PowerVM

VIOS Maintenance Validation and Backup/restore

By MANJUNATH SHANBHAG posted Sat April 17, 2021 09:41 PM

  
Over the years, there have been multiple enhancements to simplify PowerVM Management via HMC. With HMC release V9.2.950.0, the following enhancements have been added which will simplify PowerVM management, reduce context switches and improve the user experience.
  1. Ability to validate the readiness of Virtual IO Server (VIOS) for maintenance.
  2. Ability to perform VIOS IO Configuration backup, store it in HMC and restore the configuration at later point.
  3. Ability to perform VIOS backup and store the backup in HMC. Later this backup can be used to for restoring the VIOS. 

VIOS Validate Maintenance Readiness :

For maintenance of the VIOS to upgrade or update or to perform the IO adapter firmware upgrade, VIOS might have to be powered off, which might impact the client partition to which the VIOS is providing storage or network. So, before a VIOS is powered off for maintenance, it is recommended that user first validate redundancy of the dual-VIOS configuration, ensuring that the client partitions using the VIOS for IO are properly setup with multi-path/redundancy for network & storage. Currently, as an user, you can use various VIOS/HMC commands or GUI interfaces to identify the impacted partitions.
In HMC version V9.2.950.0 version, an option to Validate Maintenance Readiness is provided for the running VIOS partition with active RMC connection. HMC users with all partitions and VIOSs access will be able to perform this operation.
Select the Virtual I/O Server and click Actions > Validate Maintenance Readiness to open validate Maintenance Readiness window as shown in below image.


 
The Validate Maintenance Readiness window displays the list of impacted VIOS client partitions with impacted resources. Click and expand the sections to get the details. 

Virtual SCSI Storage Validation:


Displays the Partition Name (State), Storage Name, Storage Type, and Remarks. The remarks column indicates whether the client partition has redundancy for the storage. A warning message is displayed if the client partition using VIOS for virtualized storage and/or network (VIO Client partition) is powered off. An error message is displayed if the VIO client partition is in any other state apart from ‘Not Activated’ state. The Storage type can be Physical Volume, Logical Volume, or Virtual Optical Media and Logical units. For the Virtual Optical Media and Logical Volume there cannot be redundancy. But for virtual SCSI mapping with the Physical Volume or Logical Unit, HMC does the validation to check if there is redundant connection to the storage from any other VIOS partition. 


Virtual Fibre Channel Validation:


Displays the Partition Name (State), vFC Host Adapter, and Remarks. The remarks column indicates whether the client partition has redundant vFC storage provided through the vfchost-FC Port mapping. The vFC storage redundancy validation is performed only for the logical partition that is in a running state with an active RMC connection. A warning is shown if the client partition is not running or does not have proper RMC connection as in those states, HMC cannot validate the redundancy for the client disks.


Virtual NIC Validation:


Displays the Partition Name (State), Virtual NIC Adapter ID, and Remarks. The remarks column indicates whether the virtual NIC adapter has an operational redundant backing device for the client partition. A warning message is displayed if the VIO client partition is shutdown. An error message is displayed if the VIOS client partition is in any other state apart from “Not activated” state.

Virtual LAN Validation:


Displays the Partition Name (State), Port Virtual LAN ID, Virtual Switch, Virtual Network Name, and Remarks. The remarks column indicates whether the virtual network that is assigned to the logical partition has redundancy. A warning message is displayed if the VIO client partition is in inactive state. An error message is displayed if the VIOS client partition is in any other state apart from the inactive state. Virtual network will have redundancy if the Shared Ethernet Adapter on the VIOS has redundant Shared Ethernet Adapter in other VIOS.
 
Click Errors to view only error messages and click Warnings to view only warning messages that are displayed in the Remarks column of all sections. Click All to view both the error and warning messages.
 
Based on the displayed information, user can reconfigure the client partition’s storage or network using HMCs GUI or CLI interface to achieve the redundancy. Click Re-Validate to refresh the data of listed VIOS client partitions after configuration changes.
 
HMC can validate the redundancy based on the current state of the partition and VIOS. Click View System VIOS to view information about all the virtual I/O servers in the managed system. The View System Virtual I/O Server information window displays name of the system, state, RMC connection, and Remarks. Remarks column indicates if there are any error while retrieving inventory information from VIOS, which is used for the redundancy validation. See sample System VIOS Information window as below.


 
If there are no error/warnings, then validation will be successful and validation result is shown as in below image.


Backup VIOS IO Configuration and restore : 

VIOS has a command “viosbr” for backing up the virtual and logical configuration and restoring the configuration. HMC V9.2.950.0 version provides an interface to backup IO Configuration.  Option is provided to manage the various configuration backup taken for the VIOSs and also restore it.
 
To perform this task, you must have access to Manage VIOS images files. To launch the task click on HMC Management -> Templates and OS images -> Manage Virtual I/O Server backups window as in below image.


 

The panel lists the Virtual I/O Server Configuration Backup and Virtual I/O Server Backup sections as shown below.
 

 
The VIOS Configuration section displays the Backup Name, Managed System, Virtual I/O Server for which the backup the backup was created, and Backup created time. If the Virtual I/O Server is not managed by an HMC, the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) of the Virtual I/O Server is displayed. If the managed system is no longer managed by HMC, then Machine Type and Model System (MTMS) of the managed system is displayed.
 
Click Backup IO Configuration to backup I/O configuration settings of the selected Virtual I/O Server. The Virtual I/O Server must be in running state with an active Resource Monitoring Control (RMC) connection to create the I/O configuration backup. Select the Managed system and the Virtual I/O Server from the drop-down list and enter the Backup File Name and click Apply to backup I/O configuration settings of the selected Virtual I/O Server. Fill in the info in the panel as below.


