Functional overview

The following list provides an overview of some of the features that are associated with DS8900F.

Note: Some storage system functions are not available or are not supported in all environments. See the IBM® System Storage® Interoperation Center (SSIC) website for the most current information on supported hosts, operating systems, adapters, and switches.
Nondisruptive and disruptive activities
DS8900F supports hardware redundancy. It is designed to support nondisruptive changes: hardware upgrades, repair, and licensed function upgrades. In addition, logical configuration changes can be made nondisruptively. For example:
  • The flexibility and modularity means that an expansion frame can be added and usable storage capacity can be increased within a frame without disrupting your applications.
  • An increase in license scope is nondisruptive and takes effect immediately. A decrease in license scope is also nondisruptive but does not take effect until the next IML.
  • Easy Tier helps keep performance optimized by periodically redistributing data to help eliminate drive hot spots that can degrade performance. This function helps balance I/O activity across the drives in an existing drive tier. It can also automatically redistribute some data to new empty drives added to a tier to help improve performance by taking advantage of the new resources. Easy Tier does this I/O activity rebalancing automatically without disrupting access to your data.
The following examples include activities that are disruptive:
  • The installation of an earthquake resistance kit on a raised or nonraised floor.
  • The removal of an expansion frame from the base frame.
Energy reporting
You can use DS8900F to display the following energy measurements through the DS CLI:
  • Average inlet temperature in Celsius
  • Total data transfer rate in MB/s
  • Timestamp of the last update for values

The derived values are averaged over a 5-minute period. For more information about energy-related commands, see the commands reference.

You can also query power usage and data usage with the showsu command.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP 800-131A security enablement
NIST SP 800-131A requires the use of cryptographic algorithms that have security strengths of 112 bits to provide data security and data integrity for secure data that is created in the cryptoperiod starting in 2014. The DS8900F is enabled for NIST SP 800-131A. Conformance with NIST SP 800-131A depends on the use of appropriate prerequisite management software versions and appropriate configuration of the DS8900F and other network-related entities.
Storage pool striping (rotate capacity)
Storage pool striping is supported on the DS8000® series, providing improved performance. The storage pool striping function stripes new volumes across all arrays in a pool. The striped volume layout reduces workload skew in the system without requiring manual tuning by a storage administrator. This approach can increase performance with minimal operator effort. With storage pool striping support, the system automatically performs close to highest efficiency, which requires little or no administration. The effectiveness of performance management tools is also enhanced because imbalances tend to occur as isolated problems. When performance administration is required, it is applied more precisely.

You can configure and manage storage pool striping by using the DS8000 Storage Management GUI, DS CLI, and DS Open API. The rotate capacity allocation method (also referred to as rotate volumes) is an alternative allocation method that tends to prefer volumes that are allocated to a single managed array, and is not recommended. The rotate extents option (storage pool striping) is designed to provide the best performance by striping volumes across arrays in the pool. Existing volumes can be reconfigured nondisruptively by using manual volume migration and volume rebalance.

The storage pool striping function is provided with the DS8000 series at no additional charge.

Performance statistics
You can use usage statistics to monitor your I/O activity. For example, you can monitor how busy the I/O ports are and use that data to help manage your SAN. For more information, see documentation about performance monitoring in the DS8000 Storage Management GUI.
Sign-on support that uses Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
The DS8000 system provides support for both unified sign-on functions (available through the DS8000 Storage Management GUI), and the ability to specify an existing Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server. The LDAP server can have existing users and user groups that can be used for authentication on the DS8000 system.
Note: Other supported user directory servers include IBM Directory Server and Microsoft Active Directory.
Easy Tier®
Easy Tier is designed to determine the appropriate tier of storage based on data access requirements and then automatically and nondisruptively move data, at the subvolume or sub-LUN level, to the appropriate tier on the DS8000 system. Easy Tier is an optional feature that offers enhanced capabilities through features such as auto-rebalancing, hot spot management, rank depopulation, and manual volume migration.

