AIXpert Blog is about the AIX operating system from IBM running on POWER based machines called Power Systems and software related to it like PowerVM for virtualisation, PowerVC for Deploying VM's and PowerSC for security plus performance monitoring and nmon
Its just not fair that the week I am on holiday so much brilliant software is coming out AIX 6.1 TL06 AIX 7.1 first release Workload Partition Manager for Versioned WPARs (meaning running AIX 5.2) - a Systems Director Plug-in Virtual I/O Server 2.2 Don't forget that for AIX you should also install the first service pack that comes out at the same time. This sweeps up all the fixes between the Gold DVD cut and the actual availability date. The smart guys will be downloading the AIX and VIOS DVDs from ESS (see earlier AIXblog) to get it quickly.... [More]
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 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.
AIX or VIOS Start-up Memory Problems I have been working with a couple of customers that have a newly setup AIX Logical Partition (LPAR) that fails to start due to not having enough memory. The common factor is that the LPAR for AIX (or VIOS) includes a good number of what I call "high speed" adapters like 10 Gbps Ethernet, or 4 Gbps or 8 Gbps Fibre Channel adapters. They tend to have multiple adapters of each type for redundancy and throughput. For example, trying to start the LPAR with 1 or 2 GB of memory but it turned out they need... [More]
We all know that a VIOS level is only fully supported for 2 years ... right! If you have problems with an older VIOS, you may be asked to upgrade to a supported level before a fix can be issued. Most teams run a dual VIOS configuration to allow painless and live upgrades for just this reason. The other reason is to survive a VIOS crash but I have never had a VIOS failure but that would be because I don't go fiddling with them nor adding unsupported software. I quickly upgraded my POWER7 VIOS from 2.1 to the latest VIOS level and made a... [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]
I have just released a second VIOS Shares Storage Pools movie that you may like to go and watch. We now have two movies covering first an Introduction (the new movie) and then second movie covering a hands-on look at setting it up and running it. There are also the example commands and the Info and download links. I am really liking the Shared Storage Pools simple operation, disk space saving and flexibility. I currently have just a tiny 40GB pool out of which I am running 6 Client Virtual Machine which each think that have 16 GBs. That is 96... [More]
I asked Scott about a Redbook for the new VIOS functions for Shared Storage Pools and he told me that chapters had already been added to the current PowerVM Redbooks. I almost fell of the chair! I have been ignoring the regular Redbook update emails - but I guess I should pay more attention. So I took a look and found the Shared Storage Pools have chapters in two regular PowerVM Redbooks - note you have to download the most recent updates. IBM PowerVM Virtualization - Introduction and Configuration SG24-7940 IBM PowerVM Virtualization -... [More]
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]
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]
I often get asked: How large to make a pair of Virtual I/O Server (VIOS)? The classic consultant answer is "it depends on what you are doing with Disk & Network I/O" is not very useful to the practical guy that has to size a machine including the VIOS nor the person defining the VIOS partition to install it! Added new guidance at the bottom in RED Observations : The VIOS server unfairly gets a bad press but note: Physical adapters are now in the VIOS, so device driver CPU cycles (normally hidden and roughly half of the OS CPU... [More]
I just moved our Power 5 based internal to IBM Wiki Webserver to Power 6 p570 which was recently freed up now that we (Advanced Technical Support, EMEA) are mainly working on the Power 7 machines. The Power 6 machine are still very useful for testing beta copies of new software like AIX and the end of year VIOS functions but some features are Power 7 dependent. We are removing the Power 5 machines because we are moving building and to a much smaller computer room and have to move from 15 racks down to 5 racks. We have been a little lazy in... [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]
Update in 2016: Please note this blog is from 2011 during the initial POWER7 days and technology has moved on with faster CPUs and memory in addition there has been software improvements. I am amazed how many good computer people read this and assume this blog is true to all time! Virtual Ethernet is faster now but there is also a warning here. Here is an analogy. Most vehicles can do 10 MPH (including me on a bike), most cars can do 100 MPH (including my family car) but very few vehicles can do 1000 MPH. That last times ten multiplier is... [More]
The officials words I was sent: Starting on November 13, 2011, each IBM client accessing Fix Central (whether through their employees or other authorized representatives) will require an individual IBM ID to download fixes for a limited number of additional product areas (including AIX and VIOS). This requirement will be expanded to additional products in the future.This requirement will be expanded to additional products in the future. The registration process will be quick and simple and will provide users with a customized experience to... [More]