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What's New in IBM Copy Services Manager 6.2.12

By Randy Blea posted Fri April 23, 2021 05:09 PM


In April 2021 IBM GA'd a new version of IBM Copy Services Manager 

Copy Services Manager 6.2.12 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!!!
Support for external syslog monitoring

For audit purposes, the CSM server throws SNMP or email events as well as keeps a historical logs of the messages issued for the server and the user that initiated any actions.  But some customers use external syslog servers to not only monitor events but to programmatically respond to certain events.  These external syslogs servers also allow them to store a lot more historical audit information than by default on a CSM server. 

In the CSM 6.2.12 release, documentation has been provided on how to setup a file monitor to send message log information to an external syslog server such as Splunk.  A file monitor such as rsyslog can be setup on Windows or Unix based servers.  Point the file monitor to the following file which contains all CSM messages and audit information.


RFE 145162
Support programmatically enabling and disabling a scheduled task

CSM Scheduled tasks help users run multiple actions against one or more sessions.  Prior to the CSM 6.2.12 release, a task could only be enabled via the CSM GUI with the thought being that enabling or disabling would be a one time action.  Customers however have requested the ability to programmatically enable or disable the Scheduled Task.  The reason for the request is they were performing automated provisioning and as part of that provisioning they wanted the ability to disable the scheduled task performing backups, so that it did not interfere with the provisioning. 

Starting in CSM 6.2.12, customers can now use the CSM CLI or the CSM REST API to enable or disable a scheduled task.  The CSM CLI runtask command now supports a -enable parameter which will enable the specified task if set to 'yes' and disable the specified task if set to 'no'.

RFE 145476

Run a scheduled task once at a specified time

Prior to CSM 6.2.12 customers had the option of enabling a scheduled task to run at a set schedule, or running the task immediately without a schedule.  A customer requested the ability to only run a task once but to have it run at a specified time in the future.  This can be useful in running tasks that may need to run only once but at an off shift time. 

Starting in CSM 6.2.12 the CSM CLI runtask command has a new -attime parameter which can be used to specify the time that the task should be run.  This can also be run from the CSM GUI via the Run Task -> At specified time command and then selecting a time to run the task. 

NOTE: The -attime or "At specified time" options are only allowed if the task is NOT already enabled to run at a given schedule.

As a bonus, you can combine -attime and -enable in the CSM CLI so that from the CLI you can now programmatically enable a task at a certain time.  This allows customers that programmatically enable a scheduled task to enable it at a specific time within an hour. 

RFE 148106

Include server hostname as part of the backup filename

CSM allows customers to manually create a backup file of the server information so that they can use it to restore the server in the event that the server is involved in a disaster, has to be rebuilt, or needs to be migrated to a new physical server.  In the past the backup filename only indicated the time that backup was issued.  Some customers however, manage multiple CSM servers and store this backup files in a common place.  The current naming convention makes it difficult to tell which backup was for which server.

Starting in CSM 6.2.12, the backup filename will now contain the server name similar to how CSM log packages are collected.


Support for Global Mirror control paths in the port pairing csv file

For awhile now CSM has provided the ability to manage DS8000 logical pathing for remote copy relationships through a port pairing CSV file.  This CSV file defines what port pairs to use between storage systems or logical storage systems when CSM establishes relationships.  This port pairing CSV file can even be viewed and edited now in the CSM GUI.

Starting with the CSM 6.2.12 release, the port pairing CSV file can now be used to define port pairings for DS8000 Global Mirror control paths.  Global Mirror control paths are used between the primary storage systems in a Global Mirror environment, in order to coordinate consistency group formation.  By specifying 'GM' at the start of the line in the port pairing file, CSM will use that line when defining the control paths for Global Mirror.  CSM supports both generic LSS to LSS level definitions, or you can specify an LSS to LSS level definition for a specific session. 

When defining port pairings for control paths, there should be a line for each Master to Subordinate box necessary in an environment.  Control path lines are NOT bi-directional and so the first box in the line should be the box that will be the Master box and the second box should be a subordinate box. 

