Personal assessment

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Virtualization Personal Assessments for Skills Development

Change control: Version 2, 20th Nov, 2006 - Individual Assessment need more work.

This is currently a work in progress

  • If you would like to help out - that would be really good
  • Feel free to leave comments at the bottom in the "comments" section

This Virtualization Assessment wiki page is aimed at letting you quickly decide how ready you are for Advanced Power Virtualization (APV), what you need to focus on, how far along the road of implementing APV you currently are and getting the full benefits from APV. You will end up with 5 levels for the 5 stages of implementing APV. The stages and levels are:

 

Stage Description
1 Readiness before starting Virtualization
2 Virtualization Background
3 Virtualization APV Product Information
4 Basic Virtualization with a) a HMC or b) IVM
5 Advanced Virtualization with a HMC including Dual VIO Server

Note: There are two alternatives for Stage 4 depending on whether you are using the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or the Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) method to control the Logical Partitions.

Level Description
None Not ready or implemented APV
Bronze A start but further commitment and time needed
Silver Good but some work needed to full get the benefits
Gold Ready and able to implemnt or making good use of APV
   

Note: Level is determined via the simple scoring system of counting the yes answers and comparing the total to a table.

If you print out this page you can fill in the final scoring sheet below and start building an action plan for improvements:

 

    Individual

Assessment
Stage Details Level Reached Items for further improvement
1 Readiness before starting Virtualization  
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
2 Virtualization Background  
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
3 Virtualization APV Product Information  
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
4 Basic Virtualization with a) a HMC or b) IVM  
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
5 Advanced Virtualization with a HMC  
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

Alternatively you can keep some notes as you go and write your own action plan.

Hopefully, a later Assessment (say in 6 months or a years time) should reveal how far you have progressed and perhaps suggect other opportunities for improvement.

Individual Assessment

Individual Stage 1 - Readiness before starting Virtualization

This section is to establish if you or you team have the pre-requiste skills and background ready to take on Virtualization. Without these skills, you should not proceed without education, hands-on exerience or services from IBM or IBM Business Partners that do have the skills. Starting on a project to use APV without these types of skill is considered high risk or may prove painful until these skills are available.

In this Individual Assessment section these are primarily Systems Administration and best practice skills. If you are a solution designer you may not need these skills at a hands-on level but should be at least aware of the techniques.

Scoring:

  • Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.
  • Once you have completed this section total your "yes" answers and use the table at the end to award yourself a level.
  1. Have you 2 years or more hands-on AIX Systems Administration experience (topics like: installation, users, networking, filesystems, LVM, devices, monitoring and backup)?
  2. Have you 2 years or more Linux Systems Administration experience (same topics)?
  3. Do you regularly use smitty for systems admin work?
  4. Do you use the WebSM tool for systems administration of AIX machines?
  5. Do you understand the hostname, IP address, gateway, domain and DNS server terms?
  6. Have you updated the firmware on pSeries or System p machines?
  7. Do you know the IBM website to download firmware updates?
  8. Do you know the AIX command to find out the AIX version, release and maintainance or technlogy level?
  9. Do you know the process to check if there are AIX fixes for your current maintenance level of AIX?
  10. Are you using the latest or latest but one AIX Maintance Level?
  11. Can you find a pSeries or System p Diagnostics CDROM?
  12. Do you update your firmware and AIX Level once every a year?
  13. Do you use the mksysb command to backup AIX operating systems?
  14. Can you describe the value of a service processor?
  15. How are virtual memory and paging space related?
  16. Do you take perfPMR and snap data before upgrading AIX or applications?
  17. Do you follow change control before making updates to production systems?
  18. Do you use NIM to install AIX?
  19. Do you use NIM to install other software?
  20. Do you use NIM to recover from failures?
  21. Do you perform performance monitoring and tuning?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 – none – You are not ready for Virtualization, you need to drasically improve your skills and processes or buy in skills in on a permanant basis
6 to 8 Bronze Note the no answers and develop plans now to correct these gaps, fix the easy ones immediately and the others ASAP you are not ready for Virtualization but could be a 2 to 3 months
9 to 11 Silver You are on the way, make a note of where the holes are and make plans to improve these BEFORE implimenting Virtualization
12 to 15 Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization

Individual Stage 2 - Virtualization Background

This sectionis to establish if you have the background understanding of Virtualization to proceed to the actually implement it.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.

  1. Can you explain why the IT industry is so exited about virtualization?
  2. Have you read the Technical Reasons for Virtualization (Link)?
  3. Have you read the Business Case for IBM System p5 Virtualization (Link)?
  4. Can you state how Virtualization saves money?
  5. Can you state how Virtualization saves time?
  6. Can you state how Virtualization increases flexibility?
  7. Have you read the report "Server Partitioning Unplugged - What Businesses Need to Know About IBM System p LPAR solutions" (Link) ?
  8. Have you visited the Advanced POWER Virtualization Overview website (Link) ?
  9. Have you read a whitepaper on Virtualization (particularly from the above website)?
  10. Have you read a Case Study on Virtualization (particularly from the above website)?
  11. Have you read an Analyst Report on Virtualization (particularly from the above website)?
  12. Have you read the IBM Systems Magazine on Virtualization Explained (take like from the above web site)?
  13. Have you read the Virtualization Security and Integrity in the IBM POWER5 Environment whitepaper? (Link) ?
  14. Have you read the first half of the whitepaper POWER5 virtualization: How to set up the IBM Virtual I/O Server (Link) ?
  15. Have you read the whitepaper "IBM p5 570 Server Consolidation Using POWER5 Virtualization White Paper" (Link)?
  16. Have you read the whitepaper "IBM eServer p5 570 Workload Balancing Using POWER5 Virtualization" (Link)?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 – none – You need to do more "home work" and background reading or buy in solution consultant to advise you
6 to 9 Bronze Carry on reading and planning, you are not ready for Virtualization but could be a month
10 to 14 Silver You are on the way, I recommend further reading and/or documenting your goals and plans
15 to 20 Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization

Individual Stage 3 - Virtualization APV Product Information

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.

