Modified on by Jwestern
POWER7+ systems are now available in the VLP
April 24, 2013
Today the VLP is announcing support for IBM's latest Power Hardware using the POWER7+ processor. Standard reservations can now be processed on systems using the new POWER7+ processor.
In addition, several OS images have been updated to the latest OS support levels. Currently provided OSs and releases for the POWER7+ systems are AIX 7.1 TL2SP2, RHEL 6.4 and SUSE 11 SP2. Images saved from these OS releases are supported on previous hardware levels as well, however system images saved prior to this announce will not restore on the POWER7+ systems.
For access to these new systems, please go the VLP web site at http://ibm.com//systems/vlp
For more information about IBM Power7+ Systems - http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/
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
The AIX Porting and AIX Currency images in VLP now have with the latest WebSphere, DB2, and Java already installed.
The How To section of VLP has a link about the porting and currency image.
Dear VLP User,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for using the IBM Virtual Loaner Program during the last six months. You may have noticed a few changes during this time. Late last year the maximum memory allowed for a reservation changed from 4GB to 6GB, and then on March 18th, the disk allocation was upgraded so that AIX and Linux systems now have a 35GB base disk, instead of the previous 20GB allocation. The VLP will continue to make additional changes this year as we transition to the IBM Cloud provisioning infrastructure.
As part of the ongoing changes to the VLP, on May 31, 2011, we will discontinue providing the current 10GB shared user space currently mounted as your user /home/u000xxx directory. While we know some users utilize this space, most users do not. The significant increase in the base disk allocation should mitigate the removal of this space. If you currently have data stored in this mounted space, you will need to make a reservation (or use a reservation you created after March 18th, with the larger disk) and move the information currently in /home/u000xxxx to another place on the base disk. Then "save" your reservation. In the past, the 10GB space was automatically saved, but after April 30 it will no longer exist, and you will be required to request a save of your reservation, if you want your information to persist. If you need the information in this space on multiple reservations, you will need to copy it to the base disk in each system, as the automatic sharing will also no longer be provided.
Any reservation created after May 31, 2011 will not have this space mounted or available. Reservation created prior to April 30, will still have access to the space mounted until the end of that reservation, Restores of previous reservations will NOT have the space mounted.
If you have any questions or need assistance with this migration before May 31, 2011, please feel free to request support thru our web site, either via our e-mail support, or our interactive Live Chat function.
Virtual Loaner Program Administration
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 v220.127.116.11
DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 9.7.3a
WebSphere MQ 18.104.22.168
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
IBM AIX 5.2 Workload Partitions for AIX 7
Workload partitions (WPARs)
are virtualized operating
system environments within a single instance of the AIX® operating
system. WPARs secure
and isolate the environment for the processes and signals that are
used by enterprise applications.
Applications running in an AIX 5.2 WPAR use AIX 5.2 commands and
If you have applications that have not been certified on newer versions
of AIX, the AIX 5.2
commands and libraries
provides a way to run them in an AIX 5.2
environment on top
of AIX 7.1. Such
a setup allows running those applications on currently available
that might not support the use of AIX 5.2 as the
system. The AIX 5.2 WPARs
are also referred
to as versioned WPARs. A versioned WPAR is always a system WPAR,
and is not shared.
Versioned WPARs own writable /opt and /usr file
Quick how to:
To Create a versioned WPAR on the VLP, make an AIX 7 Open Beta Reservation on Power 7.
After the reservation is active, from the My Reservations page, select that reservation.
Under the Reservation(s) Information section, under the Select a reservation action drop down, choose "Add Versioned WPAR".
A new Versioned WPAR will be created on your AIX 7 system. Once completed, go back to the Reservation info page to see the IP address and the root password for the Versioned WPAR.
You can now ssh to the Versioned WPAR from yor VLP lpar or from the SSH Gateway using your normal VLP user ID and password.
ssh <user id>@<wpar IP address>
You can then "su -" to root for full access to the Version Wpar.
From the AIX 7 host, use the "lswpar" and the "lswpar -L" to see more information about your versioned wpar.
For more details on IBM AIX 5.2 Workload Partitions for AIX 7go here:
The AIX 7 Open Beta is now available on the Virtual Loaner Program.
When creating a new reservation select the AIX 7 Open Beta.http://www.ibm.com/systems/vlp
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:
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 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
Use the VLP to validate your applications as Ready for IBM Power Systems Software. Find out more about this validation program then utilize the VLP to test:
- AIX 6 Live Application Mobility allows you to move a running workload partition from one logical partition to another, on the same or different servers. Because this is an AIX-based technology it will work on any Power System that AIX 6 supports.
