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Preparing a SUN/ORACLE Solaris server for SAN access – SAN step 4

Introduction.

In preparing the server to connect to the SAN, I am assuming that the necessary fibre optic HBAs (host bus adapter), as well as the relevant driver software have been installed into the server. Seeing that it is easier to do when building the SAN, rather than changing to dual redundant HBAs at a later stage, I also will assume that we installed two HBAs, each connected to a different fabric, so as to ensure dual redundancy and load sharing.

Do not worry about the dual redundancy now as this will be dealt with in a later post.

By the way – this procedure is valid for SPARC, X86, or AMD64 processors, whether it is for 32 bit or 64 bit Solaris. It also is valid for both Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 versions of the operating system.

Enabling multiple paths to the SAN

In the Solaris operating system we use MpxIO to establish multiple paths to the target (IBM V7000 LUN). To set this up requires you to log onto the server as the root user. Then do:

cd /kernel/drv

cp fp.conf fp.conf.org (Save a copy of the original file in case you mess up!)

vi fp.conf and then find the line which reads: mpxio-disable=”yes”; Change the yes to no, save the file and exit from vi.

Now do a reconfiguration reboot and multipathing will be enabled, as well as having the server detect the CISCO switch ports it is connected to via the FO HBAs.

A big caution!!!

If you enable multipathing as decribed above, it will turn on multipathing for everything it can do so for! This includes the internal hard disks if they are fibre attached. If you do have fibre attached internal drives, then either disable MpxIO on a per port basis for every fibre attached internal drive, or even far better – use stmsboot instead of editing the fp.conf file. Stmsboot prompts for which ports MpxIO is to be allowed for, and will change the required driver configuration files, your vfstab file, and all other files that requires changes. It also will change your boot drive path as well as the dump file path to be multipathing aware.

Keep in mind that the drive device entries will change when multipathing is enabled, e.g. your c1t2d0 device name now will become something like c1t50060E801049CF50d0. This obviously means that if it is done for your boot drive, then the new boot drive name will have to be updated in several places, or else your server will become un-bootable!

Stmsboot very definitely is the better and safer option to use if you have anything other than the SAN for which multipathing can be enabled.

At last!

With MpxIO enabled, and your server re-booted, your server is ready to communicate with your SAN, which is ready to communicate with your server.

Up to now we have been preparing the SAN and its connected devices, but in the next post we will  start building and configuring the actual SAN.

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