Jaqui Lynch on PowerVM V3 and HMC Tips
IBM Champion Jaqui Lynch explains what’s new in PowerVM V3 and gives tips for managing Power10 systems with HMC V10
PowerVM TipsIn the past year there have been many updates to PowerVM that are particularly useful in most client environments. Below is a summary of some of those updates so you can prepare to take advantage of them. I will focus on PowerVM V3.1.2 and above as all prior releases are out of support as of Nov. 30, 2022. You should note that V3.1.2 also goes out of support Nov. 30, 2023.
Your first tip is that PowerVM V3.1.3 is only supported on POWER8 and above. The initial readme listed POWER7+ and above but was corrected five months later to say POWER8. If you installed V3.1.3 on your POWER7+ then you will need to regress it to V3.1.2, and as I mentioned, that goes out of support on Nov. 30, 2023. The most recent version 184.108.40.206 says it is only supported on POWER8 and above so do not update beyond 220.127.116.11 until IBM either updates that readme or confirms that it is correct.
Your second tip is that it is time to replace any POWER7 servers with more modern ones. POWER7 servers went end of service Sept. 19, 2019, and POWER7+ servers had their service discontinued Dec. 31, 2020, with extended service ending this year. If you do a TCO (total cost of ownership) study you will most likely find it is less expensive to buy new servers than pay for extended support or third-party support, plus you don’t run the risk that the service provider cannot find parts when things go wrong.
What’s New in PowerVM V31. You can rename a virtual Fibre Channel port so that you can uniquely identify that port when creating maps. This is supported as of VIO server 3.1.2
2. The backupios command has been updated slightly. There are 3 flags that are particularly useful:
- -mksysb – create a mksysb with no NIMOL resource. This can then be used to restore the VIO server from your NIM server using a standard mksysb restore. A backup that is created with a NIMOL resource (which is a tar file) can be used to restore the VIO server from the HMC.
backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -mksysb
- -nomedialib – tells the system not to backup the media library (/var/vio/VMLibrary). This can significantly reduce the size of the mksysb and the time the backup takes if the media library is in rootvg.
backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -nomedialib
- nosvg – prevents the volume groups structure of user defined volume groups from being saved as part of the backupios process.
backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -nosvg3. LPM to Power10 can be done from POWER8 or higher. If you need to LPM from a POWER7 then you need to migrate the LPAR first to a POWER8 or POWER9 and then migrate to the Power10.
4. Prior to PowerVM 3.1.3, LPM and remote restart would fail if any optical devices were defined. Now they will succeed as long as no media is attached to the device.
5. AMS (active memory sharing) has been dropped for Power10.
6. I was notified recently that there is an issue with VIO server 18.104.22.168 and the EN1K and EN1J 32Gbps SAN adapters, where IBM i LPARs do not see boot disks. Please check levels with IBM Support before updating if you have this configuration.
7. The latest PowerVM releases are 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199—these are AIX 188.8.131.52 under the covers.
8. Once you get to HMC V10R2M1030 the ability is added to update your VIO server from the HMC using update images from the HMC, IBM, a remote server or a USB stick. I am not sure how much I would use this as I tend to use NIM or work directly on the VIO server, accessing the updates over an NFS connection from my NIM server. But it is good to have options.
HMC TipsHMC v10 is required to manage Power10 systems. I will focus on HMC v10 as this is the latest version. As of April 30, 2023, the only supported versions of the HMC will be V10R1M1021, V10R2M1030 and higher. Below are some of the new things in the HMC that I have found helpful. You should be aware that the console dashboard changes significantly in V10R2M1030, so be prepared for that. HMC v10 only supports POWER8 systems and above. It is supported on the 7063-CR1, 7063-CR2 and the virtual HMC models. It is not supported on any of the x86 (7042) models.
General TipsIf you need to use the old dashboard you can click on the person icon and select switch to old dashboard. It will revert to the new one next time you login.
A new option has been provided to failover VNIC devices to redundant VNICs on a second VIO server.
HMC V10 now provides an option to “Prepare VIOS for maintenance.” This allows you to validate storage and network provided by the VIO server to the client partitions. This can save you from having to recover if you do an LPM where the storage is not correctly provisioned.
BackupsWith newer versions of the HMC you can now backup your VIO server virtuals and the VIO server itself to the HMC. You can restore from there as well.
You can also import or export those backups to and from an external server using NFS or SFTP.
