you had decided to temporarily disable version control, run "pdm_server_control -v" and then run "pdm_options_mgr". 
  6. On the Standby server, stop the CA SDM service.
  7. Re-start the CA Service Desk Manager service.
  8. Compare the NX.env file of the Background server to the NX.env file of the Standby server to ensure that the content of the files are as expected.   If you make any additional changes to any Options Manager options, then, for those changes to be applied, continue at step #3.
  9. Once the final files are in place and the system is operating as expected with regards to those options, take another backup of the files.  Do not perform a failover to the Standby server before this step.
Additional Information:

Managed and unmanaged options and environment variables:

An option that is visible in Options Manager can be installed, uninstalled, or changed via the Options Manager; alternatively, the option can be updated by running the appropriate pdm_options_mgr with required parameters while the CA Service Desk Manager service is running. The preferred method is to use Options Manager; if you use the method of running the appropriate pdm_options_mgr commands, then you must run 2 commands for each option - one command would include the "-t" parameter, and the other command would not.

Options that are available via Options Manager are managed options; options that are not available via Options Manager are unmanaged options.

Unmanaged options are directly implemented as environment variables and are not available via Options Manager; some of those, such as NX_SLUMP_HASH, would need to be updated by manually updating both the NX.env file and the NX.env_nt.tpl file.


The "pdm_options_mgr" command, when run with no parameters, connects to the mdb database, reads the entries in the Options table, reads the NX.env_nt.tpl file, and regenerates the local NX.env file accordingly.  Unmanaged options and environment variables are not propagated to the new NX.env file if they do not exist in the NX.env_nt.tpl file - for those, you would need to update the NX.env file to add them back in.

A recycle of the CA Service Desk Manager service is required in order to apply all unmanaged, and some Options-Manager-managed, options.

Version control:

Warning! In an Advanced Availability configuration, when version control is enabled whilst the CA SDM service is starting, both customizations and options are automatically synchronized with other running servers.  Disabling version control by running "pdm_server_control -v" on a server, before recycling the CA Service Desk Manager service, avoids synchronization of both.


Warning! Advanced Availability servers must be stopped and started in a specific order. Any customizations that should or should not be propagated to other servers by the Version Control process must be considered before recycling the servers. 

For more information about restarting the CA SDM servers in an Advanced Availability (AA) configuration, please review Restart the CA SDM Servers in Advanced Availability Configuration

For more information about publishing customizations in an Advanced Availability configuration, please be sure that you understand the information in the subsection titled "Publish Schema Modifications" in How to Modify Schema Using Web Screen Painter that is specific to Advanced Availability and Version Control.