Browse Prior Art Database

A method to connect virtual devices across a physical boundary.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035551D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jan-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 81K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method to connect virtual devices across a physical boundary. A method of control structures that brings together common elements in a unique way, which brings system to system communication to a new level of security.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

A method to connect virtual devices across a physical boundary .

Disclosed is a device for securely allowing virtual devices in separate physical enclosures to share memory regions.

The key to making something virtual is to portray to the owner of the resource that it is the only owner of the resource. Virtual devices are not a new concept, however, using virtual devices to share memories across physical boundaries is. All virtual devices thus far have been contained within the same server (physical enclosure). SMCA (Shared Memory Cluster Adapter) is a virtual I/O adapter that pairs with another SMCA on a remote server across physical hardware. The two SMCAs are paired to create a connection. This connection allows memory spaces to be shared between two LPARs (logical partitions -- computing resources). These connections are also secured to ensure that two LPARs that should not be talking to each other don't. See the Figure below for a visual representation.

Figure:

Physical Enclosure 0

Physical Enclosure 0

Physical Enclosure 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

Physical Enclosure 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

Physical Enclosure 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

SMCA 1

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 1

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 1

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

Hardware 0

Hardware 0

Hardware 0

Hardware 1

Hardware 1

Hardware 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

LPAR 0

LPAR 1

SMCA 0

Physical Enclosure 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 1

SMCA 1

SMCA 1

Physical Cable 0

Physical Cable 1

Physical Cable 0

Physical Cable 1

Supports Multiple Virtual Connections

Supports Multiple Virtual Connections

Supports Multiple Virtual Connections

Supports Multiple Virtual Connections

Hardware 0

Hardware 0

Hardware 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

SMCA 0

Hardware 1

Hardware 1

Hardware 1

Here's how it works: two servers are connected by a fabric (physical cable connecting two pieces of hardware). None of the LPARs within the servers know about each other, but two LPARs, one from each server, are configured to be partners. Each LPAR is assigned a

1

[This page contains 4 pictures or other non-text objects]

Page 2 of 2

pool id; LPARs with the same pool id are permitted to share each others memory spaces and communicate (software enforced). Each LPAR is configured to have at most one SMCA per remote LPAR partner per fabric path. From a HMC (Hardware Management Console -- which is an external resource from the servers) the topology is retrieved -- which describes the servers that exist and the fabric that connects them. Through the HMC, a person can create LPARs on servers, assign LPARs to a pool id and configure SMCAs. To configure a SMCA, a person specifies which LPAR will own it, who its partner LPAR wil...