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
OK, this is "blowing my own trumpet" a little but I just finished a 12 minute movie on the best bits of Systems Director. Best in the sense that they "save me a lot of time" and you might like to take a look to see if they can help you too. As I run lots of POWER based machines and lots of copies of AIX, this is why it is very relevant to this AIXpert Blog. The 8 areas are: One Hour Install, Update Manager - HMC, Firmware & AIX in four mouse clicks, Whole
Machine Performance View, LPAR direct to HMC, Active Energy... [More]
With AIX 7 and POWER7, you now have the option to run the old withdrawn AIX version 5.2 within a
WPAR with this new offering - AIX 5.3 Workload Partitions for AIX 7, version 1.1 This will run the same AIX 5.2 OS, same middle-ware and same application
but on right-up-to-date hardware and OS. Then you can remove the old
POWER4 (or older hardware) to: Reduce electricity & heat, Free up floor
or rack space, Reduce hardware maintenance or if you don't have it, reduce your risks, Plus either a
performance boost due to POWER7 or reduced... [More]
In case, you did not notice (as its the silly summer season) AIX 7 is shipping in 19 days time. See the official AIX 7 Announcement Letter for all the details This is a whole 2 months early - well done guys.
I just noticed the rPerfs (relative performance numbers) for the four new Entry Level systems (Power 710/720/730/740) and the High End Power 795 are available in the updated "Power Systems Facts and Features" document on the IBM website. My notes: The Entry Level machines are now 16 core/CPU/way (delete as you like to call them). That is a serious machine for the bottom end 2U rack server and it has all the POWER7 virtualisation features built in. These humble machines have the roughly the same performance as the mid-range previous... [More]
We needed to install AIX 5.2 in order to create a mksysb for AIX 7 Versioned WPAR testing - this allows you to run AIX 5.2 in a WPAR. First we had endless problems locating media but our Computer Room Manager Mike turned up trumps in the end - he keeps everything and regularly saves the day. So we loaded all 7 CDROMs on to our VIOS to add them to the virtual Optical Library. Second, we booted from the CDROM only to with an immediate halt with a warning the AIX 5.2 can't run in a Shared CPU LPAR - doh! we should have realised that one. It was a... [More]
The AIX 7 Open Beta is available now - this gives you access to the version to be released later this year. Find the summary in a earlier AIXpert blog and then the details at the new AIX7 Open Beta website. I have downloaded the image at just 2.4 GB (watch out for your 1GB default ulimit) for the entire AIX OS and have it running fine. I installed via my VIOS based virtual optical drive. Also included are access to new compilers versions, the AIX7 documentation and support via a Forum.
Just came across this good AIX wiki article about monitoring the POWER7 CPU/core frequency changing on the fly and the new lparstat command options ( -Ew). This allows you to see what is happening with your GHz (like pmcycles -M but collected regularly). This article is written by a guru in the AIX Performance Tools developers group. It explains how the utilisation numbers are adjusted to allow for GHz using the PURR and SPURR hardware counters built in the processor to get accurate CPU stats. Check it out here - CPU Frequency Monitoring using... [More]
I was just asked this question by customer and it got me thinking, Items I would include: WPAR takes seconds to create and LPARs minutes LPARs need setting VIOS LV or LUNs but WPARs add simpler NFS mount points, or can just use Global AIX diskspace options LPAR needs 512 to 1GB to boot AIX and a WPAR takes just ~60 MB (yes sixty megabytes) You can share application code say 1 GB in each and every LPAR (40 LPAR = 40 GB) or just one shared read-only copy for all WPARs 40 WPAR = 1 GB).This saves man-power in maintenance, disk space AND memory (if... [More]
Just a quick look at the features for AIX7 - which is coming soon. Take a look at AIX7 Preview for an official statement. The two major items for me are 1) Scaling to 256 cores (or CPUs as I have called them for 25 years) Power systems always had lower CPU counts than the competition particularly in the high end machines due to the faster speed of the processor and this benefits batch (single threaded) work, software costs (lower CPU numbers) and is easier for scaling up but now a truly massive POWER7 machine is near and AIX7 is the OS to run... [More]
