Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) and HP-UX

HP-UX comes with VxFS (the Veritas File System) and the Logical Volume Manager (LVM). Only the on-disk filesystem layout comes from Veritas; HP’s volume management is all their own. There’s nothing wrong with HP’s LVM – I tend to prefer it, but then that’s what I know.

Veritas (now Symantec) offers another, competing product called Veritas Volume Manger (refered to as VxVM). The tools are different, the layout is different, and the capabilities are different. Knowing LVM won’t help you much, though the most basic concepts are the same: collect a series of disks together and then parcel them out as a single large group, with user-defined subdivisions.

Veritas Volume Manager is now a part of the Veritas Storage Foundation.

An nice set of links to documents can be found at Aziz’s Blog. In particular, the Veritas Volume Manager Administrator’s Guide has been indispensable. Just about everything you can imagine you might need to do is located here.

Cuddletech offers the VxVM Quickstart with some older, but worthwhile documents that describe VxVM and its concepts. Likewise, Unixway offers a wide variety of documents on VxVM over several versions, as well as tutorials and more.

The AdminsChoice also has a good set of tutorials; there is Veritas Volume Manager part 1 and part 2 (focusing on vxassist).

There is a mailing list, but in recent months the activity has been rather sparse.

If you want to take your knowledge all the way, you can become Symantec Certified for the Veritas Storage Foundation (which mainly includes VxFS and VxVM).

Veritas VxVM works very well on HP-UX, and it is possible to create a root disk that utilizes VxVM and VxFS. When using VxVM, LVM is not used (unless a particular disk uses LVM instead of VxVM). The commands are the same across different platforms, and the on-disk layout is the same – so it should be possible to take a set of disks from a Solaris system and put them onto an HP-UX system and still read the data (but watch out for differing byte ordering!).

In the future I hope to discuss more on VxVM; we’ll see.

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One thought on “Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) and HP-UX”

  1. I have been using VxVM for about a year now, and I love it. It is really versatile and has many more options than LVM. One thing that I really like is the ability to deport an import disks between hosts with ease. No more having to use mknod for the group file, etc.

    VxVM is really great for those not running 11.31. If you buy the level just above the base version, you get things like multipathing, disk mirroring, snapshots, etc. If you are looking for real mulitpathing in say 11.23, then this is definitely the way to go. You get more bang for your buck.

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