Category Archives: Veritas

VxVM Troubleshooting – Procedure to Replace Internal FibreChannel (FC) Disks controlled by VxVM

Hot swapping of a failed disk is fairly straight procedure if the disks are regular SCSI disks, but for the Fibre Channel (FC) disks we should follow different procedure for hot swaping.

Below specific procedure should be used when replacing one of the internal disks in a system with internal fibre drives (Sun Fire 280R, Sun Fire V480, Sun Fire V490, Sun Fire V880, Sun Fire V890), especially if the disk is under Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) control.

the procedure below ensures to alert VxVM to the fact that the drive is being replaced, although the disks are hot-swappable. Failure to follow this procedure could result in a duplicate entry for the replaced disk in VxVM, in ‘vxdisk list’ command

For example:

# vxdisk list
c1t0d0s2 sliced rootdisk rootdg online
c1t1d0s2 sliced – – error
c1t1d0s2 sliced – – error

To remove the duplicate entries from the above command, the easy way is to reboot the server. Following below procedure will prevent the duplicate device from being created in the first place.

Please not If the disk is not under VxVM control, you can skip steps 3,5,10,11,12

Procedure To Replace FC Disk which is under VxVM Control

Step1 : Collect the information

NOTE: All data on these devices should have been backed up. Before replacing any disk under VxVM control, it should be in either a ‘failed’ or ‘removed’ state:

# vxdisk list

c1t0d0s2 sliced rootdisk rootdg online
c1t1d0s2 sliced – – online
– – disk01 rootdg failed was:c1t1d0s2

If the disk does not show up as “failed was”, as shown above, then you should run ‘vxdiskadm’ and choose option #4 to remove the disk for replacement. After running ‘vxdiskadm’, the output should look like this:

# vxdisk list

c1t0d0s2 sliced rootdisk rootdg online
c1t1d0s2 sliced – – online
– – disk01 rootdg removed was:c1t1d0s2

NOTE: If this is a root-disk or root-mirror, check the following removed disk information, before this operation. This information is needed to change nvramrc.

WWN information:

For example,

# ls -al /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 74 Mar 6 2003 c1t0d0s0 -> ../../devices/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000004cfa19920,0:a,raw

devalias and boot-device in nvramrc

For example,

# eeprom nvramrc

devalias rootdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w2100004cfa19920,0:a
devalias mirrdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w2100004cfa19838,0:a
boot-device=rootdisk mirrdisk

Step 2. If this is a root-disk or root-mirror, use the dumpadm command to ensure that the dump-device is not on the failed disk. If it is, move it to the good side of the mirror, for example:

# dumpadm -d /dev/dsk/c1t0d0s1

Step 3. If vxdiskadm option 4 is used to remove the disk for replacement, instruct VxVM to re-read the device tree by running the command

# vxdctl enable

Step 4. Put the disk into the “offline” state with the following command:

# vxdisk offline c1t1d0s2

Step 5. Verify the disk has been marked “offline” with “vxdisk list”:

# vxdisk list

c1t0d0s2 sliced rootdisk rootdg online
c1t1d0s2 sliced – – offline
– – disk01 rootdg removed was:c1t1d0s2

Step 6. Once Veritas has recognized the disk as offline and ready for replacement, you need to tell the operating system. This is done as follows:

# /usr/sbin/luxadm remove_device /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2

This will produce output similar to the following:

WARNING!!! Please ensure that no file systems are mounted on these device(s).

All data on these devices should have been backed up.

The list of devices which will be removed is:

1: Device name: /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2 Node WWN: 20000020371b1f31
Device Type: Disk device
Device Paths: /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2
Please verify the above list of devices and then enter c or to  Continue or q to Quit. [Default: c]:c

stopping: /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2…. Done
offlining: /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2…. Done
The drives are now off-line and spun down.

Physically remove the disk and press the Return key.

Hit after removing the device(s).
picld[87]: Device DISK1 removed
Device: /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2
No FC devices found. – /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2

NOTE:  The picld daemon notifies the system that the disk has been removed.

If no errors are printed, continue to step 6. Otherwise, if you receive any errors during this step:

physically pull the bad disk from the host run the commands:

# vxdisk rm c1t1d0s2
# luxadm -e offline /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2

if the disk is multipathed, run the ‘luxadm -e offline’ on the second path as well.

Step 7. Initiate devfsadm cleanup subroutines by entering the following command:

# /usr/sbin/devfsadm -C -c disk

The default devfsadm operation, is to attempt to load every driver in the system, and attach these drivers to all possible device instances. The devfsadm command then creates device special files in the /devices directory, and logical links in /dev.

With the “-c disk” option, devfsadm will only update disk device files. This saves time and is important on systems that have tape devices attached.

Rebuilding these tape devices could cause undesirable results on non-Sun hardware.

