MAKING THE BEST OF WHAT YOU'VE GOT
A customer wants to clone his production LPAR running AIX 6.1 - it's on a Power6 server - to an LPAR on his DR site which runs an older p5 server. Both sites have HMCs. As the environment is very small, all I/O is handled via dedicated adapters on each LPAR. There is no VIO server (no IVM) or NIM server, and although the p6 production server has a DVD-ROM, the p5 server at DR only has a CD-ROM, not a DVD. That means the mksysb from the production LPAR will need to be in CD format, rather than DVD. We'll use the mkcd command
to do that.Update: the customer discovered that there was a DVD-ROM on the p5 server after all. All went well with the mksysb restore, albeit using CDs rather than a DVD.
Product media required?
The difficulty is that at the end of the mksysb restore at DR, we may be asked to load the AIX 6.1 product media. We have that product media, but only in DVD format which the CD-ROM won't be able to read. There may also be some other AIX 6.1 filesets we'll want to install later from the product media. So the big question is:
Are we going to need the AIX 6.1 CDs?
On some investigation, we have found that there is an entry in the bosinst.data file which can include all the device drivers we want in the mksysb. The field in the bosinst.data is ALL_DEVICE_KERNELS. As the documentation on creating a system backup explains:
All devices and kernels are installed by default when performing a base operating system installation. This allows you to create a system backup that contains all devices and kernel types. Because the system backup contains all the devices and kernel support, the system backup can be used to install another system without the need for the AIX® product media.
Still, I'm not sure his system was originally set up with that ALL_DEVICE_KERNELS option. As the target LPAR at DR has dedicated adapters, it would be nice to have access to AIX 6.1 installation images at the end of the mksysb restore, in case we need them. We may want to install some other filesets anyway after the cloned LPAR is rebooted.
So here are our options:
create a NIM server
buy, beg, borrow or steal a DVD-ROM for the DR site
borrow or steal some AIX 6.1 CDs from someone
none of the above
As IT support for this very small company is a one-man shop (he's a jack of all trades), the client ruled out the first two options. He didn't want to invest his limited time in learning NIM or the VIOS, although I am sure he'd have no difficulty picking up either of them very quickly. The dedicated adapters on each LPAR at Prod and DR are long since paid for, and he's happy to use dedicated devices for the rare occasions where he needs to install or migrate his OS.
As getting hold of a DVD-ROM drive would take some time, we thought of a way of getting hold of AIX 6.1 CDs: download them! Although 6.1 is only available in DVD format (ISO images), older copies (6.1 TL 4) are still downloadable in CD format. The 6.1 ISO and CD format images can be downloaded from IBM Entitled Software Support
The customer downloaded the AIX 6.1 CDs and burned them onto physical media in no time at all.
We will boot off the mksysb, load whatever AIX 6.1 TL 4 CDs may be required at the end of the mksysb restore, and then update to the latest TL from a fix pack downloaded from IBM Support Portal
. We can use those AIX 6.1 CDs for installation of other base filesets if we need them.
The customer will probably still arrange to purchase a DVD-ROM and from that point, he may reconsider the VIO server and / or NIM, but for the time being we've got all we need to do the clone, without NIM or the VIO VM Library, or a DVD.