Hardware Management Console 101
Command-line actions improve backup procedures and more
Most of the time administrators perform their functions on the Hardware Management Console (HMC) using the Web browser-based interface that comes with version 7. However, there are times when it’s necessary or quicker to perform administrative functions via the command-line interface. These functions can range from opening a terminal, to gathering a systems plan to obtaining information about what is on the HMC. In this article, I’ll explain some important Web browser-based management functions and command-line functions that may be useful to you.
Web Browser-Based Functions
Enabling Remote Access—If you plan to use HMC command-line functions, then this capability needs to be enabled from the physical HMC itself. Once you’re logged into the HMCm click on “HMC Management” and then “Remote Command Execution.” Make sure "Enable Remote Command Execution Using the SSH Facility" is checked. This allows a user to secure shell (SSH) into the HMC from a remote terminal. While still in “HMC Management,” click on “Remote Operation” and ensure it’s enabled. Remote operation provides the capability to control the HMC from a Web browser on a remote workstation. Finally click "Remote Virtual Terminal" and enable this so the vterms will work from the remote clients. Performing these functions enables remote access using vterms to the LPARs, SSH to the HMC and remote Web-browser access to the HMC.
Backup Activities—The HMC should be backed up regularly to ensure important data is recoverable. If the HMC fails and needs to be restored from the recovery DVD, it will query the service processors to get back the information about the LPARs, but you must restore from a data backup to recover custom data.
The first step in taking a backup is formatting the media. The HMC is very fussy about the media it will support and only supports specific DVD-RAM media. Reference 5 provides a link to the latest list of supported media for HMC backups. The Format Media option can be used to correctly format a DVD-RAM or USB flash drives. Alternative options for backups are also available.
There are two kinds of backups that need to be taken. The first, the Save Upgrade Data option, allows you to save data before an upgrade, either to DVD, the HMC hard drive or to a USB flash drive. This task uses a wizard to save upgrade data—files that were created or customized while running the current software level—to the media. Saving this data should always be performed prior to an HMC software upgrade.
The second kind of backup is under the Backup HMC Data option and it’s sometimes referred to as the Backup Critical Console Data option. This allows you to backup critical data to the DVD or to an NFS-mounted file system. Alternatively, you can send the data to a remote site. Ths kind of backup should be taken before and after any HMC changes such as adding LPARs. I also take these backups before an upgrade. This option backs up user-created data such as user information and preferences, platform configuration files, log files, updates, network definitions, etc. This backup is only used if the HMC is being reinstalled from the product DVD after a disaster.
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