Let’s face it: even the most resilient, robust, and secure storage sites, located above ground or even underground, could potentially be exposed, in a certain degree, to all kinds of disasters that may temporarily or indefinitely halt the site operation. This could be an extreme weather condition or natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc.), a prolonged and unplanned interruption of power supply (power grid or power station failure), an accident, act of war, cyberattack, and who knows what else – God forbid…
Enterprises that rely on non-stop, continuous, and unbreakable access to data, as well as on the ability to keep existing data integrity in parallel to on-going update/writing operations at the highest possible standards, must have disaster prevention and recovery mechanisms in place, ready to be used at any point in time.
Enterprise-class storage systems, such as IBM XIV Gen3, IBM FlashSystem A9000, and IBM FlashSystem A9000R, provide advanced site mirroring capabilities, either synchronous or asynchronous, including 3-site mirroring for XIV Gen3, and HyperSwap for FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R. These native underlying replication and high availability (HA) technologies allow these IBM storage systems to serve not only conventional hosts and clusters, but also virtual machines in VMware and Microsoft cloud environments, as well as OpenStack cloud nodes.
Virtual machines duplicates can be deployed at a secondary backup site, together with the backup storage systems to serve those sites.
- In a Microsoft Azure environment, automatic failover to the backup or primary site is natively supported by the storage system, by using Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
- In a VMware environment, virtual machines can be recovered by using VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) together with the IBM Spectrum Accelerate Family Storage Replication Adapter (SRA), which also supports – starting from version 3.0.0 – HyperSwap operations.
- OpenStack high availability configurations are also supported.
For detailed information about employing HyperSwap for VMware and Microsoft environments, refer to the IBM Redpaper: ‘IBM HyperSwap for IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R’. Additional data protection scenarios are described in this IBM Redpaper: ‘IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R Business Continuity Solutions’.
We’ve recently released a new version of the Storage Enabler for Windows Failover Clustering. As you may know, it is a software agent that runs as a Microsoft Windows Server service on two geographically dispersed cluster nodes, providing failover automation for IBM XIV storage provisioning on these nodes, and enabling deployment of these nodes in a geo-cluster configuration.
The new version, 1.2.0, is mainly a maintenance release that resolves some previous limitations and provides support for the new IBM XIV and Microsoft Windows Server versions that have been released since version 1.1.0.
So, what's new in version 1.2.0? Here are the main things:
Support for Microsoft Windows 2012 R2
Support for XIV microcode versions 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4
Support for post-migrated Hyper-Scale Mobility volumes (supported in XIV microcode version 11.3 or later)
The IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility feature is used for online migration of volumes from one XIV storage system to another (for more detailed information, see "IBM XIV Storage System: IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility Overview and Usage" here: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp5007.html
An important note to make is that previous IBM Storage Enabler versions (1.1.0 or earlier) could not be used to protect volumes that have been migrated through the Hyper-Scale Mobility feature. In such cases, you could no longer use the IBM Storage Enabler with these volumes.
Now, version 1.2.0 of the IBM Storage Enabler resolves this limitation by allowing protection after the final migration state (after performing ‘End Proxy’). Starting from this version, the IBM Storage Enabler can be reconfigured with the migrated volume and resume its protection in just a few steps.
Here is what you will need to do before the protection of the IBM Storage Enabler can be resumed on the migrated volume:
First, upgrade the IBM Storage Enabler on all the cluster nodes to version 1.2.0. Then, remove from the cluster any XIV volume that you want to migrate with Hyper-Scale Mobility. Once removed from the cluster, you can start the migration of these volumes.
When the migration process is complete, ensure that the original XIV proxy volume (which was migrated) is removed from the original XIV storage system. Also ensure that a mirror relationship between the source and XIV destination volumes exists.
You can then add the migrated XIV volumes back to the MSCS cluster.
Finally, run the following commands to add the XIV mirror resource dependency to the newly added (migrated) volumes, and to verify the configuration:
That’s it. As always, we are happy to receive any feedback!
The IBM Storage Host Software Group (HSG)
It's been a while, but now we're back with our brand new IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit 2.0.0!