The -C option cleans up the /dev directory, and removes any lingering logical links to the device link names. This should remove all the device paths for this particular disk. This can be verified with:

# ls -ld /dev/dsk/c1t1d*

This should return no devices.

Step 8. Verify that the reference to this disk is gone by running the commands

# vxdisk list (if the disk is under vxvm control)

# format

It is now safe to physically replace the disk.

Step 9. After replacing the disk, create the necessary entries in the Solaris OS

device tree with one of the following commands:

# devfsadm


# /usr/sbin/luxadm insert_device

where sx is the slot number.

NOTE: In many cases, luxadm insert_device does not require the enclosure name and slot number.

Use the following to find the slot number:

# luxadm display

To find the use:

# luxadm probe

Run “ls -ld /dev/dsk/c1t1d*” to verify that the new device paths have been created.

NOTE: After inserting disk and running devfsadm(or luxadm), the old ssd id was changed to a new one. So, just ignore this change.

For example:

When an error occurs on the following disks(ssd3).

  • WARNING: /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000004cfa19920,0 (ssd3):
  • Error for Command: read(10) Error Level: Retryable
  • Requested Block: 15392944 Error Block: 15392958

(After inserting disk)

  • picld[287]: [ID 727222 daemon.error] Device DISK0 inserted
  • qlc: [ID 686697] NOTICE: Qlogic qlc(2): Loop ONLINE
  • scsi: [ID 799468] ssd10 at fp2: name w21000011c63f0c94,0, bus address ef
  • genunix: [ID 936769] ssd10 is /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000011c63f0c94,0
  • scsi: [ID 365881]
  • genunix: [ID 408114] /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000011c
  • 63f0c94,0 (ssd10) online

Step 10. Label the disk using the format command.

If the disk is under VxVM control, be sure to write an SMI label(Solaris 9 4/03 OS or later):

# format -e /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s2

format> l

[0] SMI Label

[1] EFI Label

Specify Label type[1]: 0

Auto configuration via format.dat[no]? no

Auto configuration via generic SCSI-2[no]? yes

Ready to label disk, continue? yes

If the disk is not under VxVM control, label the disk to local requirements, otherwise, it could be labeled with a standard vtoc. Steps 9a – 9c are only required if this is a system running SunCluster

Note: It’s possible to get errors from c0t0d0 which is the cdrom/dvd drive on Sun fire v480,v880 etc..

Step 11. Instruct VxVM to re-read the device tree by running the command

# vxdctl enable

Step 12. The disk will remain in the “offline” state until the new disk is initialized.

To initialize it, use the command line first:

# vxdisksetup -i c1t1d0

Then, use ‘vxdiskadm’ and choose option #5 to replace the failed or removed disk.

– OR –

Run ‘vxdiskadm’ and choose option #5 to initialize it and replace the failed or removed disk. If the ‘vxdiskadm’ command is run, and option #5 is chosen, it will show that “Access is disabled” for this new disk (because it is still “offline”), and will be asked whether or not you wish to “enable access” to it. Answer ‘yes’ to this question.

Step 13. The disk should now be online and functional, within the operating system and VxVM. Confirm this with “vxdisk list”.

NOTE: Do not re-boot the system and Setp-13(modify nvramrc) until a synchronization is completed. If it is re-booted, it cannot boot from a new disk or modify devalias. Confirm this with “vxtask list”:

# vxtask list

Step 14. If a swap partition had to be moved, move it back, for example:

# dumpadm -d /dev/dsk/c1t1d0s1

Step 15. If this was a root-disk or a root-mirror, then you need to make sure and run /etc/vx/bin/vxbootsetup command. The vxbootsetup utility configures a disk by writing a boot track at the beginning of the disk and by creating physical disk partitions in the UNIX VTOC that match the mirrors of the root, swap, /usr and /var.

#/etc/vx/bin/vxbootsetup -g rootdg rootdisk

Step 16. If this was a root-disk or root-mirror, then ensure the nvram aliases are updated so you can boot.

# ls -al /dev/rdsk/s0

example: ls -al /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0

Check the WWN from the ls output with the appropriate root alias entries in the NVRAM. (eeprom nvramrc) and look at rootmirror or rootdisk entries.

NOTE: The change method of devalias in nvramrc. From removed disk information to new disk information.

For example,

– List before modifying nvramrc. (removed disk information)

# eeprom nvramrc

devalias rootdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w2100004cfa19920,0:a

devalias mirrdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w2100004cfa19838,0:a

– List the new disk information

# ls -al /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 74 Mar 6 2003 c1t0d0s0 -> ../../


– Modify nvramrc

(This example is written in the bourne shell)

# eeprom nvramrc= ‘devalias root-disk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@ w21000011c63f0c94,0:a [enter once] devalias rootmirror /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000004cfa19838,0:a ‘  [enter second time]

– List after modifying nvramrc.

