AIXpert Blog is about the AIX operating system from IBM running on POWER based machines called Power Systems and software related to it like IBM Systems Director, PowerVM for virtualisation and PowerSC for security plus performance monitoring and nmon
If you follow this blog you will already be aware that we (Gareth Coates, Clive Benjamin, Mike Pearson, Jyoti Dodhia, Rachel Meager and the guys from Lab Servers that are running Oracle, WAS etc performance tests to hammer the machine) have had a Power Systems Enterprise E870 since early September 2014 as part of the Early Ship Program. This program gives access to new machines before they are releases and their matching software for testing, learning and skills development and feedback. It has been very interesting and we have shared what we... [More]
Most of the Power Systems range of servers since POWER7 allow for the HMC organised online hot replacement of:
and the online hot adding, removing or replacement of:
Internal hard disks
From POWER8 onwards we are not going to have the online add or remove CEC nor adding or removing Processors modules nor Memory cards. Of course online changes using Capacity Upgrade on Demand is still very much an option. On the POWER8, I/O Drawers we... [More]
People share nmon captured data files with me all the time because they would like me to review the data and make suggestions about the hot spot and tuning.
I guess they trust me :-)
Some user get a little paranoid about the data (mostly due to having to follow many procedures to get the nmon file through firewalls so it can be emailed to me) and ask questions about if it contains information they don't want to accidentally share. Thankfully the nmon data files is just a text file that you can edit with "vi" so there... [More]
I need to make it clear that these pictures are from an Early Ship Program machine which might vary a little from the final Generally Available (GA) models from November 2014. For example, missing labels or stickers plus colours of handles and parts etc. The engineering will be much the same.
Our machine is part of the Early Ship Program and we get to run hardware tests before machines are shipped to customers from GA. These test include things we would never expect customer to do -... [More]
Yes this is still the AIX pert Blog but my beautiful POWER8 machines can also run that "odd ball" operating system now called IBM i. That should generate some comments :-) We have a project to install IBM i 7.2 and then adopt it into PowerVC for Capture and Deploy. This feature is in beta test and selected customers allowed to give it ago. It is planned for full release later this year (that is not an IBM promise).
If you are interested in testing PowerVC with IBM i visit:... [More]
We have the new HMC 8.1 code stream to manage the POWER8 machines. It also manages the POWER6 and POWER7 machines but not POWER5.
I find the HMC Virtual Storage Management panel very useful and saves me time for assigning Shared Storage Pool (SSP) space to virtual machines (VM's) and automatically doing this for Dual VIO Servers without having to log-on to the VIOS servers at all. It is also good for assigning virtual DVDs to VMs to boot and install the various operating systems, AIX, RHEL, SLES, Fedora, Debian, etc.
RHEL (6.4 and 6.5) Servers show their PC heritage when you assign server style static IP addresses instead of home network DHCP controlled IP networks. [[That will generate a few comments!!]]
I find the /etc/resolv.conf file gets modified after a reboot and so DNS fails - this is a broken as designed feature. I would enjoy someone trying to defend this feature and why it does this for my benefit! [[That will generate a even more comments!!]]
I search the network and the comments are the... [More]
Many people in computing, we seem fixated on "percentages" when talking about CPU use - We need to fix that.
When a computer has an absolutely fixed number of CPUs on the time scale of a few years the percentages of the box makes a lot of sense.
But in a virtualised world we will have to change.
For 10 years, we can do Dynamic CPU changes to a LPAR (Virtual Machine).
Yesterdays 40% used is today's 80% because the admin guy added a couple of CPUs over night.
If we look at the percentages and see a... [More]
In the past with the POWER7 and POWER7+ based machines at the lower end like the Power710 to Power740 Models, users had to shut down the whole machine to add, remove or replace an adapter safely. In fact, some machines would power off as you removed the lid.
This is no longer the case with the whole POWER8 range including the Scale-Out Models like the S822 and S824. These machines do not have the blind swap cassettes which allow the adapters to be removed from the rear of the machine. So you must have the cable... [More]
With Power Systems there are many ways to run your Operating System(s) and each has advantages and each has a different install process.
1 Native Headless Whole Machine Mode
Number of operating systems = 1
Operating Systems: AIX, IBM i, Linux
Console = RS232 Dumb terminal
Virtual Machines = none
Machine types = Blades, Power Systems or PowerLinux (only runs Linux, of course)
Can't make use of the Power hardware based virtualisation advantage.
This blog also applies to Power Servers running Linux on Power native on the machine.
While you can perform a text based Linux install on the dumb console terminal emulator (see previous AIXpert Blog about the serial cable that you need and the software) as a challenge to survive the Tab navigation, space selection, sometimes the cursor works and occasional Function Key show stopper (SUSE SLES 11) - I would recommend a VNC install.
First, you can get back to your desk to run VNC viewer client to complete the install and not... [More]
Normally I recommended to go virtual:
I would recommend anyone trying a Power System or PowerLinux system to run it with a Hardware Management Console (HMC) -now called a Power Management Console - or using Integrated Virtualisation Manager (IVM = like HMC and VIOS combination as the first LPAR / VM).
This way you are using the full power of the Power based machines to run LPARs / Virtual Machines and push higher utilisation and extra flexibility.
But if you must go commando!
But some what to ignore... [More]
If you have:
High-end Power 770, Power780 or Power 795 machines
With Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD)
More than 4 CPU cores and 32 GB RAM which are not Activated (dark)
... then you are ready for Power Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) - which is a offers a package of 4 cores and 32 GB of memory at a special low price (given the resources, you can order more than one IFL)
includes the PowerVM license and PowerVM SWMA for the newly activated CPU cores
excludes a Linux license... [More]
I have been installing beta copies of PowerVC, the new IBM product which is available tomorrow 6th Dec 2013. It is quick to install and allows rapid rolling out of new virtual machines to a group of physical Power machines from your list of pre-packaged software images in just a few seconds of your time and roughly 2 to 3 minutes elapse time till you can login and use it. PowerVC is based on OpenStack which has lots of modules to install and configure. It is installed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL 6.4 on Power or x86 - So it is a... [More]