KNOW Top 35+ IBM WebSphere Server Admin Interview Questions & Answers
IBM WebSphere Server Administration Interview Questions and Answers

KNOW Top 35+ IBM WebSphere Server Admin Interview Questions & Answers

Last updated on 04th Jul 2020, Blog, Interview Questions

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Web-sphere is a tool based on Java and developed by IBM, to manage and create websites.  Web-sphere is often used to build interactive web-oriented applications that support business functions required for e-commerce, it integrates all the data across different operating system and applications.

1) Explain what is Web-Sphere?


Web-sphere is a tool based on Java and developed by IBM, to manage and create websites.  Web-sphere is often used to build interactive web-oriented applications that support business functions required for e-commerce, it integrates all the data across different operating system and applications.

2) Mention what are the important component of Web-Sphere?


Important components of Web-Sphere are:

  • WebSphere Application Server or WAS : It connects the website users with Java servlets
  • Data–Server: For data persistence
  • Web–server: It provides the service of HTTP

3) Mention some of the features available in Web-sphere?


Some of the features available in Web-sphere includes:

  • It supports the servlet/JSP container functionality that runs on top of HTTP
  • It supports HTTP servers as IBM HTTP server, Netscape iPlanet server, and MS IIS
  • It supports Java Server Pages, HTML pages, Servlets and XML
  • It supports EJB component model and Workload Management.

4) Mention how does a WebSphere or any Application server clustering work?


A WebSphere’s web server plugin component routes requests to WebSphere cluster web containers.   If there is a communication failure with a particular cluster member, it will mark that member down and start routing all requests to the remaining cluster member till the original is available.

5) Mention what type of files are required to deploy an application into Websphere?


WAR or EAR files are required to deploy an application into Web-sphere.

6) Mention what is asymmetric clustering in Web-sphere?


In asymmetric clustering, the partition can be defined dynamically and runs on a single cluster at a time. The task which is particular to an appropriate cluster can be routed to that cluster.  Usually, clustering is used by banks.

7) Explain what is node, node agent and node groups?


  • Node: It is a logical grouping of server processes maintained by WebSphere and that share common configuration and operational control
  • Node agent: Each node has a node agent that works along with the deployment manager to manage administration processes. It acts as a mediator between the node and deployment manager
  • Node Group: A node group is a grouping of nodes within a cell that have same capabilities

8) Explain what is a cell in WebSphere?


A cell is referred as a grouping of nodes into a single administrative domain. A cell can have multiple nodes which are all managed from a single point.

9) Mention what are the default ports you use to use WebSphere Application Sphere?


The default ports you use are HTTP: 9080 and HTTP: 9443

10) Mention when does WebSphere Application server contact the registry for user information?


Web-sphere application server contact the registry for user when users:

  • Checks the users password
  • Maps certificate information to a user id
  • Converts user id to registry unique id
  • Obtains group information

11) Explain what is WebSphere is MQ?


WebSphere MQ is an application program that allows you to communicate with each other using messages and queues.  This form of communication is referred as commercial messaging.  There are two methods for application to communicate, Request/Response and Fire & Forget.

12) Explain what is Queue Manager in IBM WebSphere MQ?


Queue Manager is the important component of WebSphere MQ.  It is accountable for storing and routing messages to other queue manager within MQ, and it also communicate with the outside world.

13) Explain what is SLEEPER in IBM WebSphere MQ?


SLEEPER is a string usually distinguished name of MQ client, which links to Queue Manager securely using Queue Manager.  This is a mechanism used to identify client.

14) Explain what is extended deployment in WebSphere?


The extended deployment in WebSphere leverages enhanced qualities of service with features optimizing IT resources.

It spans three areas:

  • WebSphere Virtual Enterprise
  • WebSphere eXtreme Scale
  • Compute Grid

15) Explain what is WebSphere edge server?


The WebSphere edge server is used to enhance the performance of web based systems.  It can be used as a proxy server.  There are basically four components in the web sphere they are caching proxy, content distribution, network dispatcher and application server at the edge.

16) What are the important features of WebSphere? 


WebSphere has the following list of features : 

  • The applications or the servlets are well supported by WebSphere and this runs with the help of HTTP function.  
  • WebSphere supports various HTTP servers like the IBM HTTP server, MS IIS, and Netscape iPlanet server etc.  
  • It also supports Workload Management and the component model if EJB.  
  • WebSphere is also known to support the server pages of Java and XML etc.  

17) How can an application be deployed if the DMGR process doesn’t work properly?  


