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Automatically disable disk paths that experience repeated timeouts
IBM i is not able to intelligently avoid repeatedly using non-functioning disk paths that identify themselves as functional. Repeated I/O timeouts cause long periods of disruption and very poor performance often resulting in abnormal termination of interactive user and batch jobs.
Paths can and do fail, which is why it is a best practice to configure hardware redundancy in the host, SAN, and storage subsystem levels. This redundancy comes at a prices, but IBM i is not taking advantage of it on certain path failures. Currently, when a path fails, IBM i will repeatedly attempt to use a nonfunctional path, and this can cause long periods (hours) of very poor system performance if no outside action is taken. It also makes sense to include robust error handling in the software (IBM i). IBM i should be changed so that the device driver automatically disables paths that experience 2-3 timeouts in rapid succession. Ideally, the driver would send a message to QSYSOPR pending retry. After SAN maintenance has been completed, the message would be retried and paths would go active again. In this method, users can control the retries, similar to a communication line failure, and not have the system continually attempt to use a non-usable path.
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