You probably noticed that we made the jump to version 2.0.0, and for a very good reason: We have an exciting new feature we've been developing for the last 6 months - xiv_host_profiler.
xiv_host_profiler introduces a new approach in the way we provide support to hosts connected to XIV systems. The utility gathers information about your host's configuration, analyzes it against a set of best-practice rules, and enables pre-emptive identification of storage connectivity problems. And this is exactly why we recommend running it on a regular basis.
This feature is also tightly integrated into our latest XIV System release 11.2. By default, when using xiv_host_profiler, the collected information gets uploaded to your XIV System for further analysis. This ability will assist our technicians to ensure your hosts' health before commencing XIV System upgrades or other procedures.
For privacy reasons, the information collected by xiv_host_profiler is only related to your host's storage connectivity status - items such as the host's HBA model, installed OS version and the configuration state of the multi-path framework.
After collecting the information, xiv_host_profiler is also able to analyze it against a bundled set of rules:
The rules against which we analyze the host's configuration will be updated regularly and can be downloaded from Fix Central
As mentioned before, it's best to run xiv_host_profiler at least once a week (in order to keep the data as up-to-date as possible). We provide an easy way to do so - simply run 'xiv_host_profiler --create-scheduled-task'.
As usual, you can read more about xiv_host_profiler (and other HAK utilities) in the Host Attachment Guide and Release Notes, as well as in the man pages included in the HAK package (how? simply run 'man xiv_host_profiler').
We believe HAK 2.0.0 and the included xiv_host_profiler will further improve on the way we support our storage systems and the hosts connected to them. We'd love to hear more from you about your needs and expectations in the comments.
In the meantime, you can download yourself a copy of the Host Attachment Kit for your favorite host's operating system, right here
The IBM Host Software Team
In this post we would like to introduce the latest version
of the IBM Storage Driver for OpenStack, which we released on January 31st,
If by any chance you are unfamiliar with OpenStack, check
out the official OpenStack project website at: www.openstack.org
To put in a few words, OpenStack is an open-source software platform
for building private and public cloud environments. The IBM driver is a
software component that enables storage provisioning of the IBM XIV Storage Systems in OpenStack
The latest IBM driver version was preceded by an earlier one
(1.1.0), which enabled basic storage provisioning operations, such as volume
creation and deletion from OpenStack Cinder Node, and volume attachment to
The new release (1.1.1) further enhances the integration
between OpenStack and IBM XIV Storage System by adding support for XIV
volume snapshot functions.
For example, let's look at the following OpenStack Web UI management page:
In this example, if you want to create a snapshot of ‘vol1’ on
IBM XIV Storage System, you can use the ‘Create Snapshot’ action using either
OpenStack CLI or Web UI.
Here is your created snapshot, as can be viewed from the
Similarly, you can use OpenStack's ‘Create volume from
snapshot’ action to create a volume based on an existing snapshot.
An additional ease-of-use enhancement in version 1.1.1 is
the new unattended installation option, allowing no user interaction during the
installation, perfect for automating the installation process. You can use the following command format to install the IBM driver
in an unattended mode:
./install.sh –s –a <xiv_address> –u <username> –p <password>
The IBM Storage Driver for OpenStack can be downloaded here along with the Installation Guide and Release Notes.
Whenever you choose to integrate your IBM XIV Storage System with an
OpenStack cloud environment, our driver is available to help you achieve this
goal. We are happy to provide this newer version that further facilitates and
enhances the utilization of your XIV storage resources and capabilities in your
As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts with us.
- The IBM Storage Host Software
Once again, we are proud to announce the release of the latest IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit 1.10.0.
The main feature of this release is Windows Server 2012 support. From this version onward, HAK is fully compatible with your new & shiny installation of Windows Server 2012. Go ahead and take it for a spin!
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve ease of use, we have translated the Windows Installer of HAK to Japanese as well, for the benefit of our Japanese speaking users. More languages to follow.
In addition to the above, we have also resolved several bugs and known issues from previous versions, including among others:
- Increased reliability in regard to volume size reporting in xiv_devlist
- Improved stability during the configuration phase of iSCSI connections on Solaris
- Path counts are reported more accurately in xiv_devlist on HP-UX
- We have resolved a known issue in xiv_syslist on HP-UX, regarding XIV System modules and ports connected to the host
- xiv_diag now runs more smoothly on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Suse Linux Enterprise Server distributions
Of course that's not all - You may read more about these improvements as well as the rest of the enhancements and fixes in the Release Notes.
