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
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]
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]
Here is another question from that larger Power 7 machine customer. They have large Virtual Machines (Logical Partitions) and can't see all the CPUs on the screen. This is made worst by Power 7 machines - not a problem with the processors or machines but there are: So many CPUs on larger machines like Power 770/780 and the mighty Power 795 Then the new Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) now means four threads per physical CPU (core). This means lots of physical CPUs and each has four logical CPUs. So what happens on the screen - you see a... [More]
IBM announced lots of Power Systems software yesterday but the official announcements are pretty thin on the details. I have many Twitter tweets asking "What the heck does that all really mean?" and the official statements are marketing messages and not technical information like: How do you get that working? What are the pre-reqs? What are the actual commands? What does the Graphical User Interface look like? How does that help me as a System Admin person? How, in the 21st century, IBM can announce a... [More]
Time to correct a few assumptions and statements that I made a while back. Previously I said the POWER Hypervisor decides where to put a Virtual Machine (VM/LPAR) based on the Virtual Processor number (spreading factor). Well, apart from it nearly being right ... I was actually wrong! I got talking to one of these very impressive Hypervisor developers in Germany and he put me right. In most of my larger machines, I do what I think is fairly normal for creating an VM - like working with a CPU core to RAM ratio that my customers use, like 1... [More]
In the past with the POWER7 and POWER7+ based machines at the lower end like the Power710 to Power740 Models, users had to shut down the whole machine to add, remove or replace an adapter safely. In fact, some machines would power off as you removed the lid. This is no longer the case with the whole POWER8 range including the Scale-Out Models like the S822 and S824. These machines do not have the blind swap cassettes which allow the adapters to be removed from the rear of the machine. So you must have the cable... [More]
We have had the Global Services offering "Performance Management for AIX" server for years (even decades) - it gets shorten to "PM for AIX" or "PM for Power Systems" which sounds like a "Prime Minister for the Electricity Board" to English people! Anyway, briefly this offers: PM collects local AIX stats and configuration details, then sends the information to IBM over a secure Internet link to be analysed. The results includes performance graphs, performance trends, config reports and warnings about... [More]
I am currently updating my AIX systems and AIX 7 TL2 with its first service pack is now available for download from ESS or IBM Entitlem Software Support to spell it out in full (http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess) for install media and FixCentral for updates (http://www-933.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/). While downloading the install media files I noticed there is a new Firefox for AIX available Firefox V3.6.25. This is a jump up from the previous one and I have had (in the past) a few annoying problems with Firefox on AIX Some weird issue... [More]
Just completed the move of the POWER and AIX Hands-on Movies to YouTube videos - after pruning we have 97 of them. This means you can watch them on your mobile Smartphone and Tablets in addition to your workstation/personal computer. You can find them all here:
YouTube look for my "Nigel Griffiths" Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/nigelargriffiths This should mean they are simpler to find, search for and view. During the transfer I pruned out a few of the older ones particular Systems 6.2 as we now have a set of Systems... [More]
I got another WPAR question today: From the Global AIX, I can add a filesystem to /wpars/WPARname/directory so the WPAR has access but what if I don't want to have the filesystem mounted there in the Global AIX? For example: I have a Global AIX filesystem called /tools that I want to mount in to one or many WPARs and appear and /temp in the WPAR(s)? My first answer is well you can use NFS because I do that all the time and I am a heavy user of NFS - no jokes please. I use NFS heavily! If the NFS server exports the mount point for every... [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 never really understood why I get peaks and troughs in nmon questions and urgent situations but July seems to be a peak and fortunately I was not at work for a large part of it. Performance and nmon Questions trend to come in three flavours: really dumb, genuine and mega-urgent critical lets blame the hardware. Let me give you a flavour of each type of question from the last month. Perhaps, reading these will let you avoid the same problem or at least let you learn "you are not alone". Really dumb "nmon has stopped... [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]
For Systems Director 6.2 supports Firefox 3.6, 3.5 and 3.0 - you have to be nuts to not be using 3.6 IMHO! Internet Explorer 7 or 8. See http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/director/v6r2x/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.director.plan.helps.doc/fqm0_r_supported_web_browsers.html Unofficially, I find Google Chrome 12 works fine too. For Hardware Management Console (HMC) (I am assuming a recent HMC V7R7.3 level here) it supports (from the Power7 manuals) Internet Explorer 7 but says IE 8 is not supported - just tried this and the left hand menu got... [More]
UPDATED: 30 JANUARY 2015 The IBM Official Technote can be found here http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=nas8N1020533 It clarifies the mean of the ASMI settings i.e. it is the number of adapter slots AND the specific slots AND a further bug only some settings work until the next firmware release. Even with the newer firmware my recommendation stands: Completely Switch OFF the I/O Adapter Enhanced Capacity feature as you install the machine as it needs a power off - Unless you are running Linux on POWER8 with dedicated physical... [More]
We have blogged on this really cool AIX 7 feature in the past - but here is my problem: Once I install the AIX 5.2 mksysb image in to the Workload Partition running on AIX7 it all works fine but ... then what can I show an audience to show off "AIX 5.2 running on top of AIX 7": I need a simple application that only runs on AIX 5.2 . Something simple enough that it does not take hours to install and hopefully that it is something visually interesting to see. I am told we can run Oracle 8 now including the kernel extension but its not... [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]
