Today we had (once again) hardware troubles. We ended up replacing a lot of things, but in the end it was a) the HBA and b) apparently some memory DIMMs. Now, that isn’t SVC related. However, we built in another HBA (from our Standby hardware), which apparently already had been assigned to a host.

Now, since you can’t search for a WWPN (at least not that I know of), I ended up writing a little script (yup, AGAIN) in order to do that for me!

SVC: Migrate VDisks off a MDisk Group onto another

Out of necessity, another SVC shell script was just born. If you ever need to migrate a whole MDisk group onto another, you quickly discover the limited application of the SVC GUI. Now, you could query the VDisks using your original MDisk Group and then copy and paste the VDisk’s name (or the VDisk ID) into a command line and simply reuse that svctask migratevdisk command over and over.

Luckily IBM blessed the SVC with an SSH interface. So again, we can write a (kinda) simple shell script which may look like this:

And the execution would look like this:

Or maybe:

IBM SVC: Copy VDisk Host-Mapping from one host to another

As I wrote a few days ago, I started a new job. One of my first (voluntary) tasks was writing a shell script which would copy a VDisk Host-Mapping from a given host to another. This is useful, if you do have a lot of ESX servers for example and a few roaming ones.

Now, if say, you need to do some ESX-Updates and you would like to add the roaming one to a given farm, you would be in a dark an deary place. You would be required to either click through the GUI a dozen times (in my case, it might have needed ~200 clicks) or type svcinfo lshostvdiskmap <examplehosthere> and svctask mkhostvdiskmap <newhosthere> -force (these are incomplete command references) a few times.

Both methods ain’t optimal nor fast. Since the SVCTools (Perl, jikes) don’t really came into consideration, and the SVC SSH interface really doesn’t provide any other method to do a simple cut -d: -f3 (as a hint: if anyone knows a nice method to emulate cut with bash patterns — yeah, I ain’t kidding — please drop me a note!), I ended up writing a simple shell script which is gonna do all the tasks from any Linux system (in possession of the SSH DSA private keys for the SVC of course).

The script looks like this:

New IBM RDAC version (or not)

A week ago (September 02nd), I received a mail detailing the release of IBM’s new multipathing device driver for the DS4x00 series, which finally works with SLES11 (the available software up till now doesn’t — as in fails with kernels > 2.6.26 iirc).

ESC+ notification detailing the release
ESC+ notification detailing the release

There wouldn’t be any trouble, if IBM (or rather the vendor providing the driver — LSI) would actually release the driver … up till today, I have yet to see the new version appear on the download page. I already tried to notify IBM about the trouble, but as usual there is lack of ways to actually get this to the right person.

Well, IBM just replied to my feedback and apparently the download is available (it is right now, after two weeks hah — finally).

Tivoli Storage Manager Server 5.5.3

I spent yesterday afternoon upgrading our TS7530, and in my fad I also upgraded TSM to 5.5.3. Now, once I started TSM it quickly started complaining about the paths to the drives.

I thought maybe this is a mere device problem (we have had them before), so I rebooted the boxes. But still no luck and I went home after about an hour of trying without any luck. In the morning, my co-worker called our trustworthy IBM service partner, and the TSM consultant said he had the exact, same problem yesterday. We would have two options:

  1. Enable the option SANDISCOVERY, with the (completely undocumented) Passive setting (setopt SANDISCOVERY PASSIVE)
  2. Downgrade back to 5.5.2

For now, we implemented the first option, in the hope that’ll solve our troubles. And it actually does.

Mass-updating Tivoli Storage Manager drive status

I was fighting with our VTL again, and TSM was thinking all the drives were offline. In order to update the drive status, you’d need to go into the ISC and select each drive and set them to ONLINE. Since I’m a bit click-lazy, I wrote a simple nested for-loop, which gives me the output to update all the drives at once:

Result is a list like this:

The same goes for mass-updating the path status:

Result is a list like this:

IBM RSA II adapter and Java RE (fini)

If you remember back to July, I looked into some troubles I had with the IBM RSA II adapter’s Java interface and the latest JRE updates. I just noticed, that IBM released a new firmware yesterday for the RSA. The ChangeLog states this:

Version 1.13, GFEP35A
Problem(s) Fixed:

* Suggested
o Fix for Remote Control General Exception in JRE 1.6 update 12 and above.
o Corrected a problem that DHCP renew/release may fail after a long time.
o Corrected a problem that remote control preference link disapears after creating new key buttons.
o Corrected a problem that cause event number shows only from 0 to 255 when views RSA log via telnet session.

As you can see, IBM finally decided that it isn’t a Sun problem but rather their own! Finally, after about 4 months a fix, yay!

Even if the fix is just for the x3550 for now, but that puts a light to the end of the tunnel and puts up hope, that they are gonna fix it for the other RSA adapters too!

IBM TS7530 and the Virtualization Engine for Tape Console

I just had yet another support call with IBM, concerning the Tape Console (or VE console, courtesy of Falconstor). My basic problem was/is, that I, as a german person, do have a german Windows Server 2003 installation. Now, if you do have german decimal number format selected in the regional settings, the display is gonna be kinda impaired and you’re gonna see something like this:

VE console with german decimal number format

And now compared to the english decimal number format:

VE console with english decimal number format

This time, the IBM support was quite fast in answering to my ESC, more or less to my satisfaction. Basic statement from IBM is: The VTL console isn’t supported on any german Windows OS. It’s only supported on a english Windows OS.

IBM RSA II adapter and Java RE

Today, after a short break (you can call it break, I think), I sat down and looked at the IBM RSA II adapter’s remote management GUI and it’s trouble with JRE versions. Ever since the last Java updates, I was unable to access the RSA console because Java would throw an error like this:

In the end, I downloaded every version since JRE (that is 20 different versions :!:), as wittnessed by Michael Ellerbeck that the last working version for him was JRE, and gave each one a try (since I want to report the issue to IBM, so that they gonna release a fix sometime soon).

So here’s the list of what Java JRE version works with an RSA II adapter running Firmware 1.10 (GGEP36B):

  • Java JRE 1.50 U11 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U12 ……… works¹
  • Java JRE 1.50 U13 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U14 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U15 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U16 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U17 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.50 U18 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60        ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U01 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U02 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U03 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U04 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U05 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U06 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U07 ……… works
  • Java JRE 1.60 U12 ……… not working (see above)
  • Java JRE 1.60 U13 ……… not working (see above)
  • Java JRE 1.60 U14 ……… not working (see above)

1: This version presents some small annoyances (garbled video output)

Update: IBM already knows about the problem, but says it’s presumably a Java problem since it stopped working mid-version in between U11 and U12.

OCF agent for Tivoli Storage Manager: redux

Well, after I finished my first OCF agent back in October 2008, we have it running in production now for about ten months. During that time, we found quite a few points in which we’d like to improve the behaviour with that Linux-HA should handle TSM.

  • Shutdown TSM nicely if possible (Cancel client sessions, cancel running processes and dismount mounted volumes)
  • Better error handling

So, after another week of writing and testing with a small instance, I present the new OCF agent for Tivoli Storage Manager. It still has one or two weak points, but they are negligible. I still need to write the documentation for it, but the script should just work …

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