Managing the capacity of your AIX infrastructure

As a Capacity Planner or AIX Technology Specialist, use BMC Helix Continuous Optimization to configure, administer, and manage the capacity of your AIX infrastructure.

BMC Helix Continuous Optimization enables you to collect and manage data for the AIX infrastructure elements:

  • Providers (AIX hosts and pools)
  • Consumers (Logical and workload partitions)

IBM Power Series hosts (frames) are large servers that support virtualized partitions. These partitions run operating systems. An IBM Power Series host can be partitioned into logical partitions (LPARs) in the following ways:

  • Dedicated mode: Processors are assigned entirely to partitions. The partitions are called dedicated partitions or DLPARs.
  • Shared dedicated mode: Partitions might donate their spare CPU cycles to others.
  • Shared mode: Fractions of processing units are assigned as entitlements from a shared pool. The partitions are called shared processor partitions or SPLPARs.

The operating system (AIX, IBM, or Linux) running within an LPAR might further perform workload partitioning. Certain special partitions are dedicated to virtual I/O. These partitions, called VIO (Virtual I/O) Servers, manage physical storage and network resources and mediate access to these by other partitions. These partitioning schemes let business workloads use the CPU, memory, storage, and network resources managed by the hosts.

As the flow diagram indicates, the BMC Helix Continuous Optimization data source collects data from the IBM Power Series hosts (frames) and their partitions. The collected data is transferred to BMC Helix Continuous Optimization where it is processed and then displayed on the user interface. If you want more granular data, you need to collect data from the Hardware Management Console (HMC).

The HMC is a separate management station for administering a number of IBM Power frames. An HMC is required in any substantial Power series installation. The HMC has embedded software that does not support agents or other third-party additions. You can run SSH commands to remotely collect data from the HMC by using a third-party software like BMC Helix Continuous Optimization. The HMC provides configuration data and some utilization-related data about the frames and the partitions running on the frames.

Use the product functionalities to review, analyze, and manage the capacity of your AIX infrastructure providers and consumers.

aix_data_flow

What can you do with BMC Helix Continuous Optimization?

Managing the capacity of AIX infrastructure providers

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your AIX infrastructure providers by using the AIX Infrastructure view. For the infrastructure data to be available in the view, the Administrator must first set up the data source to collect data.

Step 1. Collect data and install the views

As an administrator, first set up the data source to collect data. Configure and use one of the following methods for data collection:

  • TrueSight Operations Management extractors: Configure and use these ETLs to collect the configuration and performance metrics from AIX hosts and pools.
  • BMC - TrueSight Capacity Optimization Gateway VIS files parser: Configure and use this ETL to collect additional metrics, more accurate memory utilization metrics, and performance metrics from AIX hosts and pools at a higher granularity. To collect data at this level, install and configure Continuous Optimization Agents to collect data from the Hardware Management Console (HMC) that manages frames.
    Agents can be configured to periodically collect HMC data. The Agent must be installed on any AIX or VIO Server LPAR with network access to the HMC. When collecting HMC data, the Agent collects HMC data only for its own frame. Therefore, each frame needs at least one Agent running on it.

After data collection starts, data is loaded daily, and Indicators are available in the Workspace tab.

As an Administrator, you must install the AIX views and Capacity Pools view and grant the necessary permissions to Capacity Planners and AIX Technology Specialists to access these views.

Step 2. Analyze the collected data

To get a high-level view of the infrastructure usage and health, use the out-of-the-box capacity pools in the Capacity Pools view. For detailed analysis, use the AIX PowerVM view.

The following common use cases are described here:

Understand the usage and health of your AIX infrastructure providers

Review and analyze the out-of-the-box capacity pools for AIX PowerVM hosts for a high-level understanding of their health and usage. For more information, see Capacity Pools view

You can drill down into a specific host for detailed analysis.

An Administrator can create capacity pools as per your requirement. You can then view and analyze them in the Capacity Pools view.

