In our job as IBM storage consultants and Technical Advisors, we often hear some concerns from our clients about the upgrade process for IBM FlashSystem V9000, IBM Storwize, and San Volume Controller (SVC) and the risks associated with controller outages: "My hosts then lose paths to storage which gives warnings at several levels in our setup. It may even cause some systems to go down, if we did not make sure that it had its multipathing OK”.
No need to worry anymore, this issue is now history! Starting with IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software and FlashSystem V9000 version 7.7.1 the ability to implement N_Port ID Virtualization (NPVI) will ensure that the paths stay online even in case of controller outages or code upgrades. NPVI must be configured for it to work its magic!
NPIV virtualizes World Wide Port Names (WWPN) for zero path reduction during controller maintenance or outages. In other words, attached hosts do not experience ports lost when a controller is rebooting.
Another complaint we used to get about the upgrade procedure was the half hour wait time when controllers are upgraded. Real annoying when you have eight nodes in a cluster - takes almost six hours to update a single system! With virtualized WWNs and NPIV you do not have to wait half an hour before upgrading the next controller. And stay tuned for future enhancements in FlashSystem V9000, Storwize, and SVC to reduce wait time for hosts.
If you’d like to learn more about IBM FlashSystem V9000 version 7.7.1 see IBM FlashSystem V9000 Version 7.7 Product Guide, REDP-5409
Jon Herd is an IBM Storage Technical Advisor working for the European Storage Competence Center (ESCC), Germany. He covers the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, advising IBM clients on a portfolio of IBM storage products, including FlashSystem products.Jon has been with IBM for more than 40 years, and has held various technical roles, including Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)-level support on mainframe servers and technical education development. He holds IBM certifications in Supporting IT Solutions at an expert level, and Actualizing IT Solutions at an experienced level. He is also a certified Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS) Chartered IT Professional (CITP), and a certified Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET). Jon is an author of IBM FlashSystem V9000 Version 7.7 Product Guide, REDP-5409
Carsten Larsen is an IBM Certified Senior IT Specialist working for the Technical Services Support (TSS) in IBM Denmark. Carsten delivers consultancy services to IBM clients on storage technologies. Carsten's responsibilities include delivering project management and storage implementation and migration services. Carsten joined IBM in 2007, leaving behind a job at Hewlett-Packard where he worked on HP Storage Arrays and UNIX for 10 years. Carsten has a obtained several Brocade and NetApp certifications. Carsten is the author of a number of IBM Redbooks on Brocade, NetApp and IBM Spectrum Virtualize products. Carsten is an author of IBM FlashSystem V9000 Version 7.7 Product Guide, REDP-5409