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Host Configuration Guide

IBM AIX
SANsymphony-V
June 2015

Global Leader in Storage Virtualization Software

Table of contents Overview Recent changes made to this document List of qualified AIX Versions 3 3 4 Notes on qualification 4 AIX 5 DataCore Server Settings 6 AIX 5.2 6 AIX 5.3 6 AIX 6.1 and 7.1 6 Host Settings Applies to any AIX Host Appendix A Notes on the Preferred Server & Preferred Path settings Appendix B 9 9 11 11 13 Configuring Disk Pools 13 Reclaiming Storage from Disk Pools 13 Previous Changes 15 .

com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1329 Previous changes made to this document Please see page 15 Page | 3 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . DataCore Server Front End ports) using Fibre Channel. along with the process of discovering.x is now ‘End of Life’ Please see End of Life Notifications http://datacore. A new section on AIX versions that are no longer in development has also been added at the end of this section. SANsymphony-V 8.custhelp. Note: iSCSI connections from AIX are not currently supported Recent changes made to this document New information added since last update (February 2015)  Added new information: List of qualified AIX Versions .Notes on qualification This section has been updated and new information added regarding the definitions of all ‘qualified’. ‘unqualified’ and ‘not supported…’ labels. Fundamental AIX administration skills are assumed. including how to connect AIX Hosts to storage array target ports (i. mounting and formatting disk devices in general.e.Overview This document provides AIX-specific settings when serving Virtual Disks from a DataCore Server.

e. Page | 4 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . and that are specific to your AIX versions have been followed. Versions that are explicitly marked as not supported can never be ‘self-qualified’.custhelp.List of qualified AIX Versions Notes on qualification DataCore Software will always support any SANsymphony-V installation that has a valid support contract. Qualified AIX versions that are listed as qualified are considered fully ‘supported’ with redundant. failover or failback) as expected with redundant. Unqualified AIX versions that are listed as unqualified have not been tested with SANsymphony-V and so may not work (i. have been followed. and that are specific to your AIX version. Any Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disk served to a Host operating system indicated as ‘not supported …’ is done at the user’s own risk. mirrored Virtual Disks as long as all the configuration settings listed in this document. even if all the configuration settings listed in this document.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1506 Not Supported with Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disks These AIX versions are only supported when using non-mirrored Virtual Disks. Even installations that are using Hosts listed as ‘not supported’ will still be able to get technical support but we will never guarantee the behavior of a Host operating system that is listed as ‘not supported …’ if using Mirrored Virtual Disks. mirrored Virtual Disks. Unqualified AIX versions can be ‘self-qualified’ by following the process documented here: DataCore Component Self-Qualification Process http://datacore.

In this case.e. AIX versions that are no longer in development Support for any AIX versions that is considered ‘End of Life’ by the vendor or has no active development/Long Term Support can still be self-qualified but only if there is an agreed ‘support contract’ with the supplier/HP. even on ‘other’ distributions. Non-mirrored Virtual Disks are always supported. the behavior with SANsymphony-V cannot be guaranteed. DataCore Technical Support will help the customer to get the Host Operating system accessing Virtual Disks. Unqualified (?) or Not Supported with Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disks (X) with SANsymphony-V 1 Note: iSCSI connections to AIX Hosts are not supported.1 X ?   See the section Notes on qualification on page 4 for definitions of Qualified. SANsymphony-V Version 9.3 X ?   6. but will not then do any root-cause analysis.x Version 10. AIX The following table shows which specific versions of each version of AIX that are considered Qualified (). newer) that are not listed in this document are considered as unqualified for mirrored or dual Virtual Disks when using SANsymphony-V and. These other distributions can also ‘self-qualified’ by following the same process mentioned in the previous page.x AIX ALUA Non-ALUA ALUA Non-ALUA 5.2 X ?   5. Unqualified and Not Supported with Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disks 1 Page | 5 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX .1 X   ? 7. just like all the unqualified versions of AIX that are listed in this document.What about other AIX versions? All other AIX versions (i.

choose the ‘IBM AIX’ entry.3 When registering the Host running AIX versions 5. choose the ‘IBM AIX Native MPIO Legacy’ entry. choose the ‘IBM AIX’ entry.2 with TL10 or greater. When registering the Host running AIX versions 5.1 When registering the Host running AIX version 6. Page | 6 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . AIX 5.3 with TL6 or greater. See the Registering Hosts section from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www.2 with ML9 or earlier.DataCore Server Settings These are the Host-specific settings that need to be configured directly on the DataCore Server.com/SSV-Webhelp/Hosts. choose the ‘IBM AIX Native MPIO Legacy’ entry.datacore.x.3 with ML5 or earlier. choose the ‘IBM AIX’ entry.1.2 When registering the Host running AIX versions 5.1 and 7. AIX 6. When registering the Host running AIX versions 5.htm Operating System Type AIX 5.

