AIX Down Under
I just came across the AIX 7.1 Troubleshooting documentation. It covers many solutions and problem-solving strategies on key topics. Like all official documentation, it has to cover some pretty obscure topics, too. But there are enough big ticket items to make it worth bookmarking.
I've put in some of my comments to whet your appetite for further reading, or to spare you the trouble for topics on configurations which are not so common these days.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  ctos aix7 6.1 7.1 sar toggle disk tools iostat aix6 performance aix monitoring topas nmon memory 1 Comment 22,944 Views
topas and nmon - what a performance!
UPDATE: I'm grateful to Chris Gibson for highlighting some great new features available in topas for AIX 7.1 and AIX 6.1 TL 6:
The topas command is a very popular tool for checking performance of an AIX system. Another highly popular one is nmon (Nigel's monitor, so named because it was written by Nigel Griffiths, the man behind most of the excellent Power6 / Power7 and AIX6 Wiki Movies as well as countless other presentations which make AIX look easy).
Both nmon and topas give a general summary screen allowing you to drill down to sub screens. You're probably familiar with at least one of these tools, but there are a couple of features which may make your experience even better.
Tilde toggle nmon to topas to nmon
You may be a topas fan, but want to switch to nmon to view certain screens. Or you might like nmon but your topas-loving colleague is watching over your shoulder. From AIX 6.1 and beyond, the nmon and topas commands run from the same executable. If you're running topas you can press the tilde key:
and you're in the nmon screen. In the same way, nmon returns the complement: toggle to topas.
(In the days of green screens, we used to have a little computer game running on CTOS and we had a magic button like that - if the boss was wandering around, you hit the button and a spreadsheet screen would appear instantly - perfectly useless other than as a screen saver ... and maybe a job saver).Within topas you can press the following keys to see sub-screens:
topas screen sorts
Here's a list of the hot disks using topas and then pressing D, or from the shell prompt topas -D :
In many of the topas subsections where you have a set of metrics you can use the arrow key to jump across to the next column heading. This automatically sorts the values by that field:
There is a lot of documentation on both tools, starting with the command documentation: topas and nmon. Both of these performance monitors provide invaluable views of how your system is tracking, and it's worth getting familiar with at least one of them.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  disk growth chvg aix resize spare volume_group backend lun 7.1 extendlv 5.3 6.1 rootvg san 13 Comments 45,452 Views
There are lots of good reasons for having spare disk for rootvg, as I looked at in the post make way for rootvg. With virtual disks you can resize your volume group on the fly:
Note: this is supported for rootvg and concurrent vgs from AIX 6.1 TL 4. See IBM technote IZ80021 http://bit.ly/cmHjmy
Resizing the rootvg disk
I tried to increase rootvg on an LPAR running AIX 5.3 TL 11 and hit the following error:
Looks like the volume group needed to be varied off and varied on again. For rootvg, that means a reboot.
No reboot on AIX 6.1
In AIX 6.1 (from TL 4 - use oslevel -s to check your AIX level), you can increase rootvg on the fly.
Sounds like yet another reason to migrate to AIX 6.1.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  installation virtual_media_library vmlibrary upgrade 7.1 aix6 aix7 nim vio aix5 fun migration 6.1 aix 15,452 Views
Fun out of the Sun
In the last few days I've had lots of fun with migrations to AIX 6 and 7. And when I say "fun", I don't mean it in its usual technical sense within IT (insurmountable problems, unrelenting stress, obscure workarounds and chronic sleep deprivation).
I mean "fun" according to its (almost obsolete) usage:
Over the last few days, I have
All of the upgrades went smoothly, with no challenges or what IT people mean when they say "fun".
Making a fresh start
My last feather in the AIX 7 cap was to do a "New and complete overwrite" installation of AIX 7.1. You might do this instead of migrating your system from an earlier release. If your LPARs are full of inconsistencies and undocumented workarounds, maybe it's better to build a system from scratch.
If you want to (or need to) make a fresh start, so that you can clean out the soul of your system from the sins of the past, it's good to know that AIX 7.1 is fully binary compatible with AIX 6 and AIX 5. Building a shiny new LPAR is especially useful if you decide to create an AIX Standard Operating Environment (SOE) LPAR.
Half an hour to AIX 7.1
The fresh install of AIX 7.1 took around 25 minutes, using the VIO Server Virtual Media Library, which is how I did the other AIX migrations. The new and complete overwrite installed 591 filesets as the main course, and then another 4 for dessert.
Here you see the creation of the boot image at the end:
The reboot time took around 3 minutes. I've yet to install the mandatory AIX 7.1 service pack but I expect it will be all over red rover in about 5 minutes. It can be downloaded from the IBM Fix Central web site.
As with the other installations, the VM Library was running off internal SAS disk allocated to the VIO Server. The target LPAR boots from SAN, using vscsi disk which is passing through two VIO servers using MPIO.
AIX 7.1 is fun
I'm enjoying these AIX installations and migrations but they were so straightforward that it's getting a little quiet around here.
I wonder when AIX 8 will be ready.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  reboot 6.1 5.3 aix 7.1 vmlibrary bootlist migration virtual_media virtual_optical_device 2 Comments 13,798 Views
Quick migration to AIX 6.1
Yesterday I used the Virtual Media Library to do a migration of an LPAR from AIX 5.3 TL 11 to AIX 6.1. The migration took under 25 minutes. This included:
I then installed the latest service pack, once again via the VM Library. This took just over 2 minutes. I had downloaded the service pack from the IBM Support Portal.
Fast and painless migrations
All up, the migration was about 25 minutes, including rebooting time. Of course, this doesn't include the preparation time downloading the software or time to take a backup.
This is just a few minutes faster than the migration to AIX 7.1 which I did on a different LPAR last week, but both of them were really very fast and painless. That's how it should be.