Anthony's Blog: Using System Storage - An Aussie Storage Blog
I got asked an interesting question over the weekend regarding the use of DS8000 Metro Mirror and FCIP distance extension technology. It seems an IBM competitor had told a client that their sync
anthonyv 2000004B9K Tags:  ds6000 mpio svc 2105 ds8000 ess sdd sddpcm aix pcm 5 Comments 35,901 Views
SDDPCM (Subsystem Device Driver Path Control Module) is the multi-pathing plug-in for AIX 5.3 and 6.1.
Customers who use IBM SVC, DS6000, DS8000 and/or ESS800 use this package to allow the operating system to handle multiple paths from OS to storage.
The good news is that this plug-in is supplied free of charge. The bad news is that it is not included with AIX fixpacks.
What this means is that while you may be dilligent with keeping AIX up to date, you may miss SDDPCM in the process.
There are two good reasons to keep SDDPCM in mind when planning updates:
1) Planning an upgrade from AIX 5.3 to 6.1
When AIX offered MPIO, IBM then also offered a vendor plug-in (Path Contol Module) for native AIX MPIO which IBM called SDDPCM. This means you have two choices with AIX: SDD or SDDPCM. If your considering which is best, SDDPCM is my preference. This is because it is native to the operating system and also better supports the possibility of co-existence of multiple PCMs. Note that migrating from SDD to SDDPCM is not supported by the VIOS at this time, so if your running VIOS you will need to stay put for now.
Its been two weeks since I came back to work from a truly fantastic vacation with my family.
And boy what a busy two weeks it has been....
IBM had a great Q2 and since one of my roles is to deliver professional services, this means I am busy helping IBM clients implement their new IBM Storage Solutions.
My main focus at the moment is on DS8700 and XIV and since we had some great successes with both products, I have plenty to work on.
On top of that I am presenting at the Power and Storage Symposium in Melbourne, August 10-13. My two (separate) topics are on XIV Implementation and DS8700 Storage Configuration.
Which means even more things to keep me occupied.
In addition I have just received some exciting news that my application to do an IBM Redbook residency has been accepted.
IBM Redbooks are a great resource and help IBM truly stand out in the market place as an open and honest company with a real commitment to our clients and our products.
IBM Redbooks are the ultimate resource in answering the what, where, why and how questions you need answered when installing and using IBM Products (both software and hardware).
I am not aware of any other vendor who produces documentation of this standard.
Residencies are run in locations where we have large quantities of demonstration and lab gear. This includes Tucson, San Jose, Raleigh, Almaden, Hursley in the UK, Mainz in Germany....
The list goes on...
The residents are normally IBMers, but this is not always the case (so why not apply?). More importantly the residents bring their real world experience to these books.
This particular residency is on DS8000, focusing on this years enhancements to the DS8000 product.
The residency is not listed on the IBM Redbooks residency list because it is for IBMers only. So watch this space (its going be VERY exciting).
It may not surprise you, but residencies are actually quite expensive to run. IBM needs to get a return on investment, so an IBM Redbook residency is only run for products that IBM is strongly investing in.
For products that have a future.
So imagine my surprise when at the same time as this, I read Barry Burke's latest offering to the world.
I am certainly not scared to point anyone at his blog. As Tony Pearson rightly commented in Barry's (moderated) comments section, it is a "
It seems Barry and I live in alternate realities. It just suprises me that his employer chooses to do business this way.
I also left a comment on his blog. His response to me was interesting, he said: "
That at least I can agree with.
As for the accuracy of what he says? For IBM customers (especially the many who have purchased DS8700), I encourage you to ask your local IBM Sales Rep to share with you the DS8000 roadmap.
I think you will be quite impressed.
In the mean time.... I am going to be busy for the foreseeable future.....
(edited 27/07 to add more details on Redbooks)
So something I truly hate to see when visiting computer rooms is fibre cables hanging in the breeze with no dust covers, their precious glass connectors exposed to the world.
Even worse are fibre patch panels and HBAs without dust covers.
When new equipment arrives, every HBA, every patch panel port and every fibre optic cable will have a dust cover.
So what to do with these little guys once you remove them?
When you unplug a cable later you need to immediately re-install those precious covers both onto the cable and into the HBA or patch panel port, to protect the fibre optics from contamination.
I recommend storing dust covers in sealed plastic bags, preferably kept in the relevant rack so they are close to hand.
The picture below (taken from the rear of an XIV) is cute in that it shows a clever re-use of the XIV power cable covers,
but the dust covers are now exposed to contamination from the open air.
Since we are on the subject, take note of the colour coded power cables in the XIV.
Its another example of clever design to make power redundancy visually obvious.
The ends of the power cords are red, yellow and green to indicate which of the three UPSs these cables come from.
