Mainframe Storage

What’s New in Copy Services Manager 6.2.10

By Randy Blea posted Fri September 25, 2020 10:49 AM


In Sept 2020 IBM GA'd a new version of IBM Copy Services Manager 

Copy Services Manager 6.2.10 Download

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. 

As always, we're very excited to provide the following key features being released in this new version.  We develop Copy Services Manager in an agile development cycle and as such have included a number of customer requested features!!!
Tighter restrictions on session operators to allow for deployment in multi-tenant cloud environments

The session operator role in CSM was added to allow an administrator to give a user access to one or more sessions, but not all of the sessions.  This role is perfect for multi-tenant environments, such as cloud environments, where there may be a single instance of CSM managing the replication for a set of storage systems, but multiple customers using that CSM instance.  In previous releases of CSM, a session operator, had the capability to issue any command to that session.  This included the ability to create copy sets.  However, because a multi-tenant environment shares the same set of storage systems, giving the operator the ability to add copy sets made it possible for that operator to either intentionally or accidentally select volumes in that copy set that were allocated for another tenant. 

In CSM 6.2.10, session operators will no longer be allowed to add copy sets to the session they are assigned to manage.  Only administrators will be able to add copy sets.  This helps to ensure that only a user with a wider view of the entire environment can control what volumes are used by what sessions.

Earlier warning prompt when ”no copy” property is set for a session/role pair

There is a property that can be set that telld CSM to issue an establish for the relationships with the No Copy option to the hardware.  The No Copy option tells the hardware that the source and target are exactly the same, so that when the establish is done, there is no initial copy between the volumes and the pairs immediately go into a Prepared state.  This property is not documented but can be provided for customers through the guidance of support or lab services. 

The property is specific to a session and role pair.  In a previous release, CSM added a warning prompt so that when customers issued a start command they could see that the property was set and that the No Copy would be issued to the hardware.  The warning prompt appeared after the initial start warning prompt or selection of the specific start command for multi-target sessions.  This helped prevent customers from accidentally leaving the property set on subsequent starts. 

While the warning prompt placement prevented accidentally issuing No Copy on subsequent starts, there was no way for a customer expecting to use the No Copy to validate that they set the property correctly because it came AFTER the initial start warning prompt.  In CSM 6.2.10, the warning prompt will now be the first prompt seen, helping customers ensure that they set the property correctly.  In addition, a warning prompt will occur for every role pair in the session found to have the property set.  This helps ensure that not only the property is set but that it's set on the correct role pair.  Note though, a different warning prompt will appear for each role pair regardless of whether the role pair is a participating role pair, or if it will be affected by the command issued.

Support for LDAP authentication for users in nested groups

CSM supports both basic and LDAP authentication.  Prior to 6.2.10 there wasn't a documented way to support LDAP users residing in nested groups. 
In 6.2.10 the documentation now states that adding
to the LDAP registry, will cause the search to recurse through any groups to find users.  This option will not be set by default as it may result in an impact to the performance of the LDAP search given the search now has to recurse through each group within a group.

Support for CSM running on 32GB DS8000 HMCs

CSM is preinstalled on a DS8000 HMC. Starting with CSM 6.2.10, CSM will automatically set the default heap size to 4GB when running on a DS8000 HMC purchased and configured with 32GB of memory.  Upon upgrading to 6.2.10, or if CSM 6.2.10 or higher is preloaded on the HMC, the change will occur automatically.  This change allows customers to manage larger configurations while running CSM on an HMC.  To determine whether your configuration can run on the DS8000 HMC go to Managing replication->Administering->Calculating server memory requirements section of the Knowledge Center for CSM.

Passphrase support for z/OS Host connections

CSM allows users to create a connection to a z/OS Host.  This enables support for z/OS HyperSwap or z/OS Hardened Freeze when running CSM on a remote server.  Starting with CSM 6.2.10, the connection to the z/OS HyperSwap Address space which supports the z/OS Host Connection, will not only support passwords but pass phrases as well.  For passphrase support, z/OS IOS APAR OA59984 needs to be applied to the z/OS host system.

