Enhanced Management With HMC V8
With the advent of POWER8 architecture, IBM introduced a new version of the Hardware Management Console (HMC) software. POWER8 technology requires that the HMC be running v8r8.1.0. In this article, I’ll look at some of the enhancements made in that version as well as prerequisites and steps to upgrade to v8.
HMC v8 is the only version that provides support for POWER8, which requires entitlement validation for its firmware. The HMC will now validate entitlement for the machine type and serial number of the managed server when trying to install firmware.
HMC v8 also introduces a new “Performance and Capacity Monitoring” GUI task that provides reports on resource utilization. This feature requires at least VIOS 2.2.3 and firmware 780 or later.
Other enhancements include:
The JVM has been updated, the cryptographic keys have been strengthened, TLS 1.2 is enabled and an improved random number generator has been implemented. These changes require specific browser versions so it’s best to ensure your browser is very current. The enhancements Redbooks publication provides details on browser levels and how to enable NIST support.
HMC logic has been improved to reduce calls to the VIOS that’s acting as the mover service partition for a Live Partition Mobility (LPM) action, when vSCSI is used. This can significantly improve LPM performance for vSCSI partitions.
IBM i virtual terminal changes
A new 5250 virtual terminal interface is Java based. The IBM i Access Client Solutions replaces the IBM i Access for Linux Emulation.
Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) initially came out in v7.7.9 of the HMC software. HMC v8 adds support for several new adapters. SR-IOV allows for self-virtualizing of SR-IOV capable PCIe adapters so that they can be shared without requiring VIOS. However, VIOS is still required if you want to take advantage of LPM.
Dynamic partition remote restart
Partition Remote Restart is a function of PowerVM Enterprise Edition that’s designed to enhance availability of a partition on another server when its original host fails. The change with HMC v8 is that this can now be enabled for an LPAR when the LPAR is deactivated. Prior to v8, it could only be enabled at partition creation.
Absolute values for dynamic LPAR
The chhwres command has been updated to let you specify an absolute value during a dynamic LPAR operation for the number of cores and memory, rather than the delta between current and new values.
POWER8 system support
POWER8 support is provided with HMC v8. When using lssyscfg to display possible compatibility modes, POWER8 will now show as a possible option. Some new metrics can also be displayed for POWER8 systems
POWER Integrated Facility for Linux
Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) support came out in HMC v7.7.9 but only had a few very basic command line tools for monitoring. HMC v8 makes changes to the support for IFLs. Specifically, IFL processors can be viewed from the HMC GUI, and compliance monitoring and new command-line commands were added. Additionally, capacity on demand processor capacity settings in the GUI will now show the number of Linux-only cores.
Dynamic Platform Optimizer
Dynamic Platform Optimizer (DPO) has been updated to allow DPO to be scheduled from the HMC GUI, rather than only providing a command line interface.
HMC v8 offers several other enhancements but these are a good indication as to the improvements made. So the next step is getting to HMC v8r8.1.0 from your current HMC version. This is done either by a complete fresh install or by upgrading.
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