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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES 10) Installation and Administration
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10.0 Multipath IO

Linux multipathing provides IO failover and path load sharing for multipathed block devices. The multipath IO support in SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server is based on the Device Mapper multipath module of the Linux kernel and the multipath-tools userspace package.

Device mapping multipath IO features automatic configuration of the subsystem for a large variety of setups. Active/passive or active/active (with round-robin load balancing) configurations of up to eight paths to each device are supported.

multipath-tools take care of automatic path discovery and grouping as well as automated path retesting, so that a previously failed path is automatically reinstated when it becomes healthy again. This minimizes the need for administrator attention in a production environment.

Device mapping multipath IO supports partitions (with limitations) and LVM2. Software RAID is also supported, but automatic discovery is not available. To use software RAID with mdadm, /etc/mdadm.conf must be set up correctly. See Section 10.4, Using the Devices for more information.

Currently, device mapping multipath IO is not available for the boot partition, because the boot loader cannot handle multipath IO. Therefore it is recommended to set up a separate boot partition when using multipath IO.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES 10) Installation and Administration
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  Published Courtesy of Novell, Inc. Design by Interspire