that are not mirrored or are not configured as Dual) can still be served to multiple Hosts and/or multiple Host Ports from one or more DataCore Server FE Ports if required. Single Virtual Disks Single Virtual Disks (i.htm Asymmetrical Logical Unit Access (ALUA) support ALUA is not supported for AIX Hosts. Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disks When registering the Host.com/SSV-Webhelp/Hosts. Page | 7 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . Multipathing Support should be enabled so that Mirrored Virtual Disks or Dual Virtual Disks can be served to Hosts from all available DataCore FE ports. Any Port with the Mirror and/or Back End role enabled do not shut off when the DataCore Server software is stopped. See the Multipathing Support section from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www. once the software is stopped. Note: Hosts that only have Single Virtual Disks served to them do not need Multipathing Support enabled unless they have other Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disks served as well. for any reason.Port Roles Ports used for serving Virtual Disks to Hosts should only have the Front End (FE) role enabled. Mixing other Port Role types may cause unexpected results as Ports that only have the FE role enabled will be turned off when the DataCore Server software is stopped (even if the physical server remains running). but remain active. This guarantees that any Hosts do not still try to access FE Ports. Serving Virtual Disks to the Hosts for the first time DataCore recommends that before serving Virtual Disks to a Host for the first time to make sure that access to all FE paths for all DataCore Servers are correctly discovered on the Host and that from within the SANsymphony-V Management Console the Virtual Disks are marked Online and up to date and that the storage sources have a host access of Read/Write.e. in this case the Host can use its own multipathing software to manage the multiple Host paths to the Single Virtual Disk as if it was a Mirrored or Dual Virtual Disk.datacore.

Also see the SCSI Standard Inquiry Data section from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www.Mappings DataCore recommend that the same Virtual Disk served to more than one Host or Host Port should use same LUN number for its mapping. Page | 8 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . Using the same LUN often guarantees some sort of consistency for device identification in these cases.com/SSV-Webhelp/Changing_Virtual_Disk_Settings.htm Note: The LUN number for Mirror Paths does not need to be the same as the Front End port mappings (or indeed as other Mirror Path mappings for the same Virtual Disk) as the Host does not see these.datacore. DataCore cannot guarantee that this is enough for a Host Operating System to identify the same Virtual Disk served to different Paths on the same Host. While Virtual Disks have their own unique Network Address Authority (NAA) identifier.

com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1419 Setting Disk Timeouts Once DataCore Virtual Disk(s) have been discovered on the Host. All installation instructions can be found in the release notes that come with the software: DataCore Software Downloads http://datacore. Page | 9 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . Applies to any AIX Host Install the ‘DataCore Support for AIX MPIO’ software In order for SANsymphony-V Virtual Disks to be recognized as ‘MPIO-capable’ disk devices on AIX.Host Settings These are the Host-specific settings that need to be configured directly on the Host Server. Use the chdev command to change the rw_timeout to 60 (if not already set) chdev –l hdiskX –a rw_timeout=60 Where ‘X’ is the number of the DataCore Disk Device (as seen on the AIX Host).custhelp. change the Disk rw_timeout to 60 seconds. additional software needs to be installed on the Host. run the command: lsattr –l hdiskX –E Where ‘X’ is the number of the DataCore Disk Device (as seen on the AIX Host). Please download and install the DataCore Support for AIX MPIO software from the DataCore Technical Support website (a login is required). To determine the current rw_timeout value.

non-mirrored Virtual Disk be served up to the Host port as a ‘dummy’ LUN 0 from each DataCore Front End port to all AIX Host Ports that are intended to be used.Configure a ‘dummy’ LUN AIX’s MPIO always requires a healthy LUN 0 to be able to detect and use additional LUNs served to the same port on the Host. There is no need to write any data to this LUN on the AIX Host. Page | 10 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . thereby preventing potential access or discovery of other LUNs served to the same Host port. Do not set this dummy LUN as a mirrored Virtual Disk to avoid unnecessary cases where the DataCore Server’s mirror partner will set the local storage source for the Virtual Disk as ‘down’ on the AIX Host. DataCore recommend that a very small.

