Modifying an Appliance - VMControl Systems Director for AIX
nagger 100000MRSJ Visits (9057)
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:
1) The description of the Appliance as an Industry Standard has confused many - it is in OVF format and you can find the standard information on the Internet - it is very hard reading but that is typical of Standards. The trouble is, it reads like any capture of a Virtual Server will then work on any platform. I have customers that have concluded they can capture an x86 XEN or VMware Virtual machine image and run it on a Power machine because they are all in a "standard format". This is not true. On Power and AIX, the OVF file refers to a mksysb format file which is 100% proprietary as it contains POWER instruction set binaries and AIX format files. They are not going to run on x86 and vice versa.
2) The OVF file is in XML. Now you are welcome to call me a Luddite but XML is pretty hard to read and understand. It might be simple for a program to read in and rebuild the data structure but for humans reading, understanding and editing XML files is very hard on the human eye.
3) If you capture a Virtual Server with say 32 CPUs, 128 GB of RAM then this configuration is saved in the Appliance OVF file. Currently, when you Deploy this saved Appliance, VMControl will create the new Virtual Server with the same size i.e 32 CPUs, 128 GB of RAM. If you don't have these resources available, the Deploy will fail. If you just want a smaller version - hard luck. And currently, there is no way to edit the Appliance via the Systems Director Graphical User Interface, neither to adjust them as part of the Deploy Wizard.
5) You can on the NIM Server command line
A) The first line is the XML version = uninteresting.
B) The second line is <ovf:Envelope .... 1000 bytes = meaningless to us humans.
C) The <ovf:References> section contains the file name of the mksysb file and its size. If you change the name of the mksysb you have to match it here. The default shown here is the regular place on a NIM server for Appliances. this is a AIX 7.1 mksysb of the minimum default AIX packages at under 2 GB. The great big hexadeciaml file name if the Appliance name - this can be found from the Systems Director GUI. It contains 32 hexadecimal digit - "What were they thinking!!!"
I changed mine to <ovf:File ovf:
Which refers to the image.mksysb file in the same directory as the edited .ovf file.
D) The <ovf:DiskSection> section. Here we see the capture 16 GB disk but it has been reduced the populatedsize of 4.4GB meaning the size actually required as a minimum to get the install to work (if you are lucky) and the capacity of 5.3 GB is the size of disk it will look for or allocate on the target Virtual Server.
You can change the capacity but note it seems to be a multiple of the original Volume Group "PP size". To find this use:
If you want some non-regular size make sure its a multiple of 32 MB's.
E) The <ovf
There is a nice comment in here which tells you the machine you captured the mksysb from - in this case a machine called gold and a Virtual Server (LPAR) called gold5.
This is available on the Systems Director GUI "somewhere" but it not in an obvious place - I just went to look and could not find it. Perhaps when you run the Deploy is pops up.
F) The <ovf
G) The <ovf
H) The <ovf:System> section just says this needs a POWER LPAR of type AIXLINUX
I) The Virtual Server details (at last) but it is in a section with no section name except "item". The Caption at least gives us a clue - this is the CPU details.
The Element name also gives us a few useful clues.
The LPAR definition for this Shared CPU on Power 6 from the HMC was:
In my testing, I changed:
J) The Caption is the clue again - here we find the Memory settings and the Description makes sense -oddly a different use to the above.
Allocation Units state 2 to the power of 10 which is a 1024 = KB.
On the HMC the memory details are :
L) The <ovf
The <ovf:Product>Master AIX7
I changed this string to include the new CPU, RAM and Disk settings so they are obvious on the VMControl GUI Appliance list.
Example: <ovf:Product>AIX71 TL0 SP1 0.25 CPU 1GB RAM 8GB Disk</ovf:Product>
See the Manual page and the Redbook on how to Import the new Appliance XML file and the mksysb file that it points too.
the only trick part is naming the file - I had the OVF file AIX71TL0SP1.ovf and mksysb it refers to on the Systems Director server in the /opt/newapp directory and used the following as part of the Import Appliance Wizard started from the VMControl panel:
I hope this helps, thanks Nigel Griffiths