The unused cords at the top of the image are free because this machine is not fully populated with modules.
anthonyv 2000004B9K Tags:  2105 2107 ds6000 ds480 storwize v7000 ds5100 1750 ds5300 ds3400 shark xiv ds8000 10,763 Views
For many years I have been working on a document that lets you translate a World Wide Port Name (WWPN) into a physical location on an IBM Storage System.
I blogged recently about how SVC and Storwize V7000 WWPNs have a slightly different layout.
The contents of that blog entry come straight from that document.
I have now pushed that document out to IBM Techdocs.
You can download it from here:
Feel free to share any feedback you have and share it with your colleagues.
A question I get routinely asked relates to Windows disk partition alignment with XIV. If you don't know what I am talking about, take some time to read these very useful pages from our friends at Microsoft. Once you have had a look, come on back and read my perspective.
Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment): Make the Case: Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
How to Align Exchange I/O with Storage Track Boundaries
With the announced release of DS8000 6.1 code, IBM has moved its three major storage systems to a common GUI platform. This makes me think of aircraft manufacturers who utilize a common cockpit design. For airlines, this is major drawcard when choosing aircraft models. It cuts down on training costs for your pilots. Except in storage IT, there is a major difference in motivation....
First and foremost, the design of the XIV GUI (that has inspired such dramatic change in IBMs other GUIs), was made possible, not by clever XIV GUI developers (don't get me wrong - they ARE clever), but by a remarkably user-friendly architecture. The XIV GUI is a miracle of ease-of-use for end users, made possible because first and foremost, by design, the XIV made it almost impossible to make it hard.
The good news for Storage administrators, is that unlike a jet aircraft, where a pilot needs to spend hundreds of hours in the cockpit before they are considered potentially competent, the XIV GUI can be picked up in minutes and lends itself very well to casual contact. You don't need to keep using it to stay competent.
The challenge for IBM was take more complex products, which require more user decisions, and make the usage experience just as easy. To add to this, the SVC and DS8000 GUIs were driven by WebSphere. Changing these GUIs would require a complete re-write to employ Java script.
First off the rank was the SVC and Storwize V7000. With the release last year of the SVC 6.1 update, the transformation was nothing less than remarkable. End user experience ruled every decision. The key again is that the user does not need to spend hundred of hours learning this GUI or re-learning it every time they go to perform a configuration task. Everything is in its right place. Its much more than an XIV-like GUI. Its a GUI that took the ease of use experience of the XIV and used that to inspire something just as remarkable.
With the release of the 6.1 update for the DS8000, we complete another fundamental step towards a truly common GUI. The DS8000 GUI has undergone a complete re-write. Essentially it has been rebuilt from the ground up. This highlights something fundamental: It confirms the DS8000 has a very strong roadmap.
As you can see from the image below, the transformation from the old design (to the left) to an ease of use model is complete:
Here is a little test. Check your documentation: Do you know how to power down and power up the equipment in your computer room? If you had to power off your site in a hurry would you know how? If you wanted to script a shutdown, could you do it?
Here are some hints and tips that might help you with some of my favourite products:
The process to power up or down your DS8000 is documented in the Information Center here.
If you want to script powering off a DS8000 storage unit you can use the chsu -pwroff DSCLI command. This command will shut down and power off the specified DS8000 unit. Be careful before powering off the unit to ensure that all I/O activity has been stopped. An example of the command is shown below. Your machine will have a different IP address, password and serial number to mine. Note the serial number always ends in zero because we send the command to the storage unit.
dscli -hmc1 10.1.60.240 -user admin -passwd passw0rd chsu -pwroff -dev IBM.2107-75DC710
It takes over a minute before you will see any change in the machine. So be patient. The HMC will not power off. You can either leave it powered on or shut it down manually.
To power the DS8000 back on, use the chsu –pwron command:
dscli -hmc1 10.1.60.240 -user admin -passwd passw0rd chsu -pwron -dev IBM.2107-75DC710
Storwize V7000 and SVC
The SVC Information Center explains the process to power down and up here.
I created a short video on how to shutdown your Storwize V7000 using the V7000 GUI. You can view it on Youtube:
anthonyv 2000004B9K Tags:  wwpn ds8000 storwize v7000 svc storage ibm xiv 2 Comments 24,352 Views
I have updated my IBM Storage WWPN Determination Guide to version 6.5.
The main change is that new DS8800s are now presenting slightly different WWPNs, so I added three new pages to describe the changes.
If this guide is new to you, its purpose it to let you take a WWPN and decode it so you can work out not only which type of storage that WWPN came from, but the actual port on that storage. People doing implementation services, problem determination, storage zoning and day to day configuration maintenance will get a lot of use out of this document. If you think there is an area that could be improved or products you would like added, please let me know.
It is also important to point out that IBM Storage uses persistent WWPN, which means if a host adapter in an IBM Storage device has to be replaced, it will always present the same WWPNs as the old adapter. This means no changes to zoning are needed after a hardware failure.
I also host the book on slideshare, so you can also view and download it from there:
IBM Storage Systems WWPN determination version 6.5
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