Service Availability Risk Detectionfor IBM XIV


You’ve surely invested a great deal of time and money in your IBM XIV environment and carefully designed and implemented redundancy, availability and data protection. But what guarantees that your storage service will always deliver the required level of availability and efficiency that you expect?

It is difficult to maintain a configuration that is always aligned with vendor best-practices, and even harder to ensure that changes in other IT layers are well aligned with your IBM XIV storage array configuration. Unfortunately, even a minor gap between storage, compute and networking can put an entire business application at risk.

Proactive IBM XIV Configuration Validation

A well-designed foundation is where it all starts or ends as the slightest misconfiguration can affect hundreds of servers and cause service or data loss issues. AvailabilityGuard automatically detects IBM XIV storage arrays and their configuration, including:

  • Model, revision, memory, capacity, etc.
  • Front End directors and Fibre-channel ports
  • Storage pool and XIV volume configuration
  • LUN mapping and masking configuration
  • Replication and Point in Time copies (dependencies, state, etc.) – Remote Mirror, Snapshot
  • XIV Consistency groups, XIV Snapshot group

The above information is correlated to other configuration data obtained by scanning servers, databases, virtualization, and more. This includes:

  • Host configuration, Fibre Channel Adapter configuration, LVM and filesystem configuration, and more
  • IO multipath tools (Native MPIO, PowerPath, Veritas DMP, Microsoft MPIO and many others)
  • SAN switches configuration, zoning configuration
  • Database configuration
  • End to end data path visibility (e.g. DATABASE → FILE SYSTEM → VM → ESX VMFS/RDM → HBA → SAN SWITCHES → ARRAY PORT → VOLUME)

IBM XIV Configuration Vulnerabilities

AvailabilityGuard performs IBM XIV risk analysis and checks for configuration issues or best-practice violations. Here are a few examples:

  • Host access to XIV volumes – single point of failure detection
  • Cluster data access risks (e.g., standby does not see all shared volumes, has reduced bandwidth, etc.)
  • Detect data access risks (e.g., dead paths, sub-optimal multi-pathing policies, potential tampering, and more)
  • Detect storage alignment issues (e.g., database files, VMware VMFS, etc.)
  • Incorrect masking configuration
  • Identify cross-array configuration errors (e.g., LVM objects striped across multiple arrays; mirrored LVs kept on a single array, inappropriate consistency configuration and more)
  • Incorrect VMware SRM protection group configuration for IBM XIV

IBM XIV Replication Considerations

AvailabilityGuard provides deep analysis of replication and mirroring, including IBM XIV Remote Mirror and Snapshot. Here are a few key checks – see more on Replication solution pages.

  • Partial replication
  • Potentially inconsistent replication
  • Incorrect or incomplete consistency group definition
  • RPO and retention violations
  • Incorrect alignment to replicated storage (e.g., database data and log on same volume)
  • Redundant / old replicas