SSI Recommendations: CA VM:Tape 

07-31-2014 10:40 AM

How have you implemented CA VM:Tape in an SSI environment? Below you will find a draft of our recommendations. Do they differ from your experience? Do you have any best practices? Is the information below helpful and adequate?

Feel free to edit this document, adding information that you think could be of use to other customers. Please collaborate with us on creating a set of recommendations.


Running CA VM:Tape in an SSI Environment

CA VM:Tape can run in an SSI complex. CA recommends that CA VM:Tape service virtual machines you choose to use be deployed as IDENTITY virtual machines on each member of the complex.

The technique described here to deploy an IDENTITY virtual machine, is to install the product material and define and allocate the server virtual machine as a normal user ID with all minidisks allocated on shared DASD volumes. You then convert the directory entry to an IDENTITY and add BUILD ON and SUBCONFIG statements for each member of the complex.

The steps you will need to perform in order to convert the server to an IDENTITY virtual machine are as follows:

1.      Modify the server directory entry by changing the USER record to IDENTITY and by adding new BUILD ON statements with corresponding SUBCONFIGs for each member. Move the 191 minidisks from the shared directory entry into the SUBCONFIGs.

2.      Based on your site’s needs determine whether you will share your TMC and audit files with z/OS or whether you will use the Shared Disk Facility and modify the shared directory entry accordingly. For z/OS shared TMC the 1B0 and 1D0 minidisks must have mode MWV. For Shared Disk Facility the 1B0 and 1D0 minidisks should have mode MW. In either case, you must ensure the MINIDISK CACHE is set OFF for these minidisks.  It is not recommended to put the audit and TMC on private minidisks. Refer to CA VM:Tape Administration Guide for details.

3.      Determine how you are going to share your tape drives in your SSI complex.  If your tape drives are shared only with other z/VM systems, then you can use the VM:Tape STAM facility to manage sharing your tape drives.  If your tape drives are shared with z/OS systems and z/VM systems, then STAM cannot be used.  In this case you must use a product such as CA MIM Resource Sharing to manage sharing tape drives.

Now on each member perform the following manipulations to complete the server deployment on each member system:

1.      Logon to VMANAGER and perform the deployment as follows:  On the initial member do a normal ‘VMDEPLOY server INIT” command to cause a set of default configuration files and the startup PROFILE EXEC to be placed on that server’s 0191 MDISK.  The minidisks defined on the DEPLOY tag are also populated with product material. On the other members do a “VMDEPLOY server INIT ONLY” command to cause a set of default configuration files and a startup PROFILE EXEC to be placed on that server’s 0191 MDISK without repopulating the product material on the shared minidisks.

2.      Logon to the server and complete the manual steps necessary to tailor the product configuration and implement tape drive sharing



Running CA VM:Tape Linux Interface in an SSI environment

If you want the VM:Tape Linux agent to work without any interruption after the guest is relocated you have to  define  addresses  of  CA VM:Tape SVMs which are running on the systems you want to relocate to.  You can do that using the '@' syntax in the vmtli.conf configuration file:

vmtape_address@system_name1 = address1

vmtape_address@system_name2 = address2

Ports can be defined in the same manner. Refer to the vmtli.conf(5) man page for details.  

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10-06-2014 01:55 PM

This was my misunderstanding and may be because some of the products implementation in an SSI environment may be different. In the case of VMTAPE the VMTAPE code disk (0192) is not share across all the members of an SSI Complex. so no outage will be incurred if Member 1's VMTAPE is upgraded and Members 2, 3, and 4 are not.

09-23-2014 12:47 PM

Would you elaborate on your comment about outages in all members at the same time? If a VMTAPE server on member 1 is experiencing an outage, the service it provides cannot be supplied by any VMTAPE servers still running on other members. Whether other members have VMTAPE running or not makes no difference as far as mounting tapes for a virtual machine on member 1.

08-15-2014 10:28 AM

So far this looks good from a SSI perspective.

I would also reiterate the need to run two levels of the software in a SSI Complex because we can not get outages across all members in the complex at the same time and that was the intent of SSI in the first place.

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