  1. Do you use a HMC already?
  2. Do you use Logical Partitions (LPAR) on other POWER machines already?
  3. Do you use Dynamic LPAR changes already?
  4. Do you understand what a Hypervisor does in broad terms?
  5. Have you attended a Virtualization briefing from IBM or an IBM Business Partner?
  6. Have you read chapter 1 of the IBM APV Introduction Redbook SG247940?
  7. Do you understant the term Shared Processor LPAR?
  8. Do you understand the terms Entitlement, Capped, Weight factor?
  9. Do you understand the term Virtual Processor?
  10. Do you know the components that come with the APV package?
  11. Have you read chapter 2 of the Advanced POWER Virtualization on IBM System p5 SG247940 (Link)?
  12. Have you read the first half of the whitepaper POWER5 virtualization: How to set up the IBM Virtual I/O Server (Link) ?
  13. Have you printed and read the Virtual I/O Server datasheet (hardware list, software levels, end-to-end solutions) (Link)?
  14. Have you read the Effective System Management Using the IBM Hardware Management Console for pSeries Redbook (Link)?
  15. Have you read the Technical Reasons for Virtualization (Link)?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 – none – You need to do more work or buy in solution consultant to advise you
6 to 9 Bronze Carry on reading and/or education, you are not ready for Virtualization but could be a month
10 to 14 Silver You are on the way, I recommend further reading
15 to 18 Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization

Individual Stage 4a - Basic Virtualization with a HMC

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.

  1. Have you complete off-site documentation on the LPARs and the virtual disks layouts?
  2. Have you a printed copy of the "Using Virtual I/O Server Manual" (Link)?
  3. Have you read the "VIOS Commands Reference Manual" (Link)?
  4. Have you read the Advanced POWER Virtualization on IBM System p5 Redbook (Link)?
  5. Have you read the Advanced POWER Virtualization on IBM eServer p5 Servers: Architecture and Performance Considerations (Link)?# Have you read the IBM System p Advanced POWER Virtualization Best Practices Redbook (Link)?
  6. Have you a printed copy of the "Using Virtual I/O Server Manual" (Link)?
  7. Have you read the "VIOS Commands Reference Manual" (Link)?
  8. Have you read the IBM System p Advanced POWER Virtualization Best Practices Redbook (Link)?
  9. Have you read the Virtualization Security and Integrity in the IBM POWER5 Environment whitepaper? (Link) ?
  10. Have you read the first half of the whitepaper POWER5 virtualization: How to set up the IBM Virtual I/O Server (Link) ?
  11. Have you read the whitepaper "IBM p5 570 Server Consolidation Using POWER5 Virtualization White Paper" (Link)?
  12. Have you read the whitepaper "IBM eServer p5 570 Workload Balancing Using POWER5 Virtualization" (Link)?
  13. Have you checked the Virtualization Best Practice Wiki (Link)?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 9 – none – You have not really started Virtualization or need buy in hands-on consultant to advise you
10 to 17 Bronze Carry on reading and/or education, there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Virtualization
18 to 24 Silver You are on the way, I recommend thinking about the missing items
25+ Gold Well done - you making full use of Virtualization

Individual Stage 4b - Basic Virtualization with IVM

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.

  1. Have you read the IVM Wiki and Advanced Hints and Tips (Link)?
  2. Have you read cover to cover the IVM Redbook (Link)?
  3. Have you checked the Virtualization Best Practice Wiki (Link)?
  4. Have you taken a look at the Virtualization Forum for hint and tips (Link)?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 9 – none – You have not really started Virtualization or need buy in hands-on consultant to advise you
10 to 17 Bronze Carry on reading and/or education, there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Virtualization
18 to 24 Silver You are on the way, I recommend thinking about the missing items
25+ Gold Well done - you making full use of Virtualization

Individual Stage 5 - Advanced Virtualization with a HMC

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for you immediate group of technical folk.

  1. Have you implimented Dual Virtual I/O Servers?
  2. Are you at the current release Virtual I/O Server 1.3, at the time of writing (Nov 2006)?

Dual Virtual I/O Server networking features:

  1. Do you know the strengths of the above two alternatives Network Interface backup and SEA Failover?
  2. Have you tested a VIO Server crash and recovery for the virtual network?
  3. Did you test the subsequent failure of the other VIO Server?
  4. Are you using Ethernet Channel at the VIO Servers for increase bandwidth and durability?

Dual Virtual I/O Server storage features:

  1. Have you setup shared disks using VIO Server SCSI disks
  2. Have you setup shared disks using VIO Server SAN disks?
  3. Have you tested a VIO Server crash and recovery for the virtual disks?
  4. Did you test the subsequent failure of the other VIO Server?
  5. Are you using MPIO over SAN at the VIO Servers for increase bandwidth and durability?

Advanced Features:

  1. Do you test the Dual VIO Servers before each update?
  2. Are you saving you HMC System Plans for documentation and recovery?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 3 – none – You have not really started Dual VIO Server Virtualization or need buy in hands-on consultant to advise you
4 to 6 Bronze Carry on reading and/or education, there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Dual VIO Server Virtualization
7 to 9 Silver You are on the way, I recommend thinking about the missing items
10+ Gold Well done - you making full use of Dual VIO Server Virtualization

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