Power Development Platform (PDP)
Please be advised that a planned outage is scheduled for the IBM Virtual Loaner Program website and reserved systems on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, from Noon CST until 6 pm CST. We will be upgrading the hosting environments for these systems as we prepare for exciting new offerings associated with the General Availability of the products and updates announce on April 13th, 2010. Please be aware that the reserved systems will be restarted during this process, and make appropriate plans. A normal system shutdown will be attempted first on all systems, but if that does not shut down a system, then a force power off will be used to shut down the system. The systems will be restarted after the upgrades are complete. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Virtual Loaner Program Administration
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ibmvlp
I'm Bob Welgan, and I'm a developer/designer on VLP. I'm very interested in your questions and feedback about how VLP works. I'll try to post regularly about changes we are making to VLP. One of the things we are working on right now is to better represent the convergence of IBM servers into simply POWER5 and POWER6-based systems. Also, we are excited about our recent deployment of IBM i on POWER6 servers. Stay tuned to this blog for more information about that part of the offering.[Read More]
Have you every wondered what products are included in the VLP IBM i 7.1 image?
The IBM Industry Application Platform (IAP) pre-configured stack on the Virtual Loaner Program is now available with AIX 7.1 in addition to AIX 6.1 and AIX 5.3 systems. We have also updated the software components and user guide.
The IBM Industry Application Platform is a pre-configured instance of IBM WebSphere Application Server, IBM DB2 and WebSphere MQ that is available for your IBM AIX 7.1, AIX 6.1 and AIX 5.3 operating- system images on the IBM Virtual Loaner Program (VLP). You can use VLP to develop, test and validate applications by using these products. After reserving your VLP partition, which includes choosing the hardware configuration and operating system, install the IBM Industry Application Platform on that partition. This is a great way to reduce middleware setup time for ISVs!
For details on how to use the IAP on VLP, see the user guide - www.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/static/pdf/IBM_Industry_Application_Platform_VLP_Guide_v1.pdf
The IBM Industry Application Platform contains the following software components:
WebSphere Application Server v126.96.36.199
DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 9.7.3a
WebSphere MQ 188.8.131.52
IBM Rational Agent Controller v8.3
Users can reference the IAP user guide from the VLP How To page - www.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/pub/systems/vlp/howto
The AIX 7 Open Beta is now available on the Virtual Loaner Program.
When creating a new reservation select the AIX 7 Open Beta.
Welcome to the open beta for IBM’s premier UNIX operating system, AIX 7. AIX 7 is binary compatible with previous releases of AIX including AIX 6, 5.3, 5.2 and 5.1. AIX 7 extends the leadership features of AIX to include exciting new capabilities for vertical scalability, virtualization and manageability.
The open beta for AIX 7 is intended to give our clients, independent
software vendors and business partners the opportunity to gain early
experience with this new release of AIX prior to general availability.
This open beta can be run on any Power Systems, IBM System p or eServer
pSeries system that is based on POWER4, PPC970, POWER5, POWER6, or
For more AIX 7 Open Beta Info:
AIX 7 Open Beta Forum
Active Memory Expansion now available on VLP.
Find out how to use AME from the VLP user guide - http://cot.ag/byaXp6
Active Memory Expansion is an innovative POWER7 technology that allows the effective maximum memory capacity to be up to 100% larger than the true physical memory maximum for AIX 6.1 partitions.
Active Memory Expansion relies on compression of in-memory data to increase the amount of data that can be placed into memory and thus expand the effective memory capacity of a POWER7 system. The in-memory data compression is managed by the system, and this compression is transparent to applications and users.
Active Memory Expansion is configurable on a per-logical partition (LPAR) basis. Thus, Active Memory Expansion can be selectively enabled for one or more LPAR's on a system.
When Active Memory Expansion is enabled for a LPAR, the operating system will compress a portion of the LPAR's memory and leave the remaining portion of memory uncompressed. This results in memory effectively being broken up into two pools - a compressed pool and an uncompressed pool. The operating system will dynamically vary the amount of memory that is compressed based on the workload and the configuration of the LPAR.
Because Active Memory Expansion relies on memory compression, some additional CPU utilization will be consumed when Active Memory Expansion is in-use. The amount of additional CPU utilization needed for Active Memory Expansion will vary based on the workload and the level of memory expansion being used.
More info on DeveloperWorks wiki:
PartnerWorld provides how to setup for an evaluation of POWER7 technologies for RHEL 5.5 installed on your VLP system. By upgrading the Linux kernel, and adding a handful of updated tools, the operating system can easily exploit the POWER7 system.
For details go here:
The Virtual Loaner Program now offers ISVs the ability to instantly connect to VLP support staff using the Live Help Chat function. This feature is a great addition to the existing email based support and will help users get answers to their questions or problems related to VLP.
