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
With Systems Director and VMControl Standard Edition (this was called Image Manager), you can Capture an AIX Virtual Server to an appliance in the VMControl Repository. Then later Deploy the appliance to a new Virtual Server on a different Power machine. What this means in proper technical "AIX speak" is Systems Director can: Create a mksysb to a NIM server and also save the LPAR settings (numbers of CPU, RAM, network and disks). Later you can perform a NIM client install from the mksysb and it automatically uses the same LPAR... [More]
The AIX 7 Open Beta is available now - this gives you access to the version to be released later this year. Find the summary in a earlier AIXpert blog and then the details at the new AIX7 Open Beta website. I have downloaded the image at just 2.4 GB (watch out for your 1GB default ulimit) for the entire AIX OS and have it running fine. I installed via my VIOS based virtual optical drive. Also included are access to new compilers versions, the AIX7 documentation and support via a Forum.
The fifth POWER Ask the Experts is a one day customer technical event in the UK which ran in Manchester and London on 15th/16th July 2013. It proved to be a very popular free event. We had well over a 100 people attend which was a mixture of customers, a few Business partners and some IBMers.
10:00 - Power Systems Update - Pat O'Rourke: Austin Briefing Centre, USA Download 22MB .pdf
11:15 - Performance Best Practices with POWER7 - Nigel Griffiths, ATS Europe ... [More]
If you are running Systems Director and upgrading to the new version ... WATCH OUT !! Make sure you have 1 GB free space in /var Make sure you have 2 GB free space in /tmp I did not, this upgrade script does not check for free space and it crashed during the Systems Director updating itself (/tmp 100% full) and it never came back. I ended up with a corrupt Systems Director. The smart guys would (before the upgrade) also stopped Systems Director (smstop) and saved the database (smsave) before attempting the upgrade - so the older version... [More]
HMC V6.1 has been re-released. This code contains the long-awaited function allowing the HMC to use a proxy server when contacting IBM Service over the Internet. Recovery media and ISO image files are again available through the HMC Corrective Service web site: https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/hmc/home.html Important steps must be taken before and after the upgrade. Before upgrading, administrators need to determine if they have an HMC affected by an internal modem problem that would cause the HMC to hang. This problem exists on... [More]
That was a shock - right out of the blue, we are told HACMP (OK we should call it PowerHA SystemMirror but life is too short) now supports Versioned WPARs - I had customer questions on this earlier in the week but no idea it was about to be announced. We were recommending using HACMP at the AIX 7 level and treating the WAR as a very well controlled and isolated bunch of processes, file systems etc. as a single resource. But now its much simpler. Want to know more: Techdoc
I have indirectly been getting copies of this 4 page, .PDF, once a quarter, Power Systems Newsletter written by Richard Milton (an IBMer in the USA) and every time found a few "Wow! That's Cool!" items in it. I just checked with Richard and he says anyone is free to sign up to the email list and you will get it emailed to you once a quarter. I have signed up. Needless to say, it is for Techies and not marketing fluff but has a couple of one page quick details of particular products and experience and comments on them. Then there... [More]
I ran this session at the Las Vegas Technical University last week twice. I spend 5 minutes on each of the ten covering the basic concept and the "pro's and con's" then get the audience to vote on their top four. The smaller room took 105 people and the second time in a larger room to 187. It was a BIG conference with 1500+ people attending - its good and encouraging to see so many people interested in Power Systems. The results are fascinating a few top technologies are clear favourites but then the IBMer and customer views are... [More]
Ravi Singh has updated his excellent "AIX Facts and Features" to include the new AIX6 functions. He has also expanded it to include VIO and HMC. http://www-03.ibm.com/support/techdocs/atsmastr.nsf/WebIndex/TD103130
I have been touring cities in Europe: Birmingham for the 4 day Technical University, Manchester, central London and Dublin for the Ask the Experts 1 day event and last week Copenhagen for a POWER & AIX User group Technical Event. I have had about 250 to 300 people in my sessions and asked every time - How knows about the AIX Virtual User Group and only had about 30 people put their hands up. I am amazed how few people have found this invaluable resource. The organiser, Joe Armstrong an IBMer, set-ups up roughly monthly world wide... [More]
As part of my moving computer room project, I had to change the IP address of my Systems Director server. I recall a long time ago there were issues in this area for (I think) ISD 6.1, so I was not looking forward to this change. Just for a change, I thought I would check the documentation first :-) Once I found the 6.3 part of the documentation there was a whole page on how to do this IP address change. It turns out to be very simple on ISD 6.3. Stop Systems Director with: smstop Change the IP address and DNS server, of course, to match.... [More]
Fourteen new movies/Video's on System Director on YouTube I have just last week uploaded 14 new System Director movies that were previously a whole day Technical University session and I thought it a good idea to share these with every body. It comes to about 4 hours in total and it a mixture of sizes from 7 minutes to 29 minutes. The focus is on core Systems Director function rather than advanced function plug-ins. It worries me a little that we often try to talk about and sell Systems Director for the advanced stuff but you really need to get... [More]
If you read this blog regularly then you will know I am a fan of the VIOS Shared Storage Pool technology .
It is a major peice of the "Making PowerVM and VIOS - easier to live with and reduce the man-power" story and it is hard to believe that we started withPOWER4 virtualisation in 2000 and VIOS in 2005. This does mean that the tools we use (HMC and VIOS padmin) need a bit of an update and I know these are in plans for the future. Even now we can start using SSP to save lots of system admin time and be more flexibly... [More]
A basic IT "best practice" is to do regular system backups**. The system backup should be validated by periodically storing to a test machine by someone other than the creator of the backup. I've posted a script to my website that automates system backups of AIX servers to a NIM server over the network. The script runs on the NIM server, either manually or as a cron job. The documentation is inside the script. I highly recommend using NIM (network installation manager) for the following reasons: 1)Convenience: ability to do remote... [More]
At the Miami and Copenhagen Power Systems Technical Universities, I covered what we knew about the next release of Systems Director (6.3) planned for 16th December 2011. One of the hot topics was High Availability using disk replication for the embedded DB2 database for active:passive fail-over. It turns out this feature is not included with Systems Director 6.3 release - sorry about that. The good news, at least, is that this feature is in development and working for the next release of SDMC, which is based on Systems Director 6.3... [More]