Cisco MDS SanOS Troubleshooting Guide -- Managing Storage Services Modules

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This chapter describes how to manage the Storage Services Module (SSM) and provides information about SSI images.


SSM Overview

The 32-port Fibre Channel Storage Services Module (SSM) for the Cisco MDS 9000 Family supports up to 32 Fibre Channel ports and provides distributed intelligent storage services.

Note Note: Cisco MDS 9500 Series switches running Cisco MDS SAN-OS Release 2.0(2b) or later support the SSM module.

The SSI image for the SSM is downloaded from the supervisor module. The image for an SSM can be specified using the SSI boot variable.

Note Note: The SSM can operate as a 32-port Fibre Channel switching module with the standard Cisco SAN-OS images for Release 2.1(2) or later. You need the SSI image if you use intelligent storage services.

The following table lists the features supported for the SSM:

Table 3-1 Cisco MDS SAN-OS Feature Support for the SSM.

Module Cisco MDS SAN-OS Release
2.0(1b) 2.0(2b), 2.0(3), 2.0(4), and 2.0(4a) 2.1(1a) 2.1(2) and later
SSM None Fibre Channel switching Fibre Channel switching Fibre Channel switching
Intelligent Storage Services Intelligent Storage Services Intelligent Storage Services
VSFN VSFN Nondisruptive upgrade for Fibre Channel switching traffic1

When you upgrade, or downgrade, the SSI boot image on an SSM, you might disrupt traffic through the module. The following table describes how updating the SSI boot image affects SSM traffic.

Table 3-2 SSI Boot Image Updating Affects on SSM Traffic

Cisco MDS SAN-OS Release Traffic Type Disrupts Traffic?

2.0(2b) through 2.1(1a)



2.1(2) and later

Layer 2 Fibre Channel switching only


Both Layer 2 Fibre Channel switching and Layer 3 Intelligent Storage Services (such as FCWA, NASB, SANTap, and ISAPI virtualization)


Layer 3 Intelligent Storage Services (such as FCWA, NASB, SANTap, ISAPI virtualization) only


As shown in Table 3-2, Layer 3 Intelligent Storage Services traffic is disrupted when you update the SSI boot image. If you configure Layer 3 Intelligent Storage Services on your SSM, we recommend that you shut down these services before upgrading the SSI boot image. You can use dual fabric configuration to minimize the impact of shutting down Layer 3 services.

Initial Troubleshooting Checklist

Begin troubleshooting SSM issues by verifying that the following conditions are met:


Check off

Verify that the SSI boot variable is set.

Verify that the SSI image is present and pointed to by the SSI boot variable.

Verify that the EPLD version is 2.1(2) or later for nondisruptive layer-2 upgrades.

Verify that you have configured all SSM ports prior to upgrading to Cisco SAN-OS Release 3.0(1) or later. Do not use port mode auto.

Verify that you have the appropriate licensing. The SSM can operate as a 32-port Fibre Channel switching module with no additional licensing requirements. The SSM requires the Storage Services Enabler package to provision intelligent storage services on the module.

Common Troubleshooting Tools in Fabric Manager

The following navigation paths may be useful in troubleshooting SSM issues using Fabric Manager:

  • In Fabric Manager, choose End Devices > SSM to access the SSM configuration.
  • In Device Manager, choose Physical > Inventory to determine the SSI image version.

Common Troubleshooting Commands in the CLI

The following commands may be useful in troubleshooting PortChannel and trunking issues:

  • show boot-variables
  • show version
  • install ssi
  • show version module number epld
  • show version epld
  • show ssm provisioning

SSM Issues

This section describes troubleshooting issues for the SSM and SSI images.

SSM Fails to Boot

If the SSM fails to boot, you may see the following system message:

Error Message IMAGE_DNLD-SLOT#-2-ADDON_IMG_DNLD_FAILED: Module image download

process failed. [chars].

Explanation The add-on image download to the module failed. This module is not operational until an add-on image has been successfully installed.
Recommended Action Verify the location and version of your module image. Enter install module CLI command or use a similar Fabric Manager/Device Manager procedure to download a new module image.
Symptom SSM fails to boot.

Table 3-3 SSM Fails to Boot


Possible Cause


SSM fails to boot.

SSI boot variable is not set.

Set the boot variable and install the SSI image. See the "Recovering a Replacement SSM" section.

SSI image is not present.

Download the SSI image and install. See the "Upgrading the SSI Image" section.

SSI image is not compatible with Cisco SAN-OS image.

If an incorrect or incompatible SSI image is downloaded to an SSM it fails to boot three times and is then powered down. Refer to the Cisco MDS SAN-OS Release Compatibility Matrix for Storage Service Interface Images at the following website to check image compatibility: See the "Upgrading the SSI Image" section.

Upgrading the SSI Image

You can specify the SSI boot image for a Storage Services Module (SSM) to configure Fibre Channel switching and Intelligent Storage Services.

Note Note: A newly installed SSM initially operates in Fibre Channel switching mode by default.
Note Note: If you downgrade to a Cisco MDS SAN-OS release that does not support the SSM, you must power down the module. The boot variables for the SSM are lost.

To upgrade or downgrade the SSI boot image for SSM modules using the CLI, follow these steps:

  1. Verify that the correct SSI boot image is present on your switch (see the "Verifying the SSI Boot Image" section).
  2. Use the install ssi command to upgrade or downgrade the SSI boot image on the module (see the "Using the install ssi Command" section).

Note Note: The SSM must be running EPLD version 2.1(2) to use the install ssi command. You must install the SSM on a Cisco MDS 9500 Series switch to upgrade the EPLD. See the "Installing EPLD Images on Modules" section.

Verifying the SSI Boot Image

Using the install ssi Command

Recovering a Replacement SSM

SSM Upgrade Is Disruptive

Installing EPLD Images on Modules

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