How to see/zone/manage NPIV WWNs with AIX/LPARs

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Mar 18th, 2010
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Hello All!

I have been looking everywhere for a clear description of how to see/zone/manage virtual WWNs with NPIV on my Cisco 9509 switches and I can't find anything that actually details the zoning best practices or how to see the virtual WWNs.  This is all being done via NPIV on the 9509s.  Here is a quick synopsis of what I am working with:

2 x Cisco 9509s both with NPIV enabled running 4.2(3)

2 x IBM AIX P6 550s with 8Gig NPIV-capable fiber channel adapters

I can see the WWNs for the actual physical cards in my switch database (and when I run the "show flogi database" command), but it does not show me any information on the virtual WWPNs.  I have also run the "show flogi internal info flogi-table vsan 200" and some other variations and I still don't see anything.  I even went so far as to create zones with the virtual WWPNs and then I checked on my EMC frame (ran the "symmask list logins" command) and nothing.  My AIX admin (who we call "The Wizard of Smart" - quick sidebar there :-) ) says that everything on his side is correct and that it is working as it should.  My questions are the following:

1. How do I see the virtual WWPNs in my 9509s?

2. Is enabling NPIV the only step (from reading about 500 pages of documentation it looks like it is) needed on the 9509s?

3. Is there any documentation from Cisco on best practices for dealing with NPIV WWPNs?

4. This just came to mind, do I need to guarantee 8Gbps on the ports where the 8Gb/sec cards are connected?  Right now they are just "sharing" the bandwidth of the port group...before I change anything I am curious if anyone else knows if that has to be done.  Or maybe a specific port setting (NP versus F port)?

Okay, thank you so much for your time and your help and as always it is GREATLY appreciated!!!



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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
bfeeny Mon, 03/22/2010 - 18:57
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Have you checked the FCNS database? sh fcns data


travis_bonfigli Mon, 03/22/2010 - 19:15
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Hello and thank you for the reply!  I was actually just getting ready to post up some follow on information as I just heard back from Cisco support on the issue.  The engineer assigned to the case suggested the following:

On core switch : this  command can be run from any non-NPV MDS switch running 3.2(1) or later release

npv-core# show fcns database detail

npv-core#show  fcns  database  npv

on npv switch

npv# show npv flogi-table

What is interesting is that we have NPIV enabled, but both of the SHOW FCNS commands don't show the virtual WWNs.  The second one (show fcns database npv actually shows nothing and just returns a prompt).  What is even more strange is that we can see the virtual WWNs actaully logged in to their respective EMC FAs with the (symmask list logins) command after the AIX admin added some hot fixes today.  I am waiting for some more feedback from support on any other steps I need to take, but it is quite odd.  Thank you again for your reply!



marksmithinnz Mon, 04/05/2010 - 22:19
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Hi there,

I'm in the exact same boat as you, we have some IBM P595s where we have created 2 VIO servers, then we want to create a virtual FC HBA and assign it to a guest LPAR.

Followed the IBM docs as far as we could but it's not behaving as I expected.

The virtual hba is mapped to a physical hba, however how do I see if it has logged into the fabirc ?

$ lsmap -all -npiv

Name Physloc ClntID ClntName ClntOS

------------- ---------------------------------- ------ -------------- -------

vfchost0 U8204.E8A.06783F5-V1-C30 3


FC name:fcs0 FC loc code:U78A0.001.DNWHK9D-P1-C2-T1

Ports logged in:0


travis_bonfigli Tue, 04/06/2010 - 05:26
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Hello! We actually have it working now (I just haven't had the time to

update my post)...I will be sending you the details today though. It

didn't log in to the fabric until we built an image and brought it up.

I will get all the details from my AIX guy today and post them for you!



marksmithinnz Tue, 04/06/2010 - 18:19
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OK .. I take it your LPARs are using disk internal to the Pseries to boot from ?

The extra factor we have is that we want to "boot from SAN" which of course requires the virtual HBAs to log into the fabric.

Would be good to see your config and solution for reference, the Cisco docs on NPIV are a little thin :-(

travis_bonfigli Wed, 04/07/2010 - 04:34
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No, we are doing EVERYTHING from a 64GB hyper on our EMC DMX-4...booting

from SAN the whole way. We got sidetracked with some other issues

yesterday, but this is #1 on our list this morning...I will definitely

post our config and any other information to get you up and going. We

had to make sure we applied a number of hot fixes to our VIO too...that

was key. I will pass along all the details later today and my apologies

for the delay!



Ryan Slomiany Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:11
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Great thread. I look forward to your response. We're looking to implement this as well very soon.

Ryan Slomiany Wed, 05/04/2011 - 07:45
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I was wondering if you'd have a chance to provide the aforementioned information. I'd greatly appreciate it as we're experiencing the same issue here at my company at this time.

vrodrig01 Tue, 03/06/2012 - 21:34
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Hi Travis:

Could you please let us know how do you resolve the issue for the NPIV WWNs?

Thanks in advance

nickfrisina Mon, 10/03/2011 - 19:13
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To view WWPN for NPIV on AIX:

From the HMC:

a) GUI

     Partition -> Properties

b) Command Line

lshwres --rsubtype fc -m --level lpar -r virtualio

From VIOS:

As NPIV is a "pass-through" mechanism in AIX, all you will be able to see after NPIV creation, is whether the Client is Logged-in or not via:

lsmap -all npiv

You may also check the available ports via:


From Client LPAR:

lsdev -Cc adapter | grep fc

lscfg -vpl fcs0 | grep Net (to show wwpn)

Beware of Live Partition Mobility rules with NPIV…they are very strict!


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