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Look again. The world has changed, and since you already have VIOS serving
up Fibre connections the move there is almost trivial. Moreover you can
move the partition from internal to SAN disk with almost no downtime,
simply let the system copy the storage over to the SAN. Downtime would
come when moving the Load Source Drive over, that requires downtime.

As to pricing, since you already have the Fibre network in place, I think
you'll find the cost/Gb of storage is slightly in favor of the SAN.
Needing to invest in Fibre Switches makes that equation a bit tougher on
cost of acquisition, but over time it still flattens out. Then again the
benefits that Larry listed earlier also come into the decision as well.
Except for very small systems, we do not configure internal storage, only
SAN. (direct connect if needed)

Jim Oberholtzer
Chief Technical Architect
Agile Technology Architects

On Fri, May 13, 2022 at 6:10 AM Rob Berendt <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

We looked at SAN a few years ago. We deemed it prohibitively expensive.
As of now the only SANs we have support our vmware environment. So there
is some familiarity with flash copy, etc.

Rob Berendt
IBM Certified System Administrator - IBM i 6.1
Group Dekko
Dept 1600
Mail to: 7310 Innovation Blvd, Suite 104
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818
Ship to: 7310 Innovation Blvd, Dock 9C
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis <midrange@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2022 6:39 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>;
Rob Berendt <rob@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: VIOS disk evolution

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not
click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know
the content is safe.

Short answer, yes. Carve out space for everything from NVMe drives. . .
. that are in a Flash System SAN.


Internal NVMe are cool and fast too. BUT they must be mirrored so you
use twice as much. They sit inside the box and thus are much more
difficult to replace if needed.

The SAN can add entire drawers on the fly. The SAN Can upgrade the
internal firmware on the fly. The SAN can ugprade drive firmware on the
fly. The SAN supports easy hot swapping of NVMe modules. The SAN can do
flash copy whether that is for backups or for test partitions or test
upgrades or or or. The SAN can do remote copy from Grand Rapids to
Indianapolis (Not sure why I picked those cities. Hmmm.) The SAN can
add new modules to a live RAID 6 set and include it fully in RAID. On
the fly. The SAN does RAID6 with distributed hot spare so all modules
are in use for performance.

AND When you upgrade from POWER9 to POWER10 the migration is
fantabulously quick. PWRDWNSYS. IPL. DONE. However long that takes in
your environment that's the rub.

Once you go SAN you don't go back. The flexibility, scalability and
performance are much better than internal disk of any sort.

You already have VIOS supporting Ethernet and external Fiber so you've
crossed much of that barrier.

I would agree that NEVER host internal disk with VIOS. It was never fun,
often a disaster (Multiple customers lost entire systems for various

- DrF.

On 5/12/2022 4:02 PM, Rob Berendt wrote:
On our P8 and our P9's we have two pairs of VIOS on each system. Each
VIOS partition has 2 drives mirrored to each other in the system unit. So
in the P8 partition VIOS31 has two drives in one mirrored pair and
partition VIOS32 has two drives in another mirrored pair.
VIOS serves up ethernet and fiber channel.
IBM i disk is all in expansion units. It is all owned by a hosting
partition of IBM i and is then guested out to other partitions of IBM i and
No plans on using external (SAN) disk for our Power systems.
We do not have VIOS serving up internal disk. "Way back" it was a
performance killer for internal disk and we wiped the power system and
started over. IDK if that is still a concern.

With the huge NVMe stuff available is there some way to carve out space
for VIOS and IBM i on the same NVMe card? Or is there a better alternative?

Rob Berendt
IBM Certified System Administrator - IBM i 6.1
Group Dekko
Dept 1600
Mail to: 7310 Innovation Blvd, Suite 104
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818
Ship to: 7310 Innovation Blvd, Dock 9C
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818

IBM Champion for Power Systems

www.iInTheCloud.com - Commercial IBM i and Power System Hosting
www.iDevCloud.com - Personal IBM i Hosting
www.Frankeni.com - IBM i and Power Systems Consulting.
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