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Patent Issued for Automated Migration to a New Target Volume via Merged Bitmaps to Maintain Consistency

August 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Blea, Amy N. (Round Rock, TX); Blea, David R. (Tucson, AZ); McBride, Gregory E. (Vail, AZ); Wolfgang, John J. (Midlothian, VA), filed on October 31, 2013, was published online on July 29, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8793456, is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to data storage, and more particularly, to migrating data from one volume to a new target volume by merging bitmaps to maintain consistency.

"Using conventional data storage systems, there is no automated way to migrate data from one target volume to a new target volume on the same storage system wink maintaining disaster recovery capability. There are instances during normal operation of the data storage system when a user would desire for a different target volume to be used for replication of data, such as a volume on a higher performing disk in the system for improved performance, for reconfiguration purposes, etc. Currently, in order to achieve this switchover between target volumes, the process is manually performed, which is time consuming, error prone, and could potentially result in data loss. This manual process may become even more difficult when using a copy services solution that provides managed consistency across multiple copy relationship pairings because, generally, the need to switch volumes will only affect a few of the pairings within that consistency group/session. In order to perform this manually, the user would first have to remove the copy pairings for those volumes which form the session and then terminate the relationships. Then, a new relationship is established between the original source volume and the new target volume, and all of the data must be copied over. In order to maintain the integrity of the consistency group/session, this would have to be done outside of the consistency group/session and then added in once the volumes reach full duplex. Of course, beside the concern for errors, the user's data is not being replicated consistently throughout this manual and error-prone process, which introduces the possibility of replication errors and loss of data.

"Therefore, a storage solution which automates the migration of data from one volume to a new target volume while maintaining consistency would be beneficial."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one embodiment, a method for switching a target in a disaster recovery configuration includes receiving instruction to change a target in a disaster recovery configuration, the disaster recovery configuration including: a source volume from which data is copied in a first remote mirror relationship, the source volume being accessible to an application and an original target volume to which data is copied in the first remote mirror relationship; receiving indication to switch the disaster recovery configuration to a new target volume located on a storage subsystem common to the original target volume, establishing an incremental point-in-time (PIT) copy relationship between the original target volume and the new target volume, executing the PIT copy until out-of-sync (OOS) tracks from the source volume to the original target volume are below a predetermined threshold, merging an incremental PIT bitmap representing the PIT copy relationship between the original target volume and the new target volume with a first remote mirror bitmap representing the first remote mirror relationship between the source volume and the original target volume to create a merged remote mirror bitmap, terminating, the PIT copy relationship and the first remote mirror relationship, and establishing a second remote mirror relationship between the source volume and the new target volume using a resynchronization option that uses the merged remote mirror bitmap.

"Other aspects and embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention."

For more information, see this patent: Blea, Amy N.; Blea, David R.; McBride, Gregory E.; Wolfgang, John J.. Automated Migration to a New Target Volume via Merged Bitmaps to Maintain Consistency. U.S. Patent Number 8793456, filed October 31, 2013, and published online on July 29, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8793456.PN.&OS=PN/8793456RS=PN/8793456

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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