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HMC support For IBM OpenPower Systems

By Jerry Slayton posted Fri June 26, 2020 03:54 PM


HMC Support For IBM OpenPower Systems

With an increase in demand for an IBM hardware management and serviceability solution for our IBM Power AC/LC systems, the HMC responded with the most recent HMC V9 R1.911.0 release.  Managing IBM Power AC/LC systems is now supported! The challenge of managing multiple BMC based systems with an established and supported tool has now been simplified.  The same HMC used to manage enterprise systems can now also manage the AC/LC systems providing a consistent and consolidated hardware management solution. Support will go into ppc64 HMC(7063-CR1 MTM)/ ppc64le vHMC and x86 vHMC. 

Which systems are supported?

Supported Power AC/LC systems are as follows:

  • 8335-GTH 
  • 8335-GTX 
  • 9006-12P 
  • 9006-22P
  • 9183-22X

What can the HMC do with these systems?

With this release the HMC endeavored to provide the users the same familiar experience they have become accustomed to while also supporting the neuances of the BMC based systems. You can now add one of these supported systems to the HMC and perform some basic hardware management and serviceability operations.  Operations like powering on/off the system, BMC and PNOR firmware updates, event alerting, call home, and LED controls. The HMC also supports the underlying CLI/REST API's that enable these operations.  Its important to note that  BMC and PNOR firmware updates are not yet supported with x86 vHMC managing a BMC system.

How do I get started?

First add the Power AC/LC system to the HMC. 

Add Managed System

Notice that there is now a username requirement when adding a Power AC/LC system.  When connecting to a 9006 model the default username "ADMIN" is used, and when connecting to a 8335 model the default username "admin" is used.  After the system is added to the HMC it will show up under systems.

All Systems


What else can the HMC do with the Power AC/LC systems?


Now that the system has been added to the HMC you can navigate to any of the supported hardware management and serviceability options.

Click the check box on the managed system and then select the Actions button.

View All Actions


Notice the list of operations is smaller then what you might be use to seeing for an IBM enterprise system.  The supported functions for BMC are limited to hardware management and serviceability.  Any unsupported functions have been filtered out for ease of use.


How do I update the BMC/PNOR firmware?

Updating the BMC/PNOR firmware starts off by navigating to Updates.




Because the HMC supports updating both the BMC and PNOR firmware across multiple BMC in one operation the user navigation diverges at this point to the BMC licensed internal code update wizard.  


BMC Change Licensed Internal Code


Notice when the wizard begins there is a warning message indicating the system must be powered off in order to begin the firmware update.  You will not be able to proceed through the wizard unless all the systems selected for the update operation have been powered off.  From here the user is limited to canceling the operation or powering off the system before proceeding.


BMC Licensed Internal Code System


Now that is much better, the system is powered off and the user is free to proceed through the wizard. Clicking next will take you to the next step accepting the license agreement.  After that the user can select which type of firmware they wish to update. 


Select Licensed Internal Code


The user can select BMC or PNOR or both.  Its important to note that the BMC is automatically activated at the end of the update while the PNOR requires a power cycle to be activated.  Clicking “Next” here will take you to the firmware repository screen after which the user can select the required level from the repository.


BMC Licensed Internal Code Available Levels


Now you are ready to update. Next it will take you to the summary panel which will indicate which levels are being updated and to what.


BMC Licensed Internal Code Summary


Click “Finish” here to initiate the update.


BMC Licensed Internal Code Update Progress


There you have it, the licensed internal code has been updated!


That’s great but what else?


Did we mention event alerting and call home?  So depending on which Power AC/LC system you are managing, setting up call home will require SNMP traps to be configured on the BMC.  For the 8335 models SNMP traps are currently not supported.  The HMC will query events through the OpenBMC REST API. Nothing different in setting up call home here, configure the HMC for call home as you normally would and the events will show up in the Service Event Manager.  You can even click on the events for a description of what occurred. If you have email or trap notification configured the alerts will be sent out.  If however you are managing one of the 9006 models, simply configure SNMP traps on the BMC and then setup the HMC to receive.  Navigate to the firewall settings under the LAN Adapter Details and confirm the settings.


HMC BMC alerting firewall settings

Now you are all set to manage an IBM Power AC/LC system.  Combine that with the virtualization support in PowerVC for a robust management solution.

Contacting the PowerVM Team

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