Scheduled Task enhancement on Wait for Percent Complete action to ensure latest progress

In a previous CSM release, the Scheduled Task was enhanced by adding a Wait for Percent Complete action.  This worked by checking the current percent complete set on a given role pair at the time the action was run.  Percent complete on a role pair is set via an asynchronous task that queries the out of sync tracks on the hardware at a certain interval.  While this worked in a lot of cases, there are some scenarios where an updated value of the progress is necessary.  

In CSM 6.2.10, the Wait for Percent Complete action was enhanced so that when the action runs, it will ensure that all the relationships are queried on the hardware in order to validate that it has the latest in terms of percent complete.  This will guarantee that the percent is accurate at the time the action is run.

Scheduled Task enhancements to run a different task on success or failure

CSM Scheduled Tasks allow you to script a set of actions across one or more sessions.  By tying together these actions under a task you can dynamically create your own solutions using the existing CSM session types.  But what happens when something doesn't go according to plan?  Prior to 6.2.10, if any action failed for any reason, the entire scheduled task would fail and while a notification would be sent for the failure, it would still require manual intervention to handle the failure depending on where it was in the set of actions the task was running.

Starting with 6.2.10 though, you can now define a separate Scheduled task that will run in the event that the current task fails.  For example, if I created a task that issued a Suspend command to a DS8000 Global Mirror session, followed by a wait for Suspended state, and the session failed to ever reach a suspended state, I could now indicate that the task should run the 'Stop GM' task instead which will force the session to a Suspended state.  In addition, you could also define a separate Scheduled Task to run in the event that this task was successful. 

So now, if you have a task that is made up of a large number of steps, you could break that task down into multiple tasks, where you handle various failures in different parts accordingly, or continue on with the process if the task was a success.  In other words, by using the new 'on success' or 'on failure' actions you can create a solution that includes the equivalent of 'if then else' logic!!!

New Migration session to copy from smaller to larger volumes

CSM sessions only allow customers to create copy sets where all volumes in the copy set are the exact same type and volume.  This is to ensure customers do not accidentally use a target volume of a larger size, only to find out that after they failover to the remote site, that they can't fail back.  This works for the majority of scenarios customers want to handle using CSM, however does not adequately cover the case of migrating data to larger volumes.

In CSM 6.2.10, a new session type will be introduced solely for the purposes of migration.  The new "Migration" session is a two site solution designed to allow customers to choose a source and target of a different size.  Because the solution is for migration purposes it will only allow a Start of the session in Global Copy mode and does not provide any disaster recovery capabilities such as freeze/thaw support.  The solution also prevents the customer from reversing the direction of the copy as the hardware would not allow an establish from a larger to a smaller volume.

View RPO historical charts for DS8000 Global Mirror relationships

One of the biggest changes to the CSM 6.2.10 release is the ability to view historical RPO for DS8000 Global Mirror sessions in a chart embedded in the CSM GUI.  CSM has stored historical RPO data for awhile now and displayed a 24hr/15min view of the RPO.  But to view longer historical information CSM only supported the ability to export that data to a csv file that could be used by a external tool for charting or applied to a customer's custom charts.  Now this data can be accessed directly through the CSM GUI allowing customers to see when a session using DS8000 GM may have had unexpected spikes in RPO. 

The new chart allows views in the form of 1 hour/1day/1week/1month/all or can be customized to a specific time frame using a slider at the bottom of the chart to either narrow or widen the view of the RPO.  Some sessions have multiple role pairs that may have collected Global Mirror data.  Customers can switch between the role pairs by selecting the role pair at the top left hand corner of the chart.  Hovering over the various points in the chart will give you specifics on what the RPO was at that particular time frame. 

Please note that because RPO history by default is collected approximately once a minute, there could be thousands of data points.  In order to represent this, the chart will average out RPO points and present this when you are zoomed out looking at a larger time frame.  To get more accurate details, zoom into a shorter time frame.  We hope to enhance this support in the future to include LSS OOS statistics as well as RPO for other hardware session types.

CSM 6.2.10 What’s New 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.