Preparing for new System setup

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We are busy installing new disks and a Raid control on our 8203-E4A in readiness for partitioning up the system. Out aim is to develop an environment we can use to demonstrate the products we sell and how the IBMi can be used in a virtualized setting.

The system will have 1TB of disk which is a big jump from our existing 280GB which is going to help in allowing us to carve out a number of virtual partitions. Unfortunately we did not get a new Power7 this year so we are going to be sticking with our Power6 for the immediate future, if IBM decides to play ball on the pricing that could change but not today.. Still that’s another discussion, we have also installed a new HMC (that is the first one we have ever had and I must say its turning out to be a good investment) and added raid to the disks. We felt that having all of our environments running on a single system needed a bit more resilience than the famous availability of the Power Systems, so Raid was an important investment.

Our plan is to have 3 partitions on the IBMi, the first partition will be our source HA system with another partition being allocated as the target. The last partition will be a Linux partition that will be running Suse Enterprise. The Suse partition is important to allow us to set up a Linux server to server all of the websites that we develop plus provide the web interfaces for our products running in the other partitions. Today we have a Linux standalone server and Windows server running the development websites which allows us to demonstrate our in-house products and tests, once the Suse partition is set up we will migrate the setups to it and tear down the other setups.

The system is currently striping the disks in readiness to add to the ASP before we carve it up. I am told it will take about 4 hours to complete so that gave me time to blog about the plans and share our experience so far.

Installing the new 5769 feature and drives was pretty easy, but once we installed everything and tried to start it up nothing worked! Having never used a HMC before I was struggling to work out what was happening and why things would not start up. The problem was the system could not find anything, the fact that we had installed a new Raid card meant that the Load-source was no longer where it should be! I had no idea until I called a very good friend (who is a real expert on the HMC and hardware setup) who kindly pushed me in the right direction. I am sure I will be going back to him when I need to carve up the DASD and CPU ect for the partitions!
Once he built a new profile and loaded it to the HMC everything started up OK and we could add the Raid card and start Raid 5 over the disks, he did say I should let the raid be built over the unallocated disks first (they are assigned to an ASP yet) so I was glad of his expertise. His other note of caution was to make sure I did not disconnect the console once the striping had started, point taken and being observed.

Once the stripping is finished I need to go in and set up the drives to the ASP and change a couple settings for the IPL so it starts up correctly, I had no idea I could power down the partition without the hardware so after installing the HMC I was surprised to find the hardware still running after issuing a PWRDWNSYS *IMMED command!

So that is where we are at, once I get to setting up the partitions and installing the OS’s I will add more posts in the hope it helps others who walk this path..


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