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A method for faster Fibre Channel boot device selection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243567D
Publication Date: 2015-Oct-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article describes a method to shorten the Fibre Channel boot device scan time and to predict a more accurate range for Fibre Channel boot device scan.

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A method for faster Fibre Channel boot device selection

Fibre Channel (FC) is one of the most widely used technologies used to connect storage devices to computer servers. The Host Bus Adapter (HBA) on the computer server provides FC connectivity to the storage area network (SAN) and is used by the system firmware to access the disks. In a typical configuration, there will be hundreds of disks accessible from each HBA.

When the computer server needs to boot from a bootable disk visible to the HBA, the disk's address(World Wide Port Name (WWPN) and Logical Unit Number ID (LUN ID)) needs to be known and specified in the boot menus of the system firmware. To determine which disks are available to boot., the disks need to scanned, a process wherein each disk is queried to determine if it is bootable. Since this process is done sequentially for hundreds of disks, it takes a long time, most often running into several hours. While this scan is being done, the computer server is blocked and unusable. This can be extremely annoying and frustrating to users.

To alleviate this problem, there are methods where in a range for the scan or the address of the FC device can be specified by the user. The system firmware, which scans for the FC devices needs to now scan only a subset of devices. However, specifying a range for the scan is only a guesstimate and is not accurate on all trials.

The proposed solution envisions to build a cached FC device info table in the system firmw...