What's New in Copy Services Manager 6.1.5
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On March 24, 2017 IBM GA'd the next version of IBM Copy Services Manager, version 6.1.5
IBM Copy Services Manager is a storage replication product that provides a single place to manage all the replication across your IBM storage environment. With IBM Copy Services Manager customers can simplify the management of their replication solutions while providing disaster recovery and high availability to their applications.
What's New in IBM Copy Services Manager 6.1.5?
We're very excited to provide the following key features being released in this new version. Including a number of customer requested features!!!
GUI Enhancements to Support Advanced LDAP Configurations
Setting up LDAP for authentication can be tricky, even if you're experienced with LDAP. LDAP servers are very flexible and can be configured for different customer needs and environments. The Copy Services Manager LDAP setup wizard was designed to make the setup as simple as possible, however, there may be environments where Copy Services Manager builds an LDAP configuration which does not work properly. Copy Services Manager uses WebSphere Liberty's authentication mechanism to authenticate with an LDAP server. The configuration is stored in the form of an XML file that Liberty reads in order to connect and pass authentication information to the LDAP server. In previous releases, if there were problems setting up LDAP, customers might be asked to send the XML file to support to allow the support team to modify the file with any corrections.
With Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, we have added in the ability to modify the LDAP setup directly from the GUI. Using the 'Advanced' tab in the LDAP setup wizard a customer can not only view the XML content but can modify it as well. This allows for quick resolution to any issues in setting up LDAP. In addition, to the Advanced tab, the LDAP setup wizard has been modified so that whether you are connecting to an LDAP server or an Active Directory server, the input fields remain the same further simplifying the setup.
User Defined Group Names for Sessions with filtering support
The Session Overview panel is designed to give a customer an 'at a glance' view of all of their sessions. Sessions are listed in the form of a table. However, when a customer has hundreds of sessions, finding the sessions they are interested in by scrolling through the table because tedious and extremely difficult. Based off of customer feedback Copy Services Manager has added in the ability to add a user defined group name to a session. A user can now give a set of sessions a group name, such as 'payroll', so that they know those sessions are associated in some way. Along with this change, the filter capability of the session overview table, has been enhanced to include the user defined group name, thus allowing customers to see only the sessions that are associated with each other.
Import a Certificate through the GUI for an IBM z/OS Host Connection
In order to support z/OS HyperSwap and Hardened Freeze capabilities for a remote z/OS Server, Copy Services Manager allows a user to create an IP connection to the z/OS Server. In order to keep communications secure, SSL is used to make the connection. When using SSL a certificate has to be created on the z/OS sever and applied to the Copy Services Manager server. In previous releases, the only way to apply the certificate was to physically copy the certificate onto the file system under a specified directory where Copy Services Manager was installed. With Copy Services Manager 6.1.5 we have added the capability to import the certificate while defining the connection to the z/OS host system. This will allow for quicker setup of a z/OS Host connection.
Setup HyperSwap configurations from CSM running on a DS8000 HMC
On previous releases, when Copy Services Manager was running on a DS8000 HMC, setting up a z/OS Host Connection required a DS8000 PFE in order to load a z/OS SSL certificate or disable SSL. With Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, as mentioned in the previous section you can now load the SSL certificate via the Copy Services Manager GUI. This allows a customer to easily create the z/OS Host Connection without a PFE which then allows sessions to be enabled with HyperSwap or Hardened Freeze. In addition, with the new chsystem CLI command (discussed later in this blog), a customer can disable SSL without requiring a PFE, by modifying the property com
Synchronize the csmAuth Server Certificates between two servers
When setting up a DS8000 for LDAP authentication, you can point it to a Copy Services Manager server that is setup for LDAP. This requires providing a Copy Services Manager certificate that allows the DS8000 to connect securely to the Copy Services Manager server. It is recommended however to use multiple Copy Services Manager servers for LDAP authentication in order to have redundancy. The problem is that the csmAuth server certificate that is required to be loaded on the DS8000 is unique to each Copy Services Manager server and created at install time. In previous, releases in order to setup redundant servers, the certificate for one csmAuth server would need to be manually copied to another server prior to setting up the DS8000.
With Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, there is now a button on the Advanced Tools panel that will sync the csmAuth certificate to another Copy Services Manager server. By clicking the button and providing the credentials for another server, the certificate will automatically be applied to the other server. Then the certificate can be exported using a new button on the Advanced Settings panel and applied to the DS8000.
New CLI support for modifying CSM server properties
When Copy Services Manager is running on a DS8000 HMC, it is not possible to update any of the files loaded with Copy Services manager on the file system. There are properties files located on the file system which are used by Copy Services Manager. On occasion, a customer needs to modify a property or is told by support that a property should be added or modified.
In Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, a new CLI command has been added that allows customers to modify various properties without having to have access to the file system. This allows customer running Copy Services Manager on a DS8000 HMC to modify the properties as well. The CLI command 'chsystem' can be used to specify the file, property and value that needs to be modified. This command is meant for advanced users or when indicated by support.
New Warning Prompt when No Copy property is set
In Copy Services Manager 6.1.0 support was added to set a property that would tell a session to establish Metro Mirror or Global Copy pairs with no copy. The no copy option is only to be used when the primary and secondary volumes are already known to be exactly the same. The property needs to be removed as soon as the establish is issued or a subsequent establish may end up using no copy as well. A customer had a concern that if they set the property and forgot, there was nothing in the CSM GUI that indicates to them that the property was still set.
For Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, a secondary warning prompt will be displayed warning a user that the no copy property is set. This is added protection to help ensure that the customer that uses the property, removes the property before a subsequent start.
LDAP disabled by default during Copy Services Manager z/OS installations
When Copy Services Manager is installed two web servers are installed. The csmServer provides all session and replication support while the csmAuth server provides LDAP Authentication support. In z/OS environments, customers primarily use RACF for authentication and not LDAP. Customers that have installed Copy Services Manager on z/OS have provided feedback that they do not want the csmAuth server running if they are not using LDAP, however, if the csmAuth server is not running, when adding users or groups to the Copy Services Manager server, a warning message appears indicating that it was unable to communicate with the LDAP server.
With Copy Services Manager 6.1.5, for new z/OS installations, LDAP will now be disabled by default and the csmAuth scripts do not need to be run. This keeps processing down as well as prevents the warning message during the add of users or groups. If the customer does want to use LDAP on a Copy Services Manager z/OS installation, they can modify an option on the install script and LDAP support will be enabled.
See What's New in Copy Services Manager 6.1.5 Video
RFE support for Copy Services Manager
If you wish to open a new Request for Enhancement on IBM Copy Services Manager, you can now do so through the following link.