I checked this, double checked this and then posted it as I had no access to a DS8700 to test it myself. I must say I kind of hoped some one would reply to contradict this. And you know what : I had two replies from IBM people telling me you CAN use Easy Tier Manual Mode without any SSD drives present. So Nick Clayton comments :
It is possible to use the Easy Tier manual migration function without having SSD drives installed. You do however have to have requested the zero charge Easy Tier feature to do this.And Anthony Vandewerdt confirms this
I can tell you that I have used the manual mode method on a DS8700 with NO SSD and it worked just fine.I'm glad it is possible after all because even the Manual Mode is actually a great feature. By the way, Anthony's changed his blog address. It's now at Wordpress and it's called : Aussie Storage Blog. Do check it out !
All you need are the R5.1 code level installed and the EasyTier license key (which is a $0 key).
Once both those things are true, manual mode (rebalancing vols and merging extent pools) is possible regardless of whether SSD is present or not.