The HMC V7R7.2.0 has been released and it includes a feature which has long been in demand: the ability to change VLANs dynamically on virtual ethernet adapters.
The documentation for the HMC release notes
explain that this feature is for Power7 servers only:
The chhwres command has been enhanced to support dynamically changing the properties of a virtual Ethernet adapter which is assigned to a running partition (POWER7 servers only). The properties that can be changed are the IEEE 802.1Q setting, the virtual LANs, and the Quality of Service (QoS) priority.
Support dynamic edit of some virtual Ethernet properties such as supported VLANs.
James Nash spoke of this and other features of the new VIO server code in his webinar at the AIX Virtual User Group in November 2010. You'll find the Webinar replay and the presentation materials on the Virtual User Group's Wiki
under:November 19, 2010 - VIOS - Beyond the Basics with James Nash
The ability to add or remove VLANs on the fly is particularly interesting for Shared Ethernet Adapters in failover mode (you can't use VLAN tagging for SEAs using the Network Interface Backup).
Dynamic VLANs without Power7
If you're not on Power7 yet, you can still move your VLANs around on your SEAs by having a separate virtual adapter for each VLAN. To add an adapter with a new VLAN, use the chdev command on the SEA, specifying the list of virtual adapters, including the new one. To remove a virtual adapter, run the chdev command and specify the new list of adapters, excluding the one you no longer want. This is a modular way of setting up SEAs, but it's probably the sort of thing you'd use if you only have two or three VLANs on your SEA (apart from the control channel).
Downloading the HMC firmware
If your HMC is not directly connected to the internet, and it's not updated by IBM Systems Director, you can download the HMC firmware from the IBM Support Portal. There are some instructions on updating your HMC without using physical media. As long-term readers of AIX Down Under will remember (or may have completely forgotten), that means you could do the HMC updates from the comfort of your AIX administrator's standard-issue luxury yacht.
I'm pleased to see the documentation provides detail on the command line option. So many of us find access to data centres very restricted, or practically impossible, so doing it while sailing past the Sydney Opera House is the next best thing.
The updhmc command line command has also been modified to use the .iso file for installing corrective service updates. To use the command, follow the syntax in this example:
- updhmc -t s -h <myservername> -f </home/updates/corrrective_service.iso> -u <HMC_username> -i
So, get to it, and get your HMC up to date.
In all cases, the HMC application extracts the files needed to install the corrective service.