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Big Changes are Coming to the HMC

Are you tired of the same old interface that you've long mastered? Are you ready for a change? Well ready or not, change is coming.

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Are you bored with that same old x86 version of the HMC that you've used for years? Are you tired of the same old interface that you've long mastered? Are you ready for a change? Well ready or not, change is coming.

Beginning with V8R8.7.0, there will no longer be an option to run the classic HMC GUI. Everyone will need to get on board with using the enhanced version of the GUI. The good news is that is performance with the enhanced GUI has improved since it originally came out, so now is the time to take another look.

Even if you like the "classic" HMC GUI, or if you're simply accustomed to it, this development shouldn't come as a surprise. The enhanced GUI option that's available when you log into your HMC has been around for more than two years now.

Additionally, we've had the option of using the virtual HMC (vHMC) for some time as well.

Until now, those were your choices regarding the HMC: You could run the HMC on dedicated x86 hardware and log into the classic or enhanced GUIs, or you could run the vHMC in VMware or KVM and log into the classic or enhanced GUI. That was it.

But since IBM Power Systems hardware will soon be capable of running HMC code, we're about to have four HMC options: In addition to being able to run a vHMC on x86, or an HMC on dedicated x86 (as you're probably used to), you'll also be able to run a vHMC on a POWER LPAR. This is new. Last but not least is the other new option: we'll be able to run HMC code on POWER8 hardware once the new HMC model becomes available later this year.

If you'd like to learn more, here are a couple of good resources. First, there's this AIX Virtual User Group replay. Download the slides (here and here) and listen here. For something quicker, check out this Q&A.

While the original iteration of the vHMC is certainly interesting, I cannot wait to test out a vHMC running in an LPAR on a POWER server. I'm also excited about the new hardware offering, which should GA in the second half of 2017. Since it's a POWER8 server, we can finally manage our Power Systems hardware fleet without any need for x86 in our environment at all.

So where are you headed with the HMC? Will you stick with x86 HMCs, or will you move to a Power Systems version? Do you have plans for virtual HMCs?

Once I get hands on with the different options, I'll be sure to share my thoughts and findings with you.

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