HMC V5.2, released in February, allows you to configure call-home to IBM Service using Secure Socket Layer connections. For many customers, this is preferable to using the Internet VPN option. Here are instructions for configuring outbound communication using SSL: 1. Go to the Remote Support menu under Service Applications. 2. Select the Customize Outbound Connectivity task. 3. Connectivity options include Modem, Internet, Internet VPN and Pass-Through Systems. (Pass-Through Systems are i5/OS partitions.) For SSL connectivity, select the... [More]
It has bee a long few weeks traveling to Dublin, Las Vegas, Slovenia, Germany and Sweden to give lots of presentations. Six Weeks and five countries and the expenses are piling up on my desk. I was presenting a core set of topics like POWER7+ announcement summary, VIOS Shared Storage Pools (SSP3), Workload Partitions (WPAR) and Versioned WPARs to run AIX 5.2 and AIX 5.3, quick introduction to PowerSC (security tools), a Techie "what you need to know about" Systems Director for AIX, and Quick Dips in to Active Memory Deduplication... [More]
If you have: High-end Power 770, Power780 or Power 795 machines With Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD) More than 4 CPU cores and 32 GB RAM which are not Activated (dark) ... then you are ready for Power Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) - which is a offers a package of 4 cores and 32 GB of memory at a special low price (given the resources, you can order more than one IFL) which includes the PowerVM license and PowerVM SWMA for the newly activated CPU cores excludes a Linux license for the newly activated CPU cores which you can purchase... [More]
Here's a new Redbook that provides a system administrator view of the technical differences and methods necessary to complete a successful migration from Solaris to AIX 5L based systems. It also appears to be a good general AIX admin reference. Solaris to AIX Migration: A Guide for System Administrators http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247245.html Other Redbooks in this category include AIX Reference for Solaris Administrators http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg246584.html?Open AIX 5L Reference for HP-UX System Administrators... [More]
Active Memory Deduplication was announcement on 12th October and available on 14th October but there has been a little confusion on: what you need, how you install it and run it and how it works? This blog will attempt to demystify this interesting new Power Systems feature. This is one of many features to reduce the memory foot print and so reduce costs for POWER and AIX logical partitions. So far we have: Workload Partitions - reduce the memory used by many copies of AIX to just one Global copy and applications installed at the Global... [More]
Active Memory Expansion (AME) can second in my Top Ten Technologies to be business as usual in the next few years from hundreds of votes world wide. It is available on Power7 machines with AIX 6.1 TL4 SP2 onwards and AIX 7, of course. This allows memory to look at lot bigger than it actually is - to allow more LPARs to be running on a machine or giving headroom for boosts performance. The usefulness of AME is all down to the Expansions Factor (EF) - which is based on the compression ratio achieved for memory pages. If the EF very low then you... [More]
So I got asked, just as an example configuration which forces lots of workload per CPU: Given a 16 CPU POWER machine and a need to run 100 workloads, would I recommend 100 LPARs or 100 WPARs? In case you are not familiar with POWER technology: LPAR = Logical Partition used the PowerVM to split CPU, memory and I/O across multiple virtual machines (also called virtual servers). The I/O is handles by a special purpose LPAR called the Virtual I/O Server, which provides virtual network, virtual disks, virtual optical and virtual tape. Each LPAR has... [More]
Recently I was running the "lsmap -l" command and it output error messages that were less then useless at the end of the output: Command did not complete.
"Determine if backing device is a PV or LV or optical." was last subcommand run.
Command did not complete.
Determining device type failed. Command did not complete.
"Determine if backing device is a PV or LV or optical." was last subcommand run.
Command did not complete.
Determining device type failed. Command did not complete.
"Determine if backing... [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]
Recently, I delivered a 7.5 hour Systems Director 6.3 Instructor lead demo at IBM Zurich - that gives us 25 more people ready to dive into using it. It is a very polished building and the IBM Forum is amazing and they even have IBM food :-) I had to take a second mortgage out on my house to pay for the taxi to the airport (fortunately they take a credit card) and I thought Norway was expensive until now! Anyway, when I got back to the UK, I decided to perform the Systems Director 6.3 to 6.3.1 update. You get Systems Director to update... [More]
I need you to help me settle an argument or rather lack of information. I am getting conflicting messages about whether these smaller Power7 machines use Local and Near or Local and Far memory. I documented what I thought was correct in the Part 1 of this series of blog's. Actually, there is not much difference as these machines have two tiers of memory like "on the chip" or "some where else" so the names are hardly vital but I would like my facts straight. Unfortunately, I don't have examples of these machines with more... [More]
I got asked these questions recently and had to go look the subject up ... again! I seem to have forgotten some of the details and then I thought I would use some new features of AIX for the second part. In the distant past there was various way to stop core files being dumped in to the current working directory of the program that failed. In AIX 5.3, AIX 6 and 7, the "chcore" command does all the hard work for us by letting us Choose a specific directory for core files - which is best in it own filesystem so it can't... [More]
Another good questions from a customer and my answer was simple: The PowerVM internal network on POWER machines operates just like a physical network. If two LPAR are on the same internal network and the root user puts the virtual adapter in to promiscuous mode then it can see all packets. Just like a physical network. If the two LPARs are on different internal networks then they can never see the other LPARs packets. Just like two physical networks. If two LPAR are on the same internal network but on different VLANs then they can never see... [More]