The existing and running applications don’t really get affected if the DMGR process remains down or doesn’t work perfectly. However, deployment of applications does get affected if DMGR doesn’t work. 

18) What is the meaning of node sync?  


The WebSphere application server or also known as the WAS provided by IBM is considered to be able to store all Thebes data and information regarding the configuration process.  It stores them in the repository provided by nodes which are known as the Master Repository. In order for the entire configuration to be stored or simply send to the server of the respective nodes while using DMGR process, the nodes must be synced properly. It is basically communication between the master repository and the local repository and can be done only in one way.  

19) For gaining information of users, when does WAS gets in touch with the registry?  


WAS gets in touch with the registry when :

  • The passwords are checked by users  
  • The users successfully convert the userid to the uniqued registry.  
  • Group information is obtained from them 
  • Certificate information is mapped to the userid by users.  

20) Define SSL.  


For the communication of the data which are encrypted, between various processes, a certain protocol is used and this is known as SSL.  

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    21) Differentiate between WebSphere and Web logic.


    Web logic maintains attributes in order to support default transaction, whereas WebSphere would not have such kind of default transaction attributes.

    WebSphere is more focused on integration,connectivity, and web services. It performs better in implementation of J2EE, and in extensive integration and management of transactions as compared to Web logic.

    22) How the caching proxy of WebSphere will be done on the edge server?


    Caching proxies are configured as a explicit proxy or in forward direction. When any user requests for the content, and it will be cached by edge server previously sending or following the query. Edge server caches page fragments that generate from JSP or Settler, and the process of Caching becomes slow. Edge will optimize the Scalability & Performance.

    23) Explain the functions offered by the caching proxy server?


    • Proxy server provides dynamic content caching which minimizes the load of application’s contents
    • Reverse proxy configuration allows the proxy server to intercept the user requests arriving from the internet, to the host & caching the returned data
    • It also provides content based routing function, which routes all the requests based on rules that we write. The common type of rule is the content rule, which directs all the requests based on the path name of the URL.

    24) What do we understand by WebSphere extreme Scale?


    • It is basically an initiative by IBM to conduct intense transnational processes.
    • All the applications which are related to a business can simply be managed and bulk transactions with excellent efficiency can be assured.
    • It offers all transaction integrates& transparent fail overs which ensures high availability, reliability, &constant response times.
    • It manages a data grid, which are dynamically caching the data apart from partitioning & replicating the application data. It also manages and applies various business logics across the multiple servers of its cluster.

    25) What is Ripple start?


    Ripple start is to restart the WAS cluster. It first stops the JVM and then starts it. By doing ripple start you ensure only one JVM is down at one time hence no downtime to the applications.

    26) What would you do when JVM is consuming 100% CPU & Memory on a server?


    First of all, identify which JVM has high utilization. Take a thread dump of identified JVM for investigation and restart the JVM as a workaround to cool down the CPU/Memory.

    27) Can application run without any issue if DMGR is down?


    Yes, DMGR down doesn’t impact existing running application. However, if you need to make any changes or deployment through DMGR, then that would be affected.

    28) How to deploy an application in WebSphere?


    There are three possible ways to deploy:

    • Hot deployment – copy the application file into the application directory. This is good for the non-production environment and not recommended for production.
    • DMGR – You can deploy an application through DMGR by going to Applications >> New application
    • Scripts – You can develop sysadmin scripts or ant tasks for application deployment.

    29) Why does JVM come up automatically though I stop/kill the process manually?


    There could be two things:

    • Automatic restart is enabled for the JVM which is default settings and available under JVM>>Monitoring policy.
    • If above is not the case then, there might be a script in cron, which checks for the process, and if not found then start it.

    30) What file types you can deploy into WebSphere?


    You can deploy WAR, EAR, JAR or SAR module through DMGR console or scripting.

    31) What is a virtual host?


    Virtual host contains multiple URLs (IP or FQDN based) on a single application and configuration is done through WAS administrative console.

    In order to allow an application to be accessible on particular URL, you must have this URL in a virtual host and associated with the application.

    32) How would you deal with slow application complaint from clients?


    Slowness could cause due to various reasons, and it’s essential to identify if it’s from WebSphere or some other components.

    To isolate, you can check the following:

    • Is this slowness for all the users?
    • Is entire application slow or just particular functionality?
    • How about accessing JVM URL (bypassing Web server) directly?

    If the slowness is found in JVM, then you can take the dump and check the logs to find out the cause. It would be worth checking if there were any release and slowness is just after that.

    33) How to take WAS configuration backup without stopping the DMGR?


