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
Installing Open Source on AIX systems can be a little .... um .... frustrating and I have just been round that loop with installing Ganglia the excellent Performance Monitoring tool to demonstrate it and actually use it too on my own servers. The hard bit is that for every Open Source program, that you want to install, there is 10 to 20 prerequisite packages that you need to install first and you go round this the loop four times as the prerequisites have prerequisites .... This has got known as the "RPM dependencies form... [More]
I have just upgraded my EMEA Power Systems Advanced Technical Support internal Wiki Apache Web-server to the very latest AIX level, which is AIX 6.1 Technology Level 6 Service Pack 5 or AIX6.1TL6sp5 for short! Then I noticed that the nmon at this AIX level has been updated - I worked the code for the internal prototype of this new feature some time ago and it has arrived in the official topas/nmon code at this release - C O O L . The latest release AIX 7.1 service pack has this new options too. The problem: As the numbers of CPU goes up with... [More]
The title should read "Local, Near & Far ..." - I will not correct it or links might fail. In this entry we carry on from part 5 but we are going to look at setting the virtual processor number for the virtual machine . There is a side effect that is not obvious and after 6 years of using them, it never occurred to me so perhaps it is news to others too. The problem of virtual processors is that they are ephemeral - i.e. they don't actually exist and costs nothing. So I find most systems administrators feel they can be generous... [More]
Your first reaction might be "Why would you do that, Nigel?" and "Isn't this a AIX blog: Why are we talking about Linux?"
Well AIX is great and all that but when it comes to Open Source it is not Linux. Like it or not most Open Source stuff is developed on Linux and there are readily available binary compiled for Linux and 100's of Open Source packages actually come with the the distribution on their DVD media and arch repositories on the Internet for rapid and straight forward install and updates.
I am preparing sessions for a POWER/AIX Technical Conference in Norway - unfortunately the only place they could book for the event was a Ski Resort up in the mountains and there is still good snow. It is a tough gig but someone has to do it :-) As part of that conference, I am updating them on Systems Director and demonstrating it. I had a slide with these hints and tips. A slide with zero percent marks for style (far to many words and just a long list) and I thought ... I should share these with everyone, so here they are. Most of these are... [More]
I have been looking at some nmon data from an IBMer looking into a customers machine. The virtual machine (LPAR) is running the Oracle RDBMS with 75 dedicated CPUs - on a POWER7 Power 795 at 4 GHz.
The Excel spreadsheet is quite scary at 144 MB thank goodness my Thinkpad has a SSD but not the record by a long way. Too many data save points can ready add u and so too can lots of processes if you are saving process data. Also with 75 CPU and SMT=4 that is 300 Tabs for Logical CPU, 300 for PCPU and 300 for SCPU and that... [More]
Configuring MPIO for the Virtual Client , describes how to set up Multi-Path I/O boot disks for AIX clients of the virtual I/O server. There some considerations for booting off the SAN. The "pro's" include: IBM supported configuration Flexibility The "con's" include: If the SAN fails Can not capture an AIX dump file (Consider putting dump space on an internal disk) Lose the ability to diagnose the failure from the server side. Updating MPIO on the AIX client may be disruptive (depends on MPIO vendor/version) "Momentary SAN stalls" can cause... [More]
*** STOP PRESS *** - See the update in red at the bottom.
I was asked this lots of times at the recent POWER Technical Universities in Orlando and Athens.
Compared to a low numbers of local disks
The LUNs on a SAN disk subsystem with caching are very fast - even a simple test like AIX install times have halved. In addition, you don't have to fiddle about with stripping AIX Logical Volumes across disks or retro fit this to rootvg Volume Group filesystems after the install.
Compared to a... [More]
Starting with AIX 5.3, you can get the process tree showing all the children of a particular process in a tree format. This is a part of the Linux affinity push: Example: $ ps -T 119016 PID TTY TIME CMD 119016 - 0:00 sshd 1015808 - 0:00 \--sshd 418006 - 0:00 \--ksh 913436 pts/0 0:00 \--ksh 639072 pts/0 0:00 \--ps
I just realised that I got help from the AIX developers to explain the output of the mpstat -d command for my POWER7 and Affinity Technical University sessions in Miami and Copenhagen that I never passed on to every one. In an earlier blog we examined some mpstat columns but skipped others. The nearly undocumented mpstat stats are: S0rd, S1rd, S2rd, S3rd, S4rdand S5rd. In the AIX manuals it states: S0rd = The percentage of thread re-dispatches
within the scheduling affinity domain 0.
And likewise for the other numbers - but what does... [More]
You may have seen comments or even presentations with a few slides on VIOS Next Generation or VIOS NextGen in the past year. I did at the Power Technical Universities and was very interested. Well, the first phase has been release but you may well have missed it as it appears as VIOS 188.8.131.52 FixPack 24 Service Pack 01 - not a catchy title and it slipped out below my radar! It is a regular service pack for the current VIOS and include some other features and fixes too. The first thing you have to note is that only a few features are available... [More]
Warning: touchy feely comment coming up! I have always found it odd that IBM markets the Hardware = POWER7 a lot and very little marketing on the Operating System = AIX7. Personally,
I have more good feelings and positive vibes for AIX operating system
because I log in to every day and use it for hours than I do for the
POWER hardware running it. I very rarely go to the machine room and hug the machine! Does anyone else feel this way or am I sadly alone? Put
it another way would you spend two Dollar Euro Pounds (all increasingly
While I was installing a re-purposed POWER6 machine over the weekend, got round to installing my Dual Virtual I/O Servers, from DVD and then upgrading from there and I noticed a new service pack 2 for the latest VIOS version. It must have sneaked out without me noticing and there is a Interim fix too. The VIOS 184.108.40.206-FP24 SP2 Readme highlights lots of fixes including some for the Shared Storage Pool feature. A feature that I have been using and talking about (see this blog for more information). This got me thinking! I talk to lots... [More]
Ganglia is a open source performance and configuration tool that collects data from a tiny daemon on each OS and then creates a Web server based graphical tools to draw performance data and show the configuration. With a few add-ons, you can dynamically decide the historical data you want graphed and with POWER add-ons you get the PowerVM stats for shared processors, Entitlement, physical CPU use etc. Under the covers it is using the amazing rrdtool so you can extract the data for other uses and it automatically space manages the data. By... [More]
I just noted two great new things to help those running Java on AIX and it seems hard to avoid Java these days! I was just monitoring a customer machine with 1500 WebSphere Application Servers (WAS) each with 100 to 150 threads so roughly 200,000 threads!!! More impressing was that just 20 Power7 physical CPUs was supporting this workload. So here are two things that can help: 1. Java Performance Advisor (JPA) Available for download to anyone on IBM DeveloperWorks website. This is a powerful new tool to help people identify opportunities to... [More]