VIOS Next Generation phase 1
nagger 100000MRSJ Visits (13431)
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 22.214.171.124 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 with the first release. Second, this is available for download from IBM Fix-Central or you can go to the VIOS home website and follow the links. It is 900 MB in size so there is some serious function in there.
The basic idea behind this technology, which is now called Shared Storage Pools is that VIOS's across machines can be clustered together and allocate disk blocks from large LUNs assigned to all of them rather than having to do this at the SAN storage level. This uses the vSCSI interface rather than the pass through NPIV method. It also reduces SAN admin required for Live Partition Mobility - you get the LUN available on all the VIOS and they organise access from there on. It also makes cloning LPARs, disk snapshots and rapid provisioning possible. Plus Thin provisioning i.e. disk blocks are added as and when required - thus saving lots of disk space. In this phase 1, the cluster is limited to one VIOS. Yes, a new definition of the word cluster :-)
I would class this as a Technology Preview version with more function to follow. It will let us learn the concepts, set up very simple examples and see some benefits and get ready for the full function release. To get you started:
Although, only one VIOS is allowed in the current phase 1, you can have more than one VIOS having this running at a time - they are isolated single node (VIOS) clusters.
In this release, the features are via the VIOS command line or you can use smitty.
The simple cluster is built using the Cluster Aware AIX command (this has been available from early this year on AIX but now includes extra options) like:
mkcluster -create -clustername clusterA -repopvs hdisk8 -spname poolA -sppvs hdisk2 -hostname viosAhostname
I hope this has got you interested enough to give it a go or at least take a further look. Thanks, Nigel Griffiths.