Understand resource availability, utilization, and utilization trend of your AIX infrastructure providers

Depending on the provider, review and analyze the resource metrics on the relevant page in the AIX views. 

For more information, see Hosts page in the AIX PowerVM view, Hosts page in the AIX WPAR view and Pools page in the AIX PowerVM view.

Evaluate the residual or spare capacity of AIX hosts and pools

Use the Hosts page in the AIX PowerVM view and Pools page in the AIX PowerVM view to identify the AIX hosts and pools where you can add additional partitions.

Identifying the AIX PowerVM hosts that have exhausted or exhausting resources

Use the Future Saturations page in the AIX PowerVM view to get a quick view of the AIX infrastructure providers that have exhausted or exhausting resources (CPU, memory, and storage).

Managing the capacity of AIX infrastructure consumers

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your AIX infrastructure consumers (partitions) by using the capacity views. For the infrastructure data to be available in the view, the Administrator must first configure data collection.

Step 1. Collect data and install the views

As an administrator, use the following data sources to collect data from the AIX partitions:

  • TrueSight Operations Management extractors: Configure and use the appropriate ETL to collect the configuration and performance metrics from AIX partitions.
  • BMC - TrueSight Capacity Optimization Gateway VIS files parser: Configure and use this ETL to collect additional metrics, more accurate memory utilization metrics, and performance metrics from partitions at a higher granularity. Before you use this ETL, you must instrument partitions in the frame. Data about non-instrumented partitions is collected by HMC. BMC Helix Continuous Optimization can collect certain metrics only from instrumented partitions; for example, complete set of metrics for shared processor pools and process-level data. You can use this data for the detailed capacity analysis.

To instrument a partition

  1. Install a Continuous Optimization Agent inside the partition from which you want to collect metrics.
  2. Configure the Gateway Server and Continuous Optimization Agent to initiate data collection.
    For more information, see 
    Collecting data via Continuous Optimization Agents
  3. Configure and use the out-of-the-box BMC - TrueSight Capacity Optimization Gateway VIS files parser to collect data from the Gateway Server.

After data collection starts, data is loaded daily, and Indicators are available in the Workspace tab.

Step 2. Analyze the collected data

Use the capacity views to analyze the partitions data. Depending on the data source, you can use the following pages for analysis: AIX PowerVM view and AIX WPAR view

The following common use cases are described here.

Determine and analyze the available resources and their utilization per partition or WPAR

Review the following pages in the AIX views to understand and analyze the CPU and memory usage of AIX consumers. You can drill down into a specific partition or WPAR for detailed analysis.

Identify and analyze VMs with the most and the least utilized resources

Review the details on the Top/bottom partitions page in the AIX PowerVM view to identify and analyze the partitions with the most and the least utilized resources.

Identify the shared pool partitions that exceed the entitlement values

Use the Partitions Exceeding Entitlement page in the AIX PowerVM view page to identify the AIX shared pool partitions that have exceeded the CPU entitlement values.

Identify the partitions and WPARs that have exhausted resources

Review the following pages in the AIX views to identify the AIX partitions and WPARs that have exhausted resources (CPU, memory, and storage).

Performing advanced analysis

To perform advanced analysis on the imported AIX data, such as identifying specific performance issues, trends, and bottlenecks, use Analysis.

Here are some use cases for which you can create and use Analysis:

Information

These videos describe the functionality of TrueSight Capacity Optimization, but they are valid for BMC Helix Continuous Optimization too.

Analyze the trend of system metrics

The following video explains how to create an analysis to analyze the trend of AIX system metrics over a specified interval.

Analyze the memory utilization

The following video explains how to create an analysis to analyze the memory usage pattern of an AIX WPAR.

For more examples, see Creating an analysis.

Managing the future demand

Use Models to predict the service performance and to obtain forecasts of historical series of metrics. For more information, see Modeling capacity usage.

The following use case describes when a resource of an AIX pool saturates:

Information

This video describes the functionality of TrueSight Capacity Optimization, but it is valid for BMC Helix Continuous Optimization too.

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