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Logging Fibre Cards into a Switch

September 27, 2011

I recently worked with a customer that was trying to figure out how to log their fibre cards into a switch before loading an OS onto the LPAR.

I immediately thought of this recent documentation. Although this information is intended for NPIV clients, it worked just fine for our standalone LPARs and physical fibre cards.

"If a vfc-client device is defined for an LPAR which is already running an operating system, then if/when the operating system opens the vfc-client device, the device will log in to the SAN. But in some cases it is desirable to force a vfc-client device to log in to the SAN before an operating system is installed.

"SSH to an HMC which is managing the LPAR. Use the vtmenu command on the HMC to open a virtual terminal session on the LPAR's system console. On the HMC GUI, select the server on which the LPAR resides, then select the LPAR, and shut the LPAR down if it is running. Then, use Operations>Activate>Profile>Advanced ... to open the Activate Logical Partition-Advanced window. In the window, select Boot mode: Open Firmware OK Prompt. In the LPAR's system console window, you will see the LPAR start up and present the open firmware prompt ("0 >")."

We followed these instructions, booted our LPAR and ended up at the 0 > prompt.

We then ran ioinfo from the Open Firmware OK Prompt:

    0 > ioinfo

I then saw:

    Select a tool from the following
    2. IDEINFO
    4. SASINFO
    5. USBINFO
    6. FCINFO
    q - quit/exit
    ==> 6

I selected option 6 to run FCINFO:

    FCINFO Main Menu
    Select a FC Node from the following list:
      #  Location Code                Pathname
      1. U8233.E8B.0623B7P-V5-C21-T1    /vdevice/vfc-client@30000015
      2. U8233.E8B.0623B7P-V5-C22-T1    /vdevice/vfc-client@30000016
      q - Quit/Exit
    ==> 1

I then selected the correct fibre channel port. (I was using two physical 2-port fibre adapters. The example above shows some virtual fibre adapters.) Then I selected 1 to list the attached fc devices. It took a minute and then it logged into the switch.

Once that was done the SAN guys did their zoning magic and we were able to boot from NIM and install the OS on SAN LUNs.

This saved the SAN guys the aggravation of manually entering WWNs, and in one case it allowed us admins to discover that one of the fibre cables hadn't been connected to the card. Once we attached that cable and reran the FCINFO command, it logged right in.

I've booted LPARs from NIM servers in the past to do the same type of thing, but how about you? How do you like to set up your machines and get them logged into the SAN?

Note: A quick reminder about the upcoming IBM Power Systems Technical University conference in Miami. It starts on Oct. 10, so register soon if you plan on attending. And be sure to follow #ibmtechu on Twitter for more information.

Posted September 27, 2011 | Permalink

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