Veritas Volume Manager Notes

Veritas got bought by Symantec, so most of their stuff is at Symantec's web page, but the Veritas web page also works.

Reference Manuals

Sections of this page.

  1. Downloading the Veritas Software
  2. Pre-Installation Notes
  3. Installation
  4. Post-Installation State
  5. Veritas Licensing
  6. Veritas Administrator GUI on Both Windows & Linux
  7. Configuration
  8. Common Commands & Terms

Downloading the Veritas Software

On 9-27-2006, Symantec/Veritas was offering their Veritas Storage Foundation Basic software as a free download. I downloaded their 163 MB version for 32-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux v4 and did the normal

   gzip -d < sfbasic. | tar xf -
to get a rhel4_i686 directory, which the most important directory was storage_foundation_basic. That directory had

The rpms directory had

Pre-Installation Notes

  1. Symbolic links to all Storage Foundation commands are in the /opt/VRTS/bin directory. They say you should add
       export PATH=$PATH:/opt/VRTS/bin:/opt/VRTSob/bin
    to your PATH after the standard /sbin & /usr/sbin directories. There are VxFS-specific df, fsdb, ncheck and umount commands, which you'd have to type the full name in order to pick up (eg, /opt/VRTS/bin/df).
  2. VERITAS man pages are in the /opt/VRTS/man directory. They suggest adding these two lines in your ~/.bashrc
       export MANPATH=/usr/share/man:/opt/VRTS/man:$MANPATH
       export MANSECT=$MANSECT:1m     #  That's one-em, not el-em
    but better is to update /etc/man.config, adding a
       MANPATH /opt/VRTS/man
    line and appending :1m to the MANSECT line.
  3. Finally, they say If you use the man(1) command to access manual pages, set LC_ALL=C in your shell to ensure that they display correctly. I didn't find this necessary.


To install VERITAS, as root (of course),
  cd ~/rhel4_i686/storage_foundation_basic
which gets you this dialog,
   Copyright (c) 2005 VERITAS Software Corporation. All rights reserved.

   VERITAS, the VERITAS Logo and all other VERITAS product names and slogans are
   trademarks or registered trademarks of VERITAS Software Corporation. VERITAS
   and the VERITAS Logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Other product names and/or
   slogans mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their
   respective companies.

   Enter the system names separated by spaces on which to install SF: linux2

       Checking OS version on linux2 ....................... Linux 2.6.9-34.ELsmp
       Checking Machine Type on linux2 ..................................... i686
       Checking Linux Distribution on linux2 ......................... Redhat 4AS

   Initial system check completed successfully.

   Press [Enter] to continue:
   VERITAS Infrastructure rpm installation:

   Installing VERITAS Infrastructure rpms on linux2:

       Checking VRTSvlic rpm ...................................... not installed
       Checking VRTScpi rpm ....................................... not installed
       Checking file system space ................... required space is available
       Installing VRTSvlic on linux2 ............................. Done
       Installing VRTScpi on linux2 ............................... Done

   VERITAS Infrastructure rpms installed successfully.

   Press [Enter] to continue:
   SF Licensing Verification:

   Registering IEZ9-9PJS-DCBS-FJ6P-MPUR-PRJX-6PP on linux2
       Checking SF license key on linux2 ..... Storage Foundation Basic Permanent

   SF Basic licensing completed successfully.

