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Well Scripted

TTI Inc. uses virtual I/O as part of its disaster-recover regimen

TTI Inc. uses virtual I/O as part of its disaster-recover regimen
Brent Fortman, TTI senior systems administrator, and Janelle Johnson, TTI systems administration manager, credit Power Systems servers and WebSphere software for helping with disaster-recovery efforts.

Making use of the Hardware Management Console (HMC) command-line interface (CLI), Fortman did all of this and more. After creating the initial VIO server on the DR box, the scripts allow the organization to re-create the consolidated LPARs on one physical frame by harvesting configuration output and substituting the information into build commands.

IBM offered TTI the training it needed to truly understand VIO and provide the level of confidence to make this happen. That confidence building worked. As Fortman explains, “We burn a DVD of our VIO server once a month and send that off-site. When we want to recover, we use that DVD to first build the VIO server. Once that’s up and running, we build out each client LPAR. We then use the Network Installation Manager (NIM) server to recover each of the client LPAR operating systems. Using Tivoli* Storage Manager, the application data is then restored. Then we can start the application.”

But, as with many things, that’s the simple description. It’s Fortman’s scripts that do much of the heavy lifting, especially when it comes to automatically building the VIO client LPARs on the HMC. For example, in TTI’s production environment, the scripts query and extract all VIO client LPAR information. They then transform that information so each LPAR can then be rebuilt from the command line of the HMC. For an example of Fortman’s scripting, see the “Raw Output” sidebar.

Fortman adds, “We basically extract all of the information about our environment on a daily basis and turn that into executable commands that we send off-site with all of our other DR information. Then, at the DR site, we pull out these scripts and use them to auto-build our entire VIO client LPAR infrastructure.”

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at

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