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HMC, CMC & Enterprise Pools 2.0 & Novalink Enhancements in 2023

By HARIGANESH MURALIDHARAN posted Tue January 16, 2024 12:49 AM

  

With the introduction of Power 10 systems, new HMC updates were released and as a follow on to the enhancements on the Power 10 systems, HMC V10 R2 M1040 and HMC V10 R3 M1050 were released in 2023 for management of new firmware levels along with User Experience improvements and set of new features enabling a seamless systems management experience. 

You can update to V10 R2 M1040 from V10 R2 M 1030 with or without additional service packs.  HMC V10 R3 is a new release and You can upgrade to V10 R3 from V10 R1 or V10 R2 with or without additional service packs.

HMC V10 will only manage Power8, Power9 and Power10 systems, but will not manage POWER7 systems. 

Systems & Virtualization Management Enhancements:

In addition to support for FW1040, FW1050 , new IO adapters, new IO Expansion drawer and PCIe Gen4 IO drawer, following features have been added. 

VIOS Management Enhancements:

HMC 10.2.1040:

•       Option to rename Virtual Target Device(VTD), Virtual Optical (vopt)

•       Ability to rename Logical Unit associated with a SSP Cluster Tier

HMC 10.3.1050:

As a continuation of VIOS Management enhancement delivered in previous releases, HMC V10 R3 M1050 adds ability to Upgrade VIOS (say from VIOS 3.x to VIOS 4.x) using HMC with update images from a remote SFTP or NFS server, USB or HMC. Ability to import VIOS images to HMC and managing the images are also provided to apply upgrades for multiple VIOS’s.

Option to upgrade VIOS is available via GUI, Rest API and Command Line Interface.  Note: An active RMC connection between HMC and VIOS is required to perform upgrade.

HMC User Experience Enhancements:

As part of our continued User Experience focus  HMC 10.2.1040 and HMC 10.3.1050.0 have many user experience improvements including a new dashboard landing view.

HMC 10.2.1040:

HMC 10.3.1050:

New GUI changes include new design and UI flows for Live Partition Mobility, Performance and Capacity Monitoring, Managing Dumps and LEDs.

 

As we move forward in the user experience journey, we intend to transition the GUI to carbon design based UI in a staged manner* and we would like to hear your feedback on the User Experience improvements !

  • Any statements regarding IBM's future direction, intent or product plans are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.

Virtualization Management Enhancements:

HMC 10.2.1040:

  • Ability to list and set System and Partition description from CLI
  • Support to synchronize, persist System/Partition Descriptions across dual HMC’s and through the lifecycle of the partition
  • Ability to view system and partition uptime
  • Ability to start/stop cloud connector from HMC GUI and Rest API (Idea: HMC-I-374)
  • Add support for SFTP and NFS options in cpsysplan command (Idea: HMC-I-282)
  • Ability to create system plan with “Power Off automatically when last LPAR is shutdown” enabled (Idea: HMC-I-342)
  • Option to choose capacity view vs utilization view for performance and capacity monitoring. Note: This setting is not applicable for HMC V10 R3 M1050 which will by default have the capacity view and the UI allows a toggle to view the utilization view.

o   chhmc -c pcmprocusage -s modify --deductidle off -- capacity view

o   chhmc -c pcmprocusage -s modify --deductidle on -- Default and Utilization view

HMC 10.3.1050:

Additional Memory Region sizes (Logical Memory Blocks – LMB):

With FW1050 on Power10 Systems and HMC V10 R3 M1050, there is support for new LMB sizes of 1GB, 2GB and 4GB, while support for 128MB and 256MB is being maintained. Note that LMB sizes 16MB, 32MB and 64MBs are not supported starting with Power 10 systems. Support for larger LMB sizes have shown measurable improvements in time taken for partition boot and dynamic re-sizing of partition memory. While choosing the LMB size for the system, you should also take into account of the fact that Live Partition Mobility requires LMB size to be same on both source and target system.

