Anthony's Blog: Using System Storage - An Aussie Storage Blog
If your not an IBM Business Partner (or IBMer), then this blog post is sadly not for you.
I just wanted to mention that IBM Business Partners can access some truly excellent XIV education on PartnerWorld.
Check out the link here: http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu966.shtml
If your planning to do IBM XIV Certification, the courses you can access from the link above are really excellent.
Thanks to Aaron Tully from Southern Cross Computer Services (SCCS) for pointing this one out to me.
(and good luck on your exam!).
In late 2008 my manager rang me with some exciting news.
I was to go to Tucson Arizona to do launch hardware training on a new product called XIV.
I was soon boarding a Qantas 747 for the long flight to the USA.
My training buddies were Hardware Specialists from all over the world.
Needless to say the XIV blew our minds. It was a total departure to what we were all used to.
Whether it was the data distribution method, the GUI, the licensing model, the rebuild times....
It was like every rule of design, of licensing and expectation of usability was being challenged.
I learnt what the term disruptive technology truly meant.
Once I was back in Australia I immediately began to run training sessions to spread the word.
Something new and exciting was on the way.
A dedicated sales team was formed, led by a remarkable live wire of a man called Steve Coad.
His first dedicated pre-sales resource was a dynamic Scotsman by the name of Derek Cowan.
It was no coincidence that both of them had previously worked at EMC.
Come January 2009 we had our first customer... and this was a huge achievement,
We were struggling with a phenomenal FUD campaign being run by our competitors.
The things they were saying were equally shocking and hilarious.
My favourite was that IBM were giving away free XIVs... vast numbers of them!
(this was before the first XIV had even shipped to Australia).
We learnt very quickly how to counter this FUD and deliver the facts.
And what a set of facts.... client after client would come up after presentations... truly impressed with our vision.
They were really excited about the benefits that this technology could deliver.
The months went by and sale followed sale.
Every new client was precious. Many of these customers had never bought any IBM Storage before.
Some had never bought ANYTHING from IBM.
I was involved with many of these sales, not only presenting and demonstrating as part of our pre-sales team,
but also implementing and supporting the clients after the sale. This continues to this day,
So why tell this story now?
Well... this week the Australia/New Zealand team sold our 101st XIV.
For our region this is a major milestone.
Many of these clients have set their entire strategy on XIV, because it delivers Tier 1 performance and saves them floor space, power, time and manpower.
And this translates straight to saving dollars....
So its been a great journey so far. Thank you so much to every customer who has placed their trust in us and our technology.
And the XIV roadmap? Watch this space.... things just keep getting better.
Just a short update to say that Visio Cafe has some new IBM stencils.
IBM supply the stencils to Visio Cafe who make them available free of charge to all our customers.
You can use these stencils without acknowledgement or payment.
Clearly you still need to buy Visio from Microsoft.
The latest updates can be found here: http://www.visiocafe.com/ibm.htm
Being a person who walks dogs, visits the gym and uses public transport.... I have plenty of time to listen to podcasts.
The main challenge being that while listening to a podcast.... you actually need to LISTEN.
On more than one occasion I have zoned out, missed something interesting and suddenly thought... what did he/she just say?
One podcast that is a favourite of mine is "Security Now" with Steve Gibson. You can find it here, I highly recommend it (you wont zone out while listening to it).
This weeks episode (episode 274) discusses two themes that keep cropping up again and again:
"Of course you could also just not use IE, which would be a fantastic solution"
I heartily agree with Steve and I was pleased that this year IBM chose to standardise on the Firefox browser (read that story here).
One of the stated reasons being that Firefox is more Open Standards compliant.
So its nice to see that the new Storwize V7000 (and SVC 6.1) Web based management GUI uses both of these things, in that:
This makes it a simple, safe and secure GUI that uses industry standard best practice.
Please note that you can still choose to use IE... and it will work perfectly. Its just not our recommended Browser.
Of course if you use the CLI, it will also be secured using SSH v2 public/private key encryption (as the SVC has always done).
My hearty recommendation of Steve Gibsons work, like everything I express in this blog, is my personal opinion, and not that of my employer.
I had a great time yesterday running a one day seminar for IBM Business Partners on the Storwize V7000.
Interest was so strong we had to change locations to get a larger room... and then we had to ask for an even larger room!
It was a very positive session with lots of great questions.
A really like it when I get questions.... it means people are awake, listening, interested and more importantly THINKING.
Even more exciting: IBM announced today general availability (GA) of the new IBM Storwize V7000 mid-range disk system.
We have started shipping across multiple geographies around the world, including:
Australia, Bolivia, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Romania, Saudi Arabia,
South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Don't hesitate to contact your IBM Sales Rep or BP and ask for a demo.
Its been a busy few weeks.
I just spent a week in RTP North Carolina, with the STG Education team.
We ran through our first "Implementing the Storwize V7000" course in a "Teach the Teacher" format.
It was a lot of fun and I met some great fellow IBMers.
It gave me a great opportunity to drive the Storwize V7000 GUI and explore all the new possibilities it opens up.
First up.... the GUI is fantastic. Don't be fooled by the XIV Icons, its the smarts behind what the GUI does that makes it so powerful.
Its a 21st Century GUI following very strong principles of usability and simplicity.
