(or not using) NIM
- the AIX Network Installation Manager - allows you to install and
maintain multiple hosts from the one master. Among people newer to
AIX, NIM is often left on the backburner. With the VIO
Virtual Media Library, a good deal of the NIM master's
functionality has alternatives, at least if you're building LPARs
which are VIO clients on the same system as the VIO server
NIM still has its uses - especially for providing a
source for building across to a different server or a different site.
Some AIXers wouldn't be without NIM. Others tend either to live
without NIM entirely or build an initial NIM server and never touch
Part of the hesitation about NIM is confusion about
some of its components, so it may be worth knowing of some helpful
sources for information about NIM.
you're a little NIM numb and in need of being unconfused, an
excellent start is the AIX
Virtual User Group Webinars. There you can download a 90 minute
session on NIM basics and another one on more advanced topics.
June 23 & 24, 2010 - NIM Basics and NIM Advanced by Steve Knudson
those presentations, Steve Knudson explains what on earth is meant by
SPOT and lpp_source. Here's my transcription along with my comments:
The lpp_source is a
directory to hold installp images from the AIX media.
- shared product object tree - is a /usr file system that we create
from the lpp_source. Clients use commands from the spot during the
install process. When the network image first comes down and the
client first begins to install, he [you've got to admire someone who calls LPARs "he"] has to run commands, and the
commands aren't all included in the boot image. He's got to run mkvg
to create a root volume group. He has to run mklv to create logical
volumes, mkfs to create file systems. He finds those commands in an
NFS-mounted SPOT. That's why we have a /usr NFS-mounted file system
as well as an lpp_source.
The Webinars cover lots of other
explanations and provide some very helpful presentation materials.
you're after a little more info on NIM, you could have a look at this
article by Jaqui Lynch from the IBM Systems Magazine called
with NIM. Jaqui points out that
basically provides a central point of management for installing and
maintaining AIX images for both LPARs and individual servers."
She also shows how NIM can take
care of mksysb images for multiple LPARs and servers over several
different sites. Have a look at her more recent article on the same
AIX LPAR and Server Management with NIM.(The link above to the AIX 7
Open Beta forum
was incorrect. It should work now.
The IBM Redbook
from A to Z in AIX 5L is still valuable, even though it was
written for AIX 5.3 and we're now testing the AIX 7 Open
(Incidentally, since NIM must be at the latest level,
you can't install the AIX 7 Open Beta mksysb from a lower level NIM
server. You can follow this issue on the AIX 7 Open Beta user forum).
AIX 7 Open Beta forum:
We have provided NIM filesets to enable network installation. Please see the Download tab on the AIX 7 Open Beta website Link:https://www14.software.ibm.com/iwm/web/cc/earlyprograms/websphere/aix7ob/index.shtml An updated "Getting Started" guide (v1.4) containing instructions for NIM fileset installation has also been provided on the Library tab.