With the HMC Enhanced UI, there are new ways of creating & deploying a System. You could use the system templates to configure system settings like LMB’s (Logical Memory Block), configure IO adapters (SRIOV, HEA), create Shared Processor Pool/Shared Memory Pool, Create Virtual IO Server (VIOS) and Install VIOS, configure virtual network (Network Bridge) and virtual storage. This blog will delve into the details of working with system templates and deploying or configuring a system using System templates
1. About Templates?
Template is a blue print of system and partition configuration. You can create or use the provided template to configure the managed system or partition in an easy way.
There are two types of templates:
- System Template: Contains configuration specific to managed system and Virtual IO Server (VIOS) partition.
- Partition Template: Contains configuration specific to client partitions [i.e. AIX/Linux or IBM i].
2. How to Create a Template?
The information in this section will describe different ways of launching the Deploy System Template wizard and possible configuration that can be done during overall system/VIOS configuration process.
To start with, HMC provides canned system and partition templates with some best practice configurations. These templates are referred as starter templates and can neither be edited nor deleted. However, user can view, copy, export or deploy these templates.
You can also capture a system configuration and a partition configuration as user defined system and partition templates. You could use the captured templates to deploy the configuration on another system or partition or edit & modify the configuration to be used for another deploy.
You can also import System & Partition Templates using the import function.
3. Launch Deploy System configuration from template
You could deploy system configuration either from canned/starter template or the captured system template. There are 2 ways you can start the deployment.
- From template library view
- From All systems view
3.1 Launch from Template Library View:
You can follow the below selection path to reach the Deploy System Template view using template library.
- Open Template Library View. (HMC Management > Templates and OS Images)
- Select System Template Tab.
- Right Click on a template entry to select the deploy option. Or select the template and click on the action button to select the deploy option.
With System Templates, you can
- View the Templates details
- Edit the system template to customize the resources allocation. You can change configurations like Virtual Network, Virtual Storage, Physical IO, Hardware Virtualized IO, VIOS configuration, Shared Processor Pool and Shared Memory Pool configuration and also some advanced settings like IPL parameters.
- Copy a template and create a new one. For example, you can copy a starter template and create a new one to customize for the system requirements
- Export the template which can later be imported on to another HMC.
- Deploy the template to configure system with required configuration.
- Delete the template
3.2 From All Systems View:
You can follow the below selection path to reach the Deploy System Template view using All System’s View.
a. Open All Systems view.
b. Select a system for deploy.
c. Click on ‘Action’ menu.
d. Select ‘View All Actions’ option.
e. Select ‘Deploy System From Template’ option to start with system deployment.
4. Deploy System Configuration from template
This section describes overall deploy system configuration. System is configured in four different stages.
- Configure basic system configuration like Processor Pool, LMB Settings and Physical IO with VIOS creation
- VIOS installation
- Virtual Network Configuration
- Virtual Storage configuration
4.1 Configure basic System Configuration:
1. Select System Template: Select the System template with required configuration for deploy
2. Select System: Select the system of interest for configuration and click on the ‘Reset’ button. This request will validate the system to see if it is configured with any partitions. If there are no partitions configured, then you can proceed with the deploy. If there are partitions configured, you need to clean up the existing partitions before proceeding with deploy.
Note: Please make sure you take a backup of any of the configuration on the system including partition configuration. Clicking on ‘OK’ would delete all the Logical Partitions and Virtual IO server on the system.
At this point of time, the template will be validated with selected system for Capability and resource availability.
Use Captured I/O enabled:
When this option is enabled in the template, Captured IO configuration in the template will be transformed in to the IO available on the system under deploy at this stage. If captured system type is different from the deploying system type, then there will be a chance that the transformation would fail. Upon failure user will be prompted with the message ‘Hardware Mismatch found on Physical IO Adapter. Cannot proceed with Deploy’. With this error, we cannot proceed with further deployment. If you want to go ahead with the deploy, then disable ‘Use Captured I/O’ option in Edit template > Physical I/O tab.
3. SRIOV Adapter Settings:
This options in the SRIOV Adapter settings change based on an whether Use Captured IO is enabled in the template or not.
Use Captured I/O enabled: When this option is selected in the template, you cannot perform any operation on SRIOV Adapters. This wizard will display the captured SRIOV adapter configuration from template.
