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NetApp Knowledge Base

What does mixed-path system storage configuration mean?

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Applies to

FAS and AFF systems

Answer

By default, all NetApp systems with external shelves ship with redundant storage paths to each individual disk drive. When a system contains a mixture of available data paths to disk drives, some with two data paths and some with one data path, the system storage configuration is referred to as 'mixed-path' or 'partial-path'. For standalone systems (with only one storage system / platform / node and not running a cluster license), the default configuration is called 'dual path'.

Having multiple data paths to each disk drive offers the maximum level of fault tolerance. Data ONTAP will automatically use the redundant data path when any single path is lost.

Additional Information

This article describes:

  • The negative impact to storage fault tolerance for mixed-path systems
  • How to determine the number of data paths for disk drives
  • Three mixed-path examples

Mixed-Path Storage Disruption:
The mixed-path condition is typically the result of a storage hardware fault or cabling issue. Possible causes include:

  • Disconnected or broken storage cables
  • Ports disabled due to detected errors
  • Shelf I/O module faults
  • Disks where one path is taken offline

Mixed-path configurations are far less resilient to storage faults than systems with two data paths to all disk drives. The mixed-path systems have lost at least one path to at least one disk. MPHA systems have two data paths.If a configuration is not on multi-path it is more vulnerable for storage disruption which include multi disk panics, raid volume failures, and also CFO takeover cases due to multi-disc errors.

How to check the disk paths from the console:
The mixed-path condition is typically the result of a storage hardware fault or cabling issue. Possible causes include:

  • Disconnected or broken storage cables
  • Ports disabled due to detected errors
  • Shelf I/O module faults
  • Disks where one path is taken offline

Mixed-path configurations are far less resilient to storage faults than systems with two data paths to all disk drives. The mixed-path systems have lost at least one path to at least one disk. MPHA systems have two data paths.If a configuration is not on multi-path it is more vulnerable for storage disruption which include multi disk panics, raid volume failures, and also CFO takeover cases due to multi-disc errors.