We hope you will enjoy this new release of the Host Attachment Kit, at least as much as we enjoyed developing it!
Follow this link to download the installable or portable packages and access the release documentation.
If you have comments, questions or requests, please write to us in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you.
The IBM Host Software Team
Hi everyone, we have some great news for VMware SRM 4.1.x users.
The new IBM XIV Adapter for VMware vCenter SRM 4.1.x was released!
The IBM XIV Adapter version 4.1.0 adds support for XIV's GEN3 systems, and also fixes a couple of bugs.
So if you are using SRM 4.1 - you can now use it with both XIV GEN2 (microcode version 10.2.x) and XIV GEN3 (microcode version 11.x)!
You can download the IBM XIV adapter software package from the SRM 4.1.2 download page
(after clicking the View Downloads button, the IBM XIV adapter is listed on the page).
Feel free to ask us any question.
Lihi Tikolsky from the IBM XIV Host Software team.
Hi Everyone !
It's HAK release time again !!
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep the IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit up to date and provide enhanced and new functionality, we are proud to announce the latest Host Attachment Kit version 1.9.0.
In this new version we have added support for several new platform versions:
Solaris 11, the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 and the latest AIX 5.3, AIX 6.1 and AIX 7.1 Service Packs which introduce IBM XIV LUN 0 support.
But we did more than that. We have also enhanced the current HAK functionality by providing our UNIX & Linux users with manual pages accessible by using the 'man' command. Now you can access the documentation for each HAK command by executing 'man <HAK command>'.
In addition, in AIX OS, 'xiv_attach' is now capable of automatic discovery of connected XIV systems and host definition on the connected XIV, by utilizing the latest AIX 5.3, AIX 6.1 and AIX 7.1 SP, in which XIV LUN0 support was added. This aligns the XIV support in AIX OS with that of other supported OS-s. Moreover, LUN0 support also introduces a new HAK utility to AIX HAK users - 'xiv_syslist' , which you can read more about here
The log collection utility, 'xiv_diag', was enhanced and now can be executed in unattended mode by providing the command with the destination path for the compressed log collection package as a command line argument.
Finally, additional bugs and known issues were resolved, and you can read more about them in the Release Notes.
Follow this link
to download the installable or portable packages and access the release documentation.
Let's keep in touch!
The IBM Host Software Team
The new version adds the
following enhancements for XIV users:
- Multiple volume creation in one single
operation: You can now create a few volumes together, instead of
creating each volume separately. You can see how it's done in the
example screenshots below, marked in a blue rectangle.
- Consistent volume names across the vSphere environment: In previous versions it was difficult to identify your volumes through VMware vSphere’s panels and
wizards due to the long-form name given to them. For example, this is what your Add
Storage wizard may have looked like:
But which Disk/LUN is the one I am looking for? Now when you create a volume, the name you provide is used as
the VMware’s Disk/LUN name in the vSphere environment, making it much
easier to view and manage.
For example, have a look at this ‘Creating 3 new volumes’
The volume names in VMware’s “Add Storage” wizard are identical, allowing simple volume identification!
- Simple multipath policy enforcement: This feature enforces the multipath policy either per storage array or per single volume, overriding VMware's defaults.
To set the policy for an entire XIV
storage system, go to the IBM Storage tab, right click on the relevant storage
system, choose Set Multipath Policy Enforcement, and then select the
From now on, for each
new volume you create on the storage system, the IBM storage plug-in enforces the chosen MP policy. Alternatively,
if you choose Disable Multipath Policy Enforcement, no MP policy is
such a case, VMware’s default MP policy for the storage array will be in effect).
Just note that this feature is
designed mostly for ESX/i versions 4.1 or earlier, where the default multipath policy set for the IBM XIV storage system was not
Round Robin (RR). In ESXi 5.0
or later, the default is RR.
These enhancements also apply to other IBM storage systems that the plug-in supports. In addition, version 3.0.0 introduces support for IBM Storwize V7000 Unified and IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) as well as various bug fixes. You can check out the release notes for more
After you’ve heard all that, you can now go ahead and download the IBM Storage Management Console for VMware vCenter version 3.0.0 along with its documentation from the IBM Fix Central.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments, so please share them with us!
