Did you know that all IT vendor products must go through rigorous qualification testing before they are supported on IBM z Systems® platforms?
To acquire qualification, vendors obtain licensed IBM patents, intellectual property, and know-how. This licensing provides vendors access to the proprietary IBM protocols and applications that are used on z Systems platforms.
In this post we will look at the criteria and processes required to successfully complete the IBM z Systems Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex™ (GDPS®) qualification testing for Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) vendors.
GDPS is an enterprise-wide continuous availability (CA) and disaster recovery (DR) solution that can manage recovery from planned and unplanned outages across distributed servers and z Systems platforms. GDPS can be configured in either a single site or in a multi-site configuration. It is designed to manage remote copy configuration between storage subsystems, automate Parallel Sysplex operational tasks, and affect failure recovery.
GDPS qualification testing for z Systems platforms is conducted at the IBM Vendor Solutions Connectivity (VSC) Lab in Poughkeepsie, New York.
IBM proprietary software and microcode utility test suites form a part of the GDPS qualification tests. They drive the various GDPS components and protocols to the full data rate of each link type that is transported by the DWDM equipment. This level of testing ensures that the maximum channel utilization is achieved and tested to levels well beyond typical client environments.
The test suites are used for verification of z Systems architecture functionality. The functionality test suites must be completely error free to be considered sucessful; all components within the complex are subject to this standard. Any errors detected during this testing are captured and analyzed by the test suites.
The test suites are also used for verification of z Systems architecture recovery by creating various fault and error conditions. The recovery tests check for the correct detection of a fault or error condition by the attached subsystems, and ensure that the recovery adheres to the z Systems architecture.
Below depicts the environment that is used for DWDM vendor qualification testing.
The IBM Redbooks team recently published IBM Redpapers related to z Systems qualified DWDM vendor products for GDPS solutions with Server Time Protocol (STP). The papers describe the z Systems qualification process and the applicable environments, protocols, and topologies that were tested.
The team members that wrote the papers are subject matter experts from the IBM VSC Lab: Pasquale Catalano and Andrew Crimmins, and Bill White (IBM Redbooks team leader).
For more information about IBM Redpapers related to z Systems qualified DWDM vendor products, go to: