Day: February 26, 2019

Replication Role switch/swaps vs Virtual

I have performed many swaps or switches for replication software for the IBM i and a question I hear often is “What is the difference between a swap/switches and a Virtual one?” 

The feature of the virtual role switch/swap is a very useful tool. This allows you to switch your environment and allows validation testing on your target environment without impacting any of your users on your source system. There is no downtime and you can validate your data without having to update your network.

You may have applications you cannot test during a virtual swap but there’s still a good way to test your data and find issues. During a virtual swap, the only replication is ended. Mimix/ iTera keeps track of all changes that were made on the target during the virtual swap and once you swap back, you will undo any changes made to the target.

Journals will still be capturing the source system activity during this time and will be applied to the target once the virtual swap completes. The swap back time will depend on the amount of changes that were made during the testing during the virtual swap. This will be something you want to factor into your plan for any virtual swap.  This is the best way to do destructive testing because during a virtual swap no data will be replicated back to your source system.

Replication role swap simulates the event of a true disaster in the event that your source system is unavailable. This will have the users utilizing the target and any changes will be synced back to your source system.  This demonstrates that if you lost your system users, you would be able to work on the target. Once you got a source available again, the changes can be synced back with limited downtime. You can circumvent the sync back to production by saving your data before the swap on both source and target, restoring them back after testing is completed. You will need to regenerate your journals and restart the data groups from the new journals after the restore is completed on both sides. This would only be for destructive testing and is best to be done during a virtual swap.  

I would recommend a planned swap four times a year, one full swap and three virtual swaps. Three times a year, you can validate your data and …

Moving a Physical Adapter via HMC using Classic GUI vs. Enhanced+ GUI or HMC V8R8.7.0 and higher version

Manually Moving the PCI Fiber Channel Adapter/IOA from Partition B to Partition A

Note:  Not shown in this process/steps,  you will need to check and vary off, if needed, the resource using the physical adapter on Partition B, (i.e., tape library, tape drive), and then vary on the resource that will use the physical adapter on Partition A.

Using the Classic GUI

  • Sign into the HMC V7
    • Sign in


  • Sign into the HMC V8 (V8R8.3.0 through V8R8.6.0)
    • Check Classic (V8R8.6.0 final support for Classic GUI)
    • Sign In
  • In the Navigation pane, in the left portion of the window, open: Systems Management > Custom Groups > All Partitions
    • In the Work pane, check the box under Select, for the H partition – options on the bottom will appear
  • On the bottom, select: Dynamic partitioning > Physical Adapters > Move or Remove. 
  • Next, in this example, check the box next to slot C12 (Description: 8 Gigabit PCI Express Dual Port Fibre Channel Adapter)
    • In options, use drop down button in Move to partition.
      •  Select A(1), then click the OK button.


Using the Enhanced+ GUI or HMC V8R8.7.0 and higher

  • Sign into the HMC V8 (V8R8.3.0 and through V8R8.6.0)
    • Check Enhanced+ (V8R8.3.0 initial support for Enhanced+ GUI)
    • Sign In


  • Sign into the HMC V8R8.7.0 or V9
    • Sign in

The enhanced UI does not support dynamic logical partitioning (dlpar) move. The user must first remove the adapter from the current owning partition then add the adapter to the target. The operating system device needs to be “varied off’ prior to removing the adapter from the owning partition.

1. Remove the adapter from current partition.

Select Resources > All partitions.

Select the partition that owns the resource now.

Then, click on the Physical I/O Adapters:

Select the I/O adapter to remove.

Click Action > Remove Adapter. 

At the prompt “The selected adapter will be removed. Do you want to continue?” Click OK

Click the Save button at the top of the physical I/O Adapter panel to apply the changes.
This will remove the adapter from the partition. 

Note: The device would need to be varied off prior to removing the adapter. 

2. Add the adapter to the target partition.
Select the target partition 

Select Physical I/O Adapters:

Click Add Adapter. Select the adapter to add, then click OK:

Click the Save button at the top of the physical I/O Adapter panel …

Questions to Ask Yourself When It Comes to Backup and Recovery

When people talk to us about backup and recovery, one of the most common questions is “how often should I be doing a full system save?”

Given we’re about to install PTFs or upgrade the OS, my response is always, “when was your last full system save?” What I do next is show them the QSAVSYS data area to at least find out exactly when the last SAVSYS (Save System, or Go Save option 22) was done. Now, this isn’t proof positive that a Go Save option 21 was taken because a SAVSYS is a part of a backup using Go Save option 21. But in terms of a recovery, a SAVSYS will allow you to at least help get your Licensed Internal Code and operating system going from a bare metal recovery.

Check your last SAVSYS by reviewing the QSAVSYS data area with the following command, then review the Save Date/Time value of the object.