# eeprom nvramrc

devalias rootdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w21000011c63f0c94,0:a

devalias mirrdisk /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2/fp@0,0/ssd@w2100004cfa19838,0:a

NOTE: If this is a root-disk or rootmirror, the device path contains the WWN of the new disk. It is necessary to update the nvramrc devalias entries to the new device path, so the system will be able to boot from the newly-replaced rootdisk or rootmirror.

VERITAS Volume Manager

The following are a very basic information about VERITAS Volume Manager. For more accurate information please read complete VERITAS Volume Manager Manuals.

Please don’t perform any instruction unless you know what the outcome is.

Important Notes for Installing VERITAS Volume Manager:

  • Check what VERITAS  packages are currently running:

# pkginfo | grep –i VRTS

  • Make sure the boot disk has at least two free partitions with 2048 contiguous sectors (512 bytes) aviable.

# prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0

  • Make sure to save the boot disk information by using the “prtvtoc” command.

# prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0  > /etc/my_boot_disk_information

  • Make sure to have a backup copy of the /etc/system and /etc/vfstab files.
  • Add packages to your system.

# cd 2location_of_your_packages

# pkgadd –d . VRTSvxvm VRTSvmman VRTSvmdoc

  • Add the license key by using vxlicinst.

# vxlicinst

  • Then run the Volume Manager Installation program.

# vxinstall

  • Check the .profile file to ensure the following paths:

# PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/vxvm/bin:/opt/VRTSobgui/bin:/usr/sbin:/opt/VRTSob/bin



Veritas Volumes

Volumes are virtual devices (virtual objects) that appear to be physical disks to applications, databases and file systems. Volumes are the VxVM software’s top-tier virtual objects. Although volumes appear to be physical disks, they do not share the limitations of physical disks. Volumes have the following characteristics:

  • Volumes are directly addressed by the Solaris OE.
  • They consist of one or more plexes. Each plex holds one copy of the volume’s data.
  • Volumes are not restricted to a single disk or specific areas of disks.The configuration of a volume can be changed using the VxVM software utilities. Configuration changes can be accomplished without disruption to the volume operations.
  • Volume names can contain up to 31 characters.
  • Volumes can consist of up to 32 plexes.

Each plex can contain multiple subdisks, and all subdisks must be in the same disk group.

Two-Plex Volume

Veritas Plexes

The VxVM software virtual objects built from subdisks are called plexes. A plex consists of one or more subdisks located on one or more VxVM software disks.
Plexes are:

  • Also known as submirrors
  • Mid-tier building blocks of the VxVM software volumes
  • Named based on the name of the volume for which it is a submirror, plus an appended incremental numeric identifier
  • Organized using the following methods:
  • Concetanation
  • Stripe (RAID 0)
  • Mirror (RAID 1)
  • Striping with parity (RAID 5)

Plex Components

Veritas Subdisks

Subdisks are contiguous blocks of space. Subdisks provide the basic building blocks for the VxVM software plexes and volumes, creating the VxVM software basic unit of storage allocation. Subdisks are virtual objects.
The following characteristics apply to subdisks:

  • Subdisk storage is allocated from the public region of a VxVM software disk.
  • A VxVM software disk can be subdivided into one or more subdisks. Multiple subdisks cannot overlap.
  • Space on a VxVM software disk not allocated to a subdisk is considered free space.

Subdisk names are based on the VxVM software disk name where they reside, appended with an incremental numeric identifier.

Subdisk Naming Scheme

Subdisk Naming Scheme

Veritas Disk Groups

A named collection of VxVM software disks that share a common  configuration is called a disk group. Common configuration refers to a set of  records that provide detailed information about related VxVM software objects, their connections and attributes. This configuration information is stored in the private region of the VxVM software disks. A backup copy for each configured disk group is stored in /var/vxvm/tempdb.

Disk groups are virtual objects and have the following characteristics:

  • The default disk group is rootdg.
  • Additional disk groups can be created on the fly.
  • Disk group names are a maximum of 31 characters in length.
  • Disk groups can be renamed.
  • Disk groups are versioned.
  • Disk groups allow grouping of the VxVM software disks into logical collections.
  • Disk groups can be moved from one system to another with an import and deport process.
  • Volumes created within a specific disk group can use only the VxVM software disks that are a member of that disk group.
  • Volumes and disks can be moved among disk groups.

VxVM Software Disks

When a physical disk is brought under VxVM software control, it is either initialized or encapsulated.

Initialized Disks

Initialized disks are reformatted with either one or two partitions, and all data is destroyed. The partitions are used to store the VxVM software configuration and data areas called private and public regions.