but the Host will still register this DataCore Server’s Paths as ‘Active NonOptimized’ which may (or may not) affect how the Host behaves generally. ‘Active Nonoptimized’ side. If for any reason the Storage Source on the preferred DataCore Server becomes unavailable. and the Host Access for the Virtual Disk is set to Offline or Disabled. If the Storage Source on the preferred DataCore Server becomes unavailable but the Host Access for the Virtual Disk remains Read/Write. then the other DataCore Server will be designated the ‘Active Optimized’ side. It is up to the Host’s own Operating System or Failover Software to determine which DataCore Server is its preferred server.com/SSV-Webhelp/Port_Connections_and_Paths. The Host will be notified by both DataCore Servers that there has been an ALUA state change. determines the DataCore Server that is designated ‘Active Optimized’ for Host IO.datacore.Appendix A Notes on the Preferred Server & Preferred Path settings See the Preferred Servers and Preferred Paths sections from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www. The other DataCore Server is designated ‘Active Non-Optimized’. the DataCore Server will not prevent access to the Host nor will it change the way READ or WRITE IO is handled compared to the ‘Active Optimized’ side. forcing the Host to re-check the ALUA state of both DataCore Servers and act accordingly. the Preferred Server and Preferred Path settings will serve no function. Setting the Preferred Server to ‘Auto’ (or an explicit DataCore Server). However.htm Without ALUA enabled If Hosts are registered without ALUA support. Fibre Channel or iSCSI Cable failure) then the ALUA state will not change for the remaining. All DataCore Servers and their respective Front End (FE) paths are considered ‘equal’.g. Page | 11 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . for example if only the Storage behind the DataCore Server is unavailable but the FE and MR paths are all connected or if the Host physically becomes disconnected from the preferred DataCore Server (e. in this case. With ALUA enabled Note: ALUA is not supported for AIX Hosts so the following is for information only.

the ‘All’ setting is not normally recommended. The benefits of being able to use all Paths to all DataCore Servers for all Virtual Disks are not always clear cut. regardless of the distance that the IO has to travel to the DataCore Server. In a two-node Server group there is usually nothing to be gained by making the Preferred Path setting different to the Preferred Server setting and it may also cause confusion when trying to diagnose path problems. then both DataCore Servers are designated ‘Active Optimized’ for Host IO. So for example. or when redesigning your DataCore SAN with regard to Host IO Paths. then DataCore Server B will be the ‘Active Optimized’ Side not DataCore Server A. and where one or more of these DataCore Servers shares Mirror Paths between different DataCore Servers then setting the Preferred Path makes more sense. DataCore Server A has two mirrored Virtual Disks. Where there are three or more Servers in a Server Group. If a Host has to send a WRITE IO to a ‘remote’ DataCore Server (where the IO Path is significantly distant compared to the other ‘local’ DataCore Server). In this case the Preferred Path setting can be used to override the Preferred Server setting for a much more granular level of control. Page | 12 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . For Preferred Path settings it is stated in the SANsymphony-V Help: A preferred front-end path setting can also be set manually for a particular virtual disk. but for the remote DataCore Server to mirror back to the local DataCore Server and then for the mirror write to be acknowledged from the local DataCore Server to the remote DataCore Server and finally for the acknowledgement to be sent to the Host back across the SAN.In the case where the Preferred Server is set to ‘All’. then the WAIT times accrued by having to send the IO not only across the SAN to the remote DataCore Server. one with DataCore Server B. For this reason. So for example. if the Preferred Server is designated as DataCore Server A and the Preferred Paths are designated as DataCore Server B. All IO requests from a Host will use all Paths to all DataCore Servers equally. the manual setting for a virtual disk overrides the preferred path created by the preferred server setting for the host. In this case. can be significant. Testing is advised. and one with DataCore Server C and DataCore Server B also has a mirrored Virtual Disk with DataCore Server C then using just the Preferred Server setting to designate the ‘Active Optimized’ side for the Host’s Virtual Disks becomes more complicated.

the number of Hosts accessing the Disk Pool and their IO READ/WRITE patterns. As SAUs are allocated for the very first time.com/SSV-Webhelp/About_Disk_Pools. however please refer to your vendor’s documentation to determine which version of AIX including which file system type(s) support Trim commands. The SCSI UNMAP feature is not supported with AIX Hosts on DataCore Servers. However no user intervention is required.htm The smaller the SAU size. continuously scan each Physical Disk in a Pool for any SAUs that contain all-zero data which are then reclaimed back into the Disk Pool.datacore. Should a smaller SAU size be preferred.g. there are potentially four times as many indexes required in a Disk Pool using a 32MB SAU size compared to one using 128MB – the default SAU size.0 PSP4 the DataCore Server will. Reclaiming Storage from Disk Pools Using SCSI UNMAP / ATA Trim commands As of SANsymphony-V 9. the larger the number of indexes are required. to keep track of the equivalent amount of allocated storage compared to a Disk Pool with a larger SAU size. the configuration should be tested to make sure that a potential increased number of initial SAU allocations does not impact the overall Host performance. However this will depend on a number of factors such as the speed of the physical disks. Therefore. so as to not potentially interfere with overall Disk Pool performance. The Automatic Reclamation process runs at a low priority. by the Disk Pool driver. Automatic Reclamation Since SANsymphony-V 9.0 PSP4 there is support for ATA Trim commands. DataCore usually recommend using the default SAU size (128MB) as it is a good compromise between physical storage allocation and IO overhead during the initial SAU allocation index update. the number of Virtual Disks in the Disk Pool and their corresponding Storage Profiles. the Disk Pool needs to update these indexes and this may cause a slight delay for IO completion and might be noticeable on the Host. in the background. and so will generally take longer to scan a Physical Disk in a Pool compared to a Manual Reclamation request (see below). Page | 13 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX . e.Appendix B Configuring Disk Pools See Creating Disk Pools and Adding Physical Disks from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www.

