AIX > Administrator > LPAR

PowerVM LPM Automation Tool

Live Partition Mobility
 

Live Partition Mobility (LPM) has been available on Power Systems as far back as 2008 (starting with POWER6 servers). The LPM feature (included with PowerVM Enterprise Edition) allows you to move running partitions from one POWER server to another with no application downtime. This helps Power Systems administrators reduce planned downtime by moving workloads to another server during system maintenance and rebalancing processing power across servers; when and where they need it most.

Many customers now use LPM on a regular basis but not all use it in the same way. For example, some smaller customers, that may occasionally move only a handful of partitions, may use the HMC GUI to perform the move. The GUI interface allows you to move only on partition at a time; not ideal if you need to move hundreds of partitions. Other customers, often with several hundred partitions to migrate, have written their own scripts to help automate the LPM process.

If you’ve ever used the HMC command line to perform an LPM operation (using migrlpar), you’d have seen several, rather annoying and confusing messages, which at first glance appear to indicate a failed validation or migration. For example, below, I’m attempting to validate the migration of an AIX partition (aixlpar1) from FRAME1 to FRAME2. The destination Mover Service Partition (MSP) is vio3.

 hscroot@hmc1:~> migrlpar -o v -m FRAME1 -t FRAME2 -p aixlpar1 -n Normal 
-w 3 -d 5 -v -i 'virtual_fc_mappings="41/vio3//50/fcs0,22/vio3//51/fcs1,
61/vio4//50/fcs2,32/vio4//51/fcs3",source_msp_name=,source_msp_id=1,dest_msp_name=vio3,dest_msp_id=2
,shared_proc_pool_name=DefaultPool' 

When I review the command output I’m immediately presented with lots and lots of error messages; many of which are referencing other VIOS (not specified on the command line) multiple times.

HSCLA29A The RMC command issued to partition vio1 failed.
...
HSCLA29A The RMC command issued to partition vio5 failed.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio2 failed.


This means that destination VIOS partition vio2 cannot host 
the virtual adapter 22 on the migrating partition.
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio5 failed.


This means that destination VIOS partition vio5 cannot 
host the virtual adapter 32 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio5 failed.


This means that destination VIOS partition vio5 cannot 
host the virtual adapter 21 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio8 failed. 


This means that destination VIOS partition vio8 cannot 
host the virtual adapter 42 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio8 failed. 


This means that destination VIOS partition vio8 cannot
host the virtual adapter 41 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio8 failed. 


This means that destination VIOS partition vio8 cannot 
host the virtual adapter 62 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA356 The RMC command issued to partition vio8 failed. 


This means that destination VIOS partition vio8 cannot 
host the virtual adapter 61 on the migrating partition.
...
HSCLA355 The RMC command issued to partition vio1 failed. 


This means that destination VIOS partition vio1 cannot 
be used to provide a bridge to the external network with VLAN ID 1015, 
which is needed by a virtual Ethernet adapter on the migrating partition. 
If a bridge to the external VLAN is not required, you can specify 
the VSI override option to allow the management console to continue the operation.

Unfortunately, at this time, this is expected behavior. The HMC migration GUI calls the HMC backend to do validation. The backend code performs storage validation on ALL target Virtual I/O Servers (VIOS) to find the good VIOS list for each client adapter. This list is returned to the GUI with HMC suggested selections. The user can chose the HMC suggested VIOS or change the selection for the migration or try the validation again. As things stand, the same behavior is replicated even if the validation was done from the command line.

Fortunately, there is another (better) way to use LPM, that doesn’t require the HMC GUI or the command line.

The “PowerVM LPM and Remote Restart Automation Tool” simplifies the Live Partition Mobility process and makes moving AIX/Linux/IBM i partitions between POWER servers easy. For customers looking to automate their migration from POWER6 or POWER7 to POWER8, this is the tool that can help. The tool was developed to allow a customer to quickly evacuate an entire server using LPM (or a subset of partitions) to other servers. It can also return the partitions back to the original server with the original mappings (HBA and virtual slot id). You can build a plan in advance and execute the plans during maintenance windows, but more on this later.

The tool was architected and designed by IBMs own Bob Foster. He is an IBM Senior Technical Staff Member from Austin, Texas. He was the architect of the Hardware Management Console (HMC) for POWER4, POWER5, POWER6 and POWER7 servers. He wrote the functional requirements specifications for Live Partition Mobility (LPM) for POWER6. Recently, he’s been a member of the IBM Lab Services team in the U.S. He regularly visits world-wide Power Systems customers, annually, assisting them in architecture, deployment and education concerning Power products. The latest version of the tool, version 4, was released on March 18, 2016. Bob’s tool has proven very popular with customers and has already been delivered to over 110 clients, in its first 13 months of release.

There are several excellent articles and videos that discuss the tool in much greater detail than I can in this article. I recommend you review this material to learn more about the tool and its fantastic capabilities. Please refer to the resources section for links.

PowerVM LPM Automation Tool

PowerVM LPM Automation Overview

PowerVM LPM Automation Tool with Power Enterprise Pools

Chris Gibson is an AIX and PowerVM specialist located in Melbourne, Australia. He is an IBM Champion for Power Systems, IBM CATE (Power Systems and AIX), and a co-author of several IBM Redbooks publications.



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