Remote Restart support for Virtual Persistent Memory:

  • Enables support to remote restart LPARs with Virtual Persistent Memory (vPMEM) volumes attached

o   Live Partition Mobility (LPM) for LPARs with vPMEM volumes supported from FW1030/HMC 10.2.1030.0

  • Minimum levels: HMC 10.3.1050.0, FW1030

IPv6 support on service interfaces for Power10 Scale-out and Mid-range systems:

  • Ability to configure IPv6 for BMC and VMI (Virtualization Management Interface) endpoints
  •  Ability to manage the system with IPv6 configured for the service interfaces
  •  Minimum levels: HMC 10.3.1050.0, FW1050

New Encryption level for vTPM 2.0:

  • Ability to view and select a new encryption level when using vTPM 2.0
    •  Note: vTPM 2.0 is supporting starting with Power10 systems
  •  Minimum levels: HMC 10.3.1050.0, FW1050
  •  Lifecycle management of the partition with the new encryption level, including Live Partition Mobility, Remote Restart

HMC Management and Security Enhancements:

HMC 10.2.1040: 

  • New GUI for upgrading HMC
  • Ability to specify key size for HMC server certificate (Supported values: 2048, 3072, 4096)
  • Ability to set expiry date for certificate used for 9920 port in HMC 
  • Auto deletion of LDAP users whose id's have been deleted in the LDAP server in auto managed mode

HMC 10.3.1050: 

  • New and improved User Experience for updating HMC, including IBM Website option
  • Minimum levels: HMC 10.3.1050.0
  • Ability to apply multiple updates in one flow, when using IBM website option to update HMC.

CMC & Power Private Cloud with Shared Utility Capacity(EP2.0) Enhancements:

Cloud Management Console (CMC) provides insights for your Power System infrastructure and is the platform for Power Private Cloud with Shared Utility Capacity a.k.a Enterprise Pools 2.0. New CMC updates that were rolled out comes with new feature enhancement, scalability improvements and infrastructure improvements.

  • Show % of base capacity in Inventory view (CMCO-I-13)
  • EP2.0 Graph type options: (CMCO-I-7, CMCO-I-23)
    • core usage vs core minutes 
    • memory usage vs memory minutes
  • Security: Attribute data masking for additional security
  • Support to query inventory data via API
  • Support for IBM i Virtual Serial Number (VSN) in Power Enterprise Pools 2.0
  • Ability to include IBM i partitions with VSNs in a EP2.0 pool 
  • Enhancement to track IBM i OS usage based on Software Tier
  • PowerHA SystemMirror license entitlements are enabled as base and metered capacity resources in EP2.0. You can get more details of the feature here
  • API support to access capacity and performance monitoring data
  • Support for Microsoft Edge Browser
  • Scale and performance optimizations

For more details on the new features in CMC introduced in 2023,  you can refer to CMC Updates – November 2023 and CMC Updates – April 2023

PowerVM Novalink 2.1.1 and 2.2 Enhancements:

Novalink plays an integral part in the virtualization management of Power Systems and the new updates in 2023 come with enhancements, support for new OS levels to run Novalink on. 

Novalink plays an integral part in the virtualization management of Power Systems and the new updates in 2023 come with enhancements, support for new OS levels to run Novalink on. 

Novalink 2.1.1:

  • Enhancement to support Platform Keystore which provides the ability to assign platform keystore space for each partition. Platform keystore space will be provided by Hypervisor and can be configured at a partition level for use by Operating System.
  • Support for RHEL 9.1 and 8.7

Novalink 2.2:

  • Added support for Dynamic Platform Optimizer

o   New HMC like command optmem and lsmemopt support added to Novalink.

  • Added Network install support for IBMi partitions

o   pvmctl vm network-install” and chsysstate has been enhanced to support Network Installation for IBM i partitions.

Note: For RHEL 9.0/9.1 and Ubuntu 20.04, minimum required level of Novalink is 2.1.0

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

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