CSM will not automatically pickup up changes to the port pairing file for control paths.  The control path definitions will only be looked at when starting a new Master config and not in restarting an existing one.  So if you make an update that needs to be picked up you should Suspend, Recover and then restart the Global Mirror session in CSM.

RFE 133002

Enhancements to handling disconnect errors for DS8000 storage systems when attempting to avoid locking accounts

In a previous release of CSM, code was added so that in the event of an authentication error to a DS8000 storage system, CSM would stop all attempts to reconnect to that storage system so that it would avoid locking out the user due to too many failed login attempts. 

A customer found out however, that there were a number of disconnection errors that CSM processed as an authentication when they were not truly authentication errors. 

In the 6.2.12 release, CSM has added code to ensure that if there is a failure in connecting to a DS8000 storage system, that the server will continue to attempt to reconnect unless the error is truly an authentication error returned by the hardware.

RFE 146509

Allow customer to issue saveuilogs to collect DS8000 diagnostic information through Copy Services Manager

In a previous release, CSM added the ability to take an "On Demand Dump" or "Warmstart" for a DS8000 storage system in order to collect diagnostic information for the hardware.   Starting with CSM 6.2.12 a new option is now available under the "Create System Diagnostic" action.  By selecting "Save UI logs", CSM will have the hardware collect logs based off the interface and connections to the storage system. This information may be necessary in helping to debug communication errors or DS8000 HMC issues in an environment.

RFE 117263

Enabled Preserve Mirror in multi-target environment on secondaries after a failover or HyperSwap

Preserve Mirror allows customers to Flash a Metro Mirror source volume to another Metro Mirror source volume, allowing the hardware to flash the targets for those volumes at the remote site to the same point in time as the local flash.  In multi-target environments though, it is necessary to tell the hardware which of the Metro Mirror relationships should be used for the purposes of Preserve Mirror.  For a number of releases now, CSM has allowed customers to define the role pair to use in the CSM server properties using the following property where the sessionName and rolepair are part of the property name:<sessionName>.<rolepair>.userpfc  

CSM uses the property after establishing a Metro Mirror pair so that it can send a command to the hardware to tell the hardware that this pair should be used for Preserve Mirror. 

A customer was using this property but discovered that after a HyperSwap occurred, when they attempted to take a FlashCopy, which was now being issued to the remote site, the FlashCopy failed.  The failure was because CSM only used the above property at the time the pair is established, and since the pair had not been "restarted" from the new site yet, the hardware did not know which pair to use for the Preserve Mirror feature. 

Starting with the CSM 6.2.12 release, the CSM server will now look at property immediately after a failover or HyperSwap, and call the hardware to set the option on the pair accordingly.  This will allow customers to continue to use FlashCopy at the new site prior to restarting replication at that new site.

RFE 149317

Allow customers to associate another session and role pair to a Safeguarded Copy session

CSM support for DS8000 Safeguarded Copy is designed as a separate session in order to provide the maximum amount of flexibility for customers.  By using Scheduled Tasks customers can customize their solutions and apply Safeguarded Copy to any of the sites within a given solution. 

While the scheduled task is a one time setup that makes managing multiple sessions within CSM a lot easier, having multiple sessions does cause additional work when provisioning and adding new volumes into an environment.  The newly provisioned volumes will need to be added to not only the replication session (MM, GM, MT MM-GM, etc) but also to any Safeguarded Copy sessions to ensure that the new volumes are protected similar to the existing volumes. 

Starting with the CSM 6.2.12 release, customers can now associate another session and role pair to a Safeguarded Copy session.  By associating another session and role pair,  CSM will compare the specified role in that role pair, to the H1 volumes in the Safeguarded Copy session.  If CSM discovers that the volumes in the associated role are different than the H1 volumes in the Safeguarded Copy session, a new IWNR6047W warning message will appear on both the Safeguarded Copy session as well as the associated session, causing the sessions to go into a Warning status.  Once the appropriate copy sets are either added or removed from the corresponding session(s) the warning message will be removed and the session will go back to the normal status.  This feature will help customers ensure that they don't forget to add new volumes into their Safeguarded copy solution.

CSM 6.2.12 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.