Some storage arrays implement the PREF (preference) bit, which enables an array to specify which SP is the preferred owner of a given LUN. This allows the storage administrator to spread the LUNs over both SPs (for example, even LUNs on one SP and odd LUNs on the other SP). Whenever the need arises to shut down one of the SPs, the LUNs owned by that SP (say SPA) get transferred to the surviving nonpreferred SP (SPB). As a result, the AAS of the port group on SPB is changed to AO. ALUA followover honors this change and sends the next I/O intended for the transferred LUNs to the port group on SPB. When SPA is brought back online, the LUNs it used to own get transferred back to it. This reverses the changes done earlier, and the AAS of the port group on SPA is set to AO for the transferred LUNs. Conversely, the AAS of the port group on SPB, which no longer owns the LUNs, is changed to ANO. Again, ALUA followover honors this change and switches the I/O back to the port group on SPA. This is the default behavior of ALUA-capable HP EVA storage arrays.
Identifying Equipment ALUA Configuration
ESXi 6 host configuration that enables use of ALUA devices is a PSA component in the form of a SATP (see Chapter 5, “vSphere Pluggable Storage Architecture [PSA]”). PSA claim rules determine which SATP to use, based on array information returned in response to an Inquiry command. As mentioned earlier, part of the inquiry string is the TPGS field. The claim rules are configured such that if a field’s value is nonzero, the device is claimed by the defined ALUA SATP.