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Understanding Power Systems Error Logs

By Adam Stallman posted Tue June 23, 2020 10:30 AM

PowerVM Error Log OverviewOverview
Platform firmware subsystems (Service processor firmware, PowerVM hypervisor) and the Operating Systems (logical partitions) generate and record Error/Event Logs for several types of events occurring on the system. These errors could be a result of a periodic diagnostic operation performed by the firmware or due to any error encountered while interacting with different hardware entities present in the system like processors, memory, IO, etc. The firmware subsystems may also report events requiring customer action to execute procedures for correcting configuration issues in the server or in the environment. For example, network configuration issues and ambient temperature conditions are some of the cases where external intervention by customers is required. The severity of the error is determined based on its impact to the logical partition or server, and reported to the customer.

Error Log and SRC Content
In the remainder of this document, the Error/Event Log is referred as the event log and a description of how to access these event logs through the Advanced Systems Management Interface (ASMI) is explained. The event logs identified by the service processor firmware and PowerVM hypervisor are stored in a service processor maintained repository until they are reported to an external systems management entity like the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or a host operating system partitions that has been designated as the service partition. Depending upon the severity, some of these events may also be automatically reported to IBM customer care centers. This notification capability needs to be  enabled by the customer by configuring the call-home feature on the HMC as outlined in the following link:

Once the event log is received by the HMC or the host OS, it is marked as reported within the service processor firmware subsystem and it becomes a candidate for purging if the space in the event log repository fills up. Until such time, these events can be viewed through ASMI, a web-based interface offered by the service processor subsystem. The specific menu to view events logs can be reached by clicking the System Service Aids > Error/Event Logs.  Additionally, these serviceable events can also be viewed on the HMC via the Serviceable Event Manager screen as outlined in the following link:

Figure 2 shows a snapshot of the event log via ASMI.
PowerVM Error Log ASMI
The following table describes various fields shown as part of the Error/Event Logs screen of ASMI.
PowerVM Error Log Field Description
You can see details of these logs through ASMI by selecting the “Show Details” options in the “Error/Event Logs” screen.

When an error is identified as hardware or firmware within the platform firmware, the corresponding event log points to the specific hardware or firmware component by supplying additional information including the location codes, part numbers, and serial numbers. This collection of information is grouped under a callout section of the event log. Figure 3 shows an example callout section from an event log reported by the service processor firmware.
PowerVM Error Log Example
A brief description of the various fields shown in the callout section is depicted in the table below.
PowerVM Error Log Callout Types
The details of the reporting machine type and the firmware version can be found as part of the extended user header section of the error log (as shown in Figure 4). This information can be used to identify the version of the firmware installed on the system and check if any latest firmware updates are available.
PowerVM Error Log User Header
Using KnowledgeCenter for Problem Determination using SRC
To get more information about an error from the Knowledge Center, perform the following steps:

  1. From an event log, find the reference code (For example, in Figure 3, the Reference Code B15738FD is marked by the red box).
  2. Use the following link or the search function of IBM® Knowledge Center to find reference codes: http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8eai/reference_codes_parent.htm
  3. Search the reference code in one of following links:
    1. Progress codes
    2. Service request numbers
    3. System reference codes (1xxx - Axxx)
    4. System reference codes (Bxxx)
    5. System reference codes (Dxxx - Hxxx)
    6. Reference codes that begin with a number sign (#)
  4. You can navigate to the required reference code and get more information in the related page. B15738FD

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Contacting the PowerVM Team
Have questions for the PowerVM team or want to learn more?  Follow our discussion group on LinkedIn IBM PowerVM or IBM Community Discussions