Client virtual devices (optical and tape)

Client virtual device support allows multiple IBM® i partitions to share devices without needing to use dynamic logical partitioning.

About this task

An IBM i server partition that is running IBM i 6.1 or later on an IBM i Power® System, POWER6® or later, can share a natively attached optical device or an IBM i virtual optical device (optical image catalog) with multiple client partitions that are running IBM i 6.1 or later.

An IBM i server partition that is running IBM i 7.1 TR2 or later on an IBM Power system, POWER® 6 or later, can share a natively attached DAT or LTO tape device with multiple IBM i client partitions that are runningIBM i 6.1.1 or later. The tape devices must be attached in an IOPless configuration on the server. If they are in a tape library device, the tape library device must be running in sequential mode. For the PTF levels required and more information, see Client Virtual Tape Devices

An IBM i server partition that has the following PTFs applied can share a natively attached TS2900 (3572), TS3100/3200 (3573), or TS4300 (3555) tape library device with multiple IBM i client partitions that also have those PTFs applied.

  • IBM i 7.2 with PTFs MF64803, MF66854, MF66855, MF66856, MF66835, MF66823, MF66838, MF67200, and SI70254
  • IBM i 7.3 with PTFs MF64802, MF66857, MF66858, MF66859, MF66836, MF66824, MF66839, MF67201, and SI70255
  • IBM i 7.4 with PTFs MF66863, MF66860, MF66861, MF66862, MF66837, MF66825, MF66840, and MF67202
Optical, tape, and tape library devices are configured to be used by IBM i client partitions by creating a virtual SCSI server adapter in the IBM i server partition and a virtual SCSI client adapter in the IBM i client partition. In addition to the virtual SCSI connections, a Network Server Description (NWSD) is needed in the IBM i server partition.
  • Up to 16 optical devices available in the server partition are virtualized to the client partitions for each NWSD.
  • Up to 4 tape devices available in the server partition are virtualized to the client partitions for each NWSD.
  • Up to 4 tape library devices available in the server partition are virtualized to the client partitions for each NWSD.
  • When virtualizing a tape library device to an IBM i client partition the NWSD specifies the tape device resource names within the tape library device, not the tape library device resource name.
Note:
  • IBM i virtual tape devices (tape image catalog) are not virtualized to IBM i client partitions.
  • When a high-speed tape device or tape library device (with LTO5 or newer drives) is virtualized to an IBM i client partition, the client partition will not be able to run the device at full speed.
  • The NWSD parameters RSTDDEVRSC (Restricted device resources) and ALWDEVRSC (Allowed device resources) can be used to restrict which virtualized devices the client partition can access. If you define multiple Network Server descriptions, then you must use the RSTDDEVRSC or ALWDEVRSC parameters to prevent the same device from appearing multiple times on the client partitions.
    • The RSTDDEVRSC parameter is limited to a maximum of 16 entries.
    • The ALWDEVRSC parameter is limited to a maximum of 16 entries for optical devices and 4 entries for tape and tape library devices.
  • An existing virtual SCSI server adapter and NWSD in the IBM i server partition can be used, but creating new ones to use for optical and tape is recommended.
  • A virtualized optical, tape, or tape library device in the server partition can be used for a D-mode Initial Program Load (IPL) and install of the client partition, installing program temporary fixes (PTFs), for save/restore, and for any other I/O operations.
  • Only the server partition can update the device firmware.
  • When an IBM i server partition uses an image catalog to provide a virtualized optical device to an IBM i client partition, the next volume will not load automatically for the client partition unless the server and client partitions are running IBM i release 7.1 or later with the correct PTF levels and if the optical device was already varied on when the network server was varied on. For the PTF levels and more information, see Embedded media changer.

