Power Development Platform (PDP)
Dear VLP User,
We want to make you aware of some new features and enhancements to our Linux systems within the IBM Virtual Loaner Program (www.ibm.com/systems/vlp).
Whether you actively develop on Linux or are new to the platform we believe these updates are worth noting. Remember that the VLP is a no charge offering for IBM PartnerWorld Members so come try it out!
SLES11 is now available! You can make SLES11 reservations on both POWER5 and POWER6 servers.
Version updates have been applied to RHEL4, RHEL5 and SLES10
New versions and updates also applied to PowerVM Lx86 images. PowerVM Lx86 supports the installation and running of most 32-bit x86 Linux applications on IBM Power Systems models. If you have never worked are new to Lx86 find out how to get started.
Additional information about VLP Linux systems:
All images use the default package selection as chosen by Redhat or SuSE. Gives the user flexibility to customize the operating system to their needs.
By using this methodology, all Linux images, including the PowerVM i386 environments, are configured to use their built in package management utilities. The FTP hosted package repositories are the actual ISO's used while building the images.
The utilities are:
SLES10... yast2 or rug (rug is a real pain to use, I'd suggest using yast2)
SLES11... yast2 or zypper (zypper is a huge improvement over rug, but yast2 is still easier to use)
RHEL4... up2date (up2date isn't nearly as flexible as yum, but it gets the job done)
Time synchronization with our internal NTP server. (This is very important for development as time skew can disrupt a compiler)All images use the 'noop' disk I/O scheduler. (This increases disk performance and reduces system load by handing the responsibility over to the VIO server)The latest OS supported version of XL C/C++ is always a clean install for every reservation.Apply PTF's which are found in /stage/middleware/Dynamic LPAR and Live Partition Mobility functionality are enabled for RHEL5, SLES10, and SLES11. Reference the VLP LPM User Guide to find out how to get started testing with Live Partition Mobility.
Virtual Loaner Program Administration
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IBM Watson passed its first test on Jeopardy! in February 2011, but the real test will be in applying the underlying systems, data management and analytics technology in business and across different industries. http://bit.ly/hWjaWw
Moderated by Stephen Baker, author of Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything, and featuring a panel of IBM business and research executives, this webcast will delve into the present and future business implications of the DeepQA technology behind Watson. http://bit.ly/hWjaWw
- Overview of IBM Watson, Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge, and DeepQA technology
- Business implications of Watson in the areas of
Industry transformation, including healthcare
- Data management and analytics
- Workload optimized systems
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 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 v18.104.22.168
DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 9.7.3a
WebSphere MQ 22.214.171.124
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
Important-- During the AIX 6 Open Beta trial, the System Workload Partitions (WPARs) are not automatically enabled. The automatic WPAR creation feature will be only available later this year when AIX 6 will be released officially.
AIX 6 open beta -- IBM is offering access to a prerelease version of AIX 6 during the no-charge open beta. AIX 6 provides support for the advanced features of the new IBM POWER6 systems and will include significant new capabilities for virtualization, security, continuous availability features and manageability. AIX 6 is fully binary compatible with AIX 5L. For more information on AIX 6 and the open beta program see: AIX6 Open Beta - Early Programs
Now IBM Business Partners can try the AIX 6 open beta preinstalled and ready to use in VLP. With this beta offering, you will receive easy, no-cost access to an AIX 6 image to develop, test or demonstrate your solutions.[Read More]
Please join us here for a VLP Live Q&A Chat session, Thursday May 28 at 2:00PM-3:00PM Central US Time. The VLP Team will be there to answer your questions. Please mark your calendars and come join in the discussion.
The VLP team is looking forward to the Live Chat session and hope to have a good turnout from our users!
We want to keep the discussions general to benefit everyone attending and not dive into issues relating to a particular system/application. If you have a specific question or issue with your VLP reservation please submit those to the VLP support team by going to the VLP support tab.
Examples of topics for the Live Chat include: connectivity/performance, security, VLP usage models, save and restore, using the Software Access Catalog, managing reservations, new virtualization features, etc. These are just examples which do not cover everything - please feel free join us and ask questions. We want to provide useful information for our users and gain your input so we can continue to provide a valuable offering in the VLP.
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
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
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 Promo code 35678 when making a reservation with the IBM Virtual Loaner Program and receive an extra week for your engagement. Instead of the normal two week engagement you will get three weeks. You can always save your reservations and come back again, but this allows more time to get those important projects completed. Just a little something extra from your place for Power systems, AIX, Linux and IBM i. And of course all of this is for no charge. World-wide remote access to the resources you need!
Membership in the IBM Academic Initiative is the best way to ensure that you have the latest technology and tools to use in your curricula and research, while supporting the culture of open standards throughout the industry.
Who can join? Faculty members and researcher professionals at accredited institutions of learning, all over the globe. Membership is granted on an individual faculty basis. There is no limit on the number of faculty members from an institution that can join.
What does it cost? Your only "cost" to join is the time it takes you fill out the registration forms and get approved. After that, the majority of our offerings are available to you at no-charge. This includes the ability to download all the available IBM technology and courseware, remote access to certain hardware systems, participation in technical webcasts, electronic delivery of our newsletter, and much more.
Why bother to join? Members get access to a wider range of assets, are eligible for additional discounts and assistance, and build collaborative partnerships with IBM and other institutions in the open source community. With the possibility of leadership in your field, prestige for your school, and highly employable students....what's not to like?
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:
Docker images for ppc64le are making their way onto Docker Hub!! https://hub.docker.com/u/ppc64le/
The repository contains base images that are commonly used to create a number of popular images.
As an example, the official docker repository for Java is built from the buildpack-deps image.
We can use the image ppc64le/buildpacks-dep to create a Java image using the same Dockerfile (with slight modification) that is used for x86_64
Check out our previous blog post on requesting a Virtual Server instance with Docker pre-installed to test out the steps below...
From your pp64le system running docker....
$ sudo apt-get install -y git
$ git clone https://github.com/docker-library/java.git
$ cd java/openjdk-7-jre
Now edit the Dockerfile, substituting 'FROM buildpack-deps:jessie-curl' with 'FROM ppc64le/buildpack-deps:jessie-curl' and initiate the build
$ sudo docker build -t java-ppc64le:openjdk-7-jre .
Once the build is complete we can see the new image in our local repository
$ sudo docker images
Running the image we can see that java 1.7.0_85 was installed
$ sudo docker run -it java-ppc64le:openjdk-7-jre /bin/bash
root@f69dff8037e1:/# java -version
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]