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AIX > Administrator > Systems Management

Hardware Management Console Maintenance Basics

HMC Maintenance

The care and feeding of your hardware management consoles (HMCs) is an important part of keeping your systems current and healthy. I try to keep my HMC at the absolute latest level that will support my servers and that is supported on the HMC. This ensures that I am always prepared to support any new functions and features that come out, provided they are also supported by the attached servers. The instructions in this article are for using Classic mode on the HMC; they will differ slightly if you are using Enhanced mode. The procedure for the updates is very close to the same with both the physical and the virtual HMC.

Determining the Level You're Currently At

Once you are logged onto the HMC you will see the word Welcome on the right followed by (HMC Version). You can hover over the HMC version and it will provide you with the level you are currently running. Alternatively, you can ssh to the HMC and run the following:

lshmc -V
The result will look something like:
"version= Version: 8
 Release: 8.6.0
 Service Pack: 0
HMC Build level 20170124.1
MH01655: Required fix for HMC V8R8.6.0 (11-01-2016)
MH01674: Fix for HMC V8R8.6.0 (01-24-2017)

The above tells me I am at v8.8.6.0 sp0 with two fixes applied (MH01655 and MH01674).

The lshmc command is very useful and the various flags below can be used to get information very quickly from the command line. If you type in just lshmc it will provide something similar to the syntax list below:

    -V                     - Displays HMC version information.
    -v                     - Displays HMC VPD information. 
    -r                     - Displays HMC remote access settings.
    -n                     - Displays HMC network settings. 
    -b                     - Displays the BIOS level of the HMC. 
    -l                     - Displays the current locale for the HMC. 
    -L                     - Displays all supported locales for the HMC. 
    -h                     - Displays HMC hardware information.
    -i                     - Displays HMC Integrated Management Module (IMM)
    -e                     - Displays HMC settings for Events Manager for Call
    --firewall             - Displays HMC firewall settings.
    --netroute             - Displays HMC network routing information.
    --syslog               - Displays HMC syslog server settings.
    -F [] - delimiter-separated list of the names of the
                             attributes to be listed for the specified HMC
                             setting.  If no attribute names are specified,
                             then all attributes will be listed.
    --header               - prints a header of attribute names when -F is
                             also specified
    --help                 - prints this help

Figuring Out the Levels to Go to

The first step is figuring out what versions you are on and what levels you should install. The latest version is v8.8.6.0 SP1 (as of March 15, 2017), which is also known as MH01656. This level requires that the HMC must be at least a CR8 deskside or a CR5 rack mount. It could also be a virtual HMC, which is a VM on an Intel* server. Earlier HMCs are not supported on v8. Additionally, POWER5* servers are not supported on v8. For older HMCs or for POWER5* server support, the most current version is v7.7.9.0M3 (MH01546) with multiple fixes. Support for v7.7.9 ended as of December 30, 2016, so this is a good time to transition your older servers to newer technology. If you need to keep POWER5* servers around, then I would recommend putting them on their own HMC so that the newer servers can run with the latest HMC levels and take advantage of the features offered in v8.8.6.

Prior to upgrading, it is important to read the description file for the upgrade. This is where you will find the list of any prerequisites for the upgrade. You should also note that the HMC must currently be at v8.8.4+mandatory fix MH01560 or v8.8.5+mandatory fix MH01617 prior to upgrading to v8.8.6.

Enhancements and New Functions in v8.8.6.0SP1

(Taken from the description file)

  • Changed the default behavior of partition migration operations to maintain the processor and memory affinity group of each migrating partition.
  • Added support to the migrlpar command to allow users to override the processor and memory affinity group of each migrating partition.
  • Added support for JNLP based Virtual Terminal Console (VTERMs) on the following browsers: IE, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • HMC New login page - The pre-login and login panels have been consolidated into one single page with the following features:

    • New design

    • Welcome text integrated into the sign-in box

    • Monitoring section, including resources states, attention LEDs and serviceable events

    • Persisted default login set to the Enhanced GUI

    • Social networks links (not available on local HMC)

    • DeveloperWorks feeds summary section (not available on local HMC)

This update also includes some significant security patches: In particular, there are fixes for BIND, NTP, OpenSSL and OpenSSH. After this update you may find that older SSH clients that use insecure ciphers will not work when using SSH to the HMC. Putty does still work, as should any modern client.

Prior to Upgrading

It is important to take a backup prior to upgrading. That way if things go wrong you can still recover. There are two parts to the backup. The first is to take a local backup of the critical console data—this is done to ensure that local customizations are saved. Then you take a backup of the HMC itself.

We now check that we have enough memory and disk space for the upgrade.

  1. Check we have plenty of memory monhmc -r mem -n 0 KiB Mem : 8176644 total, 2289068 free, 2394964 used, 3492612 buff/cache This shows our server has 8GB memory
  2. Check whether filesystems are full from previous upgrades monhmc -r disk -n 0 This will show the filesystems and space used:

    Filesystem                    1K-blocks    	Used 		Available 	Use% 	Mounted on
    /dev/sda2                      15990112 	7207120   	7964080  	48% 	/
    devtmpfs                        4079392   	0   		4079392   	0% 	/dev
    tmpfs                              4088320     	0   		4088320   	0% 	/dev/shm
    tmpfs                              4088320  	139820   	3948500   	4% 	/run
    tmpfs                              4088320     	0   		4088320   	0% 	/sys/fs/cgroup
    /dev/sda3                       5909248  	231852   	5370556  	 5%	 /var
    /dev/mapper/HMCDataVG-ExtraLV  20511312 6982204  12464148  	36% 	/extra
    /dev/mapper/HMCDataVG-HomeLV   10190100  114396   9535032   2% 	/home
    /dev/mapper/HMCDataVG-DataLV  113402528   68804 107550172   1% /	data
    /dev/mapper/HMCDataVG-LogLV     8125880 1461692   6228376  	20% 	/var/hsc/log
    /dev/mapper/HMCDataVG-DumpLV   51474912   57184  48779904   1% 	/dump

    To clean up filesystems by clearing out the temp files do the following: chhmcfs -o f -d 0

Jaqui Lynch is an independent consultant, focusing on enterprise architecture, performance and delivery on Power Systems with AIX and Linux.

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