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Method and System for Simplifying Storage Management Environment Setup for IBM Systems Director

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198635D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-11

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Currently, IBM Systems Director provides life-cycle management of your physical and virtual storage systems, including discovery, health and status monitoring, configuration, updates, and virtualization. IBM Systems Director supports a wide variety of storage devices, including local storage, BladeCenter integrated storage, network storage, and storage switches, while most of them require SMI-S providers to be installed for management. An SMI-S provider is the vendor-specific module that must be installed and properly configured for IBM Systems Director to manage certain storage devices. IBM Systems Director communicates with a storage device through its respective SMI-S provider. During the recent 2009 IBM Systems Director Customer Council in September, we heard lots of complaints about the complicated storage management environment setup from our customers. Because most IT administrators are lack of the basic knowledge about SMI-S provider, and from their perspectives, they even don’t care which technology you use in IBM Systems Director for storage management. Our invention is to implement a method and system for simplifying storage management environment setup for IBM Systems Director. In this solution, the SMI-S providers will be downloaded, installed and configured automatically. This function and existing Storage Manager components synergy will construct a new discovery process, which facilitates the environment setup for storage device management. In this architecture, one new and independent module named SMI-S Provider Inventory Server, which can be taken as the SMI-S provider repository, is involved into the existing framework and the main function of this module is to maintain all the storage providers that IBM Systems Director supports and provide the Director management server the service of downloading, installing and configuring the appropriate version of SMI-S provider for specific storage device. The invention points in this disclosure are: • Define a component named SMI-S Provider Inventory Server, which maintains and manages all storage providers for Storage Management in IBM Systems Director. • Define a new discovery process in Storage Management, which hides the concept of SMI-S provider for end users and downloads providers to SMI-S Provider Inventory Server, installs and configures it automatically for further usage. • Define a mechanism on how to setup the storage management environment efficiently, and how to simplify the discovery process against devices to meet customers’ requirements.

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Method and System for Simplifying Storage Management Environment Setup for IBM Systems Director

IBM Systems Director is a platform management foundation that streamlines the way physical and virtual systems are managed across a multi-system environment. Leveraging industry standards , IBM Systems Director provides multi -system support for IBM Power Systems- , Systems x, BladeCenter-, System z-, and Storage Systems, enabling integration of IBM systems with the total infrastructure .

Nowadays, the ability to manage storage subsystems and devices is becoming an increasingly critical function for most IT organizations . With the increased number of storage systems that have adopted the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), there exists an industry-standard way to manage these systems . IBM Systems Director employs SMI -S to manage a numberof IBM storage devices from the same Web console.

(What's the problem?)

Currently, IBM Systems Director provides life -cycle management of your physical and virtual storage systems , including discovery, health and status monitoring, configuration, updates, and virtualization. IBM Systems Director supports a wide variety of storage devices , including local storage, BladeCenter integrated storage , network storage, and storage switches, while most of them require SMI -S providers to be installed for management . An SMI-S provider is the vendor -specific module that must be installed and properly configured for IBM Systems Director to manage certain storage devices . IBM Systems Director communicates with a storagedevice through its respective SMI -S provider.

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Figure 1: The framework of Storage Management in ISD

During the recent 2009 IBM Systems Director Customer Council in September , we heard lots of complaints about the complicated storage management environment setup from our customers . Because most IT administrators are lack of the basic knowledge about SMI -S provider, and from their perspectives, they even don't care which technology you use in IBM Systems Director for storage management .

Here we describe the customers' pain points which they mentioned mostly .
- Director requires users to input the information of an SMI -S provider first to discover storage devices . It's difficult for them to understand the concept of SMI -S provider layer, because they are not interested in and even don 't care which technology you use .
- It's hard for them to find the correct version of SMI -S provider that IBM Systems Director supports for the specific storage device .
- They are frustrated by installing SMI -S provider and configuring it , because they are lack of related common sense .
- During the discovery operation , they may discover unwanted devices , because one SMI-S provider canmanage multiple storage devices with the same type.

(What's our invention?)

Our invention is to implement a method and system for simp...