[libvirt-users] libvirt does not recognize all devices in iscsi and mpath pools in a predictable manner

Daniel P. Berrange berrange at redhat.com
Tue Sep 13 15:39:16 UTC 2011

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 05:17:54PM +0200, Guido Winkelmann wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm using libvirt 0.8.3 on Fedora 14 (as I wrote earlier, I'm having some 
> trouble updating to the newest version), and I'm having problems getting iscsi 
> and mpath storage pools to work in a usable and consistent manner.
> I have two storage pools defined on the host machine, one for raw iscsi-
> devices and one for those same iscsi devices device-mapped by multipath. They 
> look like this:
> <pool type='iscsi'>
>   <name>iscsi01</name>
>   <source>
>     <host name=''/>
>     <device 
> path='iqn.1984-05.com.dell:powervault.md3200i.6782bcb0000859f3000000004d3eec7d'/>                                                                                     
>   </source>                                                                                                                                                                       
>   <target>                                                                                                                                                                        
>     <path>/dev/disk/by-id</path>                                                                                                                                                  
>   </target>                                                                                                                                                                       
> </pool>
> and:
> <pool type="mpath">
>   <name>mpath01</name>
>   <target>
>     <path>/dev/mapper</path>
>   </target>
> </pool>
> I chose <path>/dev/disk/by-id</path> over /dev/disk/by-path for the iscsi pool 
> because I need to be able to migrate running virtual machines to other hosts, 
> so the actual device paths for the disks need to be the same on all hosts in 
> the cluster.

/dev/disk/by-path should be the same across all hosts too, at least for iSCSI,
but perhaps not FibreChannel - depending on the udev naming scheme.

> I have two LUNs configured in the iSCSI array, and when I list the volumes in 
> the iscsi pool, I get this:
> virsh # vol-list iscsi01
> Name                 Pfad                                    
> -----------------------------------------
>             /dev/disk/by-id/wwn-0x6782bcb0000859f3000007004e680190
>             /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-36782bcb0000859f3000007294e6e73f2
> Apparently, for some weird reason, libvirt chooses one naming scheme for one 
> of the volumes and another for the other one. This a problem for me for two 
> reasons.
> 1 - Once I create a new lun for a new VM, rescan the iscsi bus and refresh 
> libvirt's pool (see my mail from 24th of August on this list), I need to be 
> able to automatically and reliably identify the corresponding new volumes in 
> libvirt's volume list, so I can initialize them by copying an OS image onto 
> them and then assign them to the new virtual machine. This is made a lot 
> harder if libvirt randomly switches between naming schemes - though still 
> feasible if I'm aware of the problem.
> 2 - I need to be able to migrate running VMs to a different host machine, in 
> case the current one is overloaded or in need of maintenance. This is bound to 
> be problematic if the storage volumes go by different path names on the 
> different hosts.

Yeah, that's clearly not acceptable & we need to fix libvirt here.

> Both LUNs do appear under both naming schemes under /dev/disk/by-id:
> ls /dev/disk/by-id/
> [...]
> scsi-36782bcb0000859f3000007004e680190
> [...]
> scsi-36782bcb0000859f3000007294e6e73f2
> scsi-36a4badb00b0f910012e0fccb07606fe6
> [...]
> wwn-0x6782bcb0000859f3000007004e680190
> [...]
> wwn-0x6782bcb0000859f3000007294e6e73f2
> wwn-0x6a4badb00b0f910012e0fccb07606fe6
> [...]
> (snipped some irrelevant parts)

This is the problem. Our code is assuming that /dev/disk/by-id contains
only 1 symlink per disk. For some reason your udev rules are creating
multiple symlinks per disk, and hence breaking libvirt.

We iterate over the entries in /dev/disk/by-id, so we get them back in
whatever order the filesystem feels like today. What we need todo is
to read all the matches for that disk, sort the results, and then
pick the first result.

Or, we might want to make it possible to specify a target path of


so that you can choose which naming scheme to use.

> With the mpath pool, it's even worse: One of the two volumes is completely 
> missing:
> virsh # vol-list mpath01
> Name                 Pfad                                    
> -----------------------------------------
> dm-3                 /dev/mapper/36782bcb0000859f3000007004e680190
> Both iscsi volumes have in fact been picked up by multipathd and do appear in 
> /dev/mapper/, too, but no matter how often I say refresh-pool mpath01, it will 
> always only show the one volume.

This is a little odd, I've no immediate explanation for it.

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