Using IBM AIX 7.2 and/or PowerVM (VIOS 3.1) with NetApp ONTAP

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Installing the AIX/VIOS Host Utilities

You must install the AIX Host Utilities Kit while using AIX MPIO with NetApp ONTAP Storage.

You can download the compressed file containing the Host Utilities software packages from the NetApp Support Site. After you have the file, you must uncompress it to get the two software packages you need to install the Host Utilities.

Steps
  1. Login to your host.

    • On an AIX host, log in as root.

    • On a PowerVM host, log in as padmin, and then enter the oem_setup_env command to become root.

  2. Download a copy of the compressed file containing the Host Utilities from NetApp Support Site to a directory on your host.

  3. Go to the directory containing the download.

  4. Uncompress the file and extract the SAN Toolkit software package.

    zcat ntap_aix_host_utilities_6.0.tar.Z | tar -xvf –

    The following directory is created when you uncompress the file: ntap_aix_host_utilities_6.0. This directory will have one of the following subdirectories: MPIO, NON_MPIO, or SAN_Tool_Kit

  5. Install the AIX MPIO:

    installp -aXYd /var/tmp/ntap_aix_host_utilities_6.0/MPIO NetApp.MPIO_Host_Utilities_Kit

  6. Install the SAN Toolkit:
    installp -aXYd /var/tmp/ntap_aix_host_utilities_6.0/SAN_Tool_Kit NetApp.SAN_toolkit

  7. Reboot the host.

SAN Toolkit

The toolkit is installed automatically when you install the NetApp Host Utilities package. This kit provides the sanlun utility, which helps you manage LUNs and HBAs. The sanlun command returns information about the LUNs mapped to your host, multipathing, and information necessary to create initiator groups.

Example

In the following example, the sanlun lun show command returns LUN information.

#sanlun lun show

controller(7mode)/                  device      host       lun
vserver(Cmode)    lun-pathname     filename    adapter   protocol   size   mode
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
data_vserver      /vol/vol1/lun1    hdisk0      fcs0       FCP       60g    C
data_vserver      /vol/vol2/lun2    hdisk0      fcs0       FCP       20g    C
data_vserver      /vol/vol3/lun3    hdisk11     fcs0       FCP       20g    C
data_vserver      /vol/vol4/lun4    hdisk14     fcs0       FCP       20g    C

SAN Booting

Before you begin

If you decide to use SAN booting, it must be supported by your configuration. You can use the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool to verify that your OS, HBA, HBA firmware and the HBA boot BIOS, and ONTAP version are supported.

SAN booting is the process of setting up a SAN-attached disk (a LUN) as a boot device for an AIX/PowerVM host. You can set up a SAN boot LUN to work in an AIX MPIO environment that is running the AIX Host Utilities with either the FC or FCoE protocol. The method you use for creating a SAN boot LUN and installing a new OS image on it in an AIX MPIO environment can vary, depending on which protocol you are using.

Multipathing

Multipathing allows you to configure multiple network paths between the host and storage system. If one path fails, traffic continues on the remaining paths. The AIX and PowerVM environments of the Host Utilities use AIX’s native multipathing solution (MPIO).

For AIX, Path Control Module (PCM) is responsible for controlling multiple paths. PCM is a storage vendor supplied code that handles path management. This gets installed and enabled as part of the Host Utilities installation.

Non-ASA Configuration

For non-ASA configuration there should be two groups of paths with different priorities. The paths with the higher priorities are Active/Optimized, meaning they are serviced by the controller where the aggregate is located. The paths with the lower priorities are active but are non-optimized because they are served from a different controller. The non-optimized paths are only used when no optimized paths are available.

