IBM Power Systems Management Console Introduction

IBM has Management Console to Manage the IBM Power Series Servers, these IBM Power Series include IBM Power 9 Servers, IBM Power8 Server, IBM Power 7 and lower versions. Management Console generally called as Hardware Management Console (HMC). The management Console is an application that runs on IBM Linux Operating System and provides Graphical User Interface (GUI) and Command Line Interface (CLI) to manage the IBM Power Server.

IBM Power Server or IBM Power Systems is the hardware with included software to run huge amounts of computing. For example your Personal Computer or Laptop has less resources such as 8GB RAM, 500 GB Hard Disk, 4 CPU Cores and Network, Keyboard and Mouse Slots. But IBM Power Series will have resources like 30 CPU Cores, 500 GB RAM, Having Slot to connect Fiber Channel adapters that are connected to Thousands of Terabytes of Storage separately and Network Adapters slots upon connecting it the resources can be Virtualized.

IBM Power Server uses IBM PowerVM technology to virtualize the Input Output. Input Output refers to IBM Storage and Network Virtualization using Virtual I/O Servers. IBM Systems has a hypervisor running that enables the Virtualization capabilities of Power System CPU Cores and Memory (RAM) for IBM AIX.

Below Image is the IBM Power 9 Server Connected to Management Console, Managing two PowerVM VIOS Servers and two IBM AIX Logical Partitions

ibm power 9 servers




IBM Logical Partition(LPAR) is part of IBM Power System that has been assigned with Virtualized Resources like CPU, Memory, Storage and Network. IBM Logical Partition can be used to run IBM AIX that is Unix Operating System or It can also be used to run IBM Linux Operating System. IBM Power System has a different CPU Architecture called ppc64 while our laptops run on x86. So we need special customization to Linux that is available as Open Source to run on ppc64 CPU Core Architecture.

In this article we will be exploring about Management Console GUI Features. IBM Power System Management Console Features can be divided into four sub features as given below. 
  1. Power Series All Resource Management 
  2. Console Management and Console Data Management
  3. Console Users, Roles and Security Management
  4. Console error Logging and Serviceability


Feature #1: Power Series All Resource Management

With help of Management Console we can manage IBM Power Series, latest HMC release i.e, Management Console 950 will manage Power 9 servers, Power 8 and Power 7 Servers. In order to manage the lower Power Series we need lower version of management console 860 or 790 versions.


ibm aix


This feature allows to manage Power Systems, PowerVM Capabilities, IBM AIX Logical Partition, Frames, Shared Storage Pools (SSP) and Power Enterprise Pools. Power systems management includes Power On the system, Power off the system, Creations of PowerVM VIOS, IBM AIX or IBM Linux LPAR. Shared Storage Pools include creation of pools related to AIX Storage. Power Enterprise Pools allow users to manage Capacity On Demand Mobile Resources CPU and Memory.


Feature #2: Console Management and Console Data Management

Console Management allows admin to manage settings such as console network, Enable or Disable the monitoring of IBM Power Series, Date and Language Settings. Other than these the management option enables users to backup and restore the management console, licensing and console power option. 

Templates and OS images option allows consoles to store Power System Templates, IBM AIX Partition Templates and PowerVM VIOS iso Images into console file system. These templates can be used during deploying the Power System from start and enabling IBM PowerVM. 

ibm power 8 systems



System Planner option allows users to capture the system plan, the PowerVM VIOS Profiles and IBM AIX and Linux Partition Profiles. If you delete the AIX partition there will be an option to restore it back using System Profile Restore. Update option allows users to update the console management with Program Temporary Fix(PTF) or Emergency Fix(efix) or Interim Fix (ifix).

Feature #3: Users, Roles and Security Management

Console allows admin to manage users such as Local users, LDAP Users, Kerberos users and the roles and resources that have been assigned to each user. Create user, modify user, change user password, change user remote settings and delete users. Manage roles include resource assignment to roles and then these roles are assigned to console users.

ibm power series



Security Management allows users to set up a console as LDAP and Kerberos Client, it will also allow admin to manage the SSL Certificates that can be self signed and issued. Also to manage remote command execution such as ssh, remote console access using console link using TCP protocol.

Feature #4: Console task, error Logging and Serviceability

Task and Error Logging enables management to log each and every task run by the admin users on the resource such as IBM Systems, PowerVM tasks, Change User Setting, IBM AIX, IBM Linux etc. These tasks will either fail or pass based on their completion, stored in the console database and can be recalled when required for debugging.

ibm power vc



Serviceability option allows console management to raise the critical service request, track service events, send email and call home notifications to the service personnel registered in the console. 

Conclusion:

Console Management features varies from version to version, the console version used in the above is HMC950 and the IBM Power System used is IBM P9 Server. Console Management
allows lab admin to Manage all most all IBM Power Series that are shown above.
As we all know technology fades away as faster as possible, the features may change, new features may appear but the underlying principle that used to manage the IBM AIX Servers will remain the same as explained above.
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