Easy Tier enables the DS8900F system to automatically balance I/O access to drives to avoid hot spots on arrays. Easy Tier can place data in the storage tier that best suits the access frequency of the data. Highly accessed data can be moved nondisruptively to a higher tier, and likewise cooler data is moved to a lower tier.

Easy Tier also can benefit homogeneous drive pools because it can move data away from over-utilized arrays to under-utilized arrays to eliminate hot spots and peaks in drive response times.

The DS8900F storage system can work in cooperation with IBM Z hosts to provide the following performance enhancement functions.
  • Extended Address Volumes
  • High Performance FICON for IBM Z
  • Parallel Access Volumes and HyperPAV (also referred to as aliases)
  • Quick initialization for IBM Z
  • Transparent cloud tiering
  • ZHyperLink technology that speeds up transaction processing and improves active log throughput
  • IBM Fibre Channel Endpoint Security
zHyperLink read and write function
zHyperLink is a short distance, mainframe-attached link that provides up to 10 times lower latency than high-performance FICON. zHyperLink speeds Db2 for z/OS transaction processing and improves active log throughput. zHyperLink technology delivers low latency when traditional SAN-attached storage systems are used with its complementary short-distance link technology.

Low latencies are provided for read and write operations for storage systems within the 150-meter distance requirement by using a point-to-point link from the IBM Z to the storage system I/O bay. Low I/O latencies deliver value through improved workload-elapsed times and faster transactional response times, and contribute to lower scaling costs. This storage system implementation of zHyperLink I/O delivers service times fast enough to enable a synchronous I/O model in high-performance IBM Z servers.

Copy Services
The DS8900F storage system supports a wide variety of Copy Service functions, including Remote Mirror, Remote Copy, and Point-in-Time functions. The following includes key Copy Service functions:
  • FlashCopy
  • Remote Pair FlashCopy (Preserve Mirror)
  • Safeguarded Copy
  • Remote Mirror and Copy:
    • Metro Mirror
    • Global Copy
    • Global Mirror
    • Metro/Global Mirror
    • Multi-Target PPRC
    • z/OS Global Mirror
    • z/OS Metro/Global Mirror
Multitenancy support (resource groups)
Resource groups provide additional policy-based limitations. Resource groups, together with the inherent volume addressing limitations, support secure partitioning of Copy Services resources between user-defined partitions. The process of specifying the appropriate limitations is performed by an administrator using resource groups functions. DS CLI support is available for resource groups functions.
Multitenancy can be supported in certain environments without the use of resource groups, if the following constraints are met:
  • Either Copy Services functions are disabled on all DS8000 systems that share the same SAN (local and remote sites) or the landlord configures the operating system environment on all hosts (or host LPARs) attached to a SAN, which has one or more DS8000 systems, so that no tenant can issue Copy Services commands.
  • The z/OS® Distribute Data backup feature is disabled on all DS8000 systems in the environment (local and remote sites).
  • Thin provisioned volumes (ESE or TSE) are not used on any DS8000 systems in the environment (local and remote sites).
  • On zSeries systems there is only one tenant running in an LPAR, and the volume access is controlled so that a CKD base volume or alias volume is only accessible by a single tenant’s LPAR or LPARs.
IBM DS8000 series online documentation
The online documentation provides you with the opportunity to quickly familiarize yourself with the major aspects of the storage system and to easily recognize the topics for which you might require more information. It provides information about user assistance for tasks, concepts, reference, user scenarios, tutorials, and other types of user information. Because the information is all in one place rather than across multiple publications, you can access the information that you need more efficiently and effectively.
Restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS)
The DS8900F system meets RoHS requirements. It conforms to the following EC directives:
  • Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It has been demonstrated that the requirements specified in Article 4 have been met.
  • EN 50581:2012 technical documentation for the assessment of electrical and electronic products with respect to the restriction of hazardous substances.