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Method to automatically configure storage cards in a redundant and load-balanced way

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000254461D
Publication Date: 2018-Jun-29
Document File: 4 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Mainframe computer systems can be equipped with large numbers of I/O cards, state-

of-the-art mainframe embodiment’s support up to 160 I/O cards. A subset of these

I/O cards, in the following referred to as storage cards, are used to attach enterprise

storage systems via fiber-channel networks. Storage cards offer two modes of

operation (in the remainder of this publication referred to as MODE2 and MODE2),

and have to be configured into one of these modes before they become operational.

In mainframe computing, reliability and performance are of crucial importance. This

includes the I/O connectivity from the mainframe to storage systems. Selecting

storage cards such they best address reliability (by providing redundant

communication paths) and performance (by balancing load across the available I/O

hardware infrastructure) is tedious and error prone. Yet, as of today, the only way to

configure the mode of operation of storage cards is to write configuration files

manually, or to use only very basic tools.

Disclosed is a method to automatically configure storage cards in a redundant and load-

balanced way.

The basic building block of the disclosure is the selection of a redundant pair of storage

cards. This pair will be configured to use the desired mode of operation. Derived

from this building block, the invention also solves the problem of configuring a single

card, as well as configuring an arbitrary number of cards.

The pair selection building block makes use of two concepts to be introduced in the

following: the balance score and the redundancy score.

Based on the plug locations of a storage cards, cards can be grouped into various

categories. Possible categories include: the I/O drawer, the I/O domain, the card's

configuration status and combinations thereof. The balance score is better the more

evenly cards are distributed across all categories.

The redundancy score is defined for a pair of cards and reflects how well one card can

act as fallback of the other card of the pair in case of failure scenarios, taking into

respect physical and architectural properties of the system. A pair of cards plugged

into two different I/O drawers is considered to have the best redundancy score,

followed by a pair of cards plugged into the same drawer, but in redundant I/O

domains each. Next would be a pair of cards plugged into the same drawer, but

arbitrary (different) I/O domains. The least redundancy score has a pair of cards

plugged into a single drawer and into the same I/O domain, which still offers

redundancy against card failures.

The Pair Selection Building Block

Pair selection runs in three phases:

A) Pair Selection

1) Identification of eligible storage cards (see below for details).

2) Selection of a card that maximizes the balance score of the overall configuration.

This is used as the first card of a pair (see below for details).

3) Selection of a second card, by maximizing the redundancy score of the pair of

cards resulting from step 2 and...

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