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Enhanced Call Home to Support Recovery from Loss of Configuration Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132180D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Dec-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Dec-05
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This invention addresses a problem of loss of critical configuration data in computer systems. Loss of the configuration information is at least a big inconvenience for customers - reconfiguration is needed - and may even be as bad as loss of access to data or even loss of part of the data. Avoiding such disasters can be advanced by a better way to handle the critical configuration data.

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Enhanced Call Home to Support Recovery from Loss of Configuration Information

Virtually all computing platforms, and storage systems in particular, maintain configuration data that is needed for bringing the system up, enabling normal operation, and supporting maintenance. Some of this information is hard to recover when the system has a problem, because the problem may be on the only media that is available for recovery. For example, in IBM's DS6000* storage server, the server cards can only use a single compact flash memory card for storing some configuration information. All the rest of the storage becomes available only when the whole system is functioning properly, and thus cannot be used for service and recovery of many problems.

    IBM** and other system vendors have mechanisms by which the server sends information to the vendor. In IBM there are two types of information that are currently transferred: "Call Home" sends problem reports and other significant maintenance-related information to one of two central repositories in IBM, and MRPD sends updates on hardware configuration.

    The core idea of this invention is to use these existing mechanisms to transfer to IBM a copy of the configuration information that cannot be recovered from the box in case of problems. This information can be used to recover the box in cases when its configuration is lost.

    Furthermore, it should be quite easy to automate recovery in some cases. A server that comes up and finds a pro...