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Power Newsletter   June 2013
Power Newsletter   June 2013
Power Newsletter   June 2013
Power Newsletter   June 2013
Power Newsletter   June 2013
Power Newsletter   June 2013
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Power Newsletter June 2013


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Latest News on IBM Power Systems.

Latest News on IBM Power Systems.

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  • 1. IBM FlashSystem – An Application AcceleratorBy Doug Herman – benefits will IBM FlashSystem give to a high performance application? Lower Latency: I/O response time of 25-100 micro-second range Processor Efficiency: Reduce I/O wait, increase processor efficiency Enhance end user experience: Improve application responseApplication Types that can benefit from IBM FlashSystem: OLTP Databases Analytical Application HPC/Computational Applications Cloud-scale InfrastructuresIBM FlashSystem is last year’s acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. They have 34 yearsof experience in low latency SSD/Flash industry. The latest products are the 19thgenerationof flash technology. This 1U appliance can have 20 TB usable capacity delivering 450KIOPS.Reliability, Availability & Serviceability eMLC Flash has 10x more endurance than MLC flash Patented VSR (Variable Stripe Reliability) allows continued operation, in the eventof a Flash DIMM failure 2D Raid configuration to minimize service disruptions by 10x 33% over-provisioned capacity – gives the industry highest availabilityHow is IBM Flash Storage connected?First, this does not disturb the existing storage infrastructure, meaning that it is fullycompatible with IBM Storage, EMC, and Hitachi products. Second, it will complement byoffloading the heavy I/O requirements from the existing storage infrastructure.The 1U appliance can be connected into existing SAN infrastructure using fibre channelconnectivity. Flash LUNs are configured and zoned to the Logical Partition (LPAR) directattached or through Virtual I/O server using NPIV. The LPAR running AIX will use LVMmirroring.Flash storage systems IBM FlashSystem 710 and 810 IBM FlashSystem 720 and 820 for High AvailabilityFor more details: SYSTEMS NEWSLETTERUNITED STATES - EASTJune 2013Send questions, comments, or concerns: (or to subscribe)In this issue:IBM FlashSystem (pg1)The Math behind ServerVirtualization (pg 1)PowerHA (pg 3)Useful URLs (pg 3)A New Choice for VIOSMigrations and Upgrades (pg 3)IBM PowerLinux for Big DataAnalytics (pg 5)PowerSC Real-TimeCompliance (pg 6)3rdParty EndorsementsSelecting a Strategic OperatingSystemSuccess StoriesBusiness Impacts of SAPDeploymentsValue of VirtualizationFuture of the DatacenterCommunityflickrTwitterLinkedInYouTubeFacebookRSS FeedThe Math behind Server VirtualizationBy Dave Levites – it the “Virtualization of POWER”…or the power of virtualization that provides the real performance benefits of deploying multipleworkloads on a single Power Server? Well, I’m here to tell you: it’s both. The more workloads that run on a server, then thegreater the likelihood that one VM’s peak usage will align with another VM’s valley. There is math (statistical multiplexing) behindthis reasoning to help establish the true value. In addition to that, there are costs for delivering that capability, which I call thevirtualization tax, that have to be added to the tab.(Continued on page 2)
  • 2. In a nutshell, the math works this way. Determine the average (“M”, for mean) andpeak (“P”) utilization of a server. These numbers can then be used to determine thestandard deviation for that workload. There’s a rule in statistics (“normal distribution”,aka “68, 95, 99.7” rule) that basically states what percent of potential values would bewithin 1, 2, or 3 times the standard deviation away from the mean. That formula isPeak minus the Mean, divided by the number of deviations (n), divided by the Mean,or: “Sn=(P-M) / n / M “.So, for example, if the mean was 5% busy and the peak was 37%, the “2-Sigma”would be ((37%-5%)/2)/5%, or 3.2. A server would have to provide the equivalent of21% of current capacity -- 5% + (3.2 * 5%) -- to meet the workload demand, 95% ofthe time.Now, there’s another rule (called the Central Limit Theorem) that states when youpool “n” normal distributions, the total standard deviation of the additions onlyincreases by the square root of “n”.(“The Math behind Virtualization” … continued from page 1)So, for instance, if there are 4 workloads sized as above, the 95thpercentile peak required to run all of them on the same serverwould not be 4 * would be 52% or “5% * 4 + (3.2 * 5%) * √4”. Likewise, 8 workloads would require about 85%. Extendingthat a bit, further yields:Means Peak Sigma-2 Workloads 95th%tile5% 37% 3.2 1 21%“ “ “ 4 52%“ “ “ 9 93%“ “ “ 16 144%“ “ “ 25 205%Of course, the cost of virtualization needs to be added to these numbers, and that’s where the “Virtualization of POWER” comes inplay. First off, Power servers scale to extreme sizes (up to 256 cores), so by their very nature of being large, they greatly reducethe amount of CPU needed to support a particular workload. For example, if we made an assumption that the 8 workloads aboveconsumed 85% of an 8-core server, say a p720, then a p795 driven up to a 90% utilization level could accommodate over 500 suchinstances. That’s the equivalent of over sixty 8-way servers.In addition to scalability, there’s the matter of virtualization performance. Several studies (Edison Group & Solitaire Interglobalcome to mind) have shown a lower overhead associated with PowerVM versus any of the software virtualization methods deployedon Intel x86 servers. An example of this is one such test that was performed internally by IBM’s Software Group a year or so agowhere they ran a Websphere workload on a competing x86 server and on a Power 750. They produced a chart which showed asignificant virtualization overhead penalty – nearly 10% of the server horsepower while running just 4 VMs. The Power server, onthe other hand delivered near linear performance as the workload scaled from 1 to 4 partitions.Performance, utility, TCO are all important value dimensions of virtualization...and the math behind it can help you to add it all up.Page 2
  • 3. Useful URLs:Prerequisite Site - Systems Energy Estimator - Whitepapers - Release Strategy - Systems Technical Guide - Movies - Code Matrix - Providing Availability for your InfrastructureAnnie Broadhurst - we live in a world driven by the continuous need for data. With so many smart devices available to consumers, businessesare feeling additional pressure to provide information at a non-stop basis. Creating the likelihood of taking downtime, whether it isplanned or unplanned, in the infrastructure environment has become increasingly difficult. This is how PowerHA comes into thepicture for Power System environments.PowerHA is a high availability and disaster recovery solution, providing clients with the ability to eliminatea single point of failure. It insures that the client data is not permanently unavailable to the end user duringplanned and unplanned outages. This can be done during the failover process when data is transferred fromone node to another node in a cluster, allowing for near continuous availability.There is a wealth of information available online to help you plan, develop, and/or maintain a highly availablePower Systems environment.PowerHA Homepage Video Demonstration RedbooksA New Choice for VIOS Migrations and UpgradesBy Bob Foster - clients worry about, and thus avoid upgrades. Several IBM clients using Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) will be interested a newoffering called Simplified VIOS Migration/Upgrade to help them simply and easily move to an updated and supported version ofVIOS.Some HistoryIBM PowerVM technology has been adopted and used successfully worldwide by IBM clients. One of the major building blocks ofthis technology is VIOS, which allows virtualization of client workloads. Once clients have virtualized their workloads, they areoffered a huge range of functions and features they can use for managing and controlling their workloads and server utilization.Since VIOS helps to exploit so much of the PowerVM technologies, it’s a mainstay of most PowerVM environments. IBM’s firstrelease of VIOS was back in 2004 with Version 1.1. Since then, IBM has been adding features to VIOS and shipped its last Version1 (Version 1.5) in November 2007, and its most recent version 2.2 in 2013. New functions and features are exclusively added tonewer versions of the VIOS and older versions are unable to use the new features. IBM also has a limited time that it will offersupport for each level of VIOS, so older levels are unable to get fixes if a problem is found. For example, support for VIOS 1.5ended in 2011 and support for VIOS 2.1 ended in 2012.Clients may have multiple reasons why they may not have kept their VIOS upgraded. One of the primary reasons is the lack of amaintenance window during which an upgrade can be performed. Additionally, if they are still on VIOS 1.X, they probably wouldwant to upgrade to a supported level of VIOS 2.2 as upgrading to VIOS 2.1 still leaves them running an unsupported level of VIOS.This causes another problem as upgrading to a more recent level from much older levels has more steps involved in the process.If clients are still at VIOS 1.5, they are now two major releases behind and running levels of VIOS that shipped five years ago.Some of the reasons they may not have been at current levels have compounded themselves. Now, the maintenance window willbe much longer for the upgrade and the process itself will require multiple steps to get to the newest supported levels.(Continued on page 4)Page 3
  • 4. (“A New Choice for VIOS Migrations and Upgrades” … continued from page 3)New Offering Delivers SavingsIBM’s VIOS development team and the IBM Lab Services team have developed the Simplified VIOS Migration/Upgrade offering,which includes both a process and a toolset that will make a VIOS upgrade much simpler and quicker.Here’s an example of the required procedure for upgrading from VIOS 1.5.1 to VIOS without the toolset:1. Update VIOS 1.5.1 to VIOS Apply the Service Pack to update VIOS SP-023. Migrate the VIOS to VIOS version 2.1.3 by using the Migration DVD4. After the VIOS is at version 2.1.3, apply Fix Pack Apply the Service Release to bring the VIOS to level, consider this Simplified VIOS Migration/Upgrade offering procedure for the same upgrade to VIOS Run scripts on the VIOS 1.5.1 to capture mapping and ODM data 
2. Install the VIOS with a mksysb of VIOS 
3. Run post-install scripts to restore the mapping and ODM data 

