Welcome back to the PowerVM blog – we’re glad you stopped by to check out some of the highlights in HMC’s Enhanced+ user interface (UI) included in V8R8.6.0 release available in November 2016. We’re continuing to put emphasis on performance while delivering new enhancements to improve your user experience.
If you haven’t seen our performance updates in the V8R8.5.0 release, check out our previous blog here. We’ve made some big improvements in performance over the last two releases, and the upcoming V8R8.6.0 release is no exception.
With performance being an ongoing story for our team, let’s take a look at the key areas of focus for HMC V8R8.6.0.
1 – Logical Partition General Properties
This is the page you want to locate basic properties for a specific partition. While this page was easy to find, it was taking a long time to load – close to a minute in some cases.
We identified this as a key area during our profiling efforts and went to work. The load time for this page is now cut in half allowing you to get to the information faster.
2 – Deleting a Virtual Network from the Enhanced+ UI
Another fairly straightforward operation that was taking time was deleting a virtual network from the UI. This was something we noticed during profiling as well as everyday use. If we found it during everyday use, we know that you have probably encountered this also.
This was another area where we reduced the time by half in our benchmark environment.
3 – Viewing Connected Partitions for System Virtual Storage
While viewing connected partitions for virtual storage may not have taken a very long time in previous releases (about 8 seconds), it was still too long for us.
This effort in particular, highlights our efforts to be obsessed with improving the performance of our UI.
4 – Templates
In our V8R8.5.0 release, we addressed the process of capturing a template from an existing partition. In the upcoming V8R8.6.0 release, we’ve shifted to the other area of templates – deployment.
The three areas of focus in template deployment are: a basic partition template, a partition template with virtual networking configured and a partition template with both virtual networking and virtual storage configured.
In the case of a basic partition, we were able to reduce the time by almost half again. For the other two template scenarios, we’ve done even better!
Templates has been a major area of improvement for us lately, and we hope you’ll log in to give it a try. And, as you’ll see later in this blog, we’ve introduced a new feature for partition deployment also.
Enough talk about the performance, let’s take a look at the data that backs it up. Here are our numbers and some notes on our benchmark environment.
Response times below are in seconds
Configuration used to collect Enhanced+ UI performance results:
• CR9 HMC (with 16GB of RAM)
• 5 Managed Systems (S824 machines: 8286-42A)
• 500 LPARS total (100 partitions per system)
That’s all on performance for now. Let’s take a look at some of the other enhancements we’ve been working on.
Enhanced+ UI Updates
Topology Diagram Enhancements
We currently have four different topology diagrams available in our Enhanced+ UI: Virtual Networking, Partition Virtual Storage, System Virtual Storage and SRIOV/VNIC. If you haven’t taken an opportunity to try these out, there’s no better time than now!
These provide a great visual view of the relationships in your environment between the physical and virtual components. However, one drawback was that we could not provide information beyond the basics on the individual images.
We’ve enhanced this in the V8R8.6.0 release by introducing click cards. Now, right-clicking on an individual component will provide a card with more details.
This is a great new feature because now you don’t have to jump from the nice, visual diagram to the various settings pages to get the details you want. It’s all available from the diagram.
User Task Log
As a standard user, have you ever had trouble remembering what you did on your HMC last week or last month?
As an admin, have you ever wondered who’s doing what on your HMC’s?
Well, wonder no more! We’ve introduced a task log in our UI with V8R8.6.0.
NOTE: Resource names have been blacked out in all of the images below
The main task log can be accessed from the Serviceability menu on the left side of the UI. This page shows all tasks done in the UI on systems, partitions, and even the HMC.
A contextual task log for a resource can be accessed from the left menu pod under the Serviceability section. Contextual task logs for individual systems and partitions will show only the tasks performed against that specific resource.
The Task pod in the lower right part of the Enhanced+ UI shows a quick view of the tasks for the current user. These tasks can be filtered by status or date, and you can easily jump to the overall task log if you want.
Simplified Partition Creation
As I mentioned in the performance section, we are introducing a new, simpler way to create partitions in the Enhanced+ UI.
We are making it easier to create just the basic partition without having to walk through the template wizard. There is still access to the template wizard from the link in the corner, but this will let you get the basic job done faster.
Virtual NIC Failover Support
Since the introduction of Virtual NIC (vNIC) support, the team has been working hard to offer further enhancements in this area. One of these is vNIC failover – providing one or more backing devices for a vNIC to use if the primary goes down for some reason.
When configured, this helps ensure that the network connections to your partitions stay up and running even when a problem is encountered on the primary device. Great news, right?
In order to facilitate this, we’ve added some more information to the vNIC screens in our Enhanced+ UI.
We’ve added a new tree-table view to easily show the active backing devices along with all of the backups (when configured).
Easily see the current backing device state and failover information from both system and partition views.
All of these new features mentioned above, in addition to future enhancements will only be available in the Enhanced+ UI. In order to ensure you have access to the latest PowerVM support and features, we strongly encourage you to use the new UI.
With our continued emphasis on bringing the best possible user experience to the Enhanced+ UI, we’re planning to make V8R8.6.0 the last release that will support the Classic login option.
Contacting the PowerVM Team
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