The private region is a small partition where disk group configuration information is stored. The private region has the following characteristics:

  • It is usually slice 3.
  • Region size starts at 1024 sectors in early versions of the VxVM software, and 2048 sectors in version 3.2. Use the vxdisksetup command privlen option to expand the size of the private region. This is a complicated procedure and is not recommended. The procedure for expanding the private region is addressed in a lab exercise.
  • It is assigned vtoc tag number 15 for identification purposes.
  • This region is not used for data storage.
  • The private region contains the following information:
  • Disk name and indentifier
  • Disk group name and identifier
  • Disk group configuration copy

The public region uses the remaining space available on the physical disk to store subdisks. The public region has the following characteristics:

  • It is usually slice 4.
  • It is used for data storage.
  • The region is maintained by the VxVM software commands.
  • It is assigned vtoc tag number 14 for identification purposes.

Initialized disks can be configured in one of three methods:

  • The sliced configuration – Public and private regions are defined as separate Solaris OE partitions. This is the preferred method for initializing a VxVM software disk.
  • The simple configuration – Public and private regions are defined as a single Solaris OE partition.

These are volatile devices and disappear after a reboot if they are not in use or defined in the /etc/vx/volboot file.

  • The nopriv configuration – The disk is configured without a private region. Configuration information is held and maintained by a sliced disk acting as a proxy.

These disks are not automatically discovered at bootup unless  defined in the /etc/vx/volboot file.

Encapsulated Disks

Encapsulation brings a physical disk under the VxVM software control  and preserves the data. The /etc/vfstab file is modified to reflect the new volume names on the disk’s file systems. Encapsulation has the following characteristics:

  • The /etc/vfstab file requires free space on the disk, usually in the private region, to store configuration information.
  • The file size starts at 1024 sectors to the VxVM software version 3.2, and 2048 sectors in version 3.2 and later.
  • Encapsulation fails if there is not enough free space to build a private region. If space is not available for a private region, use the nopriv option.
  • All partitions on the disk are reassigned to a new public region, which is usually slice 6.
  • Boot disk can be encapsulated and remain bootable.

Note – Avoid nopriv configurations. Support for this configuration is  being phased out. Encapsulation, including boot disk encapsulation, is covered later in this course.

Veritas VxVM Software Objects

The VxVM software manipulates physical and virtual devices which enable the VxVM software storage management operations, as follows:

  • Physical objects – Physical objects are physical storage devices that present raw or block device interfaces to the Solaris OE.
  • Virtual objects – The VxVM software builds virtual objects from physical storage objects that are brought under the VxVM software control. The VxVM software virtual objects are combined into volumes which are then formatted and mounted for use by applications and users.

All objects that are not physical objects are virtual objects.

Physical Disks

Physical disks are storage devices where data is ultimately stored. Physical disks, or physical objects, are identified by the Solaris OE using a unique identifier called a ctd number. Valid ctd identifiers are:

  • c – The system controller or host bus adapter number
  • t – A Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) target identifier
  • d – A device or logical unit number
  • s – A slice or partition

The VxVM software uses a drive ctd number for identification of the physical device when it is brought under VxVM software control.

VxVM Software Disks   ( Continue…………….)

Veritas VxVM Drivers and Daemons

The VxVM software storage management subsystem is implemented by the drivers and daemons described below.

Kernel Drivers

VxVM software storage management drivers include the following:

  • vxio – The vxio driver manages access to VxVM software virtual devices. Prior to initiating an input/output (I/O) operation to one of these virtual devices, the vxio driver consults the VxVM configuration database. The vxio driver is also responsible for reporting device errors.
  • vxdmp – The vxdmp daemon performs DMP operations on multipathed storage subsystems.
  • vxspec – The vxspec software control and status driver is used by vxconfigd and other VxVM software utilities to communicate with the Solaris OE kernel.

VxVM Software Daemons

VxVM software storage management daemons include the following:

  • vxconfigd – The vxconfigd software configuration daemon is responsible for maintaining disk and disk group configuration information. The vxconfigd daemon performs the following:
  • It takes configuration change requests from VxVM software utilities, communicates those to the kernel, and updates the VxVM software configuration database.
  • During system boot processing, vxconfigd reads the kernel log to determine the current state of VxVM software objects and any recovery operations to be performed.
  • During disk group imports, vxconfigd scans the private regions of the disk groups VM disks to find the most current copy of its configuration database. The daemon then adds that data to the system’s VxVM software kernel configuration database.
  • It receives cluster related information from the vxclust utility. In a cluster environment, the different instances of vxconfigd running on the cluster nodes communicate with each other across the network.
  • It logs any VxVM software object errors.
  • vxrelocd – The vxrelocd daemon performs hot-relocation to restore redundancy. The vxrelocd daemon performs the following:
  • Data located on subdisks that are part of a failed VM disk is relocated to spare disks that have sufficient free space configured in the disk group.
  • When a relocation operation begins, vxrelocd sends mail to the local root account.