"AIX7 OB boarding now"
Are you someone who is always behind the times? Do you buy the last ticket on the last train into the evacuated city? Well, take off your N minus ten leadweight and join the discerning passengers of AIX Down Under on our first flight on AIX 7 Open Beta.
AIX 7 Open Beta is available from a free download in ISO format, which means you could burn it onto a DVD or (better still) use the VIO server virtual media library. Of course you'll need to boot off the DVD / virtual optical device. It's a mksysb restore.
Use Existing architecture
Don't think you have to buy a Power 770 to install AIX 7. Of course it works on Power7, but It even runs on p4, p5 or p6 hardware. For this trial we've used a p5 520. The installation took about half an hour (techo time - give or take an hour). After the simple install, the oslevel command returned:
Test flight stopover: WPAR administration
This is a short test flight, and apart from the oslevel, the first thing we noticed which is different from 6.1 is a new SMIT menu for Workload Partition (WPAR) Administration, called Versioned Workload Partitions. If you've heard anything about AIX 7, you'd know that it supports WPARs running AIX 5.2. This is only supported on Power7 hardware but may enable you to decommission that ancient server which is holding you back on that N-10 train. Even if versioned partitions are not going to fulfil a need in your environment, why not take a look at WPARs?
WPARs are software partitions available from AIX 6.1. That means you don't need an HMC or IVM to create or manage them. You don't even need a VIO server. In fact, we were able to create a system WPAR on a standalone p5 server using a serial console.
For a good introduction to WPARs and whether they would suit your environment, have a look at this article on AIX 6.1 Workload Partitions on IBM developerWorks.
"Thanks for flying"
We were just getting started and it's already time to touch down. For more information, my colleague and compatriot, Chris Gibson, provides all the interesting links and details in his blog: AIX 7 Open beta - it's time to test.
There are still plenty of customers on AIX 5.3 who are missing out on many of the features of 6.1 because no one managed to try it out. Don't be left behind this time. Even if you don't end up migrating to AIX 7 when the commercial version is officially released, you'll be glad you have at least been exposed to a beta version. Your feedback may also be influential in the final product. That's got to be a much better way of spending your resources than waiting for that train.