Managing SAN Devices and Multipathing in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

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Updated: December 2014

Fibre Channel Software Features

Solaris I/O multipathing provides the following key features:

  • Dynamic storage discovery – The software automatically recognizes devices and any modifications made to device configurations. This feature makes devices available to the system without requiring you to reboot or manually change information in configuration files.

  • Persistent device naming – Devices that are configured within the software maintain their device naming through reboots or reconfiguration. The only exception to this policy are tape devices found in /dev/rmt that will not change unless they are removed and then regenerated at a later date.

  • Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) support – OpenBoot PROM (OBP) commands that are used on servers can access FCAL attached storage for scanning the FC loop.

  • Fabric booting – The Solaris OS supports booting from fabric devices as well as non-fabric Fibre Channel devices. Fabric topologies with Fibre Channel switches provide higher speed, more connections, and port isolation.

  • FC-HBA library – What was previously known as the Storage Networking Industry Association Fibre Channel host bus adapter (SNIA FC-HBA) library is now known as the FC-HBA library. The FC-HBA library application programming interface (API) enables management of FC HBAs and provides a standards-based interface for other applications (such as Oracle's StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager) that can be used to gather information about FC HBAs.

    For more information about common FC-HBA APIs, see libhbaapi (3LIB) . For additional information about FC specifications, go to:

  • Fibre Channel virtualization – N Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) is an extension to the Fibre Channel standard, which enables one Fibre Channel port to simulate many ports on the SAN. This is useful for virtualization environments such as Oracle VM Server for SPARC or Oracle VM Server 3.0 for x86 based systems.

  • Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) – A new T11 standard to transport encapsulated Fibre Channel frames over Enhanced Ethernet is now available. Solaris FCoE is a software implementation that is designed to work with normal Ethernet controllers.