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Returning to AIX

July 10, 2018

Recently I received this email:

It's been a number of years since I have administered AIX. I was on AIX before 5L. (Was there a version 5?) It may have been v4.

I am going to update my skill set on AIX, since I see it a lot out there in the wild.

What are the deltas between 4 -> 5?? -> 5L -> 6 -> 7 <== would I even recognize AIX anymore

What would be the best way to update my skills on AIX?

I thought about it and replied, but then I realized that this individual can't be the only person in our profession who's ever switched jobs and/or been tasked with supporting different operating systems. There must be a number of admins who've worked on AIX, moved to a different opportunity in IT, and then found themselves managing AIX systems again. With that in mind, I thought I'd share the gist of my response here.

If you haven't worked with AIX lately, know that a lot of what you're familiar with is still there. For instance, smitty is still a valid way to manage your systems. While the logical volume manager (LVM) has evolved from JFS to JFS2, it should look and feel familiar. That's true for much of AIX and its related capabilities.
 
As far as ways to update your AIX skills, here are some places to start:
  • irc--Get on the ##aix channel and ask questions. Now, you shouldn't expect immediate answers as most of the users have day jobs, but be patient; you should eventually get a response. You can also post questions on Reddit or in the AIX forum.
  • Nigel Griffiths has a series of YouTube videos.
  • The IBM Power Systems technical webinar series (previously known as the AIX Virtual User Group) conducts monthly presentations. Dig into the replays whenever you have time.
  • Get hands-on--Even if you don't have access to a lab machine at work, you can still get on a system. Used systems are sometimes available on eBay. Or you could get AIX running on Nutanix.
Of course many other AIX/IBM Power Systems resources are out there. Please make your own suggestions in comments.
 

Posted July 10, 2018| Permalink

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