Chapter 1. FailSafe TMF Overview

This guide provides information about the components that are added to the base FailSafe 2.1.x product by the FailSafe Tape Management Facility (TMF) 2.2 plug-in. It assumes that you are familiar with the basic components of FailSafe described in the FailSafe Administrator's Guide for SGI InfiniteStorage.

The chapter discusses the following:

FailSafe TMF Monitoring

TMF is used to manage tapes and tape devices under IRIX. The TMF plug-in lets FailSafe monitor the availability of tape device groups as defined in the tmf.config file.

The TMF monitoring script monitors the availability of tape devices. If the monitor script detects a failure, it will report a local monitoring failure to FailSafe, and FailSafe will take the appropriate action.

FailSafe TMF Plug-In

The FailSafe TMF plug-in lets you create a TMF tape device group resource. A tape device resource is associated with a particular tape device group as defined in the TMF configuration file.

The following example is part of a TMF configuration file that defines a tape device group named EGLF:

                name = EGLF
                        NAME   = f9840f1 ,
                        device_group_name = EGLF ,
                        FILE    = /hw/tape/500104f000417a18/lun0/c4p1 ,
                        status = down ,
                        access = EXCLUSIVE ,
                        vendor_address = (1,0,0,2),
                        LOADER = l180

The FailSafe TMF plug-in performs the following functions for a particular TMF resource:

  • Starts TMF if it is not already running.

  • Configures the associated loader if it is not already set up.

  • Configures the devices if they are not already set up.

  • Lets you specify different tape device types to monitor -- one type per instance of the resource you create.

  • Forces dismounts of tapes from drives specified in the following file:


  • Lets you specify a minimum number of devices of a specific type that must be available for use.

  • Monitors the minimum number of tape devices that are available. If the number of devices currently available are less than the minimum level, a monitoring failure will occur.

  • Releases previous reservations that are held by another host (if the drive firmware supports this option).

  • Lets you assign a different drive type to each instance of a TMF resource.

    Note: The TMF resource can take a relatively long time to start. For this reason, it starts late in the FailSafe sequence.

Required Software

The required software for TMF failover is as follows:

  • TMF software. See the TMF Administrator's Guide for more information.

  • Base FailSafe software. See the installation information in FailSafe Administrator's Guide for SGI InfiniteStorage for a complete list of required base software.

  • The expect command, which is in the software subsystem sgitcl_eoe.sw.expect.

  • FailSafe TMF software:

    • Base software subsystem: failsafe2_tmf.sw.base

    • Release notes subsystem:

    • Documentation subsystem (this guide): failsafe2_tmf.books.book_AG

      Note: The only tape configuration supported by the FailSafe TMF software is an STK silo running ACSLS library control software version 6.0 or later.

Overview of Configuring FailSafe for TMF

To configure an FailSafe cluster for failover of TMF, follow these steps:

  1. Install, configure, and test the base FailSafe software as described in the FailSafe Administrator's Guide for SGI InfiniteStorage.

  2. Install additional software, if required. See “Required Software”.

  3. Create the TMF resource type. See “Creating a TMF Resource Type” in Chapter 2.

  4. Configure the TMF resources. See “Configuring a TMF Resource” in Chapter 2.

  5. Make additional configuration changes, if desired. See “Optional Configuration Specifications” in Chapter 2.

  6. Make sure that the TMF and tape driver parameters are set correctly. See “Optional Configuration Specifications” in Chapter 2 and “Configuring Tapes and TMF” in Chapter 2.

  7. Add the TMF resources to a resource group. See “Creating a TMF Resource Group” in Chapter 2.

  8. Test the TMF failover. See “Testing the TMF Resource” in Chapter 2.