A placement class is a SmartTier attribute of a given volume in a volume set of a multi-volume file system. This attribute is a character string, and is known as a volume tag. A volume can have different tags, one of which can be the placement class. The placement class tag makes a volume distinguishable by SmartTier.
Volume tags are organized as hierarchical name spaces in which periods separate the levels of the hierarchy . By convention, the uppermost level in the volume tag hierarchy denotes the Veritas Storage Foundation Cluster File System High Availability component or application that uses a tag, and the second level denotes the tag's purpose. SmartTier recognizes volume tags of the form vxfs.placement_class.class_name. The prefix vxfs identifies a tag as being associated with VxFS. The placement_class string identifies the tag as a file placement class that SmartTier uses. The class_name string represents the name of the file placement class to which the tagged volume belongs. For example, a volume with the tag vxfs.placement_class.tier1 belongs to placement class
tier1. Administrators use the vxassist command to associate tags with volumes.
vxassist(1M) manual page.
VxFS policy rules specify file placement in terms of placement classes rather than in terms of individual volumes. All volumes that belong to a particular placement class are interchangeable with respect to file creation and relocation operations. Specifying file placement in terms of placement classes rather than in terms of specific volumes simplifies the administration of multi-tier storage.
The administration of multi-tier storage is simplified in the following ways:
Adding or removing volumes does not require a file placement policy change. If a volume with a tag value of vxfs.placement_class.tier2 is added to a file system's volume set, all policies that refer to
tier2 immediately apply to the newly added volume with no administrative action. Similarly, volumes can be evacuated, that is, have data removed from them, and be removed from a file system without a policy change. The active policy continues to apply to the file system's remaining volumes.
File placement policies are not specific to individual file systems. A file placement policy can be assigned to any file system whose volume set includes volumes tagged with the tag values (placement classes) named in the policy. This property makes it possible for data centers with large numbers of servers to define standard placement policies and apply them uniformly to all servers with a single administrative action.