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Tools Ease Consolidation Calculations


Systems Planning Tool

So now you’ve purchased the systems and want to architect the LPARs. Your next tool is IBM’s System Planning Tool (SPT)—a must for any POWER architect or administrator. It is browser-based and helps you architect your entire managed system in the planning, design, and validation stages. It’s also tightly integrated with the IBM System Workload Estimator (WLE), which allows you to plan systems based upon either existing or new workloads. For an example report, see Figure 3.

The SPT allows you to design a logically partitioned system. You can use performance data from existing systems or from performance estimates that anticipate future workloads you must support. You can even save your configuration to a system plan and Import it into a HMC (version 6.1.2 or later) or Integrated Virtualization Manager ( or later) to deploy the LPARs. It also helps you do a proof of concept around a configuration you’d like to build. If the system design doesn’t work, SPT will point out the errors in a clear, concise manner.

IBM ATS Server Consolidation Monitor

If you’ve architected your systems and are running applications, yet thinking about consolidating further, you can try the newest tool: the ATS server-consolidation monitor (ASCM). This IBM solution simultaneously collects system architecture and performance data from a predefined list of hosts. The generated report contains performance summary of all hosts, normalized to IDEAS International’s RPE2 (relative performance) metrics. It’s designed to allow customers to make informed decisions about consolidating workloads. IBM ASCM is provided to IBM customers and potential customers worldwide at no cost. The data-collection element runs for three to five days and then sent to IBM tech line—where a resulting PDF report can be received within three days. It uses an open-source database, Ganglia, which is a lightweight high-performance computing monitoring system. It runs, as a daemon, on all major UNIX distributions.

Figure 4 is an example illustration from the SCON tool. As this tool is not yet widely distributed, if you’re interested you can contact me directly and I’ll provide additional information.

Utilize Available Tools Today

With IBM and its business partners you’re never alone when considering implementing server consolidation through virtualization. Make sure you use the right tools for the right purpose. IBM wants to help steer you in the right direction with respect to server consolidation through virtualization. In doing so, they provide very strong tools and demos to prospective and current customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them for these tools.

More Consolidation Resources

For more information on data-center consolidation, see the three-part series IBM Systems Magazine published earlier this year:

Data-Center Consolidation on Your Power Systems

Planning Your Data-Center Consolidation

Consolidating for Increased Systems Performance


Ken Milberg, CATE, PMP, is a diverse IT Professional with 20+ years of experience. He is a Power Systems Champion. Ken is a technology writer and site expert for techtarget and has also been a frequent contributor of content for IBM developerWorks. Ken has also been a freelance writer for IBM Systems Magazine and is a former technical editor. He can be reached at

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