We have a new PTF scheduled for release in the next couple of weeks for HA4i. The main focus has been on adding new management features which improve the ability to automate certain functions. Below is a quick list about the changes we have made in this PTF.
The SyncMgr concept was introduced in PTF03, it is a mechanism for replicating journaled objects in a manner that allows them to be restored at the correct point to ensure the journal entries after the restore match up with the base object. New features provide a better overview of the actual replication process for the objects and changes to the save process such as compression and access path saves now improve the network utilization and speed of transfer. A couple of other nice features we added was a re-submission of failed requests, so if an object is not able to be saved due to object locks etc it is added back to the bottom of the list. This provides a much more robust process which ensures objects are replicated as soon as possible while not interfering with normal replication processes.
The Status Check process which looks at all of the running processes and reports any anomalies can now link to the Email Manager and send those status checks out to the registered email account. This provides a quick and efficient notification process when things start to go wrong. Things such as jobs going into message wait or jobs that should be running which are not are reported to both the QSYSOPR message queue and the email recipients.
Audits have also been improved in a number of ways but most significantly we have tied up the audit of files with the apply processing. Because the audit has to run when no activity occurs from the users and all existing data has been applied the audits tend to be submitted overnight hen no one is around, so we have delivered an automated process that will apply the existing data in the attached receiver before running an audit. This means the audit can be sure all available data has been applied prior to running the audits and the users do not have to run complicated cross system checks to make sure everything is as it should be. You can now submit a SBMSYNCREQ directly from the audit display file to re-sync any object that requires it using the SyncMgr technology.
As part of the improvements to the status displays we have added a new status field which shows the size of an object which is in error such as a file. This data is pulled from the source system to show the actual size of the object which will be replicated if a SBMSYNCREQ is made. This helps those who need to know just how big an object is and how long it will take to replicate once it is started. We have also provided the ability to not save the access paths with the file, many customers found that the access paths increased the size of a saved object significantly which in turn caused other issues as the object was saved and restored between the systems. The default is still to save the access paths but using a simple data area you can force the processes to ignore this setting and only save the object not its access paths.
If you have a very slow connection between the systems or the link is already fully utilized just managing the normal replication operations you may not have the ability to re-sync an object over the link. This PTF adds a new feature which runs the same save process as the SBMSYNCREQ but does not transfer the save file between the systems. Instead you will get a notification of the save file created which you can then save off to an alternative medium (tape or CD etc) and transport to the target site for restore. The apply process can be forced into a held state until you have restored the object to ensure the entry generated by HA4i to restore the object is not processed before the save file is actually available on the remote system.
Automation is a big requirement when it comes to doing role swaps, this PTF brings a new one shot role swap which allows a *PLANNED role swap to be carried out from a single system, the remote system is switched under the control of the source system without the users having to sign onto the remote system. *UNPLANNED role swaps still require each system to be switch independently. We have also taken the opportunity to add exit point processing to the role swap, at each stage a program will be called by the role swap program to allow other activities to be carried out. As usual if the process fails or the exit program fails the process is halted at that point awaiting a restart.
Object and Spool file replication have been updated and a number of new features added, the main one is a filter for multiple failures for the same object or command etc. Now you will only see one request even if the object is in error multiple times such as when an object is changed constantly but is always locked. Any errors can be re-submitted automatically using the commands provided as well as being re-submitted individually using the panel group options.
As always we have made many changes at the bequest of customers. They run the product in far more complicated environments that we are able to produce on our test systems so their input is very important to us. The above changes reflect our ongoing commitment to the HA4i product and providing our customers with a simple yet effective HA solution.
If you wish to speak with us about HA4i and how it can provide you with a Cost Effective HA solution let us know. The price may be a pleasant surprise.