Configuring an optical, tape, or tape library device for use by an IBM i client partition

About this task

Use the following procedure to configure an optical or tape device to be used by an IBM i client partition:
  1. Use the managing HMC to create new virtual SCSI adapters on the IBM i server and client partitions.
  2. Create a Network Server Description (NWSD) on the IBM i server partition. Perform the following steps to do so:
    1. Determine the correct virtual SCSI server resource name by entering WKRHDWRSC *CMN command on the command line of the IBM i server partition. Look at the controller resources with type 290B. Use option 7 to display the resource details and look at the last digits of the location code. The controller resource which has a location code ending with the virtual SCSI adapter number or remote adapter ID you created in step 1 is the controller resource name to be used when creating the NWSD. Record the controller resource name for later use. For example, if the virtual SCSI adapter number or remote adapter ID you created in step 1 was 7, then the location code would have the following format:
      Location: U9409.E8A.10ABCDE-V1-C7
    2. At the IBM i command line on the IBM i server partition, enter CRTNWSD to create a network server description, and press F4 for prompts, then F9 to display all parameters. Enter the following values:
      • Network Server Description: Provide a name for the Network server description. For example, if you plan to use partition 8 as the client partition you could use the name CLIENT8 for the NWSD.
      • Resource Name: Provide the resource name recorded in step 2.a.
      • Network server type: *GUEST.
      • Server operating system: *OPSYS.
      • Online at IPL: *YES
      • Code page: 437
      • Restricted device resources: Use *NONE if you do not want to restrict any resources from being seen by the clients. You can also provide a list of up to 16 specific resource names to restrict, or you can use *ALLOPT or *ALLTAPE to restrict all optical or all tape devices.
      • Allowed device resources: Use *UNRSTD if you do not want to restrict any resources from being seen by the clients. You can also provide a list of up to 16 specific resource names to allow, or you can use *ALLOPT or *ALLTAPE to allow all optical or all tape devices.
      • Power Control: Specify *NO.
      This is an example of a command to create a Network Server Description that you intend to be used by partition 8, your controller resource name is CTL09, and you don't want the client partition to see tape resource TAP01.
      CRTNWSD NWSD(CLIENT8) RSRCNAME(CTL09) TYPE(*GUEST *OPSYS) ONLINE(*YES) CODEPAGE(437) RSTDDEVRSC(TAP01) PWRCTL(*NO)
      This is an example of a command to create a Network Server Description that you intend to be used by partition 8, your controller resource name is CTL09, and you want the client partition to see only tape resource TAP01,
      CRTNWSD NWSD(CLIENT8) RSRCNAME(CTL09) TYPE(*GUEST *OPSYS) ONLINE(*YES) CODEPAGE(437) ALWDEVRSC(TAP01) PWRCTL(*NO)
      This is an example of a command to create a Network Server Description that you intend to be used by partition 8, your controller resource name is CTL09, and you want the client partition to only see a tape library device that contains tape device resource names TAP01, TAP02, TAP03, and TAP04.
      CRTNWSD NWSD(CLIENT8) RSRCNAME(CTL09) TYPE(*GUEST *OPSYS) ONLINE(*YES) CODEPAGE(437) 
      ALWDEVRSC(TAP01 TAP02 TAP03 TAP04) PWRCTL(*NO)
  3. Start the NWSD on the IBM i server partition by performing the following steps:
    1. Vary on any optical devices that you want the client partitions to use. Do not vary on the tape devices.
    2. Enter the WRKCFGSTS *NWS IBM i command.
    3. Use option 1=Vary on for the NWSD that you want to start and press Enter.
  4. Enter the WRKHDWRSC *STG IBM i command to locate the virtual devices in the IBM i client partition. The virtual devices will be associated with a type 290A storage controller.
    1. Select option 7 to display resource detail next to each of the 290A storage controller resources listed.
    2. Look at the last digits for the location code Cxx where xx corresponds to the virtual adapter number you wrote down in step 1.
      • For stand-alone client device resources, look for the DCxx resource and select option "9=Work with resources" to work with the stand-alone device resources
      • For client tape library device resources, the tape library device resources will be shown with the storage controller resources. Select option "9=Work with resources" to see the associated device resource names for a tape library device.
        Example:
        CMB12        290A-001         Operational            Storage Controller
          DC05       290A-001         Operational            Storage Controller
          TAPMLB01   3555-03A         Operational            Tape Library
          TAPMLB02   3573-040         Operational            Tape Library
    Note: A virtualized optical device resource will appear as one of the following device Type-models on the IBM i client partition.
    • RDX drives will appear as Type-model 63B8-0D2.
    • USB Flash drives will appear as Type-model 63BC-0D2.
    • All other physical optical device types, and IFS/NFS file backed virtual devices (632B-001 and 632B-003) will appear as Type-model 632C-002.