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]
Late last week Systems Director 6.2 was released - a few days early too! This is the free to download and use IBM platform management software from IBM. For us AIX guys that means Power Systems Hardware, HMC, IVM, VIOS and AIX - and Linux on POWER too This new release is was focused mainly performance, simpler install (or migration from 6.1) and rolling in many fixes that could not be addresses with service packs. There are also some new features like dual VIOS SAN support for VMControl virtual application deployment. AIX is obviously the... [More]
No more ordering CDROMs or DVDs for AIX installation media and waiting days - Note: this also works for IBM i. Now you download the AIX install .iso image over the web and install from
there: Use the virtual DVD drive on your VIOS 2.1 and install directly
into a LPAR Mount the image & read the contents into your NIM Server If you are a Luddite then burn a DVD and put it in the Power machine Mounting a .iso image on AIX is still hard work On recent AIX 6 systems
use the loopmount command. On older AIX versions use this
method from... [More]
IBM is very keen for every one to be up to date with AIX versions to avoid already fixed bugs, increase performance and security and to save you time with new features. Here is a reminder of what we all should be running: AIX 5.3 with the latest service packs TL09 service pack 7 TL10 service pack 4 TL11 service pack 4 TL12 service pack 1 - Note: this is the last ever TL for AIX 5.3 AIX 6 TL02 service pack 7 TL03 service pack 4 TL04 service pack 4 TL05 service pack 1
If you are running older AIX versions you don't have regular support or will... [More]
If you are looking for an update on AIX on the IBM BladeCenter blades or looking for the details of the latest POWER7 based blades, there is only one place you need to remember. I am adding this to this blog because I couldn't find it and you might have the same problem :-) Its here - Power Blades Wiki Look in the Presentation list for the latest POWER7 blades PS700, PS701 and PS702 and AIX levels its supports presentation. This is by the world wide "top gun" of Power Blades Trina Bunting. Lots on informative pictures, the extra card... [More]
AIX 6.1 TL04 sp3 supports the new POWER7 machines like Power 750, 77 and 780, where CPUs can be run at slower speeds to reduce electrical energy use when not busy. This feature is switched on by Systems Director and the Active Energy Manager plugin which talks to the service processor to enables it. I like the "Dynamic Power Saving - Favour Performance" option. From the AIX end, the pmcycles command is used to find your current CPU frequency. Before switching on the energy saving: # pmcycles -M This machine runs at 3550 MHz - This... [More]
AIX Workload Partitions (WPAR) are now certified by Oracle for Oracle 10gr2 Oracle announces Oracle 10gR2 support for Workload Partitions IBM TechDocs Flash: AIX WPAR (Workload Partition) available for Oracle Database
PowerHA recently announced support for the following: PowerHA announces support for DS3400 PowerHA announces support SAS Adapters PowerHA announces support 5735 PCI-e Dual Fibre Adapter Click on the above linked text for full support details.
HACMP recently announced support for the following: PowerHA announces support for JS23/JS43 PowerHA announces support JS12 PowerHA announces support for Async GLVM PowerHA/XD Announces Support for SVC 4.3.1 Click on the above linked text for full support details.
Using NIM to install VIOS 2.1 The install may hang with after the message: "Mounting File Systems" Why? VIOS 2.1 requires more than 1GB of memory typical for VIOS 1.5 From the Release Notes: Each LHEA *port* assigned to the VIO Server requires a minimum of 612MB (not a typo) of memory - *each* port. This is in addition to the base memory that VIOS 2.1 itself requires (typically 512MB). Example: If you have two  LHEAs assigned to VIOS 2.1, the VIOS will need a minimum of: 612 MB + 612 MB + 512 MB = 1,736MB (LHEA) + (LHEA) + (Base) =... [More]