 
A message will indicate that HMC will backup IO configuration, and stores that HMC’s file system. User can check the status of the operation in task log.
 
    

The task log has an entry on the status of the operation.


HMC internally executes VIOS command : “viosbr -backup -file <FileName>” and after the command is successful, backup file is copied and stored in the HMCs file system.
 
Click Refresh after the I/O configuration backup operation is successful to view the newly created backup that is listed under the Virtual I/O Server Configuration backup section.

Please refer to : https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_viosbr.htm for more information about the viosbr command.
 
User can rename the existing backup file.
Select the Virtual I/O Server configuration backup that is saved in the HMC and select Action > Rename and enter the Backup File Name and click OK to rename the backup of the selected Virtual I/O Server configuration. Provide the proper name as new backup file name.





Select one or more Virtual I/O Server backups that are saved in the Hardware Management Console (HMC) and select Action > Remove and click OK in the confirmation message window to remove the selected Virtual I/O Server backups from HMC.






User can remove the old backup file to free up the HMC’s disk space or remove stale backup files.

 
If the VIOS’s Virtual IO configuration has changes over time, and you can restore it to a previous configuration by restoring from a back up. 
 
Select the virtual I/O configuration backup file that is saved in the HMC and select Action > Restore to restore the configuration settings with the selected configuration. A confirmation message is displayed after the operation is complete. Optionally, you can select the check-box in the confirmation window to restart the Virtual I/O Server and click OK to complete the restore operation successfully. When this checkbox is selected, and if restore needs reboot of the VIOS, HMC reboots and restore the configuration again. You can check the status of the restore I/O configuration operation in the Tasks window.




   

The task log has an entry on the status of the operation.



To restore the configuration file, you might need to restart the Virtual I/O Server and reapply the configuration settings. If you select the check-box while restoring configuration, HMC restarts the VIOS and reapplies the configuration settings. If you do not select the check-box while restoring the configuration, HMC restores the configuration settings, but if the restore operation fails and the VIOS must be restarted, you must manually restart the VIOS and apply the same configuration settings again.
 
For restore operation, HMC copies the backup file to VIOS and executes the VIOS command : “viosbr -restore <FileName>”. The restore operation is enabled only if the targeted Virtual I/O Server is in an active state with a RMC connection.
  
Backup VIOS.

 
In VIOS there is command “backupios” to creates a backup of the Virtual I/O Server and this backup can be used to reinstall a system to its original state. HMC V2.950.0 version provides option for user to backup VIOS and store that HMC’s file system. Below panel lists the various VIOS backups saved in the Management Console.



The VIOS Backup section displays the Backup Name, Managed System, Virtual I/O Server from where the backup was created, Size, and Backup Created time. The Virtual I/O Server must be in a running state with an active Resource monitoring control (RMC) connection to back up the I/O configuration settings.

 
If the Virtual I/O Server is not managed by an HMC, the UUID of the Virtual I/O Server is displayed. If the managed system is no longer managed by the HMC, the Machine Type and Model System (MTMS) of the managed system is displayed.
 
Click the Create Backup to backup all details of the selected Virtual I/O Server. Select the Managed system and the Virtual I/O Server from the list and enter the Backup File Name. Select any of the resources check-box from the displayed options to include that resource in the Virtual I/O Server backup and click Apply to complete the operation successfully.


 


Creation of the backup can take longer time. Based on the checkbox selected, HMC executes the “backupios” command with appropriate options. Once the backup creation is successful, HMC downloads the backup file to its file systems. You can check the status of backup operation in the Tasks window. Click Refresh after the virtual server backup operation is successful to view the newly created backup listed under the Virtual I/O Server backup section. The VIOS backup file is saved in HMC file system in the /data/viosbackup directory.

 
You can copy files form the /data/viosbackup directory to the external storage, if required.  HMC users have read only access to list and copy the file from this location.
 
Below flags are used in HMC to form the “backupios” command.
-mksysb            Creates an image without the NIMOL resources.
-nomedialib      Prevents the contents of the media repository from being saved as part of the backupios process.
-nosvg              Prevents the volume groups structure of user defined volume groups from being saved as part of the backupios process.
 
Command “backupios” is formed when below resource selection are done.
NO NIMOL Resource – “backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -mksysb”
NO Media Repository Content - “backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -nomedialib”
NO Volume Group Structure - “backupios -file /home/padmin/<FileName> -nosvg”
 
Backup that is created without NIMOL Resource (mksysb image) can be transferred to NIM server and a standard mksysb system installation can be used to restore the VIOS.
 
Backup that is created with NIMOL Resource (the .tar file) can be used to restore the VIOS from HMC using the Network Installation Management (NIM) on Linux facility and the installios command.
 
More information about “backupios” and “installios” can be found at https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_backupios.htm https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_installios.htm
 
Select the Virtual I/O Server backup and select Action > Rename and enter the Backup File Name and click OK to rename the full backup file of the selected Virtual I/O Server.
 

 

 

Select one or more backup files that are saved in HMC and select Action > Remove and click OK in the confirmation message window to remove the selected backup files from the HMC.
 

 



When IO Configuration or VIOS Backup created, HMC checks if there is sufficient disk space in both HMC and VIOS to start the backup. If there is insufficient space in HMC, disk space can be cleared by removing the old or stale backup files. Another way is to copy the backup file to external storage and delete them from HMC. VIOS disk space needs to be cleared manually by login to the VIOS.

 
References :
https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_viosbr.htm
https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_backupios.htm
https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hcg/p8hcg_installios.htm
https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER8/p8hb1/p8hb1_vios_backup_backup.htm

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

0 comments
199 views

Permalink