Use Captured I/O disabled:
In this case, the wizard will display all the SRIOV adapters from the system. You can configure SRIOV adapter Physical Port with this wizard. Click on configure button of SRIOV adapter of interest, which will display connection speed, duplex mode, etc to be configured on the SRIOV Physical Port. All the SRIOV adapters will be converted to shared mode at this point, so that you can modify the physical port properties of SRIOV adapters. You can also convert SRIOV adapter to dedicated mode with this wizard.
Note: All the SRIOV adapters will be converted to shared mode by default irrespective of the current adapter mode in the system.
Edit the template from Template library to enable ‘Use Captured I/O Information’ option. As shown below, select the checkbox to enable this option.
Note: Currently ‘SRIOV Adapter settings’ is behaving exactly the reverse way of above explanation for Use Captured I/O Information, which will be addressed in future releases/service packs.
4. VIOS Configuration Summary: This panel in the wizard will display the summary of VIOS configuration. You can only modify the VIOS name.
5. Physical IO:
The content of this wizard also depends on the Use Captured I/O information option.
Use Captured I/O enabled:
You cannot modify any of the adapter assignment with VIOS in this use case. The wizard will just display the association of adapter with VIOS from template.
Use Captured I/O disabled:
IO adapters can be assigned to the VIOS with this wizard. You can select either Physical IO or SRIOV logical ports (if System is capable of SRIOV adapter) or HEA logical ports (if system is capable of HEA adapter) to configure VIOS with IO adapters.
Physical IO Adapters:
This section will display all the Physical IO Adapters available on the system except the SRIOV adapters (if system is SRIOV capable and adapters are configured on the system) which are in Shared mode and cable card adapters. User can select an IO against any of the VIOS configured in the template.
SRIOV Logical Ports:
This section will allow you to select the Physical Port to create logical port and assign it to VIOS. Number of logical Ports that need to be created depends on the configuration in the template. You can edit the template to add the Logical ports under VIOS. You can assign the logical ports to VIOS if template has captured logical ports or logical ports are added manually by editing the template.
This section allow you to assign the HEA Physical Port (that needs to be assigned to VIOS) in dedicated (promiscuous mode) or shared mode.
6. System Configuration Progress:
This part of the wizard describes the progress of system configuration using templates. You can click on the ‘Start’ button to start the deployment process on the system which will configure processor, memory and IO on the system. VIOS is also created with basic configuration with this step.
After stage-1 deployment is successful, when you click on ‘Next’, system validates the network adapters assigned to the Virtual IO Server’s. If none of the network adapters assigned to a VIOS or for any other reason, the information cannot be retrieved, then you will be prompted with a message ‘Unable to obtain network adapter information. Quitting’. With this error, we cannot proceed with next stage of ‘VIOS Installation’. If the error is provided for network information and proper adapters are not assigned, the installation of VIOS and further configuration can be done manually or else the profile of the VIOS can be edited to add the required adapters to proceed with the deploy.
4.2 VIOS Installation
This panel of the wizard describes the VIOS Installation configuration details. You can select Installation Method (NIM Server), Enter NIM Server IP Address, Select network port & IP Address, subnet mask and Gateway. You can select any installation methods among NIM, Local MC and Local NIM. After providing the installation options, click on 'Next' to view and start the installation process. Click on 'Start' in the next panel which will start the VIOS installation and also show detailed progress information.
This wizard describes the License acceptance process. Once the VIOS is installed, you have to select “Accept License” by checking the Accept License check box.
Network bridge configuration:
This part of the wizard describes the network bridge configuration. You can configure Network Bridge by assigning network interface card. You can also create link aggregation by selecting “Create Link Aggregation Device” option. Then you can select multiple network interface to form the aggregation.
This part of the wizard describes the Virtual Storage configuration. You can choose a cluster to which to assign a VIOS. User can also create a reserve storage device pool, and configure a media repository for the storage device. You can assign VIOS to a cluster listed by drop down box. Or can select option “Do not assign now” and configure virtual storage later.
Click on 'Start' button in the next panel to initiate the network and storage configuration. Once the IO configuration is successful, I/O configuration successful message will be shown on the wizard. Configuration Summary will be shown at the end of the wizard.
In summary, System Templates help you to setup your system & Virtual IO Servers so you can quickly get started with deploying partitions & workloads.
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