IBM maintains a longstanding partnership with VMware, and the IBM Cloud Storage Solutions team is a key design partner for VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs). Hear from Carlos Fuente, an IBM Distinguished Engineer, about the capabilities and benefits of VVOLs together with IBM Storage offerings in this YouTube video.
Cloud Storage Solutions
JohnHyams 27000777BW 59 Views
Get your hosts ready, as the new HAK is in now available! The latest 2.9.0 release improves connection stability when attaching hosts to storage systems in IBM HyperSwap and Hyper-Scale Mobility deployments.
As in the last few releases, HAK is available for Windows, Linux, or AIX hosts. A quick reminder for HAK newbies: it allows your hosts to easily connect to volumes on IBM Spectrum Accelerate Family storage systems (FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R, XIV, Spectrum Accelerate deployable SW) over iSCSI or Fibre Channel.
Version 2.9.0 also supports the 1Q18 milestone software release of FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R, version 12.2.1, as well as the RedHat Linux 6.9 and 7.4 releases.
You can download HAK 2.9.0 from IBM Fix Central. Check out the HAK version 2.9.0 documentation on IBM Knowledge Center, which includes the HAK lifecycle and compatibility matrix, latest release notes, and user guide, which now - by the way - has additional info and references regarding host multipathing with FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R. Also, if Microsoft Windows Server is the OS of your hosts, check the new list of required hotfixes (KBs) page (previously listed in the release notes) for error-free operation of your hosts.
As always, your feedback is always welcome.
The IBM Cloud Storage Solutions team
IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition, version 3.3.0 has landed and with it a new major step forward in IBM cloud integration capabilities. Now, you can use IBM storage systems as persistent storage for containerized applications in Kubernetes clusters. This version brings a new cloud interface, IBM Storage Enabler for Containers (1.0.0), a nifty plug-in that makes a smart use of Spectrum Control Base storage profiles. These profiles are used for automating persistent volume provisioning in Kubernetes environment. Pure magic, right?!
Download IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition (3.3.0) and the Installer for IBM Storage Enabler for Containers (1.0.0) from IBM Fix Central. You can also go to GitHuB to see the IBM's open-source project that IBM Storage Enabler for Containers is based on. As usual, do not forget to check out the IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition (3.3.0) release notes on IBM Knowledge Center.
More information about this exciting offering is available in these blog posts:
A new version of Spectrum Control Base Edition software (3.2.1) has been released. It adds support for version 8.1 of the IBM Spectrum Virtualize Family (a broad range of IBM storage systems), as well as the IBM Spectrum Virtualize deployable software solution. For further details about this new version, including fixes, check out the IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition 3.2.1 release notes on IBM Knowledge Center at: https://ibm.biz/Bdj8gc.
The last several releases of the OpenStack Cinder project addressed various disaster recovery (DR) scenarios. In Mitaka, replication v2.1 (codename ‘Cheesecake’) was introduced. This admin API was designed to solve a true DR scenario, when an entire backend is failed over to another backend on a secondary site. There are other DR scenarios in which the user wants to have better control over the replication granularity. For this purpose, the Cinder team has decided to provide tenant-facing group APIs, allowing volume grouping for a tenant. This enables volume group replication and failover without affecting the entire backend.
The IBM Storage Driver for OpenStack supports the following IBM storage systems:
The user can choose between a generic group replication and consistency group (CG) replication. For consistency group replication, the driver utilizes the storage capabilities to handle CGs and replicate them to a remote site. On the other hand, in generic group replication, the driver replicates each volume individually. In addition, the user can select the replication type. For example, IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R storage systems support both synchronous and asynchronous replication.The minimum Cinder client version that supports group replication is 3.38.
The following functions were added to the IBM Storage Driver for OpenStack to support group replication:
The following example illustrates configuration of a replicated consistency group.