   Press [Enter] to continue:
I was then presented with these choices,
   installsf can install the following optional SF Basic rpms:

   VRTSobgui    VERITAS Enterprise Administrator
   VRTSvmdoc    VERITAS Volume Manager Documentation
   VRTSvmman    VERITAS Volume Manager Manual Pages
   VRTSlvmconv  VERITAS Linux LVM to VxVM Converter
   VRTSap       VERITAS Action Provider
   VRTStep      VERITAS Task Provider
   VRTSfsdoc    VERITAS File System Documentation
   VRTSfsmnd    VERITAS File System Software Developer Kit Manual Pages

        1)  Install all of the optional rpms
        2)  Install none of the optional rpms
        3)  View rpm descriptions and select optional rpms

   Select the optional rpms to be installed on all systems? [1-3,q,?] (1)
Taking the default of installing all the optional RPMs, installs these 20 packages,
   VRTSperl     VERITAS Perl 5.8.0 Redistribution
   VRTSob       VERITAS Enterprise Administrator Service
   VRTSobgui    VERITAS Enterprise Administrator
   VRTSvxvmcommon VERITAS Volume Manager Common Package.
   VRTSvxvmplatform VERITAS Volume Manager Platform Specific Package.
   VRTSvmdoc    VERITAS Volume Manager Documentation
   VRTSvmman    VERITAS Volume Manager Manual Pages
   VRTSvmpro    VERITAS Volume Manager Management Services Provider
   VRTSfspro    VERITAS File System Management Services Provider
   VRTSalloc    VERITAS Volume Manager Intelligent Storage Provisioning
   VRTSddlpr    VERITAS Device Discovery Layer Services Provider
   VRTSlvmconv  VERITAS Linux LVM to VxVM Converter
   VRTSvxfscommon VERITAS File System Common Package.
   VRTSvxfsplatform VERITAS File System Platform Specific Package.
   VRTSap       VERITAS Action Provider
   VRTStep      VERITAS Task Provider
   VRTSfsman    VERITAS File System Manual Pages
   VRTSfsdoc    VERITAS File System Documentation
   VRTSfssdk    VERITAS File System Software Developer Kit
   VRTSfsmnd    VERITAS File System Software Developer Kit Manual Pages
After checking that they were not previously installed, there was enough disk space, and that the vxsvc process was not running, I was then presented with
   It is possible to install SF Basic rpms without performing configuration.

   It is optional to configure SF Basic now. If you choose to configure SF Basic
   later, you can either do so manually or run the installsf -configure command.
   Are you ready to configure SF Basic? [y,n,q] (y)
Ummm ... Sure, go ahead and configure it. Why not?
... I'm not sure what it did (I think it created a file system mounted at /dev/vx), but those 20 packages got installed ok.

I then got

   The enclosure-based naming scheme is a feature of Volume Manager. It allows
   one to reference disks using a symbolic name that is more meaningful than
   the operating system's normal device access name.  This symbolic name is
   typically derived from the array name.

   Do you want to set up the enclosure-based naming scheme? [y,n,q,?] (n)
Curious the default is no. I would have thought this was a good thing. I answered "y".

Next was this dialog, wandering off into uncharted waters ...

   Note: The vxconfigd daemon will be started, which can take a while depending
   upon the hardware configuration.

       Enabling enclosure-based naming on linux2 ......................... Done
       Starting vxconfigd for VxVM on linux2 .......................... Started

   Volume Manager default disk group configuration:

   Many Volume Manager commands affect the contents or configuration of a disk
   group. Such commands require that the user specify a disk group.  This is
   accomplished by using the -g option of a command or setting the
   VXVM_DEFAULTDG environment variable.  An alternative to these two methods
   is to configure the default disk group of a system.

   Do you want to set up the default disk group for each system? [y,n,q,?] (y)
Since I didn't (and won't) have any disk groups on this system, I answered "n".
   Volume Manager default disk group setup and daemon startup

       You declined to set up the default disk group for linux2.
       Starting vxrelocd on linux2 .................................... Started
       Starting vxcached on linux2 .................................... Started
       Starting vxconfigbackupd on linux2 ............................. Started

   Storage Foundation Basic was started successfully.

   Press [Enter] to continue:
And finally, this last bit
   Installation of Storage Foundation Basic 4.1 has completed successfully.

   The installation summary is saved at:

   The installsf log is saved at:

   The installation response file is saved at:

   See the VERITAS File System Administrators Guide for information on using VxFS.

