HOWTO: Setup PowerVM Shared Ethernet Adapter (SEA) PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Michael Felt   

In this article I describe the classic configuration for a PowerVM shared ethernet adapter (SEA) on an IBM POWER system.

Note: this method is no longer consider the best practice. Best practice for a simple SEA includes an additional virtual ethernet adapter that takes the VIOS IP address and uses the SEA - as compared to assigning the IP address to the SEA interface as described below.

This article assumes you already have VIO software installed and are familiar with the concept virtual ethernet as provided by the POWER Hypervisor (PHYP).

The classic setup has one physical adapter (port) and one virtual adapter port in the VIO partition that will provide the SEA services. This is also the minimal configuration.

Although the PHYP can support the complete IEEE 802.1Q protocol we shall only work with default port VLAN id's (default PVID VLAN id is 1).

On the HMC make sure that the value entered for port VLAN id is the same number on all partitions that will use this SEA.

Assumption: all host to host connectivity is VLAN unaware - between partitions as well as for communication with hosts outside the managed system.

Detail: The physical ethernet for the VIO server is a single port PCI card (Note: integrated ethernet adapter is a dual port device). When activated this will be seen by VIO (AIX) as the device ent0.
The virtual adapter is positioned in virtual slot position 10. The partition id for the VIO partition is 20. Thus, the location code for the virtual ethernet adapter includes the string V20-C10 in it's location code. As this adapter is to be used for SEA services the attribute "Access External Network" is selected, and the trunk priority is set to 1. When activated, the VIO (AIX) software will detect this device as ent1.


Basic Instructions

Login to VIO server using the virtual console interface. First any IP configuration on the primary or virtual interfaces must be deleted. The easiest way to be sure is to remove the IP interfaces on ent0 and ent1. Switch to root access using oem_setup_env and execute:
# rmdev -R -dl ent0
# rmdev -R -dl ent1
# cfgmgr
# exit

As padmin we verify no other virtual ethernet devices exist.
$ lsdev -virtual
Output should only show the ent1 interface. If you see any others, remove them.
Now, as padmin, we can create the shared ethernet interface.
$ mkvdev -sea ent0 -vadapter ent1 -default ent1 -defaultid 1
This should create the device ent2. The lsdev command should verify that it is a Shared Ethernet Adapter. repeat:
$ lsdev -virtual
If you have an error message probably you do not have the attribute "Access External Network" checked. If so, I recommend stopping the partition, updating the profile, and then activating the partition again. Do not assume that changing the profile and reboot will work. That will not change the current settings.

Note: with this error no IP address is active so DLPAR operations cannot be used. So reactivate!

In closing, if you follow this procedure and still are having problems, comment in the forums for assistance. There are many qualified people besides myself who can help you here.

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