#cinder type-create rep-vol-1
#cinder type-key rep-vol-1 set replication_type='<is> sync' replication_enabled='<is> True'
#cinder group-type-create rep-cg-1
#cinder group-type-key rep-cg-1 set group_replication_enabled='<is> True' replication_type='<is> sync' consistent_group_snapshot_enabled='<is> True'
#cinder group-create rep-cg-1 rep-vol-1 --name replicated-cg-1
#cinder create --name vol-1 --volume-type rep-vol-1 1
#cinder group-update --add-volumes 91492ed9-c3cf-4732-a525-60e146510b90 replicated-cg-1
#cinder group-enable-replication replicated-cg-1
#cinder group-disable-replication replicated-cg-1
#cinder group-failover-replication replicated-cg-1
Host connection is a vital part of any storage system deployment procedure. Basically, a host is the physical computer or virtual machine that uses storage resources of the storage system, rather than having its own local storage. Accordingly, the hosts are defined on the storage system itself, allowing for this interaction.
Only hosts that are mapped to storage volumes can access those volumes on the storage system. Also, all host I/O operations must be equitably distributed among the storage interface modules. This workload balance is ensured by the storage administrator, who also monitors and assesses it over time when host traffic patterns change.
However, the host operating systems and network protocols come in different types and vendors. This variety presents a challenge to host administrators who must configure the host properly before it can perform on-going and uninterrupted I/O operations on the storage system. This is where the IBM Storage Host Attachment Kit (HAK) comes in handy.
The HAK for the IBM Spectrum Accelerate family – namely XIV, FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R, as well as the software-defined storage (SDS) Spectrum Accelerate deployable software – provides the host administrator with all the required tools for automatic and simpler host diagnostics, configuration, and attachment to the storage system. In addition, the HAK facilitates the monitoring and management of storage volumes from the host.
The HAK can be run on Linux (RHEL or SLES), Microsoft Windows Server, or IBM AIX hosts, and uses iSCSI or Fibre Channel SANs for connecting to the storage systems. Moreover, you can forgo the host installation altogether and use the HAK as a portable package (disk-on-key version). This allows you to run its utilities from a shared network drive or a portable USB flash drive.
Once the host is attached to storage system, defined on the storage device itself, and have the storage volumes mapped to the host, you can:
In all, the IBM Storage Host Attachment Kit is a nifty small-footprint program, indispensable for fast and smart storage deployment. Provided free of charge, it’s available for download from the IBM Fix Central.
For information about the latest version, check IBM Knowledge Center.
It would be quite accurate to state that virtualization technology today is gaining momentum, allowing companies to lower their total cost of ownership (TCO), reduce their datacenter footprint, ensure faster server provisioning, and more. However, implementing server virtualization without accounting for the storage element could cause problems, such as uneven resource sharing, as well as degradation in performance and data integrity.
Various IBM storage systems provide virtual enterprise storage for virtual servers. Specifically, the IBM storage systems work in concert with the following VMware virtualization platforms, standards, and environments:
To leverage, manage, and centralize this entire connectivity from a single interface, the IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition (SCBE) software package enables a simplified deployment and more efficient integration of different IBM storage systems (also referred to as storage arrays) and the VMware vCloud suite.
IBM Storage with VMware vSphere Web Client (vWC)
Without SCBE, when VMware administrators run out of disk space and request more space from the storage administrators, the storage increase provisioning may take quite a long time to implement and complete. This occurs mostly because of miscellaneous enterprise “red tape” procedures and processes. Moreover, before provisioning additional storage, storage administrators must fully understand the specific needs of the VMware administrators, then find available space on the attached storage systems, create and map storage volumes, and so on.
The SCBE solution uses an abstraction layer through a storage service and pre-defined sets of storage resources (pools) and capabilities (compression, encryption, etc). The services are prepared by storage administrators and provided for VMware administrators for fast and easy self-provisioning whenever required.
IBM Storage with VMware VASA and virtual volumes (VVols)
In the traditional data storage implementations, storage administrators manage multiple VMFS-based datastores with up to 7 TB in size and without explicit indication of storage capabilities. In addition, all VM snapshot and replication procedures are performed on the ESXi server side, without leveraging much faster hardware-based storage system capabilities.
The virtual volume (VVol) approach eliminates the VM granularity by introducing a single large VVol-based datastore with dynamic definition of storage policies (services) for provisioning storage resources exactly according to application requirements.
IBM Storage with VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO)
With the IBM Storage Plug-in for VMware vRealize Orchestrator, VMware administrators can include storage discovery and provisioning into their workflows. The plug-in allows issuing automated workflows with storage volumes that are attached to the vRealize Orchestrator server, eliminating the need for manual storage provisioning by storage administrators.
