Having a Standard Operating Environment (SOE) for AIX has a lot of benefits. It's not just the consistency between images and some sort of version control over what you're rolling out. Using a SOE also saves time.
- If you build AIX systems all the time, then there are so many steps which you won't need to repeat - just clone an existing image.
- And if you don't build new AIX images too often, then it's a lot of work remembering what you have to do every time.
I have discussed building a SOE image for AIX before. And as you know, you could use the VIO server Virtual Media Library to do it (Not that again - doesn't this guy ever let up? - Ed).
This post covers some suggestions from some AIX big wigs on what they put into their SOE image.
Tuning and tools
First we start with Jaqui Lynch, whose articles regularly appear in the IBM Systems Magazine, AIX edition. (If you don't subscribe, DO!) Jaqui uses a short script to set tuning parameters, and then installs third-party software such as gcc, lsof, openssl / ssh and a number of tools from the Linux toolkit. You'll find more details in the article Installing and Upgrading to AIX 6.1. The article's from 2008, when 6.1 was still in nappies (diapers), but still applicable apart from a few small changes (nmon now is part of AIX and doesn't need to be installed separately). The SOE recommendations are in the section "Installing AIX 6.1 from Scratch."
Next comes this gem from Steve Knudson, who gave a couple of presentations on NIM. Steve builds a standard environment on a NIM client and then rolls it out via NIM. Here is a screen shot of some of his standard settings:
While you're at it, have you checked out the webinars of the AIX Virtual User Group - USA? Their webinars - usually one a month - cover all sorts of interesting topics presented in a hands-on way by technical people (real people!). I have a link to their Wiki in the Links on the right of this blog page. The two NIM presentations are listed under:
SOE read the Redbook
Speaking of NIM, as I mentioned in my previous post on the SOE LPAR, the NIM from A to Z Redbook has a valuable section on building a SOE LPAR. This section was written by an Aussie AIX friend, Chris Gibson.
Finally, there are two articles from Rob McNelly (an AIX friend from across the drink) which offer very helpful ideas: Establishing Good Server Build Standards