Modified on by ZivKalmanovich
It's raining new releases here at IBM HSG, the latest software released from our team is the IBM XIV HAK v2.1.0.
The HAK is already a well known, widely used toolkit, therefore in this post we will focus on what's new in this latest release, and what will you gain by installing or upgrading to this version.
The first feature to note is the added support for version 11.3.0 of XIV microcode and more importantly for the Online Volume Migration (OLVM) feature. Now the "good old" xiv_devlist utility also presents the OLVM state of each and every volume exposed to the server, providing the host and storage administrators an easily accessible tool to stay updated with the migration state of the volumes under their responsibility, without the need to access the XIV Management GUI.
In addition, the recently introduced host diagnostic utility, the XIV Host Profiler , can now be defined as a scheduled task right from the Host Attachment Kit Wizard - xiv_attach. No need to remember to set it separately, the user will be asked during host configuration if a task should be scheduled to run the utility periodically.
We've also improved the xiv_devlist and xiv_syslist commands' CSV file format output utilities. From this release, by adding the --no-headers argument, the column headers will be omitted from the generated CSV file.
On top of the above-mentioned features and enhancements several stability issues were also fixed. The detailed list of those issues can be found in the Release Notes document coupled with the software package.
To download the IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit v2.1.0 and the related documentation , please visit IBM Fix Central. You will need an IBM ID to download the files.
The IBM Host Software Group
Modified on by ZivKalmanovich
A few days ago we have a released a new version of our VASA Provider for the XIV Storage System.
For those unfamiliar with VMware VASA or with the previous version of IBM Storage Provider for VMware VASA , here is some background:
VASA stands for vStorage API for Storage Awareness, and it is an API specified by VMware and implemented by storage vendors to standardize communication between the various storage systems and the vCenter Server. The Storage Provider is a web server that handles requests from the vCenter Server in which it is registered.
The IBM Storage Provider provides a standard interface for any connected VMware vCenter Server using VMware APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA), delivering information about XIV storage topology, capabilities and state, as well as storage events and alerts to vCenter Server in real time. VMware administrators can view this information on the vSphere Client management station, and can configure storage-related operations accordingly
For example an IBM VASA Provider registered in a VMware vCenter will provide the following information in the "Storage View" tab of the vShpere Client (both web and c#)
Screenshot from vShpere Client 5.1
In version 1.1.5 several major enhancements and changes were introduced:
This version runs only on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 x64, as opposed to the previous one that ran on Windows Server platform. The provider and the required software packages are distributed in standard Linux RPM packages.
We also added support for Storage Capabilities, so now VMware administrators can assign Storage Capabilities to volumes and use that information when creating or working with Datastores and VMs.
The VASA Provider management CLI has been streamlined and redesigned, IBM VASA Provider Version 1.1.5 introduces the following new CLI management utilities:
ibmvp_storage_credentials – For setting, removing, and listing XIV access credentials.
ibmvp_admin_commands – For adding, removing, and listing IBM Storage Integration Server users.
ibmvp_storage_array – For adding, removing, and listing connected XIV storage systems.
ibmvp_capabilities – For defining storage capabilities.
ibmvp_volume – For listing the available storage volumes and assigning storage capabilities to these volumes.
ibmvp_configuration – For backing up or restoring a specific configuration of
The IBM Storage Provider for VMware v1.1.5 and the associated documentation can be downloaded from IBM Support Fix Central here (You'll need an IBM ID to download the files).
Your comments are always welcome,
IBM HSG Team
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
We are pleased to let you know about our recently launched IBM Storage Host
Software Solutions Information Center!
In this information center, or IC, you can find the relevant
documentation of all the solutions that we offer, including information of both
past versions and the latest versions.
Whether our host software solution is for XIV, DS8000,
Storwize, or any other IBM storage system – the release notes, user guide, or
installation guide are available on the IC in either PDF or HTML format
(whatever suits you best).
The solutions are categorized on the navigation tree under
four main categories: business continuity, management, host connectivity, and
virtualization. Keep in mind, however, that some solutions could belong in more
than one category. For example, a solution such as IBM Storage Management
Console for VMware vCenter is placed under the virtualization category, but it may
also be regarded as a powerful management solution. For another example, our
XIV and SVC adapters for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, also placed under
virtualization, may also be regarded as business continuity solutions.
In any case, we hope that the organization of our solutions
on the IC makes sense to you, and that the information is helpful. If not,
please let us know! You can use the online
form that is available on the IC.
Each solution has its own welcome page from which you can have
quick access to the information of the available versions. The PDF publications
are available on the Publications page of each solution.
If you'd like to see our list of solutions per independent
software vendor (ISV), check out the Solutions
by ISV page. Alternatively, to see
which solutions are available for a specific IBM storage system, check out the Solutions
by storage system page.
And, of course, the IC is regularly being updated and
improved. You can always check what's new on the IC by visiting the What's
Lastly, we would like to thank our Information Development
team for making it happen.
The HSG Team
We have just made the latest version of IBM Storage Enabler for Windows Fail-over Clustering publicly available on IBM Fix Central
I would like to highlight some of the new features and improvements introduced in version 1.1.0:
- Security-wise, the credentials for XIV systems utilized by the cluster are now stored in a secured keyring, as opposed to the plain-text registry keys in the previous versions
- On the same note, from now on, you can store separate sets of credentials for each XIV system the cluster node is exposed to (upon upgrades, the registry stored single set credentials will be automatically stored in the encrypted keyring for each storage system)
- Additional CLI commands were added for eased configurability, such as, the registry key controlling the forced-fail-over policy (previously known as the 'red-button') that now can be set from the command line directly
- Verbosity was significantly enhanced, the '--install', '--uninstall' , '--deploy' commands now report every action performed to the console for better transparency
- The '--report' command output has been enriched with additional information regarding the mirror status of the XIV volumes and more
- Added Support for Windows Server 2012 Fail-over Clustering
- The product code underwent major improvements to make the it both more stable and efficient
In addition several major issues were resolved, such as those related to deployments where XIV disks resided in the 'Available Storage' cluster group and issues related to XIV Mirror resource behavior upon Cluster Service failure.
The new version of the IBM Storage Enabler for Windows Fail-over Clustering and the related documentation can be found here
Happy Clustering !
The IBM Host Software Group
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 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