Note: This is OUTDATED info – applies to VxVM5 from about 2006 running on internal disks on Linux. It may not apply to your fancy, modern VxSFHA binaries. It does not apply to Solaris.

Problem :   Veritas [vxdiskadd] refuses to add disks on a Linux server (internal disks).

vxdisksetup ERROR V-5-2-1814 sdb:    Invalid disk device for ‘cdsdisk’ format

    Attempt 0:  Initial Troubleshooting

Try different similar commands. Try vxdisk init. Try vxdg init dg_ota disk=sdb. Try encapsulating the disk. These approaches failed.

    Attempt1:  Is the disk labelled (with a partition table)? Is it in use by something else?

No data on the disk. One LVM partition was created. I deleted this and created a single standard DOS partition to ensure the label and put it in a commonly accepted disk layout which VxVM should recognize. This failed to resolve the problem

    Attempt2:   What is unusual about these disks?

They are internal disks, no multipathing, managed by an integrated IBM-rebranded LSI RAID controller. This means that vxddladm did not recognize the “enclosure”. It saw the disk (# /etc/vx.d/diag.d/vxdmpinq sdb -> IBM ServRAID M5110e ). I tried manually adding it, but that caused it to see only a single disk. And this was overkill. I didn’t really want to define a new enclosure. I just wanted it to see the disks – skip the multipathing. So I deleted the enclosure and started looking at the ‘vxddladm addforeign’ command (which lets the enclosure handle MP).  Before trying this,  I noticed a different approach, which worked …


Create the disks NOT as the default-CDS, but instead as sliced. 

The actual problem seems to be that the CDS is based on a solaris-style partition table – it assumes a partition table of 8 entries and uses the 8th one (for both private and public regions-surprisingly). This fails with a DOS-based MBR 4-partition table/label, whereas a ‘sliced’ disk uses 4th partition (for data), 5th partition as private region and 6th partition as the entire disk.
It is likely that I could have used a ‘simple’ disk instead, but a sliced is more compatible
and (apparently) could be converted to a standard CDS disk. The limitation is that sliced
disks could not be imported by a server with a very different architecture (little-endian CPU). This limitation does not apply in this case.