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The benefits of IBM FlashSystems

This presentation explains the benefits of using IBM FlashSystems with I/O Intensive workloads where lower latency can make the difference; use cases include Online Transaction processing (OLTP), Business Intelligence (BI), Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), High Performance Computing (HPC), Content delivery solutions (such as cloud storage and video on demand).


Howto: configuring Layer 2 Failover on IBM Switches

Layer 2 (L2) Failover is a configuration that helps NIC teaming drivers triggering a loss of connectivity on the external ports of a IBM BladeCenter and IBM PureFlex Switch, when redundant paths leverage a dual Ethernet Switches environment.

If the uplinks on the external ports of a Switch are disconnected, the host NIC teaming drivers would struggle to understand where the failure occurred on the network; in fact, in such environments the status of the (internal) ports remains always up, unless the Switch is rebooted: this is how integrated switch are designed to work.

L2 Failover monitors the status of an uplink, and in case of loss of connectivity it instructs the Switch to shutdown the internal ports; in this way, the NIC teaming driver on the host system can easily detect the failure and stop sending packets on the failing path.

Assuming that this is your LACP uplink:

interface port EXT1
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT2
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000

Then, monitor the LACP uplink status: in case of disconnection, shutdown all the INTAx ports:

failover enable
failover trigger 1 mmon monitor admin-key 1000
failover trigger 1 mmon control member INTA1-INTA14
failover trigger 1 enable

Perform the same configuration on the two Ethernet Switches.


Howto: connecting IBM Flex SI4093 to a HP Switch

IBM SI4093 Switches default configuration requires no change for most customers environments.
Here is how to perform the network integration with a HP Switch.

SI4093 default configuration

#sh run
Current configuration:
!
version "7.7.8"
switch-type "IBM Flex System Fabric SI4093 System Interconnect Module"
!
spar 1
uplink adminkey 1000
domain default member INTA1-INTA14
enable
exit
!
interface port INTA1
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA2
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA3
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA4
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA5
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA6
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA7
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA8
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA9
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA10
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA11
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA12
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA13
no flowcontrol
exit
!
interface port INTA14
no flowcontrol
exit
!
portchannel 65 lacp key 1000 suspend-individual
!
interface port EXT1
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT2
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT3
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT4
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT5
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT6
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT7
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT8
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT9
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
interface port EXT10
lacp mode active
lacp key 1000
!
failover enable
failover trigger 1 mmon monitor admin-key 1000
failover trigger 1 mmon control member INTA1-INTA14
failover trigger 1 enable
!
cee enable

HP Switch snippet to enable the connection of the IBM Flex SI4093 LACP trunk.

(...)
interface Bridge-Aggregation25
port link-type trunk
port trunk permit vlan all
link-aggregation mode dynamic
(...)
interface Ten-GigabitEthernet1/0/25
port link-mode bridge
port link-type trunk
port trunk permit vlan all
port link-aggregation group 25
(...)


PowerVM Live Partition Mobility in IBM PureFlex

Technical overview in relation to the IBM PowerVM Live Partition Mobility (LPM): LPM is an IBM PowerVM® feature capable of migrating a running partition from one IBM Power Systems™ server to another; migration is performed without disrupting the transactions and the applications that are running on the partition, in other words transparently for the business.
LPM is not a business continuity feature. LPM improves the serviceability and maintainability of an environment running on Power Systems servers. In other words, this feature is designed to make the IT manager’s life easier, when a planned maintenance is scheduled because it is capable of reducing the downtime to zero for a planned maintenance activity. Reasons for using LPM also include workload consolidation (from many servers to one), workload balancing (distribute workloads across a pool of servers), and workload resilience in response to a Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) event.


IBM Private Cloud Solutions for IBM i customers

Technical overview in relation to the IBM Private Cloud solutions (IaaS) for IBM i customers: the reference architecture leverages IBM PowerVM and IBM VMControl virtualisation and automation management capabilities. Self service portal, VM provisioning, metering and billing are provided by IBM SmartCloud Entry.

Presented at Athens, November 5th – IBM Power Systems Technical University.


IBM SmartCloud Entry: Deploy two working environments in minutes

from IBM thoughts on Cloud blog

The importance of “time-to-service”

As an IT Infrastructure consultant, I am used to meeting IT Operation teams. People that I consider clients are seen internally by other lines of business as IT providers. Both are measured on two common criteria: the quality of their work and the time to service when delivering.

According to the IT Operation team’s feedback, one of the most common activities is the creation of an operation environment, including resizing and dismissal to release the resources associated when the project is completed.

A recurring use case is that of an IT department striving to satisfy the development department. Development aims to follow up the business requests as quickly as possible.

Virtualization alone is not enough

Previously, virtualization positioned itself to eliminate any idle time in the process of generating a new environment.  Over time, it has been proven that virtualization itself is not sufficient to solve this problem.

In x86 environments, the provisioning of a new environment (meant as an operating system contained in a virtual machine (VM)) is a very simple activity that VMWare has helped democratize.

In back-office environments (like those based on IBM i and AIX), provisioning is not complicated. The difference is that it requires an element of coordination across IT Operation, Storage and Network teams, given the number of tasks to be shared among the various actors. Stability, considered as one of the value points of this platform, induces one to think (erroneously) that such environments cannot support the dynamicity that is specific to the cloud environments.

Standardization and automation: the keys to success

The real difficulty lies in standardizing the requests from the lines of business, and identify the workload deployable offered in the Service Catalog.

Standardization requires the IT department to make some choices to identify and standardize what can be deployed. Once this effort is done, the remaining task consists of implementing enough automation to enable the user to manage a request from the beginning to the end (throughout the fruition of the environment being provisioned).

The goal is as clear as the value: to minimize the time to service in order to have an operational environment in near real-time.

The following video is an example of what IBM is able to offer customers that are sensitive to the problem of dramatically reducing the time to service. In less than seven minutes, the example shows an IBM SmartCloud Entry use case, deploying two working environments in a few minutes, the first running IBM i 7.1, the second AIX 7.


IBM i Live Partition Mobility in a multichassis IBM PureFlex System environment

from IBM developerWorks – IBM i and Live Partition Mobility

 

What is (and is not) Live Partition Mobility

LPM is an IBM PowerVM® feature capable of migrating a running partition from one IBM Power Systems™ server to another; migration is performed without disrupting the transactions and the applications that are running on the partition, in other words transparently for the business.

LPM is not a business continuity feature. LPM improves the serviceability and maintainability of an environment running on Power Systems servers. In other words, this feature is designed to make the IT manager’s life easier, when a planned maintenance is scheduled because it is capable of reducing the downtime to zero for a planned maintenance activity. Reasons for using LPM also include workload consolidation (from many servers to one), workload balancing (distribute workloads across a pool of servers), and workload resilience in response to a Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) event.

IBM i and LPM requirements

Describing LPM requirements is not the goal of this article as the support statements are reported in IBM Redbooks®. General support statements for IBM i LPM are documented in the IBM i Technology Updates – Live Partition Mobility article.

The building blocks

The following list of building blocks is generally applicable to any LPM scenario:

  • The IBM Power® server defined as source, running the IBM i partition before running LPM
  • The Power server defined as target, running the IBM i partition running LPM
  • The storage system hosting the IBM i logical unit numbers (LUNs): LUNs must be visible to both the source and destination servers
  • The LPM orchestrator, validating and coordinating the migration operations
  • The IBM i partition, running the workload

 

(keep reading on developerWorks…)



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