Solaris 8 SAN Frustrations

Getting Solaris 8 to light up a Qlogic QLA2310 Fibre Channel card using the SUNWqlc and SUNWqlcx drivers can be frustrating enough, but the headaches are only beginning if you want to connect it to a SAN and you don’t have all the right packages installed.

Last week, I installed the QLA2310 in a Sun Fire V210 running Solaris 8. I installed the latest versions of SUNWqlc, SUNWqlcx and SUNWsan. After doing a reboot -- -r, the system came up and attached the driver to the card. I zoned it in the fabric and logged into Navisphere, where the WWN showed up, but neither Power Path or the Navisphere host agent could communicate with the CLARiiON. I also could not see any of the LUNS I had presented.

I thought it was strange that the CLARiiON could see the host, but the host could not see the CLARiiON.

I ran:
luxadm -e port
Which returned:

Found path to 1 HBA ports

/devices/pci@1d,700000/SUNW,qlc@1/fp@0,0:devctl                    CONNECTED

Clearly, it could see the HBA.

I ran:

ls -l /dev/cfg
total 8
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   38 Nov 30 14:31 c0 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   39 Nov 30 14:31 c1 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   41 Nov 30 14:31 c2 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   48 Dec  4 13:49 c3 ->

The card was C3… This becomes useful later when we have to config it.

I ran:
cfgadm -al -o show_FCP_dev
Which retuned:
cfgadm: Configuration administration not supported

There it was… I didn’t have the complete SAN package installed. I hadn’t done this in a few years, so I had forgotten all the packages I had to add to get the Sun SAN package working correctly… There are many.

Happily, Sun has now packaged them in a nice “SAN_4.4.12_install_it.tar.Z”, which you can get from their website if you have a username. It installs everything for you in the right order.

The only thing left to do was another reboot -- -r and run cfgadm -c configure c3 to config the device. After this everything started working nicely.

Little Known CLARiiON Facts and Trivia

I’ve just returned from EMC training in MA, where we learned a wealth of information about how to use the array, but also some interesting background information about the device itself.

First, the name CLARiiON has some interesting history. Before EMC was EMC, it was Data General, who had a 16-bit minicomputer called the NOVA. DG later came up with new product which the engineers had named the NOVAII. The marketing group, not wanting to recycle the “NOVA” name, insisted that a new name be chosen. The engineers, always wanting to get their way in the end, came up with a anagram “AViiON” by reversing the letters, and cleverly placing the two “ii’s” in the middle. The CLARiiON is simply a derivative of this naming convention.

Secondly, most people know that the operating system of the CLARiiON is called “FLARE”, but it is not commonly known that this is actually an acronyms that stands for Fibre Logic Array Runtime Environment.

It is also fairly common knowledge that one can access “Engineering Mode” on a CLARiiON by pressing Ctl,shft, and f12 and entering the password “messner”. The story behind this password, however, is that the engineering group at the time were avid mountain climbers and chose the password in honor of Reinhold Messner, the first person to climb Everest without the use of oxygen. Apparently the password before that was “pink floyd”, but the marketing group didn’t approve and made them change it.

Registering Solaris CLARiiON Hosts With QLA 2310 HBAs

Sun Microsystems likes the QLA 2310 Fiber Channel HBA. It’s only a 2Gig card, but it works with the Sun native driver, which makes it wonderful for us Solaris Administrators. Unfortunately, it does not integrate perfectly with EMC CLARiiON SANs because it does not register properly with Navasphere. Even if you manually register the host, the LUNs will not be presented to the host because the agent can’t pass commands to the array.

To remedy this situation on my Solaris 8 host, I used the following procedure:

Edit the /etc/system file and add the following line:

set fcp:ssfcp_enable_auto_configuration=1

Next, I rebooted my Solaris host with the “-r” flag:

reboot -- -r

Next I checked Navisphere to make sure my paths have logged in. They were, so I logged into the Solaris host and ran the following commands:


I then saw the storage that was presented to my host. Finally, I restarted the Navisphere agent and started using my new LUNs.