IBM Spectrum Virtualize for SAN Volume Controller CLI Commands

SVC Initial Setup

There are two ways to manage the SVC, with a GUI and though a Command Line Interface (CLI). This page discusses CLI commands, but it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of those commands and parameters, IBM has provided some good manuals and redbooks for that. This is just intended to give a flavour of the commands and how they could be used to define and manage an SVC cluster.

To set up a new cluster, you need to start in the machine hall with the physical SVC node. This work is normally done by an IBM engineer, but the process goes like this -

The first time you log onto the SVC you will be logged in as 'supervisor' and the default password in passw0rd. You will be immediately asked to change that password.

Using CLI Commands to manage the SVC

There are two basic types of SVC CLI commands:

Adding nodes to a cluster

Now that you have defined a basic cluster, you will want to add more nodes to it. Start by listing out all the unattached nodes

svcinfo lsnodecandidate

this will list out all SVC nodes that have not been assigned to clusters yet. The next task is to add one of these nodes to your cluster, and you identify it by either its WWN or panelname, which is straightforward, except that they are called id and node-cover-name in the lsnodecandidate listing.

So you add a new node with either

svctask addnode -panelname node-cover-name -iogrp io_grp1


svctask addnode -wwnodename id -iogrp io_grp1

Managing mDisks and MDGs

An mDisk corresponds to a LUN as presented by the controller of the attached storage subsystem. The detectmdisk command will rescan the system if you don't see LUNs on the system that you expect to be there.

svctask detectmdisk

To list out visible but unattached LUNs use the command

svcinfo lsmdiskcandidate -delim|

The -delim| parameter separates the fields in the command output with a | rather than a lot of spaces, so the output will hopefully not span lines. If you wanted to see all the managed disks then the command to use is lsmdisk.

Next you need to define a managed disk group with the command

svctask mkmdiskgrp -name MDGDS4FC001 -ext 256 -mdisk mdisk2

In this case, I'm creating an MDG called MDGDS4FC001 with a 256 MB stripe size (the default is 1GB) and adding an mdisk called mdisk2 to it. You can add more mdisks by separating them with commas in the command above or you can add them to an existing MDG with the command

svctask addmdisk -mdisk mdisk3 MDGDS4FC001

To check out the status of a managed disk group use the command

svcinfo lsmdiskgrp -delim|

Managing vDisks

Now you have your managed disks placed into a managed disk group and all the space split into 256MB extents. Next you need to format those extents up into a virtual disk that you can present to a host. To do this, use the command.

svctask mkvdisk -mdiskgrp MDGDS4FC001 -iogrp io-grp0 -size 500 -vtype striped -unit gb -name VDAIX000

Here I'm creating a 500GB VDisk called VDAIX000 from the extents in MDGDS4FC001, and defining it to the SVC nodes in IO group 0.

Once you define some VDisks you can list them out with

svcinfo lsvdisk -delim|

or check out a specific VDisk with

svcinfo lsvdisk VDAIX000|

Managing Hosts

Next, you need to define your hosts to the SVC, but before you can do that, you need to know the WWPNs for the HBAs. Exactly how you do that will depend on what the host types are, so I'm going to assume that you know how to do this. There is a SVC Host Attachment Guide that will help you here.

Start by listing out all the unattached HBA ports that are zoned to the SVC. This command will check that your host is visible and will list out both its WWPNs.

svcinfo lshbaportcandidate

The port names will be 16 HEX digits like


Check that you can see the WWPNs that you are expecting, then define the host using

svctask mkhost -a name P1201234 -hbawwpn 10000000DE1A34F2

Here I'm creating a host definition for server P1201234 and connecting it with one port. You can add both WWPNs in the command above by separating them with a colon, or you can add the second using

svctask addhostport -hbawwpn 10000000DF1045A2 P1201234

You can check to status of all the hosts, or an individual host with these commands

svcinfo lshost
svcinfo lshost P1201234

Finally, map the virtual disk to the host

svctask mkvdiskhostmap -host P1201234 VDAIX000

SVC CLI Cloud commands

The starting point for SVC Cloud support is a cloud account, which defines the connection between the SVC and a cloud service provider. Use the lscloudaccount to see any existing configured cloud accounts. The SVC supports two different types of Cloud, Amazon S3 storage and OpenStack Swift storage.

id name   type  status mode
0  swf001 swift online import

The above command output states that an account called 'swf001' exists for type 'swift' that is currenty in 'import' mode. There are two modes, 'import' and 'normal'. The command 'lscloudaccount 0' would show details for this account.
If no account exists, then the next step would be to create one. The commands to create accounts on swift and Amazon S3 are different and are:
A typical amazon s3 command would look like :

mkcloudaccountawss3 -name aws3001
-bucketprefix svc_backups
-accesskeyid xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
-secretaccesskey xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
-upbandwidthmbits 100
-downbandwidthmbits 100

A typical swift command would look like :

mkcloudaccountswift -containerprefix svc_backups
-tenantname tenant01
-username xxxxx
-password xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
-upbandwidthmbits 100
-downbandwidthmbits 100

The bandwidth limits are maximum allowed for upload and download, expressed in megabits per second.

To modify a Cloud account, you would use chcloudaccountawss3 or chcloudaccountswift as appropriate. Typical paramaters that you can change include
The mode, as either import or normal
The downbandwidth limit in megabits per second where the value must be a number 1 - 10240.
The upbandwidth limit in megabits per second where the value must be a number 1 - 10240.
Typical commands would look like:

chcloudaccountawss3 -mode normal -importsystem 00000100BD301162 0
chcloudaccountswift -mode import -importsystem 00000100BD301162 0

Use the rmcloudaccount command to delete a cloud account from the system. You can delete by either cloud account id or cloud account name

rmcloudaccount aws3001
rmcloudaccount 0

Two other commands to get information about existing Cloud information are lscloudaccountusage and lscloudaccountimportcandidate. Use lscloudaccountusage to find out how much Cloud storage is in use for each account.

id name  date     upload_data_mb download_data_mb storage_consumed_gb
0  acct0 20151023 194560         900              6700
1  acct1 20151023 204800         1500             10700

Use lscloudaccountimportcandidate to list information about systems that have data that is stored in the cloud accounts that are defined on this system.

cloud_acct_id cloud_acct_name imp_sys_id      imp_sys_name bkp_vol_cnt bkp_size bkp_timestamp
0             acct1           00002007F40A176     cluster1           0 150.00GB
0             acct1           00002007E42E813     cluster2          44  15.25TB  151008084203

SVC CLI Command listing

You can list out all the available SVC CLI commands with the help facility -?. -h also works. You can get detailed help on any command by entering the help character after the command as shown below.

svcinfo -?               (list all info commands)
svcinfo commandname -?   (list the parameters for a specific info command)
svctask -?               (list all task commands)
svctask commandname -?   (list the parameters for a specific task command)

svcinfo commandname -filtervalue? will show what output formatting filters are available for that command and lets you reduce the level of output

Storage Area Networks

Disk Protocols

Lascon updTES

I retired 2 years ago, and so I'm out of touch with the latest in the data storage world. The Lascon site has not been updated since July 2021, and probably will not get updated very much again. The site hosting is paid up until early 2023 when it will almost certainly disappear.
Lascon Storage was conceived in 2000, and technology has changed massively over those 22 years. It's been fun, but I guess it's time to call it a day. Thanks to all my readers in that time. I hope you managed to find something useful in there.
All the best

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