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What's New in IBM Copy Services Manager

By Randy Blea posted Fri September 29, 2023 01:00 AM


In Sept 2023 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!!!

Enhancements to Display of User Administration in GUI 

  • In server configurations that require a customer to setup a lot of various users, the table for users on the Administration panel could often be difficult to use.  To add to the complication, CSM added the ability to limit users with the Operator role to certain functions in a previous release, but the only way to see those functions was to drill into the user definition itself.
  • In the 6.3.8 release we have enhanced this table to provide a number of key features to make managing users easier.
    • Filtering - You can now filter the table on user names, classification, roles and sessions they can manage.  If you want to see what Operators have access to session "x", just type it in the filter box.
    • Column Reordering - You can reorder the position of each of the columns to a format that best meets how you'd like to view users.
    • Column Hiding - You can now hide or un-hide various columns if they do not pertain to your environment.
    • Column Resizing - Resize the columns to best fit the values in your environment.
    • View Operator Actions - You no longer have to click and View/Modify a user definition to see what actions an Operator has authority to use.  View the list of actions in the Actions column. 
    • View Sessions Managed - You can no longer have to click and View/Modify a user definition to see which sessions an Operator has authority to manage.



Support to change customer certificates for z/OS connections via REST or pyCSM interfaces 

  • With today's high focus on security, it may be necessary to replace the custom certificates for connection between the CSM server and a z/OS System.  This can be tedious in really large environments. 
  • With the 6.3.7 release, you can now programatticaly update the custom certificate for z/OS connections using either the RESTapi interface or the pyCSM library. 
  • The first example below is example curl showing how to upload the new cert to the CSM server via REST.  The second is the call if you're issuing it from the pyCSM python library.

curl -X POST -k -H 'Accept-Language: en-US' -H 'Content-Type: multipart/form-data' -H 'Authorization: Basic Y3NtRtaW46Y3Nt' -i https://localhost:9559/CSM/web/storagedevices/zoscert --form 'file=@"ziJziJeMk/csm.cert234



IDEA CSM-I-123 – Automatically logout CSM GUI/CLI users due to inactivity 
  • For security purposes, customers have requested that any CSM GUI or CLI user should get automatically logged out after a period of inactivity.  Starting with the CSM 6.3.8 release, all GUI/CLI users will be automatically logged out after a default period of 30 minutes without any activity.
  • To change the time from the 30 minute default, go to Settings->Advanced Tools and modify the "Set GUI Logout Time" property. 
  • Setting the time to a value of 0 minutes will disable the automatic logout feature.
  • NOTE: This setting will affect all GUI and CLI users including remote CLI users.


IDEA CSM-I-133 – Support StartGC with NoCopy on Migration session 
  • DS8000 storage systems provide the ability to establish pairs with a "NoCopy" option.  This option allows the customer to indicate to the hardware, that it should not do an initial copy of the data, because the source and target have the same data.   This command can be very dangerous as the customer has to be sure the volumes are the same as the hardware will trust that they are based on the option.
  • Because of the potential danger for the option, CSM has never presented the option to a customer, but only allowed it to be set via a special property provided by support, after support has confirmed it is ok to use the value in the scenario they are using it for. 
  • With that said, we understand there are a number of scenarios where this option is necessary, particularly in planned site switches.  So starting in CSM 6.3.8, a new command will now be available allowing the customer to specify the Start with NoCopy, but ONLY on the migration session.  The Migration session will now display the command "StartGC H1->H2 with NoCopy".   Customers can use this session type and the command to do the no copy establish when necessary, instead of having to specify it via the property file. 
    • NOTE: When using the command on the GUI/CLI, the command will actually prompt you twice, for whether you really want to use the command. 
  • Adding this command to the Migration session also enables the ability to add this option in a step of your automation within a Scheduled Task.  Simply create a command action where you specify the "StartGC H1->H2 with NoCopy" on that Migration session.


Support for FlashSystem/Spectrum Virtualize Asynchronous Policy Based Replication

  • Policy-Based Replication is a method of storage replication available on IBM Spectrum Virtualize-based Storage Systems such as IBM FlashSystems. Policy-Based Replication provides simplified configuration and management for storage replication by applying a policy to a set of volumes in a Volume Group. The policy applied to the Volume Group defines the attributes for the replication, such as the type of replication or the recovery point objective.
  • Starting in CSM 6.3.8, CSM will now support Aysnchronous Policy Based replication for all Spectrum Virtualize-based systems such as IBM FlashSystems.  

  • Asynchronous Policy-Based Replication provides asynchronous replication between two Storage Systems, for all the volumes in a volume group. When you apply an asynchronous policy to a Volume Group, the storage system provides the following advantages automatically:

    • Provisions the Volume Group and matching volumes on the remote storage system.
    • Establishes asynchronous replication between Volume Group volumes and their matching counterparts in the remote group.

      NOTE: Asynchronous replication resembles the Global Mirror with Change Volumes solution. However, the storage system manages the change volumes and coordinates as necessary to make sure that the Recovery Point Objective remains as low as possible, under the value set in the policy.

    • Provides notification when the Recovery Point Objective is higher than the wanted value set in the policy.
    • Provides easier management in failover and failback scenarios.
  • Similiar to how CSM supports Safeguarded Copy for FlashSystems, the CSM server will detect any Volume Group with an applied Asynchronous Policy across all connected IBM FlashSystems or IBM Spectrum Virtualize-based systems. Upon detecting a Volume Group with an Asynchronous Policy, the server creates an Async Policy-Based Replication session and populates it with the volumes that are contained in that volume group. Once the session is created, the IBM Copy Services Manager server can then be used to monitor and manage the replication, either through manual commands or Scheduled Tasks.
  • Various commands that can be issued against an Async Policy Based Replication session in CSM are: Failover, Start H1->H2, and Start H2->H1.  The session also requires the customer to issue the Confirm Production at Site 1 or Confirm Production at Site 2 command in order to ensure the start for the correct direction is displayed, based on where production is running after a failover.  CSM Scheduled Tasks will also support actions against the session such as a coordinated failover.



CSM 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.