Modified on by JohnHyams
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.
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
Before anything else, let’s start with a few questions:
- Are you facing a challenge of supplying storage to meet ever-changing demands of virtualization administrators, while creating and mapping endless amounts of storage volumes?
- Do you need to self-provision storage for your VMs, and also better integrate your virtual machines with storage arrays?
- Do your container clusters require storage for containerized applications?
- Do you want to automate storage provisioning by using Microsoft PowerShell?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, IBM Spectrum Connect is available and ready to serve you. Formerly named IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition, IBM Spectrum Connect encompasses everything that you might need for integrating your multi-cloud environments with supported IBM storage systems, from an all-in-one, easy-to-use server platform.
Simply put, IBM Spectrum Connect is a centralized cloud integration system that consolidates a range of IBM storage provisioning, automation, and monitoring solutions through a unified server platform. It provides a single server, small-footprint backend location and enables centralized management of IBM storage resources for different virtualization, cloud and container platforms.
By implementing advanced storage provisioning techniques, IBM Spectrum Connect allows storage and hybrid cloud administrators to supply and integrate IBM storage with a range of VMware solutions, Kubernetes container clusters, and Microsoft PowerShell automation methods. IBM Spectrum Connect provides a web-based UI that makes this entire administration easy and straightforward, and saves a significant amount of time in setting up, connecting, and integrating the required storage resources into your cloud environment.
To enable this wide range of functional integration possibilities, the IBM Spectrum Connect suite includes the following individual cloud interfaces:
- IBM Storage Provider for VMware VASA
- IBM Storage Enhancements for VMware vSphere Web Client
- IBM Storage Plug-in for VMware vRealize Orchestrator
- IBM Storage Management Pack for VMware vRealize Operations Manager
- IBM Storage Enabler for Containers
- IBM Storage Automation Plug-in for Microsoft PowerShell
Cedric Cook, our Product Offering manager, covers all this in further detail in the following developerWorks blog:
The first version of IBM Spectrum Connect is 3.4.0, continuing from the previous version line of IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition. Under the new brand name, it is still available at no extra cost for IBM Storage customers. Check out the formal IBM Spectrum Connect brand page at: ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/spectrum-connect.
For the first time, you can download Spectrum Connect directly from the brand page by clicking Download Now.
And last but not least, we also have a new IBM Knowledge Center space where you can find the complete documentation for IBM Spectrum Connect: ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6JWS.
As always, we’d be happy to receive any feedback, questions, or suggestions that you may have.
Thanks for tuning in!
The IBM Spectrum Connect team
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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:
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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.
A new milestone for IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition - version 3.0.0. This release brings support for the newest IBM's all-flash storage offerings: ultra-fast IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R. In addition, the web management interface of the package has been enhanced and improved to support the abstracted storage provisioning method. This release can be installed on RHEL 7.0–7.2.
In general, IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition became a more robust, user-friendly and safe solution for managing multiple IBM storage platforms.
IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition has been upgraded to a new version - 3.0.1. This release replaces the previous version (3.0.0). It brings significant enhancements in the application performance and stability. These include:
- Vital improvement of memory utilization by IBM Storage Enhancements for VMware vSphere Web Client on the vCenter server.
- Optimization of the vCenter object population procedure, enabling the application to use the VIM API for fetching only differences in configuration instead of populating the whole inventory.
We are proud to announce a new HAK release - version 2.6.0. Starting from this version, IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit has been renamed to IBM Storage Host Attachment Kit to indicate support for additional storage systems, including the newly announced all-flash IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R. In addition, this version introduces support for RHEL 7.2, SLES 12 and SLES 12 SP1. Moreover, selected Linux releases can now be run on IBM Power Systems servers, as detailed in the HAK release notes.
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.
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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:
- Display information about connected storage arrays and volumes.
- Configure connectivity parameters.
- Run host diagnostics.
- Gather configuration information on the host and create host profile that can then be shared with different IBM internal technical support systems.
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.
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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.
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!
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.
Modified on by DmitriyIsayev
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:
- VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
- VMware vSphere Web Client (vWC)
- VMware vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA)
- VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols)
- VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO)
- VMware vRealize Operations Manager (vROPs)
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).
In this blog we'll try to provide you with the latest news from our XIV Host Software team.
We'll focus on the following products, which we develop for XIV Storage System customers:
- IBM XIV Host Attachment Kit
- IBM Storage Management Console for VMware vCenter
- IBM Storage Adapter for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
- IBM Storage Enabler for Windows Failover Clustering
More info to follow!