or are using Virtual Disks served from DataCore Servers running SANsymphony-V 9. if the Host has written the data in such a way that every allocated SAU contains a small amount of nonzero block data. For reclamation of an SAU to take place. This example will write zeroes within an ‘empty’ file of 2GB in size (called ‘my_file’) using the dd command: dd if=/dev/zero of=my_file bs=1024 count=2097152 Then either wait for an Automatic Reclamation to take place or run a Manual Reclamation. For example.x). even if the total amount of data is significantly less than the total amount of SAU allocation. in some cases. to use the Host Operating System’s own defragmentation tools to force the non-zero block data to be moved to a more contiguous pattern. DataCore Software can offer no guarantees. it must contain only ‘all-zero’ block data over the entire SAU else it will remain allocated and this is entirely dependent on how and where the Host has written its data on the DataCore LUN.com/SSV-Webhelp/Reclaiming_Virtual_Disk_Space. How much storage will be reclaimed? It is impossible to predict exactly how many Storage Allocation Units (SAUs) will be reclaimed. It may be possible.datacore. Page | 14 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX .Manual Reclamation For AIX Hosts that either do not support the fstrim command.0 PSP3 update2 or earlier (including all versions of SANsymphony-V 8. a suggestion would be to create a sparse file of an appropriate size (If there is enough free space available in the file system) and then zero-fill it using the dd command. so leaving the ‘end’ of the DataCore LUN full of SAUs that no longer have non-zero data on them that can then be reclaimed. then no SAUs can be reclaimed. See the Performing Reclamation section from the SANsymphony-V Help: http://www.htm Note that it is also possible to script manual reclamation using the Start-DcsVirtualDiskReclamation PowerShell Command. However care should be taken that the act of defragmenting the data does not itself cause more SAU allocation as the block data is moved around during the reorganization.

all qualified versions are with Fibre Channel only.x.Improved explanations to most of the required Host Settings and DataCore Server Settings generally.1 PSP1 Update 4 Appendix A This section gives more detail on the Preferred Server and Preferred Path settings with regard to how it may affect a Host.x is now 8.1 is now qualified with SANsymphony-V 10. Note that the minimum requirement for SANsymphony-V 8.  Updated existing entries: Host Settings . Page | 15 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX .1 PSP1 Update 4. 9. Appendix B This section incorporates information regarding “Reclaiming Space in Disk Pools” (from Technical Bulletin 16) that is specific to AIX Hosts.Previous Changes 2015 February 2015  Updated section: List of qualified AIX Versions AIX 7. Note: iSCSI is still not considered qualified at this time.x using non-ALUA settings. 2014 December 2014 No new technical information has been added but this document now combines all of DataCore’s AIX-related information from older Technical Bulletins into a single document including: Technical Bulletin 6: “AIX Hosts” Technical Bulletin 8: “Formatting Host’s File Systems on Virtual Disks created from Disk Pools” Technical Bulletin 11: “Disk Timeout Settings on Hosts” Technical Bulletin 16: “Reclaiming Space in Disk Pools”  Added new information: Which Distributions are qualified? Added new tables to show which versions are explicitly qualified. and if the configuration is with or without ALUA enabled Hosts. unqualified and not supported with either SANsymphony-V 8.x and 10.

2013 Technical Bulletin 6: “AIX Hosts” April 2013 Removed all references to SANmelody as this is now ‘End of Life’ of December 31 2012. July 2012 Updated for SANsymphony-V 9. November 2011 Removed all references to ‘End of Life’ SANsymphony and SANmelody versions that are no longer supported as of July 31 2011. March 2009 Initial publication of Technical Bulletin. June 2011 Added AIX 7.x.x July 2009 Added AIX 6. Removed all references to ‘End of Life’ SANsymphony and SANmelody versions that are no longer supported as of December 31 2011. October 2011 Added SANsymphony-V 8. Removed all references to iSCSI as this is not supported with AIX.x. No new technical information.1. January 2012 Updated DataCore Server and Host minimum requirements. Added AIX 5.1.2 TL10 Page | 16 Host Configuration Guide – IBM AIX .

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