Discovering IBM Power Systems

IBM Power Systems are Power Architecture-based servers that run AIX or Linux operating systems. Power System discovery extends the discovery of the AIX LPARS and WPARS (kernel virtualization) and Linux LPARS to include dependencies between applications running on LPARs and physical networks and storage that they rely on.

In a Power System, the frame (modeled as a Host Container node) contains one or two Virtual I/O (VIO) LPARs and a number of host LPARs. The frame also contains a hypervisor that enables direct communication between LPARs. The VIO LPAR controls host LPARs access to the host container resources (disk, I/O) and acts as a network bridge between the internal VLAN (on which the VIO server is connected) and the external physical network.

Multiple frames can be managed by a Hardware Management Console (HMC) a separate host that is used for configuring and managing logical partitions, for moving running LPARS within a frame, and for workload sharing and balancing.

In some early versions of HMC, hmcbash shell does not exist. HMC hosts that do not have hmcbash installed cannot correctly interpret the Discovery commands and are therefore not supported by BMC Discovery.

The following topics are covered in this section:

IBM Virtual I/O (VIO) Server discovery

The IBM Virtual I/O (VIO) Server is implemented as a management software layer that runs on top of an AIX 5.3 OS instance. The VIO management layer is not used for discovery; rather, the underlying AIX instance is used. The VIO management layer provides command line access using the ioscli command, which is a limited and restricted shell environment. The restrictions on users of this shell make it unsuitable for discovery by BMC Discovery (for example, key commands are unavailable, and shell I/O redirection is not permitted).

To enable discovery of a VIO server, you must add a normal UNIX user to the underlying AIX 5.3 instance, which requires root access. To obtain root access, you must either log in to the AIX 5.3 instance directly as the root user, if such access has been enabled (it is not enabled by default), or log in to the VIO restricted shell and "escape" to the OEM environment by using the following command:

$ oem_setup_env

After you have root access, you can add the discovery user using the useradd command, as you would for any other AIX host:

# useradd discovery

Before you can use this account, you must configure a password:

# passwd discovery

You are prompted twice to enter a new password.

After the user is configured and a corresponding credential added to BMC Discovery, VIO Servers are discovered using the standard AIX discovery scripts. The following screen shows a discovered VIO server.

You can avoid adding the local UNIX user account by escaping to the OEM environment in the standard AIX discovery script. However, doing so gives BMC Discovery unrestricted root access to the OS and affects normal AIX hosts (where the oem_setup_env command does not exist). However, in this case, you might receive only a runtime error message, which you can ignore. It is not possible to detect the presence of oem_setup_env on the VIO server due to the shell restrictions.

Hardware Management Console (HMC) discovery

The Hardware Management Console consists of a dedicated host with application software that runs on a Linux OS instance. The HMC layer provides command line access, but only in a limited and restricted shell environment. Unlike the VIO Server, this environment is sufficient for discovery by BMC Discovery with the following caveats:

  • No process information returned—There is no HMC command to report processes running on the HMC host. Because the HMC is a dedicated host running nothing but the HMC application, this should not be an issue.
  • No port to process information—There is no HMC command to report this information. The lsof command would be used on other platforms.
  • No HBA information available—There are no HMC commands to report HBA information. The HMC hardware does not use an HBA.

The user account used to discover HMC requires the HMCVIEWERrole.

 

The HMC management software SI contains details about the hosts, host containers, and Power Systems that the HMC is managing. The Power Systems are represented as Detail nodes.


Related topics

Understanding target discovery

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