Portable XIV!

Now that IBM is shipping the XIV Gen3, a new version of the XIV Host Attachment Kit has been released:  version 1.7.   This new release brings in support the XIV Gen3 (or more specifically, XIV Firmware 11.0).   You can download the new HAK from here.

What changed?   Well there are the usual lists of enhancements and fixes in the release notes, but what I really like is that the HAK now comes in a portable edition. So instead of installing the HAK locally on each host, it can be run from a mounted network drive or from a portable USB flash drive.    Nice!

For every Operating System HAK, there is a portable version.  Meaning AIX, HP-UX, Linux and Solaris can all be configured without installing a separate piece of software.  The python needed to run the scripts is all encapsulated.   This is a really cool enhancement.

I tried it out on a Windows 2008 R2 machine that did not have a fibre channel HBA or any pre-existing HAK.   All I did is download the portable kit as a zip and unpack it.  Then open a command prompt and go to the bin directory of the unpacked zip.

I ran the xiv_fc_admin -V command since that tells me whether all the pre-reqs have been met without changing anything:

\host_attach\bin>xiv_fc_admin -V
Cleaning up previous versions...                            OK
Modifying Disk Timeout settings...                          OK
Multi-Path I/O Feature for Windows 2008 (R2)...             NOT OK
Configure Multi-Path I/O feature to work with XIV Devices   NOT OK
Clean-up deprecated XIV MPIO Load Balancing Service...      OK
Cleaning Depricated XIV Legacy MultiPath Management Agent   OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                   NOT OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                   NOT OK
Windows Hotfix 981208...                                    NOT OK
Windows Hotfix 979711...                                    NOT OK
Lun 0 enabler for Windows...                                NOT OK

Now that I know that most the pre-reqs were not met, I ran xiv_attach to get the host attachment kit to install the relevant hotfixes (they get provided with the zip so nothing needs to be downloaded):

portable\host_attach\bin>xiv_attach
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome to the XIV Host Attachment wizard, version 1.7.0.
This wizard will assist you to attach this host to the XIV system.

The wizard will now validate host configuration for the XIV system.
Press [ENTER] to proceed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please choose a connectivity type, [f]c / [i]scsi : f
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please wait while the wizard validates your existing configuration...
The wizard needs to configure the host for the XIV system.
Do you want to proceed? [default: yes ]:
Please wait while the host is being configured...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A reboot is required in order to continue.
Please reboot the machine and restart the wizard

Press [ENTER] to exit.

Now that the xiv_attach command has been run, I ran  xiv_fc_admin -V again to see what changes occurred.  One hotfix still showed as not OK, but that changed after I rebooted the server.

portable\host_attach\bin>xiv_fc_admin -V
Cleaning up previous versions...                            OK
Modifying Disk Timeout settings...                          OK
Multi-Path I/O Feature for Windows 2008 (R2)...             OK
Configure Multi-Path I/O feature to work with XIV Devices   OK
Clean-up deprecated XIV MPIO Load Balancing Service...      OK
Cleaning Depricated XIV Legacy MultiPath Management Agent   OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                   OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                   OK
Windows Hotfix 981208...                                    OK
Windows Hotfix 979711...                                    NOT OK
Lun 0 enabler for Windows...                                OK

I then turned to a second machine that actually has a fibre channel HBA and is attached to an XIV with release 1.6 of the HAK already installed.   This is where things got interesting. Because 1.6 is installed, I could use the already installed 1.6 version or the new portable 1.7 version (unpacked in a folder or on a USB stick).    First I ran the portable 1.7 version of  xiv_fc_admin -V command to check what issues need to be corrected.

portable\host_attach\bin>xiv_fc_admin -V
Cleaning up previous versions...                                 OK
Modifying Disk Timeout settings...                               OK
Multi-Path I/O Feature for Windows 2008 (R2)...                  OK
Configure Multi-Path I/O feature to work with XIV Devices...     OK
Clean-up deprecated XIV MPIO Load Balancing Service...           OK
Cleaning Depricated XIV Legacy MultiPath Management Agent...     NOT OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                        OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                        OK
Lun 0 enabler for Windows...                                     OK

I then ran the command with the -C parameter to get it to correct any detected issues.  I could have run xiv_attach, but the xiv_fc_admin -C command shows you what changes it made:

portable\host_attach\bin>xiv_fc_admin -C
Cleaning up previous versions...                             OK
Modifying Disk Timeout settings...                           OK
Multi-Path I/O Feature for Windows 2008 (R2)...              OK
Configure Multi-Path I/O feature to work with XIV Devices    OK
Clean-up deprecated XIV MPIO Load Balancing Service...       OK
Cleaning Depricated XIV Legacy MultiPath Management Agent    OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                    OK
Windows Hotfix 2460971...                                    OK
Lun 0 enabler for Windows...                                 OK

I then ran xiv_attach to be certain (since that also scans for new devices).

Now that I was happy with the portable version of  1.7, I downloaded the full release of version 1.7 and installed it.   There was no requirement to reboot.  I could confirm the system version was upgraded with xiv_fc_admin -v

C:\Users\Administrator>xiv_fc_admin -v
1.7.0

There are some great possibilities with the new portable version:

  • Doing data collection (such as xiv_devlist and xiv_diag) without installing the HAK.
  • Performing an upgrade of the HAK without installing it.
  • Testing to see what changes the HAK will require if we were to let the HAK configure the server.   Very handy for documenting change records.
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About Anthony Vandewerdt

I am an IT Professional who lives and works in Melbourne Australia. This blog is totally my own work. It does not represent the views of any corporation. Constructive and useful comments are very very welcome.
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2 Responses to Portable XIV!

  1. Pingback: XIV Host Attachment Kit 1.7.1 is now available | Aussie Storage Blog

  2. Pingback: XIV Host Attachment Kit 1.7.1 is now available - The Business of IT Storage Blog - IBM Storage Community

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