IBM Storage with VMware vRealize Operations Manager (vROps)
Monitoring IBM storage systems without VMware vROPs is limited to information about their physical objects. When using the IBM Storage Management Pack for vROPs, the storage systems are integrated into global monitoring network at the network operations center (NOC). The systems appear on vROPs dashboards, presenting in detail all relations between storage system objects (disks, ports, volumes etc) and VMware objects (datastores and VMs).
The long and arduous road to HyperSwap is over! We are happy to announce a release of a new software version of our blazingly fast FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R. This is version 12.1, which brings HyperSwap to our storage clients. HyperSwap solution is an ingenious way of providing high availability based on active-active pairing of storage systems per volume or per consistency group. Each volume or consistency group pair uses synchronous replication to keep both systems updated at all times. When certain conditions apply, an automatic and completely transparent failover is performed, so that the applications experience no downtime. As soon as the actual failure is recovered, the pair is automatically resynchronized.
For easier integration with VMware, Linux, AIX and Windows platforms, we've upgraded these Cloud Storage Solution products:
Upgrade now to unleash the full power of the HyperSwap disaster recovery!
Yossi Siles, a Senior Offering Manager at IBM, published this article on the new software version for our all-flash IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R storage systems with IBM HyperSwap support.
You may ask: version 3.2.0 is already available so soon? Our answer: yes. Although earlier this month we released IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition version 3.1.1, version 3.2.0 is a genuine breakthrough, bringing support for the Microsoft PowerShell automation tool, in addition to our already well-established VMware cloud integration offerings. The new IBM Storage Automation Plug-in for PowerShell provides 'cmdlets' for automated storage management, including provisioning, host mapping, volume expansion, and other storage-related tasks.
For the first time, you can download the plug-in from the Microsoft PowerShell Gallery website at: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/SpectrumControlBase-Client. For further details about this new version, including fixes and an experimental Flocker feature (might not be included in future versions), check out the IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition 3.2.0 release notes on IBM Knowledge Center at: https://ibm.biz/Bds7gK.
Alon Marx 270006TGYS 4,416 Views
We are happy to announce that we have released several drivers to support the new version of the OpenStack Cinder project: Ocata. This, however, is not an ordinary release, and here's why: previously, the drivers for IBM SAN Volume Controller, IBM Storwize Family, and IBM FlashSystem V9000 storage systems were the only ones included in the OpenStack community source code. Now, this latest release is a huge step forward aimed to include IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R, IBM XIV, IBM Spectrum Accelerate (deployable software), and IBM DS8000 Family systems in the community source code as well, moving from proprietary code to being fully open-source. So henceforth, the IBM Storage Driver for OpenStack is part of the OpenStack Cinder repository. Accordingly, the driver documentation has also migrated from IBM Knowledge Center to the OpenStack community website: https://docs.openstack.org/ocata/config-reference/block-storage/drivers/ibm-storage-volume-driver.html
This release was developed in accordance with the OpenStack Ocata specifications, emphasizing our continuous commitment for providing IBM storage customers with cutting-edge OpenStack capabilities. In addition to the aforementioned integration in the community source code, this driver version includes enhancements in replication functionality (also known as "cheesecake") of the supported IBM systems, as well as improvements in multipath support, and auto-selection of I/O groups for Storwize storage systems.
As always, we are here to help with deployment and operation of our OpenStack drivers. Your feedback is important to us, and we'll be happy if you let us know what you think about this milestone release.
A new version of Spectrum Control Base Edition software (3.1.1) has been released. It replaces version 3.1.0 and brings support for the IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R (12.0.3) storage capacity feature. In addition, it introduces a full compatibility with the current VMware vSphere Web Client Server requirements. For details about this new version, see the Spectrum Control Base Edition release notes on IBM Knowledge Center at https://ibm.biz/BdswcP.
DmitriyIsayev 310000T63H 3,358 Views
Information about supplementary storage integration solutions has been added to IBM Knowledge Center for the IBM Spectrum Accelerate Family products (FlashSystem A9000, FlashSystem A9000R, Spectrum Accelerate and XIV). It details the non-CSS software products available from IBM and independent software vendor (ISV) on the host side for storage provisioning, storage management, disaster recovery etc, and IBM storage systems supported by them.
