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IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems solution

High availability solution based on virtual machine (VM) restart technology

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Disaster recovery of applications and services is a key component to provide continuous business services. IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems is a disaster recovery solution that is easy to deploy and provides automated operations to recover production site. This article explains the configuration process for IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems. This includes hardware setup from Hardware Management Console (HMC) and storage setup for disk replication along with configuring resources that are monitored by the solution.

Overview of IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems

Disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA) solutions are mainly based on two types of technologies: Cluster-based technology and virtual machines (VMs) restart-based technology. The cluster HA and DR solution typically deploys redundant hardware and software components to provide near real-time failover when one or more components in the configuration fails. The VM-based solution relies on the out-of-band monitoring and management option to restart the virtual machines on hardware failure in an infrastructure. The Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution is based on the VM restart technology.

Figure 1. Basic setup for Geographically Dispersed Resiliency

Figure 1 shows the basic setup for the Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution to be implemented for many subsystems. The Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution provides a highly available environment by identifying a set of resources that are required for processing the VMs in a server during disaster situations.

The Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution uses the following subsystems:

  • Controller System (K-SYS)
  • Site
  • Host
  • Virtual Machines (VMs) or logical partitions (LPARs)
  • Storage
  • Network
  • Hardware Management Console (HMC)
  • Virtual I/O server (VIOS)

Software prerequisites

The solution requires the following software:

  • KSYS should be on IBM AIX® 7.2.1 or later operating system level.
  • Hardware Management console must be version 8.60 or later.
  • VIOS version should be 2.2.5 or later.
  • Each virtual machine can support Linux (Red Hat and SUSE), Ubuntu and AIX.

Hardware prerequisites

The solution requires the following hardware:

  • Hardware platform for each virtual machine must be IBM POWER7® or later processor-based server.
  • Configuration of only two sites is allowed. Active site and backup site should be separated by an unlimited distance (may be at different geographic locations).
  • KSYS machine can be placed at backup site or outside Geographically Dispersed Resiliency configuration.
  • Target system must have sufficient resource and if not enterprise pool for capacity on demand must be configured.
  • The LPARs should not have physical adapters.
  • Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution supports EMC storage VMAX family (VMAX1, VMAX2 and VMAX3). The EMC storage must be Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF)-capable. Asynchronous and Synchronous replication mode is supported.
  • All virtual machines managed by the Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution must be virtual I/O resources through VIOS. The VM must not be connected to a physical network adapter or any dedicated devices.
  • The VIOS must have a Shared Ethernet Adapter configuration to bridge to the same Ethernet network between hosts in the same site.
  • Same virtual local area network (VLAN) ID must be configured across sites.
  • The KSYS partition must be connected to all the HMCs.
  • All the VIOS partitions and disk pairs must be deployed correctly across sites.
  • Storage area network zoning and connectivity must be functional as required on both the sites.

Features and values of the Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution

The IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution:

  • Supports DR for hundreds of VMs based on IBM PowerVM® virtualization
  • Supports IBM POWER7, IBM POWER8® and later systems
  • Supports AIX and various flavors of Linux operating systems inside VMs
  • Supports complete automation of failover and recover. If its planned DR operation, cleanup is done automatically
  • Performs verification checks across site to ensure successful failovers
  • Provides email/text alerts in regard to critical events in the environment
  • Supports plugging of custom scripts for verification and event handling
  • Supports enterprise pool configuration which saves hardware costs by reusing the resources from pool across sites
  • Supports site-specific network configuration for virtual machines
  • Provides service offering to support Non-disruptive testing on the backup site. Does testing close to real recovery without impacting production site or the replication
  • Can coexist with IBM PowerVC, Live Partitioning Mobility (LPM), remote restart operations on the primary site
  • Provides support for EMC SRDF capable storage systems
  • Provides support for IBM System Storage® DS8000® as backend storage of IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
  • Provides support of SVC sync/async, Hitachi universal replicator and DS8000 async

In summary, Geographically Dispersed Resiliency enables extremely simplified disaster recovery management for IBM Power Systems™. In less than 10 steps, an administrator can deploy and configure the Geographically Dispersed Resiliency solution. This is the only solution on IBM Power® that offers non-disruptive DR testing.

Additional reading on IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems

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Zone=AIX and UNIX
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ArticleTitle=IBM Geographically Dispersed Resiliency for Power Systems solution
publish-date=04092018