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Migrating to POWER8 Systems

April 5, 2016

You just found out you're getting new hardware. But hold the celebration -- how do you get your existing LPARs to run on it?

This document covers migration paths for AIX systems to POWER8 systems. It's "intended as a quick-reference guide in transitioning an existing AIX system from prior POWER architectures to a POWER8 system. The focus is on AIX itself, not the application stack."

The document shows a graphical chart which covers migration paths including Live Partition Mobility, NIM alt disk migration, update/migration installs, versioned WPARs, etc.

Here's more:

Which options are available to me?

For AIX 5.3 and earlier
You’ll need to migrate to a POWER8-supported level. ... there are fundamentally 3 options in this case:

1. NIM alt disk migration
2. Migrate in-place, then either mksysb, alt_disk_copy, or Live Partition Mobility (if going from POWER6 or POWER7 system).
3. Create mksysb of 5.2 or 5.3 system, install supported 7.1 on POWER8 system, and create AIX 5.2 or 5.3 Versioned WPAR from the mksysb.

For AIX 6.1 or 7.1
You have the option of doing an AIX update to a supported level instead of a migration, though if on AIX 6.1 you may still choose to migrate to 7.1 to get full POWER8 capabilities. Again... there are fundamentally 3 options:

1. If at a level that supports POWER8 and if the system is LPM-capable, Live Partition Mobility can be used to move to the POWER8 system.
2. If at a level that supports POWER8, use mksysb or alt_disk_copy to move to the POWER8 system and AIX update on the POWER8 system only if desired.
3. Update in-place and either mksysb, alt_disk_copy, or Live Partition Mobility (if going from POWER6 or POWER7 system). Note that if alt_disk_copy is chosen, the update can be to the alternate disk rather than in-place.

Partition Mobility is an option for moving partitions dynamically from POWER6/POWER7 to POWER8 systems, provided that the partitions are LPM-capable. Partition Mobility can be performed on both HMC managed systems as well as on Integrated Virtualization manager (IVM) managed systems. The FLRT tool can be used to validate the source and target systems for LPM.

Two types of migration are available depending on the state of the logical partition:
– The migration is active if the mobile partition is in running state.
– The migration is inactive if the mobile partition is shutdown.

- POWER6 or POWER7 system is required.
- LPARs must be LPM capable.

This document can help you decide which method will work best in your environment. It's worth your time.

Also, don't forget that there are now options for running AIX 5.3 on POWER8 systems without using a WPAR. If you find yourself in this situation, you can still move up to POWER8.

Posted April 5, 2016| Permalink