News Column

"I/O Device and Storage Management System" in Patent Application Approval Process

March 6, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventor HAGA, Futoshi (Cupertino, CA), filed on August 7, 2012, was made available online on February 20, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Hitachi, Ltd.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an I/O device and storage volume management systems for server systems.

"Many companies have embraced the virtual machine environment in recent years. Its usage allows physical machines, e.g., servers, to be consolidated into fewer machines and thereby reduce hardware cost. Some estimates that companies often manage more virtual machines than actual physical machines. The number of virtualized physical servers, i.e., physical servers that run virtual machine environment, is expected to increase even more in coming years. The cost of information technology (IT) platform management has been rising with the greater adoption of virtual machine environment since the management of virtual machines tends to be more complicated than physical machines. This is particularly true in a storage converged system that integrates server, storage and network management. One component or device that is often used in a storage converged system is an I/O device (or I/O module) that consolidates virtualized network and storage connectivity to service a plurality of computer systems. The I/O module virtualizes server I/O resources. One type of I/O module is a PCI-based I/O box that uses SSD Flash cards.

"The I/O modules may be deployed in an information system including a conventional storage system. A storage system typically includes one or more storage arrays that are connected to a plurality of hosts via a fabric network including a storage network and a LAN. One type of commonly used storage networks is Storage Area Network (SAN). In such an information system, an I/O module administrator is employed to manage the I/O modules, and a SAN administrator is employed to manage the storage system. Both of these administrators are needed to manage volumes, e.g., create volumes, for computer systems (or hosts or server) in the information system. The I/O module administrator creates vI/O instances and logical volumes on a PCI-based SSD device, maps the vI/O instances to the logical volumes, and configures the I/O switch to connect the vI/O instances to the computer systems. The SAN administer has to corresponding logical volumes and perform the LUN masking to deploy the newly created logical volumes in PCI-SSD in the information system. The current method of managing an information system having I/O modules and storage system is cumbersome and inefficient. It would be desirable to streamline the management of such an information system."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention relates to an I/O device and storage volume management systems for server systems. In an embodiment, a plurality of the I/O devices (or I/O modules) is deployed as part of an information system. The I/O modules are used to provide input/output virtualization (IOV), so that a single physical I/O unit may be shared by more than one system image. The I/O modules in the information system are managed using SAN operation methods. For example, SAN operation methods are used to perform the volume management, copy management, migration management, and pool management.

"In an embodiment, a vI/O manager in the I/O module is used to manage the storage devices attached to the I/O module by using SAN operation methods. The I/O module may be a PCI-based I/O box, and the storage devices may be SSD Flash cards.

"In an embodiment, an input/output (I/O) device includes at least one communication port; at least one storage device attached to the I/O device and is configured to provide a storage volume; and an I/O manager configured to manage operations of the I/O device. The I/O manager is configured to receive a request to create a new logical volume, create a new logical volume on the storage device based on the request, and define a first relationship between the created logical volume and a virtual I/O instance based on the request. The virtual I/O instance is a virtual access point for enabling a computer system connected to the I/O device via the communication port to access the created logical volume.

"In an embodiment, an input/output (I/O) manager is stored in an I/O device having at least one communication port and at least one storage device. The I/O manager is configured to receive a request to create a new logical volume, create a new logical volume on the storage device based on the request, and define a first relationship between the created logical volume and a virtual I/O instance based on the request. The virtual I/O instance is a virtual access point for enabling a computer system connected to the I/O device via the communication port to access the created logical volume.

"In another embodiment, a method for managing an input/output device having a communication port and at least one storage device is disclosed. The method includes receiving a request to create a new logical volume; creating a new logical volume on the storage device based on the request; and defining a first relationship between the created logical volume and a virtual I/O instance based on the request, the virtual I/O instance being a virtual access point for enabling a computer system connected to the I/O device via the communication port to access the created logical volume.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates an information system having a plurality of computer systems (or hosts), a plurality of I/O modules, and a plurality of storage devices according to an embodiment of the present invention

"FIG. 2 illustrates a vI/O manager according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 illustrates a storage device management table managed by vI/O manager 116 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 illustrates a logical volume and virtual I/O mapping table managed by vI/O manager 116 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 illustrates a virtual I/O management table managed by vI/O manager according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 illustrates a copy group management table managed by vI/O manager according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 illustrates a pool group management table managed by vI/O manager according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 8 illustrates a process for creating a logical volume on storage device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 9 illustrates a process for LUN masking according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 10 illustrates a process for deleting a logical volume according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 11 illustrates a process for adding a copy group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 12 illustrates an information system including a copy group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 13 illustrates a process for adding a logical volume to a copy group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 14 illustrates a process for removing a logical volume from a copy group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 15 illustrates a process for deleting a copy group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 16 illustrates a process for creating a pool group according to an embodiment of the present invention

"FIG. 17 illustrates an information system including a pool group according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 18 illustrates a process for migrating a logical volume from a first storage device coupled to an I/O module to a second storage device coupled to the I/O module according to an embodiment of the present invention

"FIG. 19 illustrates a process for migrating data from a source volume within a computer system to a destination volume in a storage device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 20 illustrates a configuration of an information system during a volume migration according to an embodiment of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: HAGA, Futoshi. I/O Device and Storage Management System. Filed August 7, 2012 and posted February 20, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=468&p=10&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140213.PD.&OS=PD/20140213&RS=PD/20140213

Keywords for this news article include: Hitachi Ltd.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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