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On the SAN, if the yellow light is blinking, simply pull the drive, stuff the new one in and forget it. I check back in about 10 minutes and usually the dead drive that was replaced winds up being the new hot spare. I’ve walked customers through that process several times.

With respect to VIOS disk failures, SAN boot it. Eliminate the internal drives completely.

Jim Oberholtzer
Agile Technology Architects



On May 20, 2022, at 7:13 AM, Rob Berendt <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I'm hoping the people who change drives in a SAN when they fail are a lot more skilled then the service reps IBM sends out to fix Power internal drives for VIOS. EACH. AND. EVERY. TIME. the first thing the service rep tries to do is get STRSST working from a VIOS command line.
I can tell this is always going to happen when the dispatcher asks me what OS is running on the lpars that the VIOS is supporting.
There is no possible communication to avoid this situation. The people manning the phones cannot comprehend the situation. So you just let them send the wrong guy, he flubs it, then he calls someone on the phone who can talk him through it.

The IBM i hosted drives were a little better although not only did I have to pull up IBM documentation but I had to call his supervisor and tell him the education he was given was bad and needed correction. The rep always said to wait 0 seconds to pull the drive. Then waited until AFTER the 18 seconds he was allowed to pull the drive expired before he pulled the drive. We never lost data but we did have to clear several errors. The rep agreed that the IBM doc I pulled looked legit and the supervisor agreed with me that some reeducation was in order.
And having to speak to multiple duty managers on each call to get anything done gets annoying.

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
http://www.dekko.com

-----Original Message-----
From: MIDRANGE-L <midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Jim Oberholtzer
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2022 7:47 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: BRMS flash copy

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.


QEDD is a good product, several of my customers use it. That said, I always go with SAN replication where possible. As a plus, it pushes the replication workload to the SAN from the POWER system. With the toolkit, flash copy, nightly full system saves, etc are a breeze. The BRMS iASP version, I just can’t see where that is a solution for all but limited situations.

Now in Rob’s case where procedures are clear and practiced, I just don’t see a reason to change it. With respect to upgrades, moving to SAN storage from internal storage, that is definitely the way to go, even with needing VIOS to virtualize everything. Once you’ve got that set up properly management is easy, can be done while the system is active etc.. Once you get to that type of storage, you won’t choose to go back.

Jim Oberholtzer
Agile Technology Architects



On May 20, 2022, at 6:30 AM, Rob Berendt <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I'm trying to decide if any of these really help in our situation.
GDIHQ is production.
GDIHQ2 is CBU.
We're using Quick-EDD to replicate between these.
We back up GDIHQ quarterly with a full system save. After doing a role switch to GDIHQ2.
We do nightly backups on GDIHQ2 with BRMS.
IBM just added the capability to BRMS to create a recovery report for GDIHQ based on this exact scenario.

I have zero quisce operations and zero disruption of the production machine for the nightly saves.
Back when we only had a single system the boss would not let me quiesce to start the checkpoint for a save while active. I had to do a ragged save while active. Of course, save while active on IFS is a sick joke.

When we do an OS upgrade we upgrade GDIHQ2 first. Let's say Wednesday or Thursday. Then we switch over to GDIHQ2 on Saturday and upgrade GDIHQ to the new release. This way we have zero worries about saving to a previous release being an issue. Been through several upgrades, ptfs, etc with no issues following this. Sunday we switch back. They're in different cities so they have different IP addresses, etc. There is a slight drop in 5250, etc when we do the switches. We have an automated process which changes the DNS entries in our Windows servers.

GDIHQ2 is not a 'test'. It is CBU. We have other machines and lpars for testing of the new releases, etc.

What we have may only sound simple to me because I'm familiar with it.
While PowerHA and/or other SAN based solutions sound simple to you because of your familiarity with those processes.

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
http://www.dekko.com

-----Original Message-----
From: MIDRANGE-L <midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Rob Berendt
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2022 7:12 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: BRMS flash copy

Thank you.

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
http://www.dekko.com

-----Original Message-----
From: MIDRANGE-L <midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Rameez Raza
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2022 4:16 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: BRMS flash copy

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.


Dear Rob,

Flashcopy backup using PowerHA requires IBMi cluster and iASP.

BRMS flashcopy does not require PowerHA and hence can be implemented for
system having iASP or Sysbase only. You can use BRMS flashcopy to take
backup as under

On Source Side ( SYSTEMA )
To do the FlashCopy backup of SYSTEMA. You need to follow the steps
1)End SYSTEMA to Restricted State.
2)Check that System has reached to restricted state ( There are API to do
this ). When you put the system in restricted state Main Memory of SYSTEMA
would be flushed and all contents would be written to disk. This way you
would reduce chances damaged object on FLASHSYS ( Flash Copy System of
SYSTEMA )
3) Change the IPLA of SYSTEMA to start in restircted state
4) Set the source system to Flash Copy State ( There are commands to do
this )
5) Indicate to SYSTEMA that backup is in progress on FLASHSYS ( Though
backup has not started )
6) Now Split the association between Source Disk Array and the Flash Disk
Array. This is called ENDPPRC link in IBM term and Split in EMC Term. A
number of checks can be incorporated to make this step more robust
7) Once the split is complete , Change the IPLA of SYSTEMA to start the
system normally
8) Start QCTL on SYSTEMA
9) Do Not Run Any backup on SYSTEMA till the time backup is running or
better say that till the time the backup completes on FLASHSYSA and QUSRBRM
( BRMS data Library ) is restored to SYSTEMA.

Target Side ( FLASHSYS System Side)
1) IPL the FLASHSYS after the split is complete or after the ENDPPRC is
complete
2) FLASHSYS will come up in Restricted state or it will stall if it cant
find the load source disk ( if the split is failure )
3) Change the Flash state from source to flash target ( there are commands
to do this , its easy)
4) Remove Production IP address, Remote Route ( if required ) and assign
new ip adress and new Route. New IP address means dynamically creating line
description with correct resource name ( its easy )
5) Set Restricted state TCP/IP interface for BRMS to talk to other systems
in BRMS network
6) Do the backup
7) Irrespective of weather backup completes normally or abnormally, save
entire QUSRBRM in to save file and FTP it to source system SYSTEMA ( to be
done as batch FTP )


Source Side ( SYSTEMA ) - Steps would be executed as part of FTP job from
FLASHSYSA )
1) Clear QUSRBRM
2) Add to system reply list default reply of I to ignore deletion of
unsaved journal receiver
3) Restore QUSRBRM
4) Ensure the QUSRBRM is restore succesfful. If yes then indicate to
SYSTEMA that backup is now compelete on FLASHSYS.
5) End the Flash Copy on source.

On Thu, 19 May 2022, 19:34 Rob Berendt, <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I hear talk of something called BRMS flash copy.
Is this something which still requires two lpars and/or systems or can you
do a flash copy, and start the backup from the flash copy?
Do you have to quisce the system during the flash copy?

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
http://www.dekko.com

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