Installing Equallogic SAN on IBM AIX 5.2 ML7 and above

This is how I installed the Equallogic SAN on an IBM eSeries server with AIX 5.2 ML9. AIX maintenance level 7 and above has native iSCSI drivers. Anything older then you will need to download the Cisco iSCSI drivers from Equalogic or Cisco’s website.

First create the volume on the SAN, this is pretty easy and intuitive with Equallogic and I will not dwell on that here.

To check if the iSCSI driver is installed, go into SMIT, devices and you should see the iSCSI heading. Select iSCSI, iSCSI Protocol Device, and then Change / Show Characteristics. You will see the iSCSI initiator name.

To list all installed physical disk enter below command and you will see something similar. This is the before SAN picture.
lsdev -C -c disk
hdisk0 Available 1S-08-00-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk1 Available 1S-08-00-9,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk2 Available 1S-08-00-10,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk3 Available 1S-08-00-11,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk4 Available 25-08-00-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk5 Available 25-08-01-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive

To enable and use the iSCSI volume as a hdisk device under AIX, it needs to be added to the targes file.
Edit /etc/iscsi/targets and add the following line:
10.10.24.50 3260 iqn.2001-05.com.equallogic:6-8a0900-594956401-a94000003e0460
92-iscsi-production

Replace the IP 10.10.24.50 with your SAN group IP, the default SAN port is 3260, IQN name begins with iqn. you can get this from your SAN configuration.

To process the targets file and initialize the iSCSI device you can reboot the server or run the following cfgmgr command (no reboot required).

cfgmgr -l iscsi0

If everything works, ‘lsdev -C c disk’ should show the SAN disks such as:
lsdev -Ccdisk
hdisk0 Available 1S-08-00-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk1 Available 1S-08-00-9,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk2 Available 1S-08-00-10,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk3 Available 1S-08-00-11,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk4 Available 25-08-00-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk5 Available 25-08-01-8,0 16 Bit LVD SCSI Disk Drive
hdisk6 Available Other iSCSI Disk Drive

Viola, the SAN volume has been installed as a physical disk in AIX. Now you simply have to create the volume group, create logical volume and create the filesystem.

I also recommend tweaking the network card and TCP/IP packets for optimal SAN performance. I will explain that after I have completed it on my AIX server, I am still waiting for the order of two 1G NICs. I am planning on turning on jumbo frame complete with fault tolerent NIC.

6 comments for “Installing Equallogic SAN on IBM AIX 5.2 ML7 and above

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  4. June 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Voran,

    It’s been a long time ago when I did this, so I do not remeber the exact steps. But what you need to do is to turn on jumbo frames in the network card of the server as well as the port on the switch it is connected to. Jumbo frames also need to be turned on for the Equallogic network card and port on switch.

    Depending on the switch you the steps involved will differ. Certain switched are not capable of this. On the Aix server just use smith to do this.

    Good luck.
    A

  5. Voran
    June 11, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Hello !

    Great post !
    Simple steps and very effective.

    You say you will explain about tweaking the network card and TCP/IP packets for optimal SAN performance …

    Please, explain ;-)

    Voran

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