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Power Systems Best Practices Doc Updated, dnf, New IBM Customer Support Portals and More.

The Power Implementation Quality Standard for Commercial Workloads document has been updated. Download Version 2.4 (June 2021) here.

This presentation details the expected best practices implementation guidelines for Power Systems hardware, including virtualized systems. As you go through it, notice that, starting with page 9, there’s typically an indicator (in red and in parenthesis) of the most recent update for each slide. The pages that reference the current 2.4 release—either (Mod 2.4) or (Upd 2.4)—have new information, but be sure to review the whole thing. This is one of my go-to reference guides, and I always find useful reminders each time I go through it. Thanks again to IBM senior architect Fredrik Lundholm for his tireless work on this project.

Dandified yum Now Part of the AIX Toolbox

If you work with open source, you’re undoubtedly familiar with yum. (It’s saved many a developer from “rpm hell.”) But it’s time to get on board with dandified yum (dnf), which is now included with the AIX Toolbox.

The need for dnf is easily explained: It supports the current Python 3-based package manager. The open-source community no longer supports the Python 2 package managers upon which yum is based.

One way to set up and run dnf on AIX is with the script. (It’s similar to, the script for setting up yum.) dnf works on AIX 7.1 TL3 and higher versions. OpenSSL or higher must also be present on the system. Here’s the script:

# ./ -?
Usage: <-d> <-y> <-n> -?
-d    Install and setup dnf if yum is not installed.
-y    Update yum3 to yum4(softlink to dnf).
Use this option if want to redirect all yum commands to dnf.
Existing yum-3.4.3 will be updated to yum-4.x.x(dnf)
-n    Install dnf where both yum and dnf can coexist if yum is installed already.
This is not a recommended option.

-d option:
This option can be used if there is no yum is installed on the machine.
This will setup dnf as the default package manger.

-y option:
This is the most recommended option if yum is already installed.
This option can be used in two situations.

If yum is already installed and wants to update yum3 to yum4(dnf).
All yum commands are dnf commands as yum will be just a soft link to dnf.

If yum3(3.4.3) isn’t installed but still like to use yum command which are actually dnf

At the end of the document you’ll find examples that show the expected output from running each of the various options.

A New Way to Manage Software and Hardware Service Cases

IBM is implementing a new web portal for placing hardware service calls. The portal, which will be activated on Saturday, June 19 at 23:59 p.m., replaces the Service Request portal. The newest portal will operate similarly to the recently launched software service portal. As of June 19, all tickets will have a Salesforce Ticket Number (TSxxxxxxx). That means no more PMRs/PMHs for hardware tickets.

To learn more, check out this short video about how to open and manage hardware cases. IBM Support also has FAQs, details about the enhanced work order and Call Home status capabilities and an introduction to Call Home Connect Cloud.

The new portals are designed to allow customers to manage their hardware and software cases from a single interface. There will be no change to cases opened via voice at 800-IBM-SERV, Call Home, B2B or the IBM Service Center for Cisco Products Portal.

‘Mini-NIM’ Requirements and Other Tidbits

  • On Twitter, Chris Gibson noted that IBM has just updated its minimum NIM master levels for VIOS clients. For those of us who manage VIO servers, the version requirements for NIM servers is critical information. Related: “minimum NIM” is kind of a tongue-twister.
  • Also on Twitter, Nigel Griffiths shared this 7-minute video devoted to 35 years of AIX.
  • Speaking of NIM, you can learn much more from Jaqui Lynch’s presentation to the Power Systems VUG. Follow the slides and listen to the video.
  • A new certification, IBM AIX v7 Administrator Specialty, is now available. Visit IBM’s certification program site to register for the exam, or to download a sample exam.
  • I’m among a group of IBM Champions who will discuss the present and future of the AIX platform. HelpSystems, a provider of security and automation software, is hosting a discussion, which is set for Wednesday, June 23. It’s free to register.

Historical Perspective

I recently came across this blog, which chronicles random stories about IBM history.

For example: “… do you know that IBM also once embraced biomimicry? That’s right. In 1974 the B in IBM also stood for BEEHIVE!”

Here’s another: “In the mid 1950s, a CIA spook comes to IBM with a request: “Hey Blue suited dudes, make us a machine that can store millions of images that are searchable by keywords. In other words a data lake of images—just like Google Images, except Google is still 40 years in the future.”

While there have been four entries since March, prior to that, the blog hadn’t been updated since 2017. So don’t count on frequent updates. But I have been enjoying this collection of stories about IBM from decades gone by.