VLP Live Chat is accessible from all VLP pages once users log on with their PartnerWorld Id. Our staff will be available 17x5 (2AM CDT to 7PM CDT, M-F) and support English only at this point. The page UI is updated automatically to reflect the Chat as unavailable during off hours in which case users can submit their question through the VLP support tab just as before.
In addition, this Chat client is connected to the Virtual Innovation Center (VIC) support team so users can receive platform (HW/SW) support from the same Chat client.
As a reminder, the VLP team provides support for issues related to VLP such as creating a system reservation, connecting to the system, or any program related questions. The VIC team provides technical support for IBM platforms such as installing IBM Middleware or configuring an OS. When initiating a Chat from any VLP page, the user can select VLP or VIC support (with examples to help decide). And the VLP and VIC teams can pass Chat sessions back and forth in case the user needs to be redirected
Test and develop on the JS22 POWER6 blade
Users are now able to reserve LPARs on JS22 Power6 blade hardware for development. If you prefer to develop on the blade hardware or simply want to test/validate your solution simply select the POWER Blade JS22 hardware architecture when filling out the resource reservation.
Learn more about IBM Bladecenters and Power blades:
The IBM Virtual Loaner Program new offering - IBM i 7.1 early program. Try out the latest IBM i now!
Details about the VLP IBM i 7.1 Early Program
- VLP will offer i 7.1 Beta level code on POWER6, and Beta level i 7.1 will also be available on POWER7 after April 23rd.
- Reservations can be made for up to 21 days duration, 2 CPU / 4 GB RAM / 100 GB of Storage
- VLP will offer new beta images until a GA level image is available, approximately 30 days after GA of IBM i 7.1
- Once the GA image is available, no NEW Beta images will be allowed, but saved Beta images can be restored for 30 days to allow information to be moved from the image to a GA level image.
- A beta image cannot be upgraded to a GA level image.
- VLP will dispose of all IBM i 7.1 Beta saved images 30 days after GA level images are available in the VLP.
- After the 30 day post GA availability period, the beta promo code will be removed to prevent restore of saved images
Please contact Bill Schulz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
When you are using VLP, you may be tempted to partition your /dev/sdb disk. After all, you've ran a few commands on your reserved system and it looks like you have an extra disk:
172_29_136_133:~ # sfdisk -s
<code>172_29_136_133:~ # df
In this case what you really have is two paths to a single disk. If you partition the second disk /dev/sdb, you will wipe out /dev/sda. This will destroy the root filesystem, a bad thing to do.
As VLP has evolved, we have improved the infrastructure to make it more reliable, but those changes did not keep in synch with the operating systems that we host. So, multipath IO is not enabled in some operating systems. The best course of action in VLP in general is to use the system but do not attempt to alter hardware configuration of the system that you have reserved. We give each user access to root with the understanding that users will use root carefully. But, in this case, even careful Linux root users could get themselves into trouble without this warning about multipath IO.
Be safe! As always, your questions and comments are appreciated.[Read More]
New one page flyer that describe the features and functions offered through the Virtual Loaner Program. We now have them available in 4 languages:
English - https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/vlp/resource/VLPflyer4-16-10Eng.zip
Simplified Chinese - https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/vlp/resource/VLPflyer4-13-10CH.zip
Japanese - https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/vlp/resource/VLPflyer4-16-10JA.zip
Korean - https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/vlp/resource/VLPflyer4-16-10KO.zip
The Virtual Loaner Program now has a Group on the new My developerWorks. The VLP Group has Message Boards, Feeds and Links to help you get the most out of your VLP experience. So please join us and explore all that the new My developerWorks has to offer.
The VLP Group on My developerWorks
Please be advised that a planned production outage is scheduled for the IBM Virtual Loaner Program website only on Saturday, July 11, 2009, from 8 am CDT until 12 pm CDT Saturday, July 11, 2009.
User systems will continue to be available during this time.[Read More]
New: Remote access for simplified solution porting and development on IBM PowerLinux.
The IBM Virtual Loaner Program (VLP) now offers ISVs a set of pre-installed tools, including the Advance Toolchain, the IBM PowerLinux Software Development Kit (SDK) as well as a C++ Compiler for easier solution porting to and development on IBM Power Systems servers running Linux.
The Advance Toolchain provides development products specifically tailored to make use of IBM hardware features.
Complementing the Advance Toolchain, the IBM Linux SDK is a an integrated development environment (IDE) that integrates C/C++ source development with the Advance Toolchain, post-link optimization, and classic Linux performance analysis tools, including OProfile and Valgrind.
This no-cost access to the latest IBM Power Systems hardware, development tools and IBM middleware helps ISVs save time and resources, enabling them to move their solutions off competitive platforms and develop their solutions on IBM Systems more quickly and successfully. To find out more, go to the VLP .
Toolchain - http://linuxpatch.ncsa.uiuc.edu/toolchain/at/at5.0/suse/SLES_11/release_notes.at5.0-5.0-0.html
SDK - http://www-304.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/lopdiags/sdklop.html