Preventive Service Planning
This document provides important information for obtaining support and service for IBM® System Storage™ N series storage systems. N series customers, business partners, and IBM personnel should be aware of this information and follow the instructions provided to successfully view N series content on the IBM Support Portal and obtain support for the N series offerings purchased.
Refer to the guide on "Best Practices for Using the IBM System Storage N series Support Website" for detailed instructions on viewing N series content and obtaining software upgrades for installation.
N series Entitlement and Registration grants access to N series content on the website
The N series support website requires unregistered users to complete a one-time registration process by creating an IBM Identity (IBM ID), if one does not already exist, and registering the Machine Type - Serial Number of their N series hardware (for customers). Note that only the N series hardware platforms which run the Data ONTAP® operating system should be registered; do not attempt to register storage expansion units or racks. Special registration instructions apply to business partners and IBM personnel where they do not need to register N series hardware to gain access.
For customers and business partners, the N series registration process is available from the IBM Support Portal by:
- Having any N series product selected in your product list (e.g., "Data ONTAP")
- Signing into the site with your IBM ID using the "Sign in" link
- Selecting the "Register" link found in any N series product section in the Flashes & alerts module.
- Federated Single-Sign on
- When IBM personnel have successfully registered, the "Software Packages for registered IBM internal users (Intranet ID required)" link will be available to access N series software packages from N series product selections on the Download page.
After the N series registration process is successfully completed, users can then log into the website using their registered IBM ID with each visit to access N series content. The following documents provide instructions for unregistered users to register and sign into the IBM Support Portal to view N series information as well as instructions for accessing software updates / upgrades ( patch releases / new releases).
- N series registration: Step-by-step instructions
(How to gain access to product information on the Web)
- N series software packages: Step-by-step instructions
(How to access firmware, software, and host connectivity utilities on the Web)
- IBM PartnerWorld®: Access to N series support resources
(Special registration data for Business Partners)
Note: If you are using the Microsoft® Internet Explorer browser, N series entitlement controls require that the appropriate Internet Options for Security be set as explained in the " N series product publications fail to open if using the Internet Explorer (IE) browser" troubleshooting item.
Using the IBM Support Portal
IBM's new support website, known as the
IBM Support Portal, is used to obtain N series content. Note that the IBM Support Portal's "
Support & downloads quick start" page has a maximum limit on the number of products that can be selected. Even with only N series offerings selected, this selection limit can be reached due to the combination of hardware, firmware, host connectivity utilities and software that install on N series hardware and customers' host servers. The IBM Support Portal also has a maximum number of product offerings that can be associated with your IBM ID, but only a subset of those selections can be active at the same time in an IBM Support Portal session. To associate more product selections with your IBM ID, use the functions of the "
Support" (Portal) page as explained in the help information available from the IBM Support Portal.
To enter the IBM Support Portal without viewing educational materials, use:
Note: The vanity URL ( http://www.ibm.com/storage/support/nseries/ ) presents the page you are reading now that contains important information for obtaining service and support. To access the IBM Support Portal directly without viewing these reference materials, use the Portal's entry page above.
- Data ONTAP Release Model
- Client Software Release Model
- Host Utilities: The installation of N series host connectivity utilities is required for host servers attached to N series storage systems via SAN protocols (FCP, iSCSI, and FCoE). Refer to the requirement for installation of N series Host Utilities to ensure configuration requirements are met and your N series storage systems are supported.
Various Licensed Software Activation Codes (i.e., "License Activation Codes" or "license keys") are required to complete the installation and to activate features for some of the software associated with the N series storage systems. Refer to the
general information on license key management for details on the management of the license keys required for the Data ONTAP® operating system running on the N series storage systems as well as various other N series software offerings that run on host servers and utilize the N series storage systems.
N series product resources
Various N series product resources are publicly available for review without requiring registration for access to N series content. Website links to access these resources and descriptions of the content are provided in the following list.
Product information (data sheets)
Provides IBM marketing information on all IBM Network Attached Storage (NAS) storage systems; including data sheets on the N series hardware, software, and solutions.
Provides matrices intended to aid in the design of high quality solutions for leading storage platforms. The matrices are also intended to help reduce solution design time by identifying supported combinations of N series machines with tape drives and libraries, storage subsystems and storage management, middleware and virus protection software, system management software, and other tested independent software vendor (ISV) applications.
Machine Type/Model cross-reference
Provides a list of the N series products by name and machine type/model; organized as filers/gateways, storage expansion units, and storage solution racks.
Field Replaceable Units (FRU)
Provides lists of the N series FRU part numbers; organized by adapter cards, hard disk drives, subassemblies and parts, chassis, power cords, and cables.
Queries the IBM Redbooks website to provide a list of the currently available Redbooks and Redpapers describing the use of the N series storage systems for various data management solutions.
AutoSupport is an integrated and efficient monitoring and reporting feature of the Data ONTAP operating system that runs on the N series storage systems. It continuously monitors the health of your N series storage system, and it will automatically notify IBM Service and Support when certain problems are detected. Refer to the
N series AutoSupport Overview for an explanation of what AutoSupport is, and how it works for the supported releases of the Data ONTAP operating system.
Contacting Service and Support
When placing a call with IBM Service and Support for N series products,
all calls should be placed via the "Hardware Support" option regardless if they are problems or questions concerning access (entitlement), hardware, license keys, firmware, software, or host connectivity utilities.
If you have a problem that is related to the N series products such as accessing product publications or obtaining software upgrades as part of the web-based product information, you should contact IBM Service and Support as noted above. When reporting a problem specific to N series web-based product support, include the following information so that your problem can be resolved quickly:
- The IBM ID you are using when attempting to access product support information..
- The Machine Type and Serial number (MTS) for each N series storage system affected by the problem.
- The Web Access Key(s) you are using when attempting to access firmware, software, or host connectivity utilities on the IBM software distribution website.
- A complete description of the problem that is being encountered; for example, depictions of the website pages used in attempting to navigate to the information of interest.