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What is NPIV do in storage

Posted on 2012-04-08
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I have some vios server , I configured the port as npiv enabled but i want to understand this npiv process . What is this doing on the port can you please tell how it works

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Question by:gutenmorgen
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woolmilkporc earned 500 total points
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Guten Morgen, gutenmorgen!

NPIV is "N-Port ID Virtualization" and has as such nothing to do with VIOS.

The basic concept is that LPARS can share one physical Fibre Channel port by getting logical ports assigned to them. These logical ports are served by the single physical port and appear to the LPARs as (special) SAN adapters.

The external WWN of the physical port remains the same, but there is an additional WWN (unique per LPAR) contained in the FC payload data, which can be seen and evaluated by NPIV-aware SAN switches on NPIV-enabled ports.

This concept has been created to make SAN ports available to LPARS serving devices which can't go over VIOS-VSCSI, e.g. tapes, and to overcome the need of "wasting" a whole physical adapter for this purpose.

You can also assign an NPIV logical port to a VIOS to then use this port for serving VHOST/VSCSI connections to the LPARS.

On the other hand, you can assign the physical NPIV adapter to the VIOS and use it for serving VHOST/VSCSI connections to the LPARS,
but this will deprive you from using logical ports on this adapter. In this scenario the SAN switch does not have to be NPPIV-aware, and the SAN port does not have to be NPIV-enabled.


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