Talking to client after client about this product, I get lots of great questions.
Two questions I get asked on a regular basis about Storwize V7000 are:
1) What is the smallest number of SSDs I can purchase?
The answer is that you can purchase just one. However with one disk you don't get any RAID.
So its better to buy two SSDs for a RAID1 pair. If you buy three SSDs you can form a RAID5 array.
2) Will the Storwize V7000 enforce the creation of hot spares?
The answer is that the pre-sets that the GUI offers you, will suggest the creation of spares.
For every 23 array members with the same drive class on a single
SAS chain which are not RAID 0 members, a single spare is created.
However the GUI will also allow you great flexibility.
You can specify that a smaller or larger number of spares get created.
You can choose to create NO hot spares at all.
You can convert a hot spare drive into a candidate drive ( a 'free' drive).
You can convert a candidate drive into a hot spare drive.
You can set a 'spare goal' to set a minimum number of spares that need to exist (or an event will be logged).
So what you get is a great level of flexibility.
Either follow the pre-sets and get IBM best practice... or choose your own desired spare levels.
If you choose to create no spares using SSDs the Storwize V7000 will use spinning disks to rebuild a failed SSD.
Then when the failed SSD is replaced, the contents of that drive will be failed back.
In a previous blog entry I mentioned a new iPhone and Blackberry app that gives you info on IBM Storage.
I actually now have three IBM supplied iPhone apps that you can get through the Apple Store.
The dW app is a social networking app
that lets you interact with your contacts on the
IBM developerWorks website.
I didn't realize that IBM effectively had its own
Social Networking site..... but that's exactly
what the developerWorks site is!
For more information, check out the October 13
developerWorks Podcast, available here.
There is more information here.
The IBM Storage and IBM System x iPhone apps are very similar in design and layout.
They both list product types by family, giving specifications for each machine type.
For example these are the specifications listed for the Storwize V7000.
For each product you also get a Description page and Web link pages.
You also get links to Facebook, Youtube,Twitter, LinkedIn and other contacts.
There are still some areas where things can be improved.
Not all of the products have their specifications listed yet.
They instead direct you to the web.
Never the less I think this is a great start. It shows IBM's commitment to both Social Media
and being as informative open and communicative with our customers as possible.
As for Android users, we are listening...
Expect an Android version hopefully before the end of the year.
Oh.... and to find these apps... just open the Apple iStore and search for IBM.
anthonyv 2000004B9K 5,036 Views
I have been getting a lof of requests for Storwize V7000 BTU values.
This is a good start towards providing more useful values for comparisons.
I got asked this question during the week, so I thought I would share the answer with you.
The question was: Can I create a full volume copy of an XIV snapshot?
The answer of course was YES... but here is why...
An XIV has two copy concepts:
For a particular volume you can create both snapshots.... and you can also create full volume copies.
You can actually create as many of each as you wish (more than a 1000).
A snapshot is space efficient. It uses redirect-on-write and it uses space only when blocks change on the source.
A full volume copy on the other hand uses the same amount of space as the source (its like an old fashioned flashcopy).
But here is the trick, its all managed with metadata, which makes it very efficient.
In this example I have a source volume (cleverly called "Source Vol" ) that has one snapshot.
You can see there is 7 TB of actual data in that volume.
I also have a space efficient snapshot (called "snapshot_00001").
I want to 'harden up' the Snapshot and convert it to a full volume.
So I right click on the snapshot and select the "Copy this Snapshot" option.
I am asked where to copy the volume to.
I choose the volume called 'Target Vol" which is currently empty (unformatted).
The copy process occurs in the background, but the "Target Vol"
immediately looks exactly like the snapshot.
You can see this in the next screen capture where the "Target Vol"
suddenly contains 7 TB.
I have successfully converted a snapshot into a full volume.
I could then duplicate the snapshot (creating a snap of a the snap), by selecting the snapshot and choosing "Duplicate".
What I then see is a second snapshot with exactly the same creation date and time as the first one.
What this means is that "Target Vol" and "snapshot_00002" are both children of "snapshot_00001"
But now I delete snapshot_00001.
Why is this significant?
Because "Target Vol" is unaffected (regardless of how far the copy process has gotten to) and
snapshot_00002 is unaffected (even though it was a child of snapshot_00001).
What this demonstrates is the powerful way XIV has implemented meta data.
And what it means for users is maximum flexibility. Delivered by XIV.
If your considering a midrange storage solution, there are many choices and many vendors.
I often get asked: Why IBM? What makes your solution special?
So when considering Storwize V7000, consider this:
The 24 disk Storwize V7000 enclosure currently offers four different disk types:
Thats four choices and 24 slots per enclosure. But the questions are:
The answer is: There are no rules.
You can order drives in any quantity you like and you can mix drives in an enclosure in any order you like.
So this is a very flexible set of choices.
Now there are rules on RAID arrays, but these are equally flexible.
For instance a RAID10 array can be anywhere from 2 disks (with is practically RAID1) to 16 disks.
RAID5 arrays can use anywhere from 3 to 16 drives, RAID6 uses 5 to 16 drives.
So when making that evaluation, ask our competitors: What are your rules when ordering disks? How restrictive are you?
The Storwize V7000 answer is: There are no rules.