IBM announced a number of new products today as well as updates to existing products. Here is a quick summary
The big feature for AIX V7.2 allows concurrent patching of the entire AIX kernel on the fly—with no interruption to applications. Initially this capability will only be supported for Interim Fixes but it is the foundation for broader concurrent patching in the future.
Other capabilities of AIX 7.2 include:
- Server Based Flash Caching – Transparently use flash drives to cache I/O.
- Support for POWER7 and later processor-based systems
- Http protocol support in NIM
- Openssh added to base operating system installation menus
- Dynamic System Optimizer included in AIX 7.2 base
- bos.net.tcp.client repackaged into bos.net.tcp.client.core, bos.net.ftp, and bos.net.snmp
- New LVM mirroring policy to exploit flash drives for fast reads
There is also a new Technology Level for AIX 7.1, Technology Level 4, which includes a few of the AIX 7.2 enhancements (but not concurrent patching). And in case you missed it, the support life for AIX 7.1 Technology Level 3 was extended last April to 2017.
AIX 6 was withdrawn on September 29. IBM strongly urges clients to upgrade to AIX 7.1 or AIX 7.2
AIX Enterprise Edition
AIX Enterprise Edition has been restructured to be AIX version specific. There is a new AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition and a new AIX 7.2 Enterprise Edition. Existing AIX EE clients can request a no charge upgrade to the new AIX Enterprise Edition products.
IBM announced two new release-specific AIX Enterprise Edition products to replace the previous AIX EE product that covered both AIX 6.1 and AIX 7.1. The new products are:
- AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition version 1.1
- AIX 7.2 Enterprise Edition version 1.1
The new structure provides additional flexibility to tailor the content for each AIX release. Existing AIX EE clients can move up to the new AIX Enterprise Edition products at no extra charge.
The content for each of these products is similar, except that the AIX 7.2 Enterprise Edition does not include Dynamic System Optimizer (DSO) because DSO is already included in the AIX 7.2 Standard Edition.
In addition to the appropriate level of AIX, the new Enterprise Editions include:
- PowerSC Standard Edition
- AIX Dynamic System Optimizer (for AIX 7.1 EE only)
- Cloud Manager with OpenStack for Power
- IBM Tivoli Monitoring V6.3
- IBM BigFix LIfecycle
The new component, IBM BigFix Lifecycle, will include functionality for OS Patching, 3rd Party App Patching, Offline Patching, Asset Discovery, Software Distribution, and Sequenced Task Automation.
The new AIX EE products do not include the AIX Workload Partitions Manager because that product is dependent on IBM Systems Director, which has been withdrawn.
Wonder why IBM withdrew the old AIX Enterprise Edition for AIX 7.1 last week?
IBM requires that products only be withdrawn in April and September. US accounting rules require that products must become generally available in the same quarter that they are announced. With these two conflicting requirements, we end up with withdrawal announcements in September and new product announcements in October.
Why is AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition going out of support before AIX 6.1 Enterprise Edition?
The withdrawal of all AIX 6 editions including Standard, Express, and Enterprise Edition was done on September 29. The end of support for all AIX 6 editions is April, 2017.
The old AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition (product 5764-G99) was also withdrawn, but the end of support date was set to September 2016 because it was replaced by the new AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition (product 5765-CD1).
This is why the End of Support date for AIX 7.1 Enterprise Edition is earlier than for AIX 6, because AIX 7.1 EE has been replaced.
Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) V2.2.4 includes a number of enhancements:
- Virtual Network Interface Controller (vNIC) support. The VIOS will support virtual networking using Single Root I/O Virtual (SRIOV) adapters that are Live Partition Mobility capable. This allows clients to get the benefits of SRIOV, including Quality of Service and reduced VIOS CPU load while retaining the ability to migrate VMs/LPARs to other machines.
- Support for PowerVM Novalink. PowerVM Novalink is a new technology intended to provide greatly improved scalability for managing POWER8 VMs/LPARs compared to using the Hardware Management Console (HMC). The HMC will continue to be available, but we expect that over time most clients will probably use NovaLink to manage virtualization because it works much better with OpenStack managers (including PowerVC).
- Shared Storage Pool enhancements. Shared Storage Pools can have up to ten tiers within a storage pool for better control, the ability to increase the size of a virtual disk, and improved resiliency of the repository disk.
- Live Partition Mobility enhancements. Mobility will have better validation of NPIV configurations, performance improvements, and target vswitch selection. You can now use mobility when using only one VIOS.
Virtual Hardware Management Console
Virtual HMC appliance. A new offering provides the HMC software as a virtual appliance (product number 5765-HMV) that can run on a client’s existing x86 servers running VMWare or RedHat KVM virtualization. This virtual appliance will provide the same hardware, service, and virtualization management capabilities of a traditional physical HMC.
The newest release of PowerVC is based on the “Liberty” release of OpenStack. New features include:
- Dynamic Resource Optimizer (DRO), a new PowerVC component that uses policy-based control to either automatically move resources to workloads using Mobile COD or to move workloads to available resources using VM migration. DRO removes the need for manual rebalancing of workloads during periods of constrained CPU resources. The DRO facility has an advisor option that lets the administrator see what actions should be taken to balance the workload without actually taking the action.
- Support for IBM DS8870 storage (NPIV and vSCSI attached)
- Support for up to 26 SAN fabrics
- Increase the size of data volumes from the PowerVC graphical user interface
- Support for PowerVM multiple shared processor pools (aka logical pools). This support was also delivered in PowerVC 1.2.3 Fixpack 2.
- PowerVC now has a support policy to let you know how long each PowerVC release will be supported. Starting with PowerVC 1.3.0, each release will be supported for eighteen months. This relativity short lifecycle is driven by the rapid innovation in OpenStack.
PowerHA SystemMirror V7.2
- Automated use of Power Enterprise Pools and CoD across cluster nodes to minimize the expense of redundant resources
- Automated support for Live Partition Mobility and AIX 7.2 Live Update within a PowerHA cluster
- Failing Node Quarantine to prevent partitioned cluster events caused by a failing or intermittent node
- Automatic Repository Disk replacement
- Improved AIX and PowerHA cluster consistency verification
As usual, see the actual announcement letters for more detail.