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Troubleshooting InfiniBand connection issues using OFED tools

Intel article:

Submitted by Peter Hartman (... on

The Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) package has many debugging tools available as part of the standard release. This article describes the use of those tools to troubleshoot the hardware and firmware of an InfiniBand fabric deployment.

First, the /sys/class sub-system should be checked to verify that the hardware is up and connected to the InfiniBand fabric. The following command will show the InfiniBand hardware modules recognized by the system:

ls /sys/class/infiniband 

This example will use the module mlx4_0, which is typical for Mellanox ConnectX* series of adapters. If this, or a similar module, is not found, refer to the documentation that came with the OFED package on starting the OpenIB drivers.

Next, check the state of the InfiniBand port: cat /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/state

This command should return “ACTIVE” if the hardware is initialized, and the subnet manager has found the port and added the port to the InfiniBand fabric. If this command returns “INIT” the hardware is initialized, but the subnet manager has not added the port to the fabric yet.

If necessary, start the subnet manager:
/etc/init.d/opensmd start
Once the port on the head node is in the “ACTIVE” state, check the state of the InfiniBand port on all the compute nodes to ensure that all of the Infiniband hardware on the compute nodes has been initialized, and the subnet manager has added all of the compute nodes ports on to the fabric. This article will use the pdsh tool to run the command on all nodes:
pdsh –a cat /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/state
All nodes should report “ACTIVE”. If a node reports it cannot find the file, ensure the OpenIB drivers is loaded on that node. Refer to the documentation that came with the OFED package on starting the OpenIB drivers.

Once all of the compute nodes report that port 1 is “ACTIVE”, verify the speed on each port using the following commands:
cat /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/rate
pdsh –a cat /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/rate
This is a good first check for a bad cable or connection. Each port should report the same speed. For example, the output for double data rate (DDR) InfiniBand cards will be similar to “20 Gb/sec (4X DDR)”.

Once the above basic checks are complete, more in-depth troubleshooting can be performed. The main OFED tool for troubleshooting performance and connection problems is ibdiagnet. This tool runs multiple tests, as specified on the command line during the run, to detect errors related to the subnet, bad packets, and bad states. These errors are some of the more common seen during initial setup of Infiniband fabrics.

Run ibdiagnet with the following command line options:
ibdiagnet –pc –c 1000
The output will be similar to this:
Loading IBDIAGNET from: /usr/lib64/ibdiagnet1.2
-W- Topology file is not specified.
Reports regarding cluster links will use direct routes.
Loading IBDM from: /usr/lib64/ibdm1.2
-W- A few ports of local device are up.
Since port-num was not specified (-p option), port 1 of device 1 will be
used as the local port.
-I- Discovering ... 17 nodes (1 Switches & 16 CA-s) discovered.

-I- Bad Guids/LIDs Info
-I- No bad Guids were found

-I- Links With Logical State = INIT
-I- No bad Links (with logical state = INIT) were found

-I- PM Counters Info
-I- No illegal PM counters values were found

-I- Fabric Partitions Report (see ibdiagnet.pkey for a full hosts list)

-I- IPoIB Subnets Check
-I- Subnet: IPv4 PKey:0x7fff QKey:0x00000b1b MTU:2048Byte rate:10Gbps SL:0x00
-W- No members found for group

-I- Bad Links Info
-I- Errors have occurred on the following links
(for errors details, look in log file /tmp/ibdiagnet.log):
Link at the end of direct route "1,5"
-I- Stages Status Report:
STAGE Errors Warnings
Bad GUIDs/LIDs Check 0 0
Link State Active Check 0 0
Performance Counters Report 0 0
Partitions Check 0 0
IPoIB Subnets Check 0 1
Link Errors Check 0 0

Please see /tmp/ibdiagnet.log for complete log
-I- Done. Run time was 9 seconds.
The warning “No members found for group” can safely be ignored.

In this example, a bad link was found: “Link at the end of direct route “1,5”.” "1,5" refers to the LID numbers associated with the individual ports. The following commands can be used to identify the LID numbers associated with each port:
cat /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/lid
pdsh –a /sys/class/infiniband/mlx4_0/ports/1/lid

This command generates a list of LIDs associated with nodes. In the output of the above command, locate the entries for 0x1 and 0x5. 0x1 is likely the head node. For errors of this type, reseat or replace the InfiniBand cable connecting the node corresponding to LID 0x5.

Finally, run ibdiagnet once more time to verify there are no errors, and then to check the error state of each port. Each test should pass.
ibdiagnet –pc –c 1000

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Old News ;-)

Basic Infiniband troubleshooting by Van Roekel, Magdalene J,

Nov 21, 2013

There are several utilities that are part of the OFED stack that are useful for troubleshooting. They are

  1. ibdiagnet --> useful for scanning the fabric. This will use direct routes and takes a while to run.
  2. ibnetdiscover --> This is used to generate the fabric topology. This is most useful when a standard topology is known. I have a topology file in /share/apps/Helium_IB.topo that I just updated. The idea would be that identifying a non-functioning node could be done by generating a new topology and doing a diff of it with the standard.
  3. iblinkinfo --> This reports on all of the links of the fabric and is pretty quick to run. This tool actually provide the easiest way to identify a downed link but it requires deducing it from neighbor links. Pipe this through 'less' and look for empty CA names with a state other than "Down". From the CA names around it, the down node should be easily discernible.
  4. ibcheckerrors --> self explanatory. This utility is somewhat noisy and yet not always very informative.
  5. ibqueryerrors --> This is the one that I like to use. Run it as follows
ibqueryerrors -c -s XmtWait

The errors to look for are SymbolErrors but the presence of SymbolErrors is not fatal. It is really the rate of increase of the errors that is what you want to look for. A high rate is likely to be fatal while a slow rate is still within the IB specs. Still, we have a couple of nodes that I would like to eventually change cables for.

Rebooted nodes will cause errors to be logged in the counters. After a node reboots, the ibclearerrors command should be run. It is also necessary to clear the errors when trying to ascertain the rates of error generation.

There are cases where the infiniband driver crashes. This causes the node to get in a state where it has to be power cycled because the modules can not be unloaded and a clean shutdown is not possible. There is a cron job that monitors the fabric and will pick this up and will send an email alert when one of the nodes is not responding. To determine which node it is requires running diagnostics on the fabric. To facilitate this, there is a reference topology file and a device map file in /share/apps/infiniband. To determine what has changed in the topology, run the following command from the /share/apps/infiniband directory

sudo /usr/sbin/ibnetdiscover | /usr/sbin/ | grep HCA

That will output the current topology followed by the differences from the reference. The map file is used to reference the node GUIDs to a human friendly host name. The nodes listed at the end are the ones that are different from the reference. They should be cross checked with host names that are known to be down.

Example output of a topology change

Delta change in topo (change between successive runs)

Link change: Local/Remote Port 1/ 1 Local/Remote GUID: 8f10500202e66/2c903004bd692
Locations: Local/Remote
"Voltaire 4036 # IBL17"

"compute-10-248 HCA-1"

Once the node that is broken is determined, it will need to be power cycled. It is a good idea to verify the host determined from the above is the correct one. One way would be to look through the output of iblinkinfo.

To power cycle the node use ipmitool on the head node, in the /root directory.

ipmitool -f /root/ipmipass -U admin -H compute-10-248.ilo power cycle
Make sure to use the ".ilo" extension to the host name.

Once the node is back up the queue instances will need to be enabled.

qmod -e *@compute-10-248

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