    A virtualized tape device resource shows the same device type and model on the client partition as on the server partition.

    For tape and tape library devices, the client partition may display the serial number in a different format than on the server partition. For example, a SAS tape device could have a serial number of YSA068000277 on the server partition and a serial number of 00-8000277 on the client partition.

    When a tape device resource within a tape library device is virtualized to a client partition both the tape device and the virtual tape library device will have the same type and model as on the server partition. If multiple drives in the same logical library are being virtualized to a client partition, each tape drive will be assigned its own virtual tape library resource on the client partition. The MLB device descriptions on the client partition will pool the tape drives that are the same type/model in the same logical library into the same MLB device descriptions. See example below:

                    Logical Hardware Resources Associated with IOP                
                                                                                  
     Type options, press Enter.                                                   
       2=Change detail    4=Remove    5=Display detail    6=I/O debug             
       7=Verify           8=Associated packaging resource(s)                      
                                                                                  
                                                                    Resource      
     Opt Description                    Type-Model  Status          Name          
         Virtual IOP                     290A-001   Operational     CMB11         
          Virtual Storage IOA            290A-001   Operational     DC07          
           Tape Library                  3555-03A   Operational     TAPMLB15      
            Tape Unit                    3580-008   Operational     TAP07         
           Tape Library                  3555-03A   Operational     TAPMLB08      
            Tape Unit                    3580-008   Operational     TAP10         
                                                                                  
    
    
                             Work with Media Library Status                         
                                                                 System:   xxxxxxxx  
     Type options, press Enter.                                                     
       1=Vary on   2=Vary off   3=Reset resource        4=Allocate resource         
       5=Allocate unprotected   6=Deallocate resource   8=Work with description     
                                                                                    
           Device/                                                      Job         
     Opt     Resource     Status                 Allocation             name        
           TAPMLB08       VARIED ON                                                 
             TAP07        UNAVAILABLE            DEALLOCATED                   
             TAP10        UNAVAILABLE            DEALLOCATED                   
           TAPMLB15       VARIED ON                                                
             TAP07        OPERATIONAL            UNPROTECTED                   
             TAP10        OPERATIONAL            UNPROTECTED       
               
    
  5. Vary on the virtual devices from the IBM i client partitions.
    • For virtualized optical devices, the corresponding optical device on the server partition must be varied on before the client partitions can use the device.
    • For virtualized tape devices, the corresponding tape device on the server partition must be varied off before the client partitions can use the device. If you want multiple client partitions to be able to vary on the device at the same time, then the device description Assign device at vary on parameter must be set to *NO on the client partitions.
    • For virtualized tape library devices, the corresponding tape library device on the server partition must be varied off, or the tape library devices within the tape library must be deallocated, before the client partitions can use the tape library.
    • If you want multiple client partitions to be able to use the tape library device at the same time, then the resources within the virtual tape library must be allocated as Unprotected on each client partition.
    Note: If you are virtualizing a RDX or USB Flash drive that contains optical container media, and there is a volume list file on the media that makes the child virtual volumes writable, then only one partition at a time can access the child virtual volumes.  For all other partitions the child virtual device description must be varied off.
    Note: The virtualized tape library devices must have at least one tape device resource available to be able to perform tape library device commands.
    Note: Whenever the virtualized tape library device configuration is changed it will be necessary to re-IPL the adapter on the server partition. The following steps must be followed to re-IPL an adapter on the server side that is sharing tape library device resources with the client partitions.
    1. Vary off the tape libary devices on the client partition.
    2. Vary off the NWSDs that define the devices that are being shared with the client partitions
    3. Vary off all of the tape library devices that are attached to the adapter on the server partition that is to be re-IPLed
    4. Re-IPL the adapter on the server partition
    5. Vary on all of the tape library devices that are attached to that adapter on the server partition.
    6. For the tape library devices on the server partition that are being shared with the client partitions, vary off those tape library devices, or deallocate the tape device resources within those tape library devices.
    7. Vary on the NWSDs on the server partition that define the devices that are being shared with the client partitions.
    8. Vary on the tape library devices on the client partitions.

