ciss -- Compaq Intelligent Storage Subsystem driver


The ciss (Compaq Intelligent Storage Subsystem) driver is an Ultra160 SCSI RAID host adapter driver that supports Compaq® Smart Array Controllers on HP ProLiant® servers. These are high-end drive array controllers that support different RAID configurations for logical disk volumes configured on SCSI drives. Controller supported warning and critical failure notifications are notified through console logging of the events and through the Integrated Management Log. Controller statistics are collected by HP Insight Management Agents on SCO OpenServer platforms for access using SNMP.

The following Smart Array Controllers are supported on ProLiant servers:

To determine the support status of your host adapter, contact your system supplier or refer to the Compatible Hardware Web Pages.

NOTE: The HP ProLiant EFS (Extended Feature Supplement) for SCO OpenServer provides the most current driver support for Smart Array Controllers. We recommend that you consult your hardware vendor regularly regarding driver updates for your devices.

If you installed this EFS before installing SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 (that is, on Releases 5.0.4 through 5.0.6), we recommend you verify that your newly installed SCO OpenServer system has appropriate driver support for installed Smart Array Controllers.

Configuring the ciss driver

The Option ROM Configuration for Arrays Utility is a configuration, management and diagnostic tool for mass storage subsystems based on Compaq Smart Array Controllers. This utility is included with Smart Array Controllers' BIOS and can be invoked at boot time by entering <F8>. See your device documentation for more information.

If not configured during SCO OpenServer installation, you can also configure the ciss driver using mkdev hd or by editing the entries in the /etc/conf/cf.d/mdevice and /etc/conf/sdevice.d/ciss files; see the mdevice(F) and sdevice(F) manual pages. Changes to these files take effect once you relink the kernel using link_unix(ADM) and reboot the system.

You can configure ciss driver-specific characteristics by editing the /etc/conf/pack.d/ciss/space.c file, which controls parameters such as as SCSI ID, I/O port address, tag queuing and so on. The controllers supported by this driver can operate in two different transportation methods, determined by the ciss_ctlr_params variable in the driver space.c file.

CAUTION: Manually editing these files requires extensive knowledge and experience with SCO OpenServer platforms.

Boot time configuration of SCSI

Use the bootstring(HW) parameters to override the default hardware configuration information. Of special interest is the periph= parameter that specifies information about the host adapter being used by one of the generic peripheral interfaces (Sdsk, Sflp, Srom, or Stp).

ioctl commands

The ciss driver supports all standard SCSI ioctls that are defined in the <sys/scsicmd.h> header file and documented on the scsi(HW) manual page.


The following list defines the parameters used by the ciss driver messages:

The unique physical or virtual number which identifies the slot in which a controller is located. This number is used for physical identification of a particular Smart Array Controller.

Error messages associated with the ciss driver may display on the console. See messages(M) for general information about kernel error messages, including a list of generic device driver errors. Driver messages and the situations in which they occur are described in the sections that follow.

Boot time

%adapter addr1-addr2 irq -type=ciss ha=ha PCI slot=slot (rev version)
Indicates that the driver has detected and initialized a Smart Array Controller. The controller initialized is using I/O addresses addr1 through addr2, handling interrupts using IRQ irq, and will not use DMA. This message can be used to determine the physical location of the controller (slot) given the host adapter number (ha). version is the EFS version of the driver.


These messages indicate serious problems that may prevent the driver or the controller from operating correctly. They appear on the system console preceded by the word WARNING.

Although these conditions are abnormal, the driver continues to function normally, but these conditions should not be ignored.

ciss:Excess Controllers

Some controllers will be unavailable

Update Space.c and rebuild
This error message is displayed when the total number of ciss controllers in the system is greater than the value that is specified for the macro CISS_MAX_CTLRS in the space.c file. To use the other controllers, increase the CISS_MAX_CTLRS value and rebuild the kernel. Although there is no upper limit imposed by the driver on the number of controllers that can be supported, there is a practical limit dictated by kernel and system resources.

ciss: Could not allocate memory for control
The driver displays this if there is insufficient memory provided by the kernel. Increasing the system memory capacity will remove this error.

ciss <slot s>: noe_start service, NOE disabled, Insufficient memory
The driver displays this message if it is unable to allocate memory required for Controller Event Notification. This is a very rare occurrence and it can happen only if the kernel is corrupted or there is very little installed memory on the server.

ciss <slot s>: Request <addr> Timed out
The driver displays this message if a request addr timed out. If this request is not completed by the controller, the controller will be reset (see below) and the request will be retried. If the controller is able to complete this request before it is reset, the complete reset mechanism is aborted and the controller resumes normal operation. If this message appears frequently without a controller reset, the CISS_SCSI_TMOUT_VALUE timeout value in the driver space.c file should be increased. The shipped driver will have this value tuned to an optimum value for a wide variety of stress situations.

ciss <slot s>: Controller will be reset
This is the second message before the reset. If the timed out request indicated above does not complete, this message will be prompted and the controller will be reset. All pending requests will be retried. This condition is a critical condition to the extent that though the driver is able to recover from it, it should not be ignored and should be reported to the authorized service representative.

ciss <slot s>: Controller failed
This message is displayed, if three attempts to reinitialize the controller after a reset fail. The controller cannot be accessed at all. After this all logical volumes will be inaccessible to the kernel. Though this will not affect the rest of the kernel if no drives on the controller were mounted, it should not be ignored and should be reported to the authorized service representative.






See also

boot(HW), link_unix(ADM), mdevice(F), mkdev(ADM), sconf(ADM), scsi(HW), sdevice(F)

``Adding SCSI host adapters and peripherals'' in the SCO OpenServer Handbook
SCO OpenServer System Administration Guide

Compaq Smart Array Controller documentation

© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003