For example, the information for IBM FlashSystem A9000 storage systems is located here.
JohnHyams 27000777BW 3,409 Views
In continuation to my previous post about our YouTube channel (see below), we've just created our public list of favorite videos, which can be found here:
You can also view the official IBM channels to which we are subscribed on YouTube, and we invite you to subscribe to these channels as well:
As I noted in my previous post, please feel free let us know which kind of videos you'd like to see produced and posted on our channel. Whether it's how to use Spectrum Control Base Edition, Host Attachment Kit, or any of our Cloud Storage Solutions, you can post a comment to let us know :-) In the meantime, we're working on an introduction video for Spectrum Control Base Edition, which will focus more on why is it needed, as opposed to how to use it.
On behalf of the CSS team - thanks for your time!
JohnHyams 27000777BW 3,802 Views
To all our blog followers,
It may have slipped your radar (mostly because we haven't advertised it yet...), so we're happy to let you know about the YouTube channel of the Cloud Storage Solutions developer teams in Tel Aviv and Shanghai:
The content of this YouTube channel is produced and brought directly by the group developers themselves, so just be aware that the videos are provided on "as-is" basis.
At this point, the channel contains videos about IBM Spectrum Accelerate Family Provider for Microsoft Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (applies to IBM XIV, IBM Spectrum Accelerate, and IBM FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R), and about IBM Storage Support for Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service and Virtual Disk Service (applies to the Spectrum Virtualize family storage systems).
We strive for improvement and enhancement, so please feel to post your comments on any particular video, and if you would like to see videos on solutions that are not yet on the channel, please let us know.
The Cloud Storage Solutions team
We are glad to announce the release of Spectrum Control Base Edition (SCBE) 3.1.
This new version introduces the following improvements:
Spectrum Control Base Edition 3.1 can be downloaded from Fix Central:
We'd be glad to hear your feedback!
Alon Marx 270006TGYS 4,105 Views
Hi guys, we have a surprise for you!
We have just released a Python library for our XCLI client. It's an open-source project and free for use by everyone under the Apache 2 license. It enables connecting to the storage and managing all its operations. It supports all XCLI managed storage types:
This is the first open-source version of the Python XCLI client library ever. This may not sound like such a big deal, but it actually is. It enables users to tailor the way they use the Spectrum Accelerate Family storage.
The XIV GUI is great, and so is the new IBM Hyper-Scale Manager and they let users to do almost anything with the storage. But there are cases that you would rather have specific functionality that is suitable just for you. The flexibility and power of Python and XCLI enables you to tailor it to your exact needs.
Let's take two simple examples:
1. You want to take snapshots for the production volumes in pool FOO every day. Just create a scheduled task and run the following script:
from pyxcli.client import XCLIClient
xcli = XCLIClient.connect_ssl('admin', 'adminadmin', 'mystorage.comp.com')
volumes = xcli.cmd.vol_list(pool='FOO).as_list
for volume in volumes:
2. You'd like to clean up your system and remove all empty volumes. Here is how you create a list of unused volumes:
from pyxcli.client import XCLIClient
xcli = XCLIClient.connect_ssl('admin', 'adminadmin', 'mystorage.comp.com')
volumes = [volume for volume in xcli.cmd.vol_list().as_list if volume.used_capacity == '0']
for volume in volumes:
The combined power of Python and XCLI management has been unleashed!
You are welcome to use it!
Download the package from:
- GitHub: https://github.com/IBM/pyxcli
or simply run 'pip install pyxcli' from your command prompt.
Tzur and Alon
OpenStack Newton is here, and with it - a new IBM Storage Driver (1.8.0) to support this release. In addition to the Newton support, version 1.8.0 brings the following enhancements:
Download the new release from IBM Fix Central:
Install and enjoy!
As promised, a new version of IBM Storage Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), 2.6.0, is out. This release brings support for the newest releases of the following IBM storage products:
Install and enjoy!
Good news, everyone! Our IBM XIV Storage Replication Adapter (SRA), version 2.3.0 is fully certified to operate with the following releases of the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager: 5.5, 5.5 Update1, 5.8, 6.0 and 6.1. In addition, this release brings support for synchronous mirroring, using the newest IBM's all-flash storage offerings: ultra-fast IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R.