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enhance Multi Master code upgrade (FP) process to not cause 100% downtime of all key providers

Enhance Multi Master code upgrade (FP) process to not cause 100% downtime of all key providers.

Currently it is required per Fixpack installation instruction to stop perform the following actions which causes 100% of the key server infrastructure to be down and not capable of service keys to DASD or tape or any other KMIP client.


  1. Stop WebSphere Liberty on all the master servers, in any sequence.

  2. Stop Agent on all the master servers, in any sequence.

  3. update the servers in the following sequence:

    1. Primary master server

    2. Principal standby master server

    3. Auxiliary standby master servers

    4. Non-HADR master servers

  4. start GKLM servers again


Above sequence is causing a 100% outage of the key server infrastructure .

Taking into account that the use-cases that mandaory required Multi-Master deployments vs Replication are almost only Enterprise DASD with IBM Z (e.g. TCT =Transparent Cloud Tiering and Encryption of Data-In-Flight =EDIF / Fibre Channel Endpoint Security = FCES) we are talking here about 5x9 HA components with extreme limited downtime. Hard to argue to stop a 4 Node GKLM Multi-Master cluster and not beeing able to serve keys for a significant amount of time, potentially muliple times a year with planned FP and unplanned fixes like patches for security exposures.


More customers are opting in for Multi-Master now even they do not yet need KMIP and MM with DS8K because they are planning to use TCT / FCES in the near future.


In case a MM deployment is shared with tape libraries of any kind, TS7700 VTS, TS4500, TS3500, TS4300 and others, to name only IBMs tape libraries, the impact of a key server and its standby server is significantly higher than for DASD (most DASD only need the key to unlock Ranks, Arrays, pools during power on reset but will trigger alerts / IBM call homes).


For tape drives, an unresposive keyserver means that during that time, all tape mounts of encrypted tapes and scratch tapes will fail. This is tru for scratch mounts, write appends but more significantly for restore / tape recall operations.

  • Guest
  • Mar 4 2022
  • Future consideration

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