Follow the VLP LAM user guide to get started.
- AIX 6 Workload Partitions (WPARs) allows the partitioning of AIX 6 into multiple environments, each hosting applications and providing isolation from applications executing in the other environments.
VLP AIX 6.1 systems automatically come with a WPAR. This will soon change and users will have the option to create a WPAR from the Reservation management screen.
More details about this process change will be available once it is available. Until then user can test with WPARs on any AIX 6.1 reservation.
- PowerVM Live Partition Mobility allows you to migrate running AIX partitions and their hosted applications from one physical server* to another without disrupting infrastructure services.
The migration transfers the entire partition state, including processor context, memory, attached virtual devices, and connected users.
Follow the VLP LPM user guide to get started.
- PowerVM Lx86 brings new benefits to customers and application providers who want the reliability and flexibility of Power Systems in their Linux environment yet use applications that have not yet been ported to the platform.
IBM PowerVM Lx86 allows most Linux x86 binaries to run unchanged on POWER systems using translation software that translates x86. Enroll in the PowerVM Lx86 program to start testing the VLP.
- Micropartitioning - if you are already developing your application using the VLP, your validation for micropartitioning is complete!
The VLP environment utilizes Power micropartitioning to create user LPARs.
Attention: IBM PartnerWorld members can now reserve up to 10 concurrent systems in the Virtual Loaner Program
Dear IBM VLP User,
As a valued IBM Partner and previous user of the IBM Virtual Loaner Program, we are happy to inform you that the limit of concurrent active reservations has been increased from 5 to 10. That means your company can now reserve up to 10 systems at the same time!
This new limit of 10 concurrent engagements applies to all default reservations with standard configurations and durations (up to 14 days). Reservations made using promotional codes are subject to specific configurations and may not allow over 5 concurrent reservations. This new limit is also subject to change and users will be given prior notice to any modifications to this limit.
If you have any general questions about this change or about the VLP please send them along to email@example.com. If you have questions or concerns about your VLP reservation, please submit them through the VLP support
tab available on the VLP site.
Get started today: http://www.ibm.com/systems/vlp
Thanks for using the Virtual Loaner Program!
Virtual Loaner Program: www.ibm.com/systems/vlp
On 10/13 we had the 3rd major VLP deployment for 2008. See what's new below:
PowerVM Live Partition Mobility (LPM)
Users are now able to test, certify, demonstrate their solutions running on AIX 6.1 POWER6 with Live Partition Mobility! As with other features available in the VLP, Live Partition Mobility is easy to use and is available at no charge for IBM PartnerWorld Members! Pass the word on to your ISVs so they can certify their solution with LPM.
The Partition Mobility function requires a promotional code - 213068. Please reference the VLP LPM User Guide to get started.
If your ISV is new to the latest PowerVM & AIX virtualization technologies, there are Live Demos available for Partition Mobility and Application Mobility which provide a high level explanation & business value - and you get to show off functionality working live! See more about the Live Demos below. These demos can be a good way to introduce these topics before the Partner tests within the VLP, IIC, or in house.
VLP White Paper - defining the strategy and functionality of the Virtual Loaner Program
VLP White Paper
IBM Smart Business
ISVs can access the Smart Business stack on x86 in the VLP! Visit http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/bbp to find out more.
New in VLP February 2008:
i5/OS V6R1 is available for early access on VLP. Reservations requested for i5/OS V6R1 require a Non-Disclosure Agreement. For access, send your request to "firstname.lastname@example.org", providing your Name, Company and PW id.
VLP provides System p partitions with PowerVM Lx86 enabled RHEL 4, RHEL 9 and SLES 10 Linux, ready for your remote access. IBM PowerVM Lx86 supports the installation and running of most 32-bit x86 Linux applications on any System p model with POWER5™ or later technology. It creates an x86 Linux application environment running on POWER processor-based systems by dynamically translating x86 instructions to Power Architecture instructions. This feature can help you expand your addressable market to Linux on POWER servers at minimal to no cost by allowing you to run your existing x86 Linux applications in a POWER environment. For more information, see http://ibm.com/systems/p/linux/systempave.html, or send an e-mail to LoP@us.ibm.com.
Happy New Year from the Virtual Loaner Program. 2008 should be an exciting year with new and improved features and functionality. What would you like to see enhanced for the VLP in 2008?[Read More