    Go to DMGR profile and bin folder Execute ./ -nostop to take a backup

    34) What’s the default WAS port?


    He default port for HTTP is 9080 and HTTPS 9443. Checkout default port page for more.

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    35) What are the WebSphere editions available?


    • WAS – Network Deployment
    • WAS – Developers
    • WAS – z/OS
    • WAS – Hypervisor
    • WAS – Express
    • WAS – Base
    • WAS – Liberty core

    36) How to generate and propagate the plugin?


    • Login into WAS Administrative console
    • Go to Servers >> Web Servers
    • Select the server and click on “Generate” & “Propagate” button.

    37) What are the common issues you have experienced?


    You should always be honest about your expertise, however, to give you an idea:

    • Virtual host not defined
    • Logs not moving
    • Internal Server Error
    • OutOfMemory exception
    • Slowness
    • JVM not starting
    • High CPU/Memory/Disk utilization

    38) How to check the installed WAS version?


    • Go to profile and bin folder
    • Execute ./

    39) How do you know if your JVM is up or not?


    There are multiple ways to confirm this:

    • Do you have any monitoring tool if so check if there is an alert or current status
    • Login to a server and grep for the JVM by ps -ef | grep jvmname
    • Check if you can access the JVM URL
    • Check if you can telnet JVM URL and port
    • Check if JVM port is listening on the server
    • Use –all command to see what is running

    40) Tell me some of the log files generated by WebSphere?


    • SystemOut.log
    • SystemError.log
    • native_stdout.log
    • native_stderr.log

    41) How to generate a thread dump?


    There are three possible ways to generate a thread dump:

    • Through DMGR console: Go to Troubleshooting >> Select the JVM and click on Java core
    • Kill -3 PID of JVM
    • Using as explained here

    42) What’s a difference between vertical and horizontal cluster?


    The vertical cluster has its member on same node or server where horizontal is across multiple nodes and servers in a cell.

    43) What is garbage collection?


    Garbage collection is a memory management process which automatically frees the objects that are no longer in use by the program.

    44) How do you disable security in WebSphere?


    You can disable security by executing “security off” through DMGR must be restarted after switching off the security.

    45) How to enable verbose garbage collection?


    Verbose GC is not enabled by default and if you need you can do it by:

    • Servers >> Server Type >> WebSphere Application Server
    • Select the JVM >> Process definition under “Java and process management”
    • Click Java virtual machine under “additional properties” and tick the checkbox for “verbose garbage collection.”

    46) How to make WebSphere auto-start when server reboot?


    WebSphere automatically generates startup script in /etc/init.d which will ensure it starts when reboot.

    However, if for some reason script doesn’t exist then you can create one and put under /etc/init.d and enable it as below.

    chkconfig — add WebSphere #script file name

    chkconfig WebSphere on

    47) How to increase the heap size of JVM?


    • Login to Administrative Console
    • Go to servers >> Server types >> WebSphere application server
    • Select the JVM >> Process definition >> java virtual machine

    48) Can you Sync the node when nodeagent is down?


    Absolutely, node agent must be in stopped for sync to work.

    49) Where Can Administrator Find Binding Information For An Application?


    The administrator can find the binding information in the deployment descriptor.

    50) In Order To Modify The Configuration Of An Enterprise Application, Through Which Components Can The System Admin Make Modification Using Wsadmin?

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    Job manager or deployment manager.

    51) How To Protect Servlets In Java Ee Applications?


    Servlets can be protected by method permissions.

    52) Is It Possible To Manage Sibus Using Fine-grained Administrative Security?


    No, SIBus messaging engine cannot be managed by fine-grained administration.

    53) How To Remove The Application-scoped Resources From An Enhanced Ear File?


    Application scoped resources can be removed from an enhanced EAR file by removing META—INF/ibmconfig directory.

    54) How Can You Describe The Relationship Between A Flexible Management Topology And The Network Deployment Cell?


    Flexible management topology can be an alternative to the network deployment cell.

    55) How To Manage Multiple Stand-alone Application Servers On Different Hosts?


    Multiple stand alone application servers can be managed by using a job manager through administrator agents.

    56) A Scenario Of A Network Deployment Cell Has One Cluster And An Application Uses Jms Client Required To Be Deployed To The Cluster, What Are The Required Steps To Be Followed By Administrator To Make Clients Able To Consume Messages?


    The cluster must be added as a member to the Service Integration Bus (SIBus).

    57) What Is The Required Configuration Information To Connect Jms Destination To Sibus?


    JMS provider type, bus name and the bus destination

    58) How Can Administrator Assign Java Ee 5 Security Permissions To Actual Users In Websphere Application Server?


