- VIOS prerequisites
- creating a cluster
- thin provisioning
- Live Partition Mobility
- a cheat sheet for SSP commands
AIX Down Under
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  lpm shared_storage_pools lady_gaga live_partition_mobility twitter powervm nigel_griffiths webinar aix_celebrities 6 Comments 13,835 Views
The team from IBM's Advanced Technology Support, Europe have done it again! Their free Webinar Series on Power Systems Virtualisation from IBM has another contribution from Nigel Griffiths, (a.k.a. Mr NMon). This presentation is on Shared Storage Pools from Experience - a kind of walk through of where the rubber hits the road. On the PowerVM Virtualisation Webinar Series Wiki, scroll down to Session 13: Shared Storage Pools ... from Experience.
As you probably know, Shared Storage Pools allow you to have a large single chunk of storage allocated to multiple Virtual I/O Servers and then leave you to manage how that storage is cut up for the virtual clients (the AIX logical partitions). That makes for fast provisioning of storage, which removes a common roadblock in projects. With Shared Storage Pools, you can reduce the storage provisioning time down from weeks to ... seconds!
The webinar is not a sales pitch. It's a techie's take that steps you through:
... and a whole lot more. There's a presentation which you can download. It includes very helpful diagrams and screenshots. If you have the time, download the 1 hour webinar session, to hear Mr NMon himself. And who can resist downloading the SSP commands cheat sheet? (It's colour-coded, too!)
Finally, I'd encourage you to register for the Webinar series via the PowerVM Wiki. You get an email alert each month to advise you of the upcoming topic, and you can watch the presentation live, participate in surveys and so on.
.. and a Plug for Twitter
Maybe you, like me - and many other AIXers - are of a certain age and are sceptical of the benefits of social networking, especially via Facebook and Twitter. Well, I have to say that I have found Twitter a great source of valuable, timely information on AIX. You don't have to follow every last celebrity, but I would encourage you to sign up, if only to follow a few of my favourite AIX celebrities, all of whom deserve more of a following than Lady Gaga, IMHO:
Nicolette McFadden, the most prolific AIX tweeter in Social Media land
and my Aussie compatriot,
So much for some of the celebrities in AIX twitter space!
If you're really keen, you could
follow me on Twitter, too.
The team from IBM in the UK have been running some great webinars, and the next one promises to be a beauty. It's on Virtualisation (British spelling) Best Practices.
It's true in philosophy, it's true in maths (British usage), it's true in taking directions and it's true in setting up your virtualised environment. It's much easier to use good planning before implementation than to have to untangle everything afterward.
This webinar promises to cover how to:
The webinar is scheduled for Sept 14th from 10:00 to 11:00 BST (UK time) and you can both register for the free webinar or download it afterwards by connecting to:
I'm looking forward to it.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  seminar training unix education ibm_systems_magazine aix_blogs webinar class course ibm_developerworks aix aix_articles 8,982 Views
Look how much you know!
Here I want to highlight three AIX courses on offer, and emphasise the value of keeping up to date with what's happening in AIX and Power Systems. But this post is also to serve as an encouragement to the many people out there who keep the wheels turning and think they only have a basic grasp of AIX. You probably know a lot more than you let on.
There are some excellent AIX training courses and seminars available from time to time. Even if you've been in the game of AIX for years, there'll be something you can learn. In fact, it's quite often that I pick up a fresh approach from someone who has only recently started working on AIX.
AIX Networking and knowledge
Apart from the content of the courses, the networking - meeting like-minded AIX enthusiasts - is 3/4 of the fun of attending these things, when the nature or location of the course allows that.
Although IT people are often humble (I have so far managed to escape that accusation), if you take stock you might be surprised at just how much you have learned over the years. For example, here are three AIX courses that are on offer. If you're a regular reader of the many good AIX blogs and articles on offer (see Resources section below for a small selection), a lot of these topics you would have at least heard of, and many (if not most) of them, you'll already have a good understanding of, and perhaps even hands-on experience.
For example, have a look at the course outline for the self-paced Virtual Class on: You can enroll in this class here.
My comments appear in red from this point on. As you read through this, mentally check off how many of these you already have competence in.
