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Creating IBM i Client Partitions Using Virtual Partition Manager GUI

The IBM Virtual Partition Manager (VPM) provides IBM i customers with the capability to create and manage IBM i or Linux partitions without the use of a Hardware Management Console (HMC). The VPM supports environments with a hosting IBM i partition and up to four client IBM i or Linux partitions. The hosting IBM i partition will own and manage all of the I/O resources. The client IBM i partitions, when created with VPM, will use virtual I/O to connect back to the IBM i hosting server partition to access the physical disk, tape, DVD and network resources.

The IBM i client partitions can be IBM i 7.1 or IBM i 6.1.1 code levels. The function is available on IBM POWER7 IBM Express Servers, and a PowerVM license is required to support four client partitions.

What’s New?

Previously with VPM, users relied on existing 5250 green screens to complete these tasks when configuring new client partitions. With the recent release of the IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 and PTF SI49568, a new function was added to include a GUI interface for VPM.

IBM Navigator for i provides this graphical interface for VPM. To get started, launch IBM Navigator for i. In the navigation area, expand Configuration and Services, then All Tasks, then Partition Management, as shown in Figure 1.

Creating a Client Partition

Now let’s create a Client Partition. Selecting Create Partition will start the wizard. Follow the instructions on the Create Partition Wizard to create the IBM i or Linux client partition. I’ll provide a step-by-step example of how to create an IBM i partition.

Step 1. Choose the Partition ID, Partition name and Partition type and click Next, as shown in Figure 2.

Step 2. Assign the desired memory to the new partition and click Next, as shown in Figure 3.

Step 3. Specify the desired number of processors for the new partition and click Next, as shown in Figure 4.

Step 4. Allocate the virtual Ethernet for the new partition by clicking on the Allocate Virtual Ethernet button, as shown in Figure 5.

Step 5. Specify VLAN: 1 and then click OK, as shown in Figure 6.

Step 6. Click Next at the screen shown in Figure 7.

Step 7. Create the Virtual Disks for the new partition by clicking on the Create Virtual Disk button, as shown in Figure 8.

Step 8. Specify the Virtual disk name, Virtual disk size and the Description and click OK, as shown in Figure 9.

Step 9. After creating the Virtual Disks for the new partition, select the virtual disks from the list and click Next, as shown in Figure 10.

Step 10. Review the Summary as shown in Figure 11 and then click Finish.

You’ll see a message like the one in Figure 12 if the partition was created successfully.

The Details

The Create Partition Wizard automatically creates and associates the Network Server Description (NWSD) and the Network Server Storage Space (NWSSTG) objects in the hosting partition. In addition, the Create Partition Wizard associated the virtual Ethernet connections between the client partition and the hosting partition. This was done by specifying the same VLAN ID for the virtual Ethernet adapters in both the client and the hosting partitions. The Create Partition Wizard doesn’t support configuring this virtual connection to physical resources in the host partition. Please refer to the “Ethernet Layer-2 Bridging” section in the IBM Redpaper “Creating IBM i Client Partitions Using Virtual Partition Manager” for more information on using virtual Ethernet with VPM.

Now the customer can install the operating system on the new partition. There are many options for installing the operating system, such as network install, DVD or tape. Once the install has completed, the client can manage the partition using the IBM Navigator for i.

Helpful Links

Several useful documents will help customers with VPM.

Dave Snyder is a Staff Software Engineer on the IBM i System Test team located at the Rochester, Minn., laboratory. He has been in the software testing field since 1987.



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