In September 2009 Rob McNelly wrote on his AIXChange blog about Migrating from the IVM to the HMC. I have documented my own experience of this procedure. You can download it from here, at a very affordable price of USD 0.00 (no refunds).
The IVM or Integrated Virtualization Manager, is a browser interface to the VIO server on smaller systems, and it has HMC-like functionality, such as Dynamic LPAR, the ability to configure LPARs, stop and start them and so on.
The HMC (Hardware Management Console, as you know) is able to manage several physical servers and is mandatory for larger systems. It can also be used for smaller systems, and is a worthwhile investment, in my view, once you get beyond a single small server.
Two servers, two IVMs
I had a client who had bought a production Power6 550 and a P6-520 for Dev and Test. After some months of discussion, their Business Partner convinced them of the benefit of investing in an HMC to manage these two systems with their growing number of LPARs. The challenge was migrating each of the servers from being IVM-managed to the HMC. I have put together a document of my own experience of the migration. It doesn't attempt to be a step-by-step guide. More of a diary for my own benefit but you may find it useful.
Forward planning brings us unstuck
We thought we were being safe by getting some work done ahead of the outage time. We racked and cabled the HMC and put it on the network, in preparation for the scheduled outage two weeks hence. Problem was, no one told the HMC the planned go live date. To our surprise, it immediately discovered the two servers. At the same time, the HMC was reporting the two servers were in
"Recovery" state, but it wouldn't take further control of the systems or
their LPARs until the outage which was scheduled for after a huge month end. The IVM had been effectively disabled, so any IVM-specific commands were out of bounds. No profile backups, no DLPAR, no shutdown and activation of LPARs was permitted, either from the IVM or from the HMC. Nothing would undo it - not even powering off and disconnecting the HMC from the network.
We had a VIO server, but no IVM and no HMC that we could do anything useful with. It was the technological equivalent of a hung parliament.
All's well what ends well
In the end, it all worked, and the customer has been running happily on the HMC for many months now. Still, it was a challenge. You can find my comments about the migration from IVM to HMC Migration - A Customer's Experience
Looking back, it was quite funny, I suppose. As long as you weren't me.
AIX Down Under
Matching: management X
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  integrated_virtualization... sea management ethernet lpar virtual ivm id outage shared rob_mcnelly hmc v18.104.22.168 dlpar power server aix adapter ibm hardware_management_conso... migration 12,890 Views
"Sorry, I'm not here"
From time to time I'm asked to give a basic introduction to some aspect of AIX for someone who has no Unix hands-on experience at all. No matter how easy I might think a task is, it really can be daunting to someone who has never done it before, or even seen it done. The temptation is sometimes to show a beginner just how quickly and cleverly I can do something, while the poor student is patiently watching over my shoulder and taking notes.
I was showing someone how to assign a CD-ROM to an LPAR using DLPAR and then mount the file system. (Yes, there are times when I don't use the VM Library!) After he took very detailed notes I undid everything and handed the system over to him to do it again. As he asked various questions, I provided the helpful advice: "I'm not here", although I did promise to
if he did
Making more sense
This hands-off approach to mentoring is, in my opinion, a very effective way of teaching. It builds the student's own confidence because he has actually done the task on his own system, rather than just watched or done it in a lab. It also reinforces the commands and procedures he needs to take. He gets to use more than his sense of sight and hearing to digest the new material. The bit of pressure or anxiety about not having done something before can help the student focus on the task more than he would as an onlooker. That's got to make it easier to remember.
Working my way out of a job
As an AIX contractor doing the rounds of various companies in Sydney, I sincerely aim to do myself out of a job. Teach a man to fish and all that. I don't try to protect my turf (if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor). I'd much rather show a client how to do something, why to do it and walk away knowing they feel themselves equipped to the task. Is that a smart sales approach? I don't think of it like that but in the long term, yes, I think it does make sense. New customers don't come too easily, but existing ones who trust you just keep calling.
When 10 is worth more than 20
Reminds me of a young boy who was offered two coins by some older boys. One coin was 20 cents, the other 10 cents. He chose the 10 cents and pocketed it. His poor commercial judgment proved to be such a great party trick that the other boys wanted to see him do it again so another 10 cent coin appeared. Don't know how long it took the older boys to realise that sometimes the shortsighted approach pays in the end, but the young boy went home with pockets full of their 10 cent pieces.
AnthonyEnglish 270000RKFN Tags:  hmc access centre remote management upgrade power system firmware ftp server managed update data 12,684 Views
Updating the HMC in comfort ...
It's important to keep your Hardware Management Console firmware reasonably up to date. The HMC looks after the server hardware management. It also allows you to manage LPARs - create them, start and stop them, access the console and even assign resources dynamically. The HMC interacts closely with the hypervisors of the IBM POWER™ Systems so the HMC needs to be at a level which is compatible with the firmware of the managed system itself. Check your firmware compatibility on the IBM Systems Support web site.
With physical access to data centres getting more secure, it's good to know you can update your HMC remotely. Version 7 of the HMC introduced a web browser which allows you to manage LPARs from your yacht on Sydney Harbour instead of inside a data centre wearing your winter woollies.
(not the managed system)
Using the HMC you can also update system firmware, that is the firmware of the Managed System, (such as the Power6 570). But what we're talking about in this post is updating (and upgrading) HMC firmware - the version of the HMC itself.
... and in broad daylight
You don't usually need to schedule HMC updates at 2 o'clock on a Sunday morning. As the Hardware Management Console V7 Handbook explains:
The HMC is completely independent from the server. The server and all partitions can remain active while maintenance is performed on the HMC, allowing you to easily keep your HMC at the latest maintenance level. The HMC software level has to be maintained same as managed system firmware.If you're logged into the HMC, you can see your current version. In the Navigation area, click Updates. (This may be different on older versions of the HMC). Or by logging in using ssh to the restricted shell, run
Here's the output of that command from an HMC I recently updated to V7R7.1.0:
Update or upgrade?
If you're staying at the same Version of the HMC, and installing a new release, this is called an update. This can be done using an ftp server as outlined in the document how to update the HMC. You would use this, for example, if you are updating the HMC from V7R3.3.0 to V7R7.1.0. You can download the HMC updates to your own FTP server instead of connecting from the HMC directly to IBM.
If you're migrating to a new version, this is an HMC upgrade. Upgrading your HMC to a new version (e.g. from V6 to V7) can also be done remotely. The documentation accompanying the official instructions on how to upgrade the HMC give instructions on upgrading from media, but it can be done via FTP from a remote host. A remote host could even be an LPAR on a managed system which the HMC itself manages, but if that LPAR went down during the HMC upgrade, it could get ugly.
Let your fingers do the walking
IBM does have a technote on upgrading the HMC remotely, and I have done it by putting the downloads onto a local FTP server. It involves the HMC command line rather than the GUI, but it does work. Once you've upgraded the version of your HMC, you can use the update instructions via the HMC GUI to install any updates and service packs.
It's worthwhile having the HMC up to date with the latest features and fixes. It's quite straightforward, especially if you can do it from the comfort of your living room ... or while sailing past the Opera House. Don't forget the sunscreen.