    The administrator can assign security permissions to actual users by mapping application roles to users or groups in the WebSphere user registry.

    59) When Does Administrator Need To Create A Jdbc Provider?


    If the administrator is implementing an application which requires a connection to the databasethen he needs to create a JDBC provider.

    60) Define Dynamic cache?


    Dynamic cache :The dynamic cache service improves performance by caching the output of servlets, commands, and JSP files. This service within the application server intercepts calls to cacheable objects and either stores the output of the object or serves the content of the object from the dynamic cache.

    61) How to configure remote system httpd.conf file?


    A trace is an informational record that is intended for service engineers or developers to use. As such, a trace record might be considerably more complex, verbose and detailed than a message entry.

    62) What is jdbc? In how many ways you can perform administration?


    • jdbc is a low level pure java api used to execute sql statements.
    • console,,,JMX

    63) What is a managed webserver?


    Remote webserver access through local (dmgr/cell).

    64) What do you understand by the term JMS?


    Java Message Services, JMS, is Sun’s standard API for message queuing systems. Message queuing systems form the front-line interface between businesses (B2B) and for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). As such, message queuing systems are often called “middle ware” because they operate in the middle — between other systems and between enterprises.

    65) Describe a fix pack.


    A collection of patches given by IBM is known as a fix pack. It may potentially encompass security patches, but fixes and performance improvements.

    66) State the entire registry supported in WebSphere?


    The registry in the WebSphere reads as follows… Federated repository, Standalone custom registry, Local Operating System and Standalone LDAP registry.

    67) What do you understand by shared libraries?


    In order to decrease duplicate library files, shared libraries are created.

    68) Is it possible to change the context root for the deployed application?


    Yes, it is possible to do so, however, JVM needs to be restarted after the change.

    69) What is the full form of PMT?


    The full form of PMT is a profiled management tool.

    70) Which is the default language for scripting in WebSphere?


    The default language for scripting in WebSphere is JACL.

    71) In a single JVM is it possible to deploy more than one application?


    Yes in a single JVM it is possible to deploy several applications deployment. The only condition is that the context root for each respective application must be unique.

    72) With WebSphere which are the various databases that can be supported?


    Along with WebSphere the other databases that can be supported are as follows… DB2, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase

    73) Which are the two ways to connect the webserver to WAS?


    The two ways to connect are as follows… using proxy pass and using the plugin.

    74) In front of WAS is there a web server needed?


    Yes a web server is required for increased maintenance, security, and performance.

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    75) What are the different types of messaging systems used by JMS?


    JMS applications use either the point-to-point (PTP) or publish/subscribe style of messaging:

    Point-to-Point: Point-to-point messaging involves working with queues of messages. The sender sends messages to a specific queue to be consumed normally by a single receiver. In point-to-point communication, a message has at most one recipient. A sending client addresses the message to the queue that holds the messages for the intended (receiving) client.

    Publish/Subscribe: In contrast to the point-to-point model of communication, the publish/subscribe model enables the delivery of a message to multiple recipients. A sending client addresses, or publishes, the message to a topic to which multiple clients can be subscribed. There can be multiple publishers, as well as subscribers, to a topic.

    76) What are the Hardware requirements for WebSphere MQ client?


    A WebSphere MQ client can run on Windows on any Intel 486 processor-based IBM PC machine or equivalent that can run Windows 98 or Windows NT® 4.0. There must be enough random access memory (RAM) and disk storage for the programming prerequisites (below), the WebSphere MQ client, the access methods, and the application programs.

    77) Difference Between Mqsc Commands And Control Commands?


    MQSC Commands: These commands are used to handle the admin related functions for the components that are present in the MQ Series. In general MQSC commands are used for creating and maintaining Message channels, Queue Managers, Clusters, etc…Control Commands: These commands are used to manage the processes and services that are helpful in the functioning of the MQ Series. In general, these commands are used for Channel listener, Channel Initiator, Trigger monitor, etc…

    78). What is the difference between Web Server and Application Server?


    Web server: A Web server handles the HTTP protocol. When the Web server receives an HTTP request, it responds with an HTTP response, such as sending back an HTML page. To process a request, a Web server may respond with a static HTML page or image, send a redirect, or delegate the dynamic response generation to some other program such as CGI scripts, JSPs (JavaServer Pages), servlets, ASPs (Active Server Pages), server-side Java Scripts, or some other server-side technology. Whatever their purpose, such server-side programs generate a response, most often in HTML, for viewing in a Web browser.

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