Discussing all things virtualization and storage in the data center.

Simplicity is the key.

It's Friday afternoon where i live, and i took the afternoon off, to be with my wife. Surprise i said when i got home. I surprised only my dog. The kids are in school, and the wife is obviously gone somewhere. So i sit here, with my Senseo coffee, thinking about the discussion i had earlier this morning at work.

I wanted to design some flashcopy scripts against our IBM San Volume Controller, in order to perform some flashcopy tasks for the Windows servers. In the forum i already started a new topic about this. So i talked to my partner about how i intended to do it, and what my obstacles were. I wanted to know how the disk (read volume) was mounted on the Windows host. But i had no method in matching the unique ID's i got from the SVC tot the disks in the host. Windows doesn't keep track of the LUN's serial numbers without installing third-party tools. How could I possibly know where to put the target disks. I want them to be easily recognized by the path they are mounted in.

An example.
The source host (called HOST01) has 2 disks, one is mounted as E: and the other is mounted as F:\Subdir\Mountpoint. Let's not make it to complex, and have both volumes comprised out of only one disk, so no spanning here. My target host is another server called HOST02.
I want the targets to be recognized by the path on HOST02. All FC targets will be mounted somewhere under the drive letter F: which tells me it are FC volumes. Something psychological i guess. That would then look something like this:
HOST02 -> F: \ HOST01 \ E
HOST02 -> F: \ HOST01 \ F \ Subdir \ Mountpoint

All the information on the paths and drive letters have to be dynamically gathered. Quite the task i tell you. But given my know how, i should be able to pull it off. By doing this, i tried to solve my flashcopy problems on Windows, and simultaneously make a completely new backup design. My partner nods his head. Don't make it this complex he said. Just try to pull off the flashcopy first, without considering all the variables. We are in the middle of redesigning our infrastructure anyway. We want to ban the current methods of doing our DR backups, and recoveries. So we are planning on doing a full flashcopy to a remote location of all our data anyway. So, just have the SVC do it to all the LUNs it knows about. Hmm, i think. But i want to make the file level backups easier as well i say.
Even though it's hard to admit, he's got a point there. Why change the complete file level backup methods, when you can have all the data flashcopied with minimal amount of effort? After having accomplished the easy part, you still start on working on the way we process file level backups he said, but there's no pressure there. And you know what? He's right. So i will probably propose the new insights to my management.
Guess those mainframe storage admins have an advantage on the OpenSystems guys when it comes to simplicity. Why do the OpenSystems admins tend to choose to do stuff the hard way?

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