AIX > Administrator > Systems Management

Migrate Your NIM Master to AIX 7.2 Using the VIOS VML

system migration

On more than one occasion I’ve written articles and blogs on how to migrate AIX systems to a new version of the AIX operating system. You can find a list these articles (and others) here. Each of the Network Installation Management articles focuses on migrating AIX systems (which are configured as NIM clients). The approach is always the same; use a NIM master to migrate the NIM clients to the next release of AIX. What they don’t discuss is how to migrate your NIM master to a new version of the OS. This is the very first step you should take before you consider migrating your clients. The NIM master should always be at the same or higher AIX level than the level you are migrating to on a client. So, in this latest article, I’ll discuss, step by step, how to migrate your NIM master from AIX 7.1 to AIX 7.2 (the latest release of the AIX OS).

Using the Virtual Media Library (VML) on your Virtual I/O Server (VIOS), you can easily migrate your NIM master to AIX 7.2 (or any new release of AIX for that matter). If you’re not familiar with the VIOS VML, please review the following documents:

How to configure a VIOS Media Repository/Virtual Media Library

AIX Migration with File-Backed VIOS Devices

Creating a bootable ISO image from mksysb images and installing it via VIOS file-backed devices

In the example that follows, we will migrate a NIM master from AIX 7.1 TL4 SP3 to AIX 7.2 TL1 SP1. Then we’ll create the necessary NIM resources required to serve AIX 7.2 to our NIM clients.

The first step requires that you download the latest AIX 7.2 ISO images from the IBM Entitled Software Support (ESS) website.

Once the images have been successfully downloaded, copy them to the VML (/var/vio/VMLibrary ) on one of your VIOS. If you haven’t created the VML yet, do so now (before copying the images), using the mkrep command on the VIOS (refer to the articles referenced above for information on creating a VML).

$ ls -ltr /var/vio/VMLibrary
total 31777416
-r--r--r--    1 root     system   3378020352 Jan 18 21:10 AIX_v7.2_DVD_1.iso
-r--r--r--    1 root     system   4168876032 Jan 18 21:56 AIX_v7.2_DVD_2.iso

$ lsrep
Size(mb) Free(mb) Parent Pool         Parent Size      Parent Free
   25497     9979 rootvg                   279552           132096

Name                                                  File Size Optical         Access
AIX_v7.2_DVD_1.iso                                         3222 None            ro
AIX_v7.2_DVD_2.iso                                         3976 None            ro

With the AIX 7.2 ISO images now in place, we can now create a new virtual optical device and assign it to the NIM master logical partition (LPAR). In this example, the NIM master (nimmast) is hosted by the VIOS named vio1 and is mapped to the (existing) vhost4 adapter (as shown in the kdb output below). The mkvdev –fbo command on the VIOS is used to create the virtual optical device (vtopt4) and it is assigned to vhost4.

[root@nimmast]/ # echo cvai | kdb -script | grep vio
vscsi0     0x000007 0x0000000000 0x0                vio1->vhost4

$ hostname

$ mkvdev -fbo -vadapter vhost4 
vtopt4 Available

$ lsmap -vadapter vhost4 | grep -p vtop
VTD                   vtopt4
Status                Available
LUN                   0x8100000000000000
Backing device
Mirrored              N/A

Now we can load the first AIX 7.2 ISO image into the vtopt4 device on the VIOS.

$ loadopt -vtd vtopt4 -disk AIX_v7.2_DVD_1.iso
$ lsmap -vadapter vhost4 | grep -p vtop
VTD                   vtopt4
Status                Available
LUN                   0x8100000000000000
Backing device        /var/vio/VMLibrary/AIX_v7.2_DVD_1.iso
Mirrored              N/A

From the NIM master LPAR, we now find a new cd0 device is available. You can verify that the cdrom device is working by simply mounting the /cdrom file system and viewing the contents of the AIX 7.2 installation media.

[root@nimmast]/ # cfgmgr
[root@nimmast]/ # lsdev -Cc cdrom
cd0 Available  Virtual SCSI Optical Served by VIO Server

[root@nimmast]/ # crfs -v cdrfs -p ro –d cd0  -m /cdrom  -Ano
[root@nimmast]/ # mount /cdrom
[root@nimmast]/ # cd /cdrom
[root@nimmast]/cdrom # ls -ltr
total 84
drwxr-xr-x    3 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  root
drwxr-xr-x    3 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  ppc
-rw-r--r--    1 4000     4000            901 Oct 10 2016  README.aix
drwxr-xr-x    2 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  7200-01
-rw-r--r--    1 4000     4000          15189 Oct 10 2016
-rw-r--r--    1 4000     4000           6442 Oct 10 2016
-rw-r--r--    1 4000     4000             16 Oct 10 2016  OSLEVEL
drwxrwxr-x    4 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  RPMS
drwxr-xr-x   10 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  usr
drwxr-xr-x    4 4000     4000           2048 Oct 10 2016  installp
-rw-rw-r--    1 4000     4000             42 Oct 10 2016  .Version
[root@nimmast]/cdrom # cat OSLEVEL

Before you migrate your NIM master to AIX 7.2 you should first review the AIX 7.2 release notes and ensure that you have met all the prerequisites. For example, you should always ensure you have enough free disk space (PPs) in the root volume group. You can check this using the lsvg command (see below). Refer to the release notes for specific space (and other) requirements, before proceeding.

[root@nimmast]/ # lsvg rootvg
VOLUME GROUP:       rootvg                   VG IDENTIFIER:  00f603cd00004c000000013342a0f420
VG STATE:           active                   PP SIZE:        32 megabyte(s)
VG PERMISSION:      read/write               TOTAL PPs:      639 (20448 megabytes)
MAX LVs:            256                      FREE PPs:       58 (1856 megabytes)
LVs:                13                       USED PPs:       581 (18592 megabytes)
OPEN LVs:           12                       QUORUM:         2 (Enabled)
TOTAL PVs:          1                        VG DESCRIPTORS: 2
STALE PVs:          0                        STALE PPs:      0
ACTIVE PVs:         1                        AUTO ON:        yes
MAX PPs per VG:     32512
MAX PPs per PV:     1016                     MAX PVs:        32
LTG size (Dynamic): 256 kilobyte(s)          AUTO SYNC:      no
HOT SPARE:          no                       BB POLICY:      relocatable
PV RESTRICTION:     none                     INFINITE RETRY: no
DISK BLOCK SIZE:    512                      CRITICAL VG:    no

This technote from IBM provides some excellent advice in preparing for an AIX migration. I recommend reading it.

Preparing to Migrate in AIX

And, from one of my older articles on the topic, I mention a couple of other things to consider.

  • I always take a copy of the /etc/ and /etc/motd files before an AIX migration. These files will be replaced during the migration and you will need to edit them again and add your modifications.
  • Commit any applied filesets. You should also consider removing any ifixes that may hinder the migration.
  • Prior to a migration, it is always a good idea to run the pre_migration script on the system to catch any issues that may prevent the migration from completing successfully. You can find this script on the AIX 6.1 installation media.
  • Run this script, review the output (in /home/pre_migration), and correct any issues that it reports before migrating.

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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