Making life easier for system admins: The IBM PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation tool

By | 3 minute read | May 7, 2020

If you’re a system administrator working with IBM Power Systems servers, you know that Live Partition Mobility (LPM) and Simplified Remote Restart (SRR) are essential capabilities for managing your server environment. In the normal course of maintaining your systems, you might need to move partitions because of hardware repairs, firmware updates or VIOS updates. LPM allows you to keep partitions running during such moves. It can also help with load balancing and energy conservation. And what if one of your servers unexpectedly goes down? SRR can help you move partitions within minutes of a crash, thus helping you reduce downtime.

IBM created a tool that makes the use of LPM and SRR faster and easier: The IBM PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation tool. Its purpose-designed graphical user interface (GUI) is easy to use and allows admins to move and restart many partitions at once, instead of spending lots of time navigating through the Hardware Management Console. For example, moving 16 partitions can take more than 190 clicks on the HMC GUI, while the LPM/SRR Automation tool can move any quantity of partitions in as few as five clicks. The tool also makes it easy to move all the partitions back to their original server with their original configuration after the crashed server is repaired, something that’s not even possible with the HMC GUI.

The tool was first delivered to IBM Power Systems clients in 2015 and has been used throughout the world by over 600 organizations to simplify and enhance the LPM and SRR process.

Figure 1: Home screen of the PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation Tool

Figure 1: Home screen of the PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation Tool

Taking advantage of PowerVM features

PowerVM has added many basic LPM and SRR features to enhance their functionality and performance. A few are available in the HMC GUI, but the selection is limited, and using them requires many clicks.

Figure 2: HMC GUI LPM screen showing the features available

Figure 2: HMC GUI LPM screen showing the features available

The HMC command line interface (CLI) exposes more features of LPM and SRR but is more complicated to use. It requires logging in to the HMC using Secure Shell (SSH) and using a terminal session to issue commands to the HMC. The following is an example command to move a partition over a high-speed MSP connection while keeping the virtual fibre channel adapters mapped to the proper VIOS pair:

migrlpar -o m -m ‘kurtkP8’ -t ‘bobfP8’ -p ‘bf_client1’ –ip -u hscroot -i \””redundant_msps=53/kk1vios1//,53/kk1vios2//\”,\”” virtual_fc_mappings=3//1//,4//1//,5//6//,6//6//\”” –requirerr 2

The PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation tool allows you to take advantage of many of these features more quickly and easily through its GUI or spreadsheet support. For example, the same functionality shown in the CLI example above can be done using the tool’s GUI.

Also built into the tool are back-end capabilities that have no equivalent on the HMC, features like:

  • Return all the partitions back after LPM or SRR operations
  • Daily health checks of LPM/SRR readiness
  • Scripting capabilities
  • Automatic movement of Mobile Capacity (aka Power Enterprise Pools – PEP)

The following table offers a comparison of LPM and SRR capabilities available from the HMC GUI, HMC CLI and the tool.

Figure 3: Comparison of LPM/SRR features

Figure 3: Comparison of LPM/SRR features

As you can see, there are quite a few features the tool offers that go above and beyond what’s available from the HMC. Setting up a default MSP is a good example (see this video demonstrating how to do it using the tool).

SRR — another function not available from the HMC GUI — is invaluable to clients that don’t have high availability on their partitions, and the LPM/SRR Automation tool’s GUI makes it easy to take advantage of it. Daily SRR validation is also unique to the tool (see this video for a demo of the feature).

Where to learn more

The PowerVM LPM/SRR Automation tool is available from IBM Systems Lab Services, and our experienced IBM Power Systems specialists are here to help you take advantage of it.

For more information, please contact us today.