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A Look at the Latest IBM Announcements

Here's what AIX/IBM Power Systems users should know about the latest announcements.

"AIXchange" in white against a purple banner, white chat bubble in righthand corner, with black and green technological texture below."

IBM has come out with a bunch of announcements this month.

Here are some details on a few announcements and updates that should be of particular interest to
AIX/IBM Power Systems users:

PowerHA SystemMirror V7.2.4 for AIX enhancements
  • Cross-cluster verification: Compare the test cluster and validate that the new production cluster has the same configuration parameters as the preproduction test cluster.
  • Availability metrics updates: With the availability metrics feature, PowerHA SystemMirror clients can see a timeline of events that have happened in the cluster, including the duration of each step. This release of the tool adds reports on configuration bottlenecks and historical averages.
  • Smart Assist currency updates:
    • Adds support for the latest version of the Smart Assist application.
    • Enables support for the latest version of Spectrum Protect (IBM Tivoli Storage Manager) with PowerHA.
    • Federated Security is enhanced to enable PowerHA SystemMirror commands that are not already supported for role-based access control (RBAC). Now the clmgr command returns a proper error if an unprivileged user performs an action that is not allowed. Commands currently enabled for RBAC can be tested for proper behavior on the basis of different PowerHA SystemMirror supported roles. Any deviation from proper behavior of RBAC-enabled commands will be fixed. An option is provided for users to list the commands that they are authorized to perform.
    • IBM Db2: With PowerHA SystemMirror, users can configure IBM Db2 with multiple databases and create a new monitor for each database, enabling them to handle individual DB failures without impacting the other DBs in the multiple parallel DB configuration.
  • Support for IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) role-based access: With this enhancement, users can configure a user name while adding an SVC cluster in PowerHA SystemMirror. The user name configured using the smit or clmgr command for an SVC cluster is used for all the SVC operations carried out for that particular SVC cluster.
  • In addition, PowerHA V7.2.4 supports SVC 8.1. PowerHA SystemMirror V7.2.4 for AIX encrypts the various passwords stored in the configuration database. This ensures that passwords at rest are encrypted for security compliance requirements.
  • Increases the maximum number of resource groups from 64 to 256.
  • IBM WebSphere MQ listener support: Clients can configure PowerHA Smart Assist for WebSphere MQ to start, stop, and monitor WebSphere MQ listeners.

AIX 7.2 TL4
The IBM AIX operating system provides clients with an enterprise-class IT infrastructure that delivers the reliability, availability, security, performance, and scale that is required to be successful in the global economy. IBM AIX 7.2 TL4 provides the following enhancements:
  • New levels of workload scalability
  • New levels of OS security
  • Enhanced scope and usability for AIX Live Update (high availability)
  • New I/O features and storage enhancements
  • File systems improvement
Additionally, the AIX Toolbox (across AIX 6.1, AIX 7.1, and AIX 7.2) is enhanced.

PowerSC Standard Edition V1.3
IBM Power SC provides a security and compliance solution that is optimized for virtualized
environments on IBM Power Systems servers. Security control and compliance are key components
needed to defend virtualized data centers and cloud infrastructure against evolving threats.
PowerSC Standard Edition V1.3 enhancements include:
  • New built-in compliance profiles
    • An SAP AIX hardening profile
    • A US Department of Defense-Security Technical Implementation Guides for AIX 7 profile
    • A Center for Internet Security (CIS) for AIX profile
  • IBM i integration through a new IBM i compliance automation profile
  • Support for alt-disk updates
  • Improvements within the Patch Management Component
  • Improvements within the reporting section
  • Multifactor authentication enablement
IBM PowerVM V3.1.1, IBM PowerVC V1.4.4, IBM Virtual HMC (vHMC) 9.1.940, and the IBM
Cloud Management Console (CMC) Monthly Term offering

IBM PowerVM V3.1.1, which delivers industrial-strength enterprise virtualization for IBM AIX, IBM
i, and Linux environments on IBM POWER processor-based systems, has expanded function and new
management capabilities.
  • IBM PowerVM Hypervisor has been updated with new features that include:
  • Support for DRAM-backed persistent memory for faster VM restarts
  • Enhanced SR-IOV and vNIC support
  • LPM performance improvement
IBM PowerVM V3.1.1 has been updated with significant I/O performance, efficiency, usability, and
scaling enhancements, including:
  • An increased number of NPIVs allowed per Fibre Channel port on the 32 GB Fibre Channel HBA. The current limit is 64, and more NPIVs per port will provide better utilization, density, and efficiency.
  • NPIV multiqueue (VIOS server) for improved performance and scalability.
  • Fibre Channel device labels for improved manageability.
  • iSCSI performance enhancements.
  • Improved VIOS Upgrade Tool capabilities.
  • SSP network resiliency improvements.
IBM PowerVC V1.4.4, which is designed to simplify the management of virtual resources in IBM Power Systems environments, has been updated with several enhancements to storage integration, usability, and performance, including:
  • IBM i license key injection
  • Hitachi GAD support
  • Initiator storage tagging
  • Live Partition Mobility (LPM) VMs to the original system after evacuation
  • Ability to pin VMs to a specific host
  • Ability to dynamically add PowerVC created VM to an HMC user resource role
  • Inactive partition migration
  • Image sharing between projects
  • New restricted administrator assistance role, with no deletion access
  • NovaLink support for multivolume attachment
  • FlexVolume driver support for Red Hat OpenShift
IBM Virtual HMC (vHMC) 9.1.940, released in conjunction with firmware FW940, which gives clients the ability to use their own hardware and server virtualization to host the IBM-supplied HMC virtual appliance, has been updated with the following enhancements:
  • User mode NX accelerator enablement
  • Support for SR-IOV logical ports in IBM i restricted I/O mode
  • Injection of IBM i license keys
  • Improved LPM error messages
  • Ability to manage resource roles automatically in HMC
  • Progress indicators for specific HMC commands
  • Email notifications for scheduled operations
  • IBM PowerSC Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in-band support for HMC
IBM Cloud Management Console (CMC) Monthly Term offering is a cloud-delivered monitoring
service that connects to multiple HMCs and gives administrators an aggregate view of their entire
Power infrastructure. CMC has been updated with the following enhancements:
  • Support for Enterprise Pools 2.0
  • Cloud host options that include North America and Europe
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