The IBM XIV Host Software team
We are happy to announce our newest edition of the IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit, version 1.8.0. This release includes a new utility and support for new operating system versions, as well as several bug fixes and code infrastructure improvements. And now, let's dive into the details:
Starting with our cool new utility, called "xiv_syslist"... This new tool in the HAK will provide great assitance to host and storage administrators, by exposing useful storage array details from the server/host point of view. What kind of details? Without turning this post into a User Guide, the list of storage array details includes (for each array connected to the host): Array name, Array Serial, Management IPs, Connected Modules & Ports, Connectivity Types, Host Name Defined and Host Ports Definition State. The output can be formatted as xml or csv, as well as regular text output.The "xiv_syslist" utility is available on all platforms supported by the HAK.
Here is a screenshot, for first impression:
In addition we have broadened our list of supported OS versions and now it also includes: SLES 11 SP2, RHEL 5.8, Solaris 10 u10, AIX 7.1 TL1 and AIX 6.1 TL7.
We could not finish without mentioning the issues that were fixed in this version. While several minor issues have been fixed, the most encompassing one is an infrastructure revamp for the "xiv_devlist" utility, that has fixed many issues in the utility on all the supported platforms.
Now if this sounds good to you, here is the download link from IBM Fix Central
. Here you can find the IBM XIV Host Attachment Guide and the HAK Release Notes for each of the platforms.
We would love to hear from you, please leave your questions and comments below.
Happy Easter and Passover Holidays!
The IBM XIV Host Software team
We are excited to announce release of IBM XIV SRA 2.1.0 that is compatible with VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0.
- Support for VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0.1 (and 5.0.0)
- Support for XIV GEN2 (microcode 10.2.X) and for XIV GEN3 (microcode 11.X).
About SRM 5.0:
Site Recovery Manager 5.0 includes three major additions to the workflow capabilities:
- Planned migration
About IBM XIV SRA 2.1.0 with VMware SRM 5.0:
The IBM XIV SRA extends SRM capabilities and allows it to seamlessly employ XIV replication and mirroring as part of the SRM comprehensive Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) solution.
Using the IBM XIV SRA, VMware administrators can automate the failover of an XIV system at the primary SRM site to an XIV system at a recovery (secondary) SRM site. Immediately upon a failover, the ESX/ESXi servers at the secondary SRM site start using the replicated datastores on the mirrored volumes of the secondary XIV system.
That's great ! But where can I get It ?
It's already available at the VMware download page of SRM 5.0.1 (You can click on the "Show Details" link inside the "Components" section to reveal the list of SRA components with IBM XIV SRA included)
We would love to hear from you, please leave you questions and comments below.
IBM XIV Host Software team
The XIV Host Software team is happy to announce the 2011Q4 release of the XIV Host Attachment Kit, version 1.7.1.
Note that this is mostly a maintenance release with a couple of improvements. Upgrade is recommended but not mandatory. Go ahead and take HAK for a spin
and tell us what you think in the comments below. In the provided link, you can get HAK 1.7.1 for all supported platforms, Host Attachment Guide, and platform-specific Release Notes.
We recommend checking out the full list of changes and known issues for a specific platform in the corresponding Host Attachment Kit 1.7.1 Release Notes, available in the link above.
- Overall quality improvement, focused on Windows and Linux platforms: we've fixed over 40 bugs and implemented over 20 improvements.
- Provide detailed information the configuration steps HAK performs on the hosts, as we're aware that the host admins would really like to know that.
- xiv_attach now presents a clear list of the configuration steps.
- Added the "--verbose" flag to HAK tools. e.g. xiv_attach --verbose notifies about the changes HAK is about to perform.
- Host Attachment Guide's appendix A documents the configuration actions.
- Improved Windows KB installation, and clarified Windows KB requirements in the Release Notes
- Improved Windows installer and portable HAK packages
- Added support for Linux RHEL 5.7, 6.1 and 6.2.
- Improved Non-English locale support
And we didn't stop there...
We've invested a lot in internal test and development improvements. Most notably we've increased the automated test coverage and improved our automated build environment. This allows us to provide you with a better tested, higher quality product.
Got comments? we'd like to hear them!
- The XIV Host Software team