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
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]
ITM means IBM Tivoli Monitoring and is part of the Tivoli software suite for cross platform Systems Management performance monitoring. I has been around a long time and is a very feature rich product. In this blog was don't want to list some of its 100's of features but it is fully Power Systems Aware and captures all the advanced stats from new features of POWER6 and POWER7. Here we just want to point out that it can capture all the information you want and display is any way you want from its database of stats that it collects from its... [More]
Hints &Tips for Systems Director 6.2+ for AIX on POWER (Part 2) Here are a few more hints and tips - you can find Part 1 HERE 23) Excellent document on getting Systems Director running faster or starting with the right resources The document "Performance Tuning and Scaling Guide for IBM Systems Director 6.2.x" can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/SDperformance 24) Systems Director supported SAN Disks + Switches matrix can be found at http://tinyurl.com/SDdisks This explains the way that various disks are connected to Systems... [More]
I was with a large UK based insurance company last week. They, and their facilities management team, run many very large machines like POWER6 595 and POWER7 Power 770/780. Most machines are 64 core and 2 TB of memory and running 160+ virtual machines (LPARs) on each. These are large, complex and well run machines - all of the AIX images and VIOS are pretty well up to date with current or N -1 releases. A very pleasant surprise and impressed. They told me that even with 2 TB of memory they tend to run out of memory before CPU cycles . Each... [More]
This is an odd blog - it is about the withdrawal of POWER6 - which was announced in stealth mode! It has come as a shock to some customers. Given POWER7 comes with vast improvements in price performance you might say: Who cares and who would be buying POWER6 anyway? Well some customers with long term roll-out plans, need consistent equipment for reduced complexity and reduced testing and so still want POWER6 and could get caught out. So if you care, here is my list of withdrawal dates after which you can't buy new machines (nor POWER5 to... [More]
Finally, I found the time to try this new exciting feature and it was really simple to create and operate. I captured movie footage of my first attempt and it all worked (once I removed my spelling mistakes in commands). It only took two commands. So the technology has advanced concepts but it really easy to use, COOL! Some of the commands come with long option names like "-custername". A quick misquote from Star-Trek, never goes wrong: "It is UNIX Jim, but not as we know it!" One command to create my cluster,... [More]
The new November Update is available from the download site from the regular website: http://www.ibm.com/systems/software/director/downloads/index.html When you have 6.2 or 188.8.131.52 installed get Systems Director to update itself - then update the plug-ins via the download site. There is lots of new features and quality improvements too. I will summarise these in a different blog entry. One quick note: if you are doing a fresh install - install DB2 as the database.
I've just told me this is now available from http://www.ibm.com/systems/support/tools/systemplanningtool/ Update to Version 4.10.323.0 (once you have 4.09.323 installed) OK, we have waited long enough so "hurray" its here at last. My colleague in Norway is going to use this to install a very large Power 795 in Norway next week. He is so happy because its going to save him hours and hours in setup time and will get it right first time.
The official rPerf rating (relative performance rating of Power based machines) are available in the pSeries, System p and now Power Systems "Facts and Features" documents that are on the IBM website. It is best to use Google for them (searching for "pseries Facts and Features" works for me). You may want to know the rPerf rating for your LPAR and an LPAR that is not one of the officially rated numbers of CPUs/Cores. There may be ratings for 8 and 16 CPUs but your LPAR has 13 CPUs! Well, you can run the rperf script on... [More]
This week I spent 4 hours with a customer covering many advanced WPAR topics and took way a bunch of questions that I had to check the answers and ask the WPAR developers themselves to be sure I had the right answers. If the questions were not clear to my customers and I did know initially know the answers then there may be others with similar issues so I thought I would share the answers with everyone. 1) Workload Partitions - What is the road map? Well, I am not going to make announcements on a blog for sure. If you are new to WPAR, I can... [More]
We all tend to concentrate on the CPU first and the memory second. CPUs, as the "brains" of the machine, does get a high focus and have a lot of extreme technology within it but the RAM is the "guts" of the machine to "feed" the CPU with nutrient data. OK, let us stop the analogy there :-) Along with reducing the number of CPUs via a lower virtual processor count, we also need to have the CPUs matching the memory - so AIX has a fighting change to localise a running process to its home SRAD and thus have it's data... [More]
The title should read "Local, Near & Far ..." - I will not correct it or links might fail. With a shared processor virtual machine (I am calling this "VM" but was called LPAR!) there are various suggestions of setting Entitlement ("Desired processing units" on the LPAR profile on the HMC, I am calling this "E") and Virtual Processor numbers (I am calling this "VP"). For Capped, the Entitlement is the maximum guaranteed CPU time that you can't go over and you round up the Entitlement to the... [More]
I am using the VIOS Shared Storage Pools more these days and it reduces my system admin time and I really like the Thin Provisioning feature as I have limited SAN disks. Any way, I dusted off an machine that I did my initial investigation on and decided to rebuilt the cluster (of one VIOS) now that I know what I am doing :-) The command : cluster -create -clustername galaxy -repopvs hdisk2 -spname atlantic -sppvs hdisk3 hdisk4 hdisk5 -hostname diamondvios1 fails with "PV IS IN USE hdisk4". PV meaning Physical Volume. Yes,... [More]
On Power6 the largest machine was the Power 595 with 64 Physical CPUs (cores) across eight CPU books in the machine - each CPU book having 4 Power6 chips and so 8 CPUs (Power6 is a dual CPU chip design). However, with Power7 that has stepped up to 256 CPUs across the same eight CPU books with four chips but with 8 CPUs each so that is 32 CPUs per book. I might be stating the obvious but memory access to memory directly attached to the Power chip on which your process is running is slightly faster than memory access via a Power chip near 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]