Virtual I/O Server and DS5020 disk.
cggibbo 270000TMUJ Comments (4) Visits (25198)
Recently I had the pleasure of configuring a couple of POWER7 720s for a customer. Each 720 was to host roughly 12 LPARs each. There were two VIO servers and a NIM server per 720.
went along nicely and according to plan. In a few days we had both systems
built. My steps for building the systems were almost identical to those
described by Rob McNelly in a recent post.
All four VIO servers were running the latest VIOS code i.e. 220.127.116.11-FP-24 SP-01. All the client LPARs were running AIX 6.1 TL6 SP3. Each VIOS was configured with two FC paths to the SAN and the SAN storage device was an IBM DS5020.
MPIO was in use on the VIOS and the AIX LPARs. I did not deploy SDDPCM on the
VIOS as this is currently unsupported with the DS5020.
Once the LPAR builds were complete we performed a number of “integration tests”. These typically involve disconnecting network and SAN cables from each VIOS and observing how the VIOS and LPARs respond to and recover from these types of conditions.
One of the
integration tests required that BOTH fibre cables be disconnected from the
first VIOS and confirm that the client LPARs were not impacted i.e. that all
I/O travelled via the second VIOS.
After doing some research, we discovered the following post on the IBM developerWorks AIX forum:
This post highlighted a number of things we needed to check and also confirmed several decisions we’d made during the design process, such as SDDPCM not being supported with DS5020 storage and VIOS (this was good as some people were starting to believe we should have installed SDDPCM to resolve this problem. I’d only be happy to do this if it was a supported combination and it’s not).
Finally we found the following IBM tech note that related directly to our issue.
The following statement seemed to match our exact problem.
"For active/passive storage device, such as DS3K, DS4K, or DS5K if
complete access is lost to the storage device, then it may take greater than 5 minutes to fail I/O. This feature is for
Active/Passive storage devices, which are running with the AIX Default A/P PCM. This includes DS3K, DS4K, and DS5K family of
The new feature was described as follows.
“Added feature which health checks
controllers, when an enabled path becomes unavailable, due to transport problems.
By default this feature is DISABLED.
To enable this feature set the following ODM attributes for the active/passive storage
device. Enabling this feature, results
in faster I/O failure time
If you wish to allow the storage
device 30 seconds to come back on the fabric (after leaving the fabric), then
you can set cntl_delay_time=30 and
And as I suspected the issue was related to the type of storage we were using. It appears the I/O delay was attributed to the following attributes on the DS5020 hdisks on the VIOS:
cntl_delay_time 0 Controller
Based on the tech note, I attempted several tests with various values for both parameters e.g.
$ chdev -dev hdiskX -attr
After making the changes to the hdisks on all VIOS, I performed the same test i.e. disconnected BOTH fibre cables from the first VIOS and continued to write a file to a file system on the client LPARs. By modifying these values on all the DS5020 disks, on all the VIO servers, the I/O delay was reduced to seconds rather than five minutes!
The following attributes were used for the hdisks and adapters in the final configuration.
On the VIO servers:
$ lsdev -type disk | grep DS5020
hdisk3 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk4 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk5 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk6 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk7 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk8 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk9 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk10 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk11 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk12 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk13 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk14 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk15 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk16 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk17 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk18 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk19 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk20 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk21 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk22 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk23 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk24 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk25 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk26 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk27 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk28 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk29 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk30 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk31 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
hdisk32 Available MPIO DS5020 Disk
$ lsdev -dev hdisk3 -attr
$ lsdev -dev fscsi0 -attr
attach switch How this adapter is CONNECTED False
dyntrk yes Dynamic Tracking of FC Devices True
fc_err_recov fast_fail FC Fabric Event Error RECOVERY Policy True
0x11400 Adapter SCSI I
3 FC Class for Fabr
$ r oem
Device Present Driver Driver Options
DS3950 AIX_APPCM AIX_APPCM
DS5020 AIX_APPCM AIX_APPCM
DS3500 AIX_APPCM AIX_APPCM
manage_disk_drivers -d device -o driver_option
For entries with multiple model names use the first one listed.
Ex. DS5100/DS5300 use DS5100.
# mpio_get_config -Av
Frame id 0:
Subsystem worldwide name: 609e
Controller count: 2
Partition count: 1
Storage Subsystem Name = 'MyApp-DS5020'
hdisk LUN # Ownership User Label
hdisk3 17 B (preferred) LPAR1
hdisk4 18 A (preferred) LPAR1datavg
hdisk5 19 A (preferred) LPAR1appvg
hdisk6 16 B (preferred) LPAR2
hdisk7 20 A (preferred) LPAR2datavg
hdisk8 21 B (preferred) LPAR2data3vg
hdisk9 15 A (preferred) LPAR3
hdisk10 14 B (preferred) LPAR4
hdisk11 22 B (preferred) LPAR5
hdisk12 23 A (preferred) LPAR6
hdisk13 13 B (preferred) LPAR6datavg
hdisk14 12 A (preferred) LPAR7
hdisk15 24 B (preferred) LPAR7datavg
hdisk16 25 A (preferred) LPAR8
hdisk17 11 B (preferred) LPAR8datavg
hdisk18 10 A (preferred) LPAR8datavg
hdisk19 9 B (preferred) LPAR8datavg
hdisk20 8 A (preferred) LPAR8datavg
hdisk21 26 A (preferred) LPAR9
hdisk22 7 A (preferred) LPAR9datavg
hdisk23 6 B (preferred) LPAR9datavg
hdisk24 27 B (preferred) LPAR9appvg
hdisk25 28 A (preferred) LPAR9binvg
hdisk26 5 A (preferred) LPAR10
hdisk27 4 B (preferred) LPAR10datavg
hdisk28 29 B (preferred) LPAR10datavg
hdisk29 30 A (preferred) LPAR11
hdisk30 3 A (preferred) LPAR11datavg
hdisk31 32 B (preferred) LPAR12
hdisk32 50 B (preferred) LPAR12datavg
On the VIO clients:
- Changed the following attributes for all virtual SCSI disks to:
# lsattr -El hdisk0
- Changed the following attributes for all virtual SCSI adapters to:
# lsattr -El vscsi0
vscsi_err_recov fast_fail N/
vscsi_path_to 30 Virtual SCSI Path Timeout True
Note: With regard to SDDPCM support for DS5020 with VIOS, I’ve been referring to the following IBM website:
The site has a link to the SDDPCM readme file for DS5020 storage (under SDDPCM Package for DS5000):
The readme states:
is not supported with SDDPCM on DS40
research we had this confirmed by IBM support that, at this time, SDDPCM
is not supported
I hope this helps others that may be about to implement this type of storage with a VIOS.