You can use the GUI to do these backups, or there are several new HMC CLI commands to backup and manage and restore VIO servers:
lsviosbk – list VIO server backups on the HMC
mkvios – create a backup of a VIOS or its virtuals or the SSP
chviosbk – rename a VIO server backup
cpviosbk – import/export a VIO server backup
rstviosbk – restore a VIO server backups
Java Console to HMCGetting a Java console on a POWER HMC is normally done by logging into the BMC and redirecting the console. However, sometimes the browser insists on saving launch.jnlp and won’t actually start it. The trick that seems to work is to find out where javaws.exe is and launch it from the command line on your Windows system. For example, on my system I have launch.jnlp saved to my downloads. javaws.exe is typically in one of two locations similar to:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre1.8.0_361\bin\javaws.exe"
Once you have saved launch.jnlp and found javaws.exe, open the cmd.exe (run as administrator) and try one of the following to launch the Java console:
"C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_361\bin\javaws.exe" C:\Users\jlynch\Downloads\launch.jnlp
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre1.8.0_361\bin\javaws.exe" C:\Users\jlynch\Downloads\launch.jnlp
You will need to update the Java path above but this should open a console for you.
Networking and Moving Servers and HMCsWith POWER HMCs we always put the public network on eth0 on the HMC. This is so the BMC can share the network connection and you don’t need separate cabling. The private network can then go on any of eth1, eth2 or eth3. This is a change from the older x86 HMCs where some of them require you to use eth0 for the private network.
If you move servers to the HMC from other systems, or you change the private IP range or you move the HMC elsewhere then you need to check for phantom system connections. A good way to do that is to run the HMC Scanner and look at the system tab. Check the columns for Pri SP and Sec SP. If you only have one HMC and there are IP addresses in both then you need to clean it up. The way to do that is to run lssysconn to get a list of server connections, then remove the one that does not belong, run mksysconn to clean up and then check again with lssysconn. Below is an example:
jaqui@hmc:~> lssysconn -r all resource_type=sys,type_model_serial_num=8286-41A*XXXXXXX,sp_type=fsp,sp=primary,sp_phys_loc=U78C9.001.WZS0234-P1,ipaddr=10.1.255.2,alt_ipaddr=unavailable,state=Connected resource_type=sys,type_model_serial_num=8286-41A*XXXXXXX,sp_type=fsp,sp=unavailable,sp_phys_loc=unavailable,ipaddr=10.1.255.3,alt_ipaddr=unavailable,state=No Connection,connection_error_code=Connecting 0000-0000-00000000 jaqui@hmc:~>I only have one HMC and above there are two connections listed to the same server. There is a connection on 10.1.255.2 and the second one is showing 10.1.255.3 with no connection. I checked the HMC Scanner report and Prim SP is 10.1.255.2 which is the active connection. There is no second HMC, so I cleaned it up as follows:
HMC shows the private network is:
So, we remove the extra connection and clean up:
rmsysconn -o remove --ip 10.1.255.3 lssysconn -r all mksysconn -o auto lssysconn -r all jaqui@hmc:~> rmsysconn -o remove --ip 10.1.255.3And now we make sure we did this right:
jaqui@hmc:~> lssysconn -r all resource_type=sys,type_model_serial_num=8286-41A*XXXXXXX,sp_type=fsp,sp=primary,sp_phys_loc=U78C9.001.WZS0234-P1,ipaddr=10.1.255.2,alt_ipaddr=unavailable,state=Connected jaqui@hmc:~> mksysconn -o auto jaqui@hmc:~> lssysconn -r all resource_type=sys,type_model_serial_num=8286-41A*XXXXXXX,sp_type=fsp,sp=primary,sp_phys_loc=U78C9.001.WZS0234-P1,ipaddr=10.1.255.2,alt_ipaddr=unavailable,state=Connected
POWER7+ Impact on HMC LevelsFinally, referring back to POWER7+ servers—these are not supported on HMC v10. Depending on the HMC the highest level you can go to support your POWER7+ servers is either v9r2m953 (end of support April 30, 2023) or v9r1m942 (end of support Sep. 30, 2021). If you plan to go to newer servers, then either replace the POWER7+ servers or bring in a new HMC with the newer servers and leave the POWER7+ on the old HMC. Otherwise it will force you to keep your HMC at an unsupported level and you will not be able to bring in any Power10 servers.
Further ReadingI hope you find these tips and comments helpful and are able to avoid any pitfalls. There are some great updates in the latest levels so please take advantage of them.
ReferencesFLRT PowerVM Support Table
FLRT HMC Support Table
System software maps for PowerVM to hardware
System software maps for HMC to hardware
HMC V10R2M1030 Readme
HMC V10R2M1031 Readme
PowerVM 184.108.40.206 Readme
PowerVM 220.127.116.11 Readme
PowerVM 18.104.22.168 Readme
HMC V10R1M1010 Blog
HMC V10R1M1020 Blog
HMC V10R2M1030 Blog
Nigel Griffiths AIXPert Blog
PowerVM Community Blogs
Jaqui Lynch article on AIX 7.3 and HMC v10 Updates (Jan 2022)
Location of FTP files for HMC Updates
ftp -s public.dhe.ibm.com
Network files for getupgfiles for v1030
Patches such as MF70632_ppc.iso
Updates such as V10R2M1031
About the author
Jaqui Lynch has over 38 years of experience working with a projects and OSes across vendor platforms, including IBM Z, UNIX systems and more.
See more by Jaqui Lynch