IBM Unveils Latest AIX Release

by Amy Newman

IBM Tuesday unveiled the latest incarnation of AIX 5L v5.2, which features two major additions: dynamic logical partitioning and Capacity Upgrade on Demand.

IBM Tuesday unveiled the latest incarnation of AIX 5L v5.2. This release of the operating system for the pSeries eServer line features two major additions: dynamic logical partitioning and Capacity Upgrade on Demand.

Static logical partitioning has been available on the pSeries for some time now, Mike Harrell, IBM eServer Unix manager told ServerWatch. Dynamic partitioning, already available on IBM mainframes, enables system administrators to allocate system resources and create virtual servers on the fly.

Because the logical partitioning is done on the operating system and firmware level, it can be taken to a level as granular as a single processor and 250 MB of memory. This is far smaller than the virtual servers created at the hardware or application level, Harrell said. Sun Microsystems' partitioning, he noted, can go only as small as two processors and 2,048 MB of memory.

Administrators can partition the pSeries systems into many smaller virtual servers concurrently running AIX 5L v5.2, AIX 5L v5.1, and Linux.

Big Blue is staking claim to being the only major vendor to offer servers capable of simultaneously running Linux and Unix on the same box.

Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD) is the other key addition to AIX 5L. With CUoD enterprises install systems with more processors than are initially required. Those resources are kept in reserve until business needs require their activation. This enables system administrators to change workloads and rapid growth without taking down the server. For example, when using CUoD and the dynamic partitioning capabilities together, if a pSeries system has a failing processor, a new processor can be automatically brought online at no additional charge to the customer and with no interruption in service or performance degradation.

In addition, with CUoD enterprises can seamlessly add new processors in pairs to meet increased workloads without interrupting operations. Thus, by its nature CUoD brings with it increased granularity. Previously, enterprises had to add eight processors at a time; now they can buy processing power as needed or have excess capacity available for future growth.

Other new features and enhancements to AIX 5L are:

  • Updated AIX toolbox for Linux applications that includes new versions of many open source applications
  • AIX Workload Manager contains improvements to the Web-based System Manager interface and to features that provide administrators greater control over system resources assigned to applications
  • New features extend network connectivity, availability, and manageability along with security enhancements for intrusion detection and authentication
  • Contains a Logical Volume Manager and JFS2 file system enhancements as well as a suite of new tools designed to provide improvements in overall system performance
  • Reliability, Availability and Serviceability improvements that increase system uptime, configure the system for self-management and self-recovery, provide sophisticated damage isolation, and offer more information added to display panels where available

IBM at this time also announced a new server offering for managing mixed Linux and Unix clusters.

Clustered Systems Management (CSM) Version 1.3 is the first software package capable of managing mixed clusters.

CSM provides a single point-of-control for installing, configuring, maintaining, and updating IBM eServer xSeries servers running Linux and IBM eServer pSeries servers (or their logical partitions) running AIX.

Enterprises with both Unix and Linux applications can consolidate them on a single CSM-managed cluster.

The IBM eServer Cluster 1600 has been expanded to support as many as 128 specified IBM eServer pSeries servers running AIX 5L, and the IBM eServer Cluster 1350 has been expanded to support up to 512 managed IBM eServer xSeries systems running Linux. A mixed environment supports up to 128 systems.

Both cluster offerings are pre-tested, pre-configured and delivered ready-to-run.

CSM on the IBM eServer Cluster 1600 is scheduled for October 25. Planned availability for scalability to 256 systems on IBM eServer Cluster 1350 is also set for this time. Support for up to 128 servers or 128 operating system images on IBM eServer Cluster 1600 is planned for December 13, as is support for mixed AIX 5L v5.2 and Linux clusters.

This article was originally published on Tuesday Oct 8th 2002
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