Hot Replace of Partition Units

On a dynamically partitionable server, you can dynamically replace partition units in a hardware partition at any time. This is known as a hot replace operation. When you replace a partition unit, the operating system puts the hardware partition into a pseudo S4 sleep state. To put the hardware partition into this special sleep state, the operating system sends an S4 set power power management request to all the device drivers in the system. However, unlike a typical S4 power state, the operating system does not write out the state of the system to a hibernation file.

A device driver must support this pseudo S4 sleep state by correctly handling the query power and set power power management requests. A device driver should never reject a query power request. When a device driver receives an S4 set power power management request, it must transition its devices into a D3 device power state and stop all I/O operations. This includes any direct memory access (DMA) transfers that are currently in progress. By putting the driver's devices into a low power state, disabling interrupts, and halting all I/O operations that are in progress, the replace operation can continue without affecting the device driver.

While a device driver's devices are in the D3 power state, the device driver should queue any new I/O requests that it receives. A device driver should use an I/O time-out period for the I/O requests that it processes. This time-out period must be long enough so that the I/O requests will not time out if they are stopped or queued during the replacement of a partition unit. When the operating system resumes from the pseudo S4 sleep state, the device driver can resume processing any stopped or queued I/O requests.

For more information about how to implement support for power management in a device driver, see Power Management.

A device driver must not bind itself to a uniquely identifiable instance of system hardware such as a specific processor. Otherwise, the driver might fail if the partition unit that contains that hardware is replaced in the hardware partition.



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