Example

The following example displays the correct output for an ONTAP LUN with two Active/Optimized paths and two Active/Non-Optimized paths:

# sanlun lun show -p |grep -p hdisk78
                    ONTAP Path: vs_aix_clus:/vol/chataix_205p2_vol_en_1_7/jfs_205p2_lun_en
                           LUN: 37
                      LUN Size: 15g
                   Host Device: hdisk78
                          Mode: C
            Multipath Provider: AIX Native
        Multipathing Algorithm: round_robin
------- ---------- ------ ------- ---------- ----------
host    vserver    AIX                        AIX MPIO
path    path       MPIO   host    vserver         path
state   type       path   adapter LIF         priority
------- ---------- ------ ------- ---------- ----------
up      secondary  path0  fcs0    fc_aix_1        1
up      primary    path1  fcs0    fc_aix_2        1
up      primary    path2  fcs1    fc_aix_3        1
up      secondary  path3  fcs1    fc_aix_4        1

All SAN Array Configuration

In All SAN Array (ASA) configurations, all paths to a given Logical Unit (LUN) are active and optimized. This means I/O can be served through all paths at the same time, thereby enabling better performance.

Example

The following example displays the correct output for an ONTAP LUN:

All SAN Arrays (ASA) configurations are supported beginning in ONTAP 9.8 for AIX Hosts.
# sanlun lun show -p |grep -p hdisk78
                    ONTAP Path: vs_aix_clus:/vol/chataix_205p2_vol_en_1_7/jfs_205p2_lun_en
                           LUN: 37
                      LUN Size: 15g
                   Host Device: hdisk78
                          Mode: C
            Multipath Provider: AIX Native
        Multipathing Algorithm: round_robin
------ ------- ------ ------- --------- ----------
host   vserver  AIX                      AIX MPIO
path   path     MPIO   host    vserver     path
state  type     path   adapter LIF       priority
------ ------- ------ ------- --------- ----------
up     primary  path0  fcs0    fc_aix_1     1
up     primary  path1  fcs0    fc_aix_2     1
up     primary  path2  fcs1    fc_aix_3     1
up     primary  path3  fcs1    fc_aix_4     1

Following are some recommended parameter settings for NetApp ONTAP LUN’s. The critical parameters for ONTAP LUN’s are set automatically after installing the NetApp Host Utilities Kit.

Parameter Environment Value for AIX Note

algorithm

MPIO

round_robin

Set by Host Utilities

hcheck_cmd

MPIO

inquiry

Set by Host Utilities

hcheck_interval

MPIO

30

Set by Host Utilities

hcheck_mode

MPIO

nonactive

Set by Host Utilities

lun_reset_spt

MPIO / non-MPIO

yes

Set by Host Utilities

max_transfer

MPIO / non-MPIO

FC LUNs: 0x100000 bytes

Set by Host Utilities

qfull_dly

MPIO / non-MPIO

2-second delay

Set by Host Utilities

queue_depth

MPIO / non-MPIO

64

Set by Host Utilities

reserve_policy

MPIO / non-MPIO

no_reserve

Set by Host Utilities

re_timeout (disk)

MPIO / non-MPIO

30 seconds

Uses OS Default values

dyntrk

MPIO / non-MPIO

Yes

Uses OS Default values

fc_err_recov

MPIO / non-MPIO

Fast_fail

Uses OS Default values

q_type

MPIO / non-MPIO

simple

Uses OS Default values

num_cmd_elems

MPIO / non-MPIO

1024 for AIX
3072 for VIOS

FC EN1B, FC EN1C

num_cmd_elems

MPIO / non-MPIO

1024 for AIX

FC EN0G

By default, the AIX operating system enforces a shorter I/O timeout if when no paths to a LUN are available. This might occur in configurations including single-switch SAN fabric and MetroCluster configurations that experience unplanned failovers. For additional information and recommended changes to default settings, please refer to NetApp KB1001318

Known Problems and Limitations

NetApp Bug ID Title Description Partner ID

1307653

Seeing I/O issues on VIOS 3.1.1.10 during SFO faults and straight io

On VIOS 3.1.1 IO failures may be seen on NPIV client disk which are backed by 16/32Gb FC adapters. Also, a vfchost driver may get into a state where it stops processing I/O requests from the client.

Applying IBM APAR IJ22290 IBM APAR IJ23222 will fix the issue