The “label” Attribute for FC Adapters

As of AIX 7.2 TL4 and VIOS there is a new attribute “label” for physical FC adapters. The administrator can set this attribute to any character string (maximum 255 characters). Even if the attribute is only informative, it can be extremely useful in PowerVM virtualization environments. If you have a large number of managed systems, it is not always clear to which FC fabric a certain FC port is connected. This can of course be looked up in the documentation of your systems, but it does involve a certain amount of effort. It is easier if you link this information directly with the FC adapters, which is exactly what the new “label” attribute allows in a simple way. On AIX:

# chdev -l fcs0 -U -a label="Fabric_1"
fcs0 changed
# lsattr -El fcs0 -a label -F value

On virtual I/O servers, the attribute can also be set using the padmin account:

/home/padmin> chdev -dev fcs1 -attr label="Fabric_2" -perm
fcs1 changed
/home/padmin> lsdev -dev fcs1 -attr label                


The attribute is also defined for older FC adapters.

If the “label” attribute is consistently used, it is always possible to determine online for each FC adapter to which fabric the adapter is connected to. This information only needs to be stored once for each FC adapter.

(Note: The “label” attribute is not implemented for AIX 7.1, at least not until 7.1 TL5 SP6.)