PrerequisitesBefore enrolling in this class, you should be able to:
Once again, see how many of these areas you are competent in:
IBM POWER Systems Virtualization: Advanced Topics, Management and Best Practiceshttp://www-304.ibm.com/jct03001c/services/learning/ites.wss/au/en?pageType=course_description&courseCode=WRB190AU#4
"knowledge on AIX system administration, POWER systems administration, HMC administration."
and the course outline explains that the course is a combination of lectures, discussion, and hands-on exercises on the following topics:
Sometimes it's worth taking stock of your abilities, both to recognise areas you might want to work on, but also to see the areas where you do have experience, or at least are not coming in completely blind.
Some of my favourite blogs and sources of AIX information and tips are:
I'd encourage you to keep reading blogs and to consider getting along to one or other course. It pays to keep up to date on developments within AIX. You can find approaches which are smarter, simpler and smoother, and which take advantage of the technology.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  creation entitled_capacity vp dlpar aix cpu virtual_user_group entitlement vps dynamic_lpar desired processor webinar maximum minimum virtual_processors lpar 30,898 Views
The AIX Virtual User Group continues its impressive lineup of speakers. This month Janel Barfield stepped through Partition Creation Settings. She covered plenty of aspects of the menus in the HMC where you create a logical partition, including the most misunderstood aspect of LPAR creation: Virtual Processors.
Here are my rough transcripts of some important sections which were addressed. The first one comes in at about 19:40 into the presentation recording and deals with the concern many people have of assigning too many virtual processors to an LPAR:
If we have too many Virtual Processors is there a negative outcome?
Janel goes a little more into the assignment of Virtual Processors later on in the presentation.
Before going further into the presentation, it's worth revising what is meant by Entitled Capacity. This is the actual guaranteed physical capacity assigned to a partition. This will be the Desired amount (if it's available in the Shared Processor Pool at the time of activating the partition), or may be less than the Desired, down to the Minimum required to Activate the partition. (Less than the minimum means the LPAR can't get activated).
However, if there has been a DLPAR operation since that activation, the Entitled Capacity can vary anywhere within the range of Minimum to Maximum for the partition.
So ordinarily, the Entitled Capacity (or EC) will be the Desired amount, unless it's not available, in which case it will be somewhere between the min and the desired. For more details, see the Virtualization Concepts wiki.
Back to Janel's presentation.
Maximum Processing Units
How about this comment about Maximum processing units? (at 23:45)
For an uncapped partition, the maximum processor units setting has no effect on how much processor this partition could use. So per partition, the maximum processing units only affects the Entitled Capacity [which displays as EC in nmon/topas]. The Entitled capacity is what the partition is either activated with when it's started (somewhere between the mimimum and the desired processing units) or the amount allocated following a Dynamic LPAR operation. The maximum only affects the Entitled Capacity in regards to DLPAR, (how much you can increase the Entitled Capacity using DLPAR).Why not set your maximum processing units to the max you have in the system? (27:45)
Entitled capacity is the amount you're guaranteed to get. So you may not want someone to increase the guaranteed amount for the LPAR to the maximum physical processors, because it's guaranteed to get that. So if there other LPARs in the same pool, or on the same system, that are also using shared processors, then they may actually need more processor. Because the entitled capacity of this partition is so high - they're both busy. It only comes into play when there's contention.What about the weight?
Janel also covered the meaning of the weight on the processor tab. I was glad she did, as I typically leave my LPARs at the default of 128, except for the VIO servers which I set to 192. It was helpful to hear what Janel had to say:
At least one VP for every whole or part processing unit
How many Virtual Processors to assign?
Rule of thumb for VPs
More on Setting VPs 37:30
Once again, Joe Armstrong from the AIX Virtual User Group has done a great service to us by getting someone to present a topic that everyone has questions about. Janel had some excellent PowerPoint presentation materials on Partition Creation Settings. You can download the Replay of the webinar which is remarkably succinct and easy to follow.
If you wish to download other free webinars, or get advice of future ones, visit the AIX Virtual User Group wiki.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  virtual vlan hardware_management_conso... ethernet network dynamic_lpar firmware sea aix hmc corrective_service aix_virtual_user_group shared_ethernet_adapter webinar mac_address remote 2 Comments 18,729 Views
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:
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: