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Plex states

Plex states reflect whether or not plexes are complete and are consistent copies (mirrors) of the volume contents. VxVM utilities automatically maintain the plex state. However, if a volume should not be written to because there are changes to that volume and if a plex is associated with that volume, you can modify the state of the plex. For example, if a disk with a particular plex located on it begins to fail, you can temporarily disable that plex.

A plex does not have to be associated with a volume. A plex can be created with the vxmake plex command and be attached to a volume later.

VxVM utilities use plex states to:

This section explains the individual plex states in detail.

See the Veritas Volume Manager Troubleshooting Guide.

Plexes that are associated with a volume have one of the following plex states:


A plex can be in the ACTIVE state in the following ways:  

  • when the volume is started and the plex fully participates in normal volume I/O (the plex contents change as the contents of the volume change)
  • when the volume is stopped as a result of a system crash and the plex is ACTIVE at the moment of the crash

In the latter case, a system failure can leave plex contents in an inconsistent state. When a volume is started, VxVM does the recovery action to guarantee that the contents of the plexes marked as ACTIVE are made identical. 

On a system that is running well, ACTIVE should be the most common state you see for any volume plexes. 


A plex is in a CLEAN state when it is known to contain a consistent copy (mirror) of the volume contents and an operation has disabled the volume. As a result, when all plexes of a volume are clean, no action is required to guarantee that the plexes are identical when that volume is started. 


This state indicates that a data change object (DCO) plex attached to a volume can be used by a snapshot plex to create a DCO volume during a snapshot operation. 


Volume creation sets all plexes associated with the volume to the EMPTY state to indicate that the plex is not yet initialized.  


The IOFAIL plex state is associated with persistent state logging. When the vxconfigd daemon detects an uncorrectable I/O failure on an ACTIVE plex, it places the plex in the IOFAIL state to exclude it from the recovery selection process at volume start time.  

This state indicates that the plex is out-of-date with respect to the volume, and that it requires complete recovery. It is likely that one or more of the disks associated with the plex should be replaced. 


The state of a dirty region logging (DRL) or RAID-5 log plex is always set to LOG. 


The vxmend off task indefinitely detaches a plex from a volume by setting the plex state to OFFLINE. Although the detached plex maintains its association with the volume, changes to the volume do not update the OFFLINE plex. The plex is not updated until the plex is put online and reattached with the vxplex att task. When this occurs, the plex is placed in the STALE state, which causes its contents to be recovered at the next vxvol start operation.  


This state indicates a snapshot plex that is being attached by the snapstart operation. When the attach is complete, the state for the plex is changed to SNAPDONE. If the system fails before the attach completes, the plex and all of its subdisks are removed. 


This state indicates a snapshot plex that is fully attached. A plex in this state can be turned into a snapshot volume with the vxplex snapshot command. If the system fails before the attach completes, the plex is dissociated from the volume. 

See the vxplex(1M) manual page. 


The SNAPDONE plex state indicates that a snapshot plex is ready for a snapshot to be taken using vxassist snapshot


The SNAPTMP plex state is used during a vxassist snapstart operation when a snapshot is being prepared on a volume. 


If there is a possibility that a plex does not have the complete and current volume contents, that plex is placed in the STALE state. Also, if an I/O error occurs on a plex, the kernel stops using and updating the contents of that plex, and the plex state is set to STALE.  

A vxplex att operation recovers the contents of a STALE plex from an ACTIVE plex. Atomic copy operations copy the contents of the volume to the STALE plexes. The system administrator can force a plex to the STALE state with a vxplex det operation. 


Setting a plex to the TEMP state eases some plex operations that cannot occur in a truly atomic fashion. For example, attaching a plex to an enabled volume requires copying volume contents to the plex before it can be considered fully attached.  

A utility sets the plex state to TEMP at the start of such an operation and to an appropriate state at the end of the operation. If the system fails for any reason, a TEMP plex state indicates that the operation is incomplete. A later vxvol start dissociates plexes in the TEMP state.  


A TEMPRM plex state is similar to a TEMP state except that at the completion of the operation, the TEMPRM plex is removed. Some subdisk operations require a temporary plex. Associating a subdisk with a plex, for example, requires updating the subdisk with the volume contents before actually associating the subdisk. This update requires associating the subdisk with a temporary plex, marked TEMPRM, until the operation completes and removes the TEMPRM plex.  

If the system fails for any reason, the TEMPRM state indicates that the operation did not complete successfully. A later operation dissociates and removes TEMPRM plexes. 


The TEMPRMSD plex state is used by vxassist when attaching new data plexes to a volume. If the synchronization operation does not complete, the plex and its subdisks are removed.