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What's New in IBM Copy Services Manager

By Randy Blea posted Thu June 30, 2022 06:01 PM


In June 2022 IBM GA'd a new version of IBM Copy Services Manager 

Copy Services Manager 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!!!

RFE CSM-I-95 – Support CSM on Windows 2022 Server

  • Starting with the version of Copy Services Manager, installations on Windows 2022 Servers will now be supported. 
Do we need to upgrade to Windows Server 2022 for RDS (Citrix)

RFE CSM-I-47 – Associating email address to users in CSM

  • Administrators can now associate email addresses to users defined on the Administration panel in CSM.  Email addresses can be used for various notifications described later in this blog.  Previously, email notifications were supported, but the notifications were not tied to a given user.  
  • For Basic Users, the Administrator or User Administrator , can specify an email address while creating the user, or when they go into View/Modify for the user.  A new Email Addresses, text box is presented where one or more email addresses can be entered, separated by commas.  Please, note though that if you specify more than one email address for a user, any email notifications assigned for that user, will go to ALL emails addresses provided.
  • For LDAP or Active Directory users, the CSM server will automatically read the "mail" attribute for the user from the LDAP/AD server.  When that user is setup to receive an email alert notification, the server will query LDAP/AD for the "mail" attribute and use that value to send an email.  If the "mail" attribute is not set, customers should contact their LDAP administrator to add the value, or use the existing notifications for emails without users. 
  • In order for users to get email notifications, an email server needs to be specified on the Settings->Alert Notification panel.

RFE CSM-I-47 – Notifying users through email of Dual Control requests

  • Dual Control can be enabled on the CSM server in order to provide more security and ensure that two people approve any command prior to the command getting executed. 
  • In the past though, a user had to login to the CSM server in order to see whether they had any pending approvals.  Starting with the 6.3.3 release, if a user has been setup with an email address, they will now automatically receive an email notification for any requests they have to approve or reject.
  • This will provide the customer with immediate notification and a link to the Dual Control Requests panel, where they can then approve or reject that request.

RFE CSM-I-47 – Creating Email Alert Notifications by selecting users

  • Once an email address is defined for a user, or the "mail" attribute is specified for LDAP/AD users, a customer can setup an email alert notification using the user name instead of an email address on the Settings->Alert Notification panel.
  • When setting up an alert notification today, customers can specify a comma separated list of email addresses.  This is still supported and can be set by clicking the "Add by Email" button. 
  • If you want to setup by user however, you can now click the "Add by User" button.  After clicking that button you can select from the list of users defined on the server and then choose one or more notification types. 
  • After setting up notifications, the notification table will indicate the user name for any that were setup by user.  When an alert of that type needs to be sent, that user's email will be dynamically looked up, either internally for basic users, or on the LDAP/AD server for LDAP/AD users.

New Global Mirror Either Direction with Site 3 Global Copy for “single-bunker” solutions

  • A new session type is available in the CSM 6.3.3 release to provide a Global Mirror Either Direction session that allows for a cascaded Global Copy to a common third site.  This provides Global Mirror consistency whether production is running at Site 1 or Site 2 with the ability to cascade to a Site 3. 
  • The primary goal of the solution is to allow customers to switch back and forth between Site 1 and Site 2 and setup the cascaded Global Copy relationships, without having to perform a full copy, or to do complex steps outside of CSM. 
  • The cascaded third site can be used for Cyber Resiliency in creating Safeguarded Backups, or to simply setup FlashCopy relationships for archiving data. 
  • The session type provides a "FailoverH3" command while in a Prepared state, which automates the Suspend, drain and failover to site 3, while automatically restarting Global Mirror when complete.  This is similar to a Practice session, allowing customers to create a Safeguarded Copy session off of the Site 3 volumes and automate a consistent backup using Scheduled Tasks.

Display capacity used by Safeguarded Copy backup and volume for DS8000 sessions

  • A new column will now show for DS8000 Safeguarded Copy sessions on the Backup Info table as well as the Backup Details popup.  On hardware levels that support the query, a Used Capacity value will now be displayed at both the volume level per backup, as well as at the backup level.  This value indicates the number of tracks that had to be hardened in the backup capacity before a new backup was created.  The value will display in cylinders if all volumes are CKD or in TiB/GiB if all volumes are Fixed Block or there's a mix.
  • This data is not meant to be used for capacity management.  This value may not represent the total capacity used in a volume's backup capacity, as there is some meta data stored in the backup capacity as well.  However, the value can help a customer determine whether there's a large fluctuation in the number of writes between backups at a certain time, which might lead to requiring more backup capacity.

Display tracks remaining to copy on last DS8000 Safeguarded Copy backup

  • For the last backup taken on a Safeguarded Copy session, as new writes occur to the source volume, those tracks have to be written to the backup capacity in order to safeguard that data so that it can be restored if needed.  If there are too many writes pending, this could affect the next backup and the cache scans may not complete.
  • In CSM 6.3.3, a new Progress column now shows for the last backup which indicates the number of tracks left to copy.  Please note that this value may go up and down depending on i/o being written to the source volume.  The progress does not prevent a new backup from being taken, however, should a backup or scheduled backup fail because the cache scans didn't complete, this value may help better indicate why.

Support for new Spectrum Virtualize Snapshot sessions

  • Spectrum Virtualize/FlashSystems added a new type of point in time copy in their release.  The new point in time copy is called a Snapshot and allows for a far greater number of snapshots than allowed by traditional FlashCopy. 
  • In CSM 6.3.3 when you create a Snapshot session for Spectrum Virtualize based hardware, instead of providing a session name you will be prompted to associate the session to an existing Volume Group on the hardware.  The session will then automatically find all the volumes in that volume group and create snapshots based on those volumes.  All management of the contents of the session should be managed by updating the volume group on the hardware itself. 
  • The CSM Snapshot session fully supports all the features for creating Snapshots for a Volume Group. 
    • Create a Scheduled Task in CSM to automatically schedule the creation of Snapshots
    • Specify a Retention for the snapshots.  CSM will automatically delete the snapshot when the retention time is reached.
    • Create thin clones of a snapshot.  The snapshot target volumes are immutable.  In order to attach a host and perform forensics you can create a thin clone of the snapshot.  View the thin clones under the Thin Clone Snapshot info tab and delete the thin clone from the CSM session when you're done
    • Create a clone of a snapshot.  When you create a clone of a snapshot, a new set of volumes are create along with a volume group where a full copy of the data in the snapshot is written to the volumes.  When creating a clone, CSM will automatically create a new CSM session so that you can setup snapshots on the new volume group as well.  NOTE: When creating a clone, the clone volume group will not appear under the originating session and is considered at that point a standalone set of volumes.

pyCSM python library v1.0.0 now available!!!

  • Along with the CSM 6.3.3 release, but not directly tied to it, a new python library is now available providing customers the ability to code python automation against a CSM server.  The python library uses RESTAPI calls to the CSM server.  This will serve as the base for a future Ansible Collection for CSM. 
  • The pyCSM library provides a client that will automatically manage the token connection, or allows callers to manage the token themselves by calling the services directly instead.
  • The pyCSM is open source and available through the public git repo ->
  • Documentation of the interface can be found on Read the Docs ->
  • PyCSM is available to be installed via pip using pypi ->

CSM 6.3.3 What’s New Video

Idea/RFE support for Copy Services Manager

If you wish to open a new IDEA (formally called a Request for Enhancement) on IBM Copy Services Manager, you can now do so through the following link.