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
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]
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]
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 188.8.131.52 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... [More]
If you are running Systems Director and upgrading to the new version ... WATCH OUT !! Make sure you have 1 GB free space in /var Make sure you have 2 GB free space in /tmp I did not, this upgrade script does not check for free space and it crashed during the Systems Director updating itself (/tmp 100% full) and it never came back. I ended up with a corrupt Systems Director. The smart guys would (before the upgrade) also stopped Systems Director (smstop) and saved the database (smsave) before attempting the upgrade - so the older version... [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 184.108.40.206 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.
I was asked at the Technical University: How can we tell (in a script) if we are running in a WPAR or a regular AIX? We also called it the Global AIX, if its running WPARs. It took me a good few minutes to find out how to do it and thought I would shared it to save you time: Use: uname -W It returns 0 for the Global AIX and a regular AIX or if it is in a WPAR it returns the WPAR Number (i.e. non-zero) Below we show how to use this in a script. wparno=`uname -W` if (( $wparno == "0" )) then echo Global AIX else echo... [More]
Here are the results from 40 techinical IBMers, 300 people at the Las Vegas Technical University (mostly customers, some business partners and a few IBMers) and 90 more from the same event in Lyon, France. Remember this contains no announcements, the technology is available now and the choice of technology is entirely my own. Voters were allowed to vote for 4 out of the 10 and the results are percentages. All technologies got votes, so there is no failures here, even the lowest scoring one had ~47 votes. My comments: Clearly, Solid State... [More]
I ran this session at the Las Vegas Technical University last week twice. I spend 5 minutes on each of the ten covering the basic concept and the "pro's and con's" then get the audience to vote on their top four. The smaller room took 105 people and the second time in a larger room to 187. It was a BIG conference with 1500+ people attending - its good and encouraging to see so many people interested in Power Systems. The results are fascinating a few top technologies are clear favourites but then the IBMer and customer views are... [More]
Hi, I am preparing for a Power Systems Technical University in Las Vegas, USA and Lyon, France in October. I have a session with the title below and I am seeking feedback from technology guru's like yourselves. Which four of the below ten technologies do you think are "most likely to be normal in five years time"? Please comment on this AIXpert (see "Add a Comment" below) with your four top technologies. I will post the overall results as a graph in roughly two weeks time. Below here there should be a large image of the ten... [More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
With day light savings time nearing, its a good time to check if your AIX version has the proper patches. There were some problems in some TL's last fall. The recommended levels are: AIX 6.1 Package Level shipped APAR/Filesets 6100 TL0 6100-00 IZ09600 bos.rte.libc 220.127.116.11 6100 TL1 6100-01 IZ22211 bos.rte.libc 18.104.22.168 AIX 5.3 Package Level shipped APAR/Filesets 5300 TL8 SP2 5300-08-02-0822 IZ22212 bos.rte.libc 22.214.171.124 Package Level shipped APAR/Filesets 5300 TL7 SP2 5300-07-02-0806 IZ11729 bos.rte.libc 126.96.36.199 If you have any questions, check... [More]
This is a new feature of starting with AIX 5.3 TL9 and AIX 6.1 TL2. svmon will now report a new metric called "available memory." This is the amount of memory available to applications. It includes memory in the file cache. The basic idea is that a user can consume the "available memory" without causing the system to start paging to paging space. Once "available memory" is depleted, AIX will have to start paging out to paging space. To get svmon to display the available metric, you can specify the ''-O summary=basic" option. There are a... [More]