Post-Installation State

I now have 104 commands in /opt/VRTS/bin, all links to executables in these directories; All the /sbin and /usr/sbin commands start with vr or vx and don't interfere with existing, standard Linux commands. But there are some commands in this /opt/VRTS/bin directory that do overlap with standard Linux commands. For example, df, fsck, mkfs, & mount are all links into the /usr/lib/fs/vxfs directory. Compare the output of the standard Linux df command
   Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
                         15320532   6754040   7788252  47% /
   /dev/sda1               101086     12580     83287  14% /boot
   none                    517144         0    517144   0% /dev/shm
   tmpfs                        4         0         4   0% /dev/vx
with that from the /opt/VRTS/bin/df command,
   /                  (/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00):  15576504 blocks  1771230 files
   /proc              (none            ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /sys               (none            ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /dev/pts           (none            ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /proc/bus/usb      (usbfs           ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /boot              (/dev/sda1       ):    166574 blocks    26066 files
   /dev/shm           (none            ):   1034288 blocks   129285 files
   /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc(none            ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs(sunrpc          ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /proc/fs/nfsd      (nfsd            ):         0 blocks        0 files
   /dev/vx            (tmpfs           ):         8 blocks  2097122 files
No headers, extra lines, and formatted differently.

Veritas Licensing

You can see the licenses that got installed with a vxlicrep command. It produces about 100 lines and includes keys for VERITAS Storage Foundation Basic, VERITAS File System, and VERITAS Volume Manager.

Veritas Administrator GUI on Both Windows & Linux

I copied the rhel4_i686/windows/VRTSobgui.msi file over to my Windows XP Pro laptop and installed it to get the Windows Admin GUI (aka the "VEA Client" in
the Installation Guide, and I now have a new program at
   start -> All Programs -> VERITAS -> VERITAS Enterprise Administrator

It requires the vxconfigd & vxsvc program to be running on linux2. The vxconfigd program was already running, but vxsvc was not. You can use vxsvcctrl to query, start, and stop it.

   vxsvcctrl status
   vxsvcctrl start
   vxsvcctrl stop

The Windows "VERITAS Enterprise Administrator" program is identical to the Linux "vea" program.


For details on what to do next,
the Installation Guide says For information on setting up VxVM disk groups and volumes after installation, see "Configuring VERITAS Volume Manager" in the VERITAS Volume Manager Administrator's Guide, a 544-page tome which I downloaded from this Veritas site.

The Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) relies on these 3 daemons,

Common Commands & Terms

  • vxassist
  • vxdctl license
  • vxddladm
  • vxdg defaultdg
  • vxdg list
  • vxdisk list
  • vxdiskadd
  • vxdiskadm
  • vxdisksetup
  • vxdmpadm
  • vxedit
  • vxinfo
  • vxiod
  • vxlicrep
  • vxnotify
  • vxplex
  • vxprint
  • vxresize
  • vxsd
  • vxsnap
  • vxvol

RAID0 = Stripe
RAID1 = Mirror
RAID5 = Striped with Parity
RAID10 = A Stripe of Mirrors (better than RAID0+1)

Physical Disks are put under the control of the Volume Manager (VM or VxVM).
VM Disks are carved into subdisks (aka partitions or slices)
Subdisks are combined in various ways (JBOD or concatenated, RAID 0, 1, or 5) into a Plex.
Plexes are presented to the application as Volumes. Multiple plexes give the volume redundancy.

DMP = Dynamic Multi-Pathing
DDL = Device Disconvery Layer
ISP = Intelligent Storage Provisioning
DRL = Dirty Region Logging

dgDisk Groups
spSnap Objects
stStorage Pod Records
v(Logical) Volumes
dmDisk Media
vtVolume Sets
rvReplicated Volume Group
rlRemote Link
dcData Change Object
coCache Object

This page was last updated: Monday, 06-Nov-2006 14:43:28 Pacific Standard Time