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LTG and max_transfer on AIX

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One of the characteristics of pre-AIX 5L volume management was that no disk I/Os were passed from the LVM to any device driver in sizes greater than the LTG size of 128k bytes. Large disk I/O requests made by applications were broken up by the LVM on LTG alignments. So, a one million byte (1MB) disk I/O request resulted in at least eight discrete requests to the disk device driver. For the case of a single reader or writer thread operating on a disk, this was not a performance limiting problem. However, if a number of threads were doing I/O to the disk, the breaking up of I/O requests could result in additional seeks, reducing aggregate throughput.

Starting in AIX 5.2, the maximum size of an I/O passed from an application to the underlying disk device driver is tunable. Throughput can be optimized by setting LVM’s LTG to match the disk’s max_transfer size.

The configurable maximum transfer size per hdisk setting allows the maximum size of an I/O to the disk to reach up to 1MB using an LVM LTG size of 1MB. This enables an application to issue an I/O the size of an LTG and have that I/O passed as a single request to the underlying disk, as long as it does not cross an LVM partition boundary. If the max_transfer size is not changed then the default setting is 256K.

The max_transfer size can be changed on a per hdisk device using the following commands.

To view the allowable range use the following command:

lsattr -R -a max_transfer -l hdiskx

Which should return the following:


The following command will only give you the current max_transfer setting of hdiskx:

lquerypv -M hdiskx

Which should return something like:


To change the disk max_transfer size, to for example 512KB, use the following series of commands:

rmdev -l hdiskx
chdev -l hdiskx -a max_transfer=0×80000
mkdev -l hdiskx

No problem if the disk is used in a volume group and has data, you can still change its max_transfer size. For these disks you must use the following procedure:

varyoffvg vg_name
exportvg vg_name
rmdev -l hdiskx
chdev -l hdiskx -a max_transfer=0×80000
mkdev -l hdisk
importvg -y vg_name hdiskx

Use the following command to view your changes.

lquerypv -M hdiskx

Which should return:


The value of the LTG size parameter on AIX 5.2 must be 128, 256, 512, or 1024. In addition, it should be less than or equal to the max_transfer size of all disks in the volume group. The default size of LTG is 128 kilobytes. For changing the LTG size of a VG, to for example 512, run the following command by root user:

chvg -L 512 VG_name

Reference: http://flickerdown.com/2009/04/powerpath-aix-53-and-ltg-solutions


Written by Classic Chartist

September 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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