Creating virtual SCSI adapters with the HMC Enhanced Interface

About this task

Use the following procedure to create new virtual SCSI adapters on the IBM i server and client partitions with the HMC Enhanced Interface:
  1. In the managing HMC navigation pane open Systems Management > Servers, and select the managed system on which the IBM i client partition resides.
  2. For the client partition, select Virtual I/O > Virtual storage.
  3. On the Virtual storage panel, press the Adapter view button to view the IBM i Hosted Virtual SCSI adapters.
  4. Select the Create Adapter option to create new IBM i Hosted Virtual SCSI adapters. The Create Virtual SCSI Adapter panel will preselect a valid adapter ID and remote adapter ID to use. Record the remote adapter ID for later use in step 2 and press OK.
    Note: The active partition profiles are automatically updated to include the new virtual SCSI adapters.

Creating virtual SCSI adapters with the HMC Classic Interface

About this task

Use the following procedure to create new virtual SCSI adapters on the IBM i server and client partitions with the HMC Classic Interface:
  1. Create a new SCSI server adapter on the IBM i server partition.
    1. In the managing HMC navigation pane open Systems Management > Servers, and select the managed system on which the IBM i server partition resides.
    2. Select the IBM i server partition, click the Tasks button, and choose Dynamic Logical Partitioning > Virtual Adapters.
    3. Click Actions and choose Create Virtual Adapter > SCSI adapter.
    4. Use the default Adapter number or provide your own number. This number is the Server adapter ID, which you need to record for later use.
      • In the Type of adapter field, select Server.
      • Click Only selected client partition can use and select the client partition name.
      • Enter a Client adapter ID that is not already defined by the client partition. To see which client adapter IDS are already defined for the client partition, display the properties for the client partition and choose the Virtual Adapters tab to see which client adapter IDs are already defined. Record the client adapter ID for later use.
      • Select OK to create the adapter.
    5. Create the virtual SCSI adapter within the partition profile for the IBM i server partition so that the virtual SCSI adapter continues to exist after you restart the partition. To do this edit the partition profile, select the Virtual Adapters tab, and repeat steps 1.c and 1.d above.
  2. Create the virtual SCSI client adapter in the IBM i client partition.
    1. In the managing HMC navigation pane, openSystems Management > Servers, and select the managed system on which the IBM i client logical partition resides.
    2. Select the IBM i client partition, click Tasks, and choose Dynamic Logical Partitioning > Virtual Adapters
    3. Click Actions and choose Create Virtual Adapter > SCSI Adapter.
    4. Enter the client adapter ID you recorded in step 1.d for the Adapter number and select client for the type of adapter.
    5. Select the IBM i server partition that owns the virtualized device as the server partition and specify the Server adapter ID that you recorded in step 1.d. Select OK.
    6. Create the virtual SCSI adapter within the partition profile for the IBM i client partition so that the virtual SCSI adapter continues to exist after you restart the partition. To do this, edit the partition profile, select the Virtual Adapters tab, and repeat steps 2.c, 2.d, and 2.e above.