Power Development Platform (PDP)
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 v184.108.40.206
DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 9.7.3a
WebSphere MQ 220.127.116.11
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
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
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!
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
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:
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]
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?
The IBM Virtual Loaner Program new offering - IBM i 7.1 early program. Try out the latest IBM i now!
Details about the VLP IBM i 7.1 Early Program
- VLP will offer i 7.1 Beta level code on POWER6, and Beta level i 7.1 will also be available on POWER7 after April 23rd.
- Reservations can be made for up to 21 days duration, 2 CPU / 4 GB RAM / 100 GB of Storage
- VLP will offer new beta images until a GA level image is available, approximately 30 days after GA of IBM i 7.1
- Once the GA image is available, no NEW Beta images will be allowed, but saved Beta images can be restored for 30 days to allow information to be moved from the image to a GA level image.
- A beta image cannot be upgraded to a GA level image.
- VLP will dispose of all IBM i 7.1 Beta saved images 30 days after GA level images are available in the VLP.
- After the 30 day post GA availability period, the beta promo code will be removed to prevent restore of saved images
Please contact Bill Schulz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
This new technical resource for the IBM i community contains a wealth of information across major topics such as New to IBM i, Technical Library with new articles weekly, Forums and Community, Technology Updates, Tools and Downloads, Services and Events. http://ibm.co/eXrLh9
Please be advised that a planned production outage is scheduled for the IBM Virtual Loaner Program website only on Saturday, July 11, 2009, from 8 am CDT until 12 pm CDT Saturday, July 11, 2009.
User systems will continue to be available during this time.[Read More]
The Virtual Loaner Program now has a Group on the new My developerWorks. The VLP Group has Message Boards, Feeds and Links to help you get the most out of your VLP experience. So please join us and explore all that the new My developerWorks has to offer.
The VLP Group on My developerWorks
In VLP, there are two ways of backing up your reserved partition. You can save the state of the system immediately (save now) and you can save the state of the system automatically when the reservation ends (save on exit). In both cases, behind the scenes the VLP automation makes mksysb backups of AIX partitions, tarballs of Linux partitions, and backup images of IBM i reservations. I'm very fuzzy on IBM i things, so forgive/correct me if I got the IBM i-specific name for operating system backups wrong. We call operating system backups images in VLP. Once you've saved an image and your reservation that you used to save the image has ended, you can create a new reservation using that saved image. You can view your saved images by looking at the 'Images' tab in the VLP web application.
Now, I just told you how image saving/restoring is supposed to work. Please leave a comment with your image saving/restoring experiences. I'd like to know your opinions of how this works for you, how useful it is, and about any errors you have encountered.[Read More]
What would you like to see in the VLP blog? What information would be the most helpful for you?[Read More]
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:
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
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
A new whitepaper, titled IBM Systems Director: Platform Management Backbone and Baseline for Integrated Service Management from IT industry analyst Jeff Cotrupe of Stratecast (a division of Frost & Sullivan) is now available for sellers and IBM Business Partners to download. Find out how IBM Systems Director is the backbone of IBM's Integrated Services Management portfolio, and helps companies achieve their goals of improving responsiveness, service, managing risk, while reducing costs and complexity. http://ibm.co/ekpWBe
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