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Fast I/O Failure and dynamic tracking interaction

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AIX 6.1 information > Performance management and tuning > Performance management > Logical volume and disk I/O performance

Fast I/O Failure and dynamic tracking interaction

Although Fast I/O Failure and dynamic tracking of Fibre Channel (FC) devices are technically separate features, the enabling of one can change the interpretation of the other in certain situations. The following table shows the behavior exhibited by the FC drivers with the various permutations of these settings:

dyntrk

fc_err_recov

FC Driver Behavior

no

delayed_fail

The default setting. This is legacy behavior existing in previous versions of AIX®. The FC drivers do not recover if the SCSI ID of a device changes, and I/Os take longer to fail when a link loss occurs between a remote storage port and switch. This might be preferable in single-path situations if dynamic tracking support is not a requirement.

no

fast_fail

If the driver receives a RSCN from the switch, this could indicate a link loss between a remote storage port and switch. After an initial 15-second delay, the FC drivers query to see if the device is on the fabric. If not, I/Os are flushed back by the adapter. Future retries or new I/Os fail immediately if the device is still not on the fabric. If the FC drivers detect that the device is on the fabric but the SCSI ID has changed, the FC device drivers do not recover, and the I/Os fail with PERM errors.

yes

delayed_fail

If the driver receives a RSCN from the switch, this could indicate a link loss between a remote storage port and switch. After an initial 15-second delay, the FC drivers query to see if the device is on the fabric. If not, I/Os are flushed back by the adapter. Future retries or new I/Os fail immediately if the device is still not on the fabric, although the storage driver (disk, tape, FastT) drivers might inject a small delay (2-5 seconds) between I/O retries. If the FC drivers detect that the device is on the fabric but the SCSI ID has changed, the FC device drivers reroute traffic to the new SCSI ID.

yes

fast_fail

If the driver receives a Registered State Change Notification (RSCN) from the switch, this could indicate a link loss between a remote storage port and switch. After an initial 15- second delay, the FC drivers query to see if the device is on the fabric. If not, I/Os are flushed back by the adapter. Future retries or new I/Os fail immediately if the device is still not on the fabric. The storage driver (disk, tape, FastT) will likely not delay between retries. If the FC drivers detect the device is on the fabric but the SCSI ID has changed, the FC device drivers reroute traffic to the new SCSI ID.

When dynamic tracking is disabled, there is a marked difference between the delayed_fail and fast_fail settings of the fc_err_recov attribute. However, with dynamic tracking enabled, the setting of the fc_err_recov attribute is less significant. This is because there is some overlap in the dynamic tracking and fast fail error-recovery policies. Therefore, enabling dynamic tracking inherently enables some of the fast fail logic.

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/aix/v6r1/topic/com.ibm.aix.prftungd/doc/prftung

9/28/2013

Fast I/O Failure and dynamic tracking interaction

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The general error recovery procedure when a device is no longer reachable on the fabric is the same for both fc_err_recov settings with dynamic tracking enabled. The minor difference is that the storage drivers can choose to inject delays between I/O retries if fc_err_recov is set to delayed_fail. This increases the I/O failure time by an additional amount, depending on the delay value and number of retries, before permanently failing the I/O. With high I/O traffic, however, the difference between delayed_fail and fast_fail might be more noticeable.

SAN administrators might want to experiment with these settings to find the correct combination of settings for their environment.

Parent topic: Logical volume and disk I/O performance [ Feedback ]

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/aix/v6r1/topic/com.ibm.aix.prftungd/doc/prftung

9/28/2013