Not only does the offering eliminate steps, it greatly simplifies the tasks required through the use of scripts. This process can bealso 
be used to upgrade to any newer levels of the VIOS.The toolset is customized for each client based on the specific environment. The first factor is the level of VIOS to be migrated fromand the final VIOS level desired by the client. The second factor is that clients can (and normally do) have different levels of VIOSon their servers and the tool used to capture the vscsi mappings needs to be tested on those different levels of VIOS. Finally, theclient’s SAN storage and multipathing software (MPIO) levels being used in the VIOS are also an important factor. There are devicesettings that are required for the different MPIO software that need to be rebuilt on the updated VIOS. These three factors create alarge number of possible combinations, so IBM develops and tests the toolset per engagement.Three Phases of EngagementThere are three phases of this engagement. First, the client supplies IBM with environment data. As mentioned, this includescurrent levels of VIOS to upgrade and the final VIOS level, types of SAN storage and the levels of MPIO software in VIOSs.The second phase begins when, with this information, IBM development and Lab Services recreate the client’s environment (asexactly as possible) and build the toolset. The toolset will include a version of viosbr (a utility that ships in newer VIOS levels butdidn’t exist in older levels and is used to back up and restore settings) that can be used on the older versions of VIOS to capturethe VIOS vscsi and virtual Ethernet mappings. Most SAN environments will require a script that can pull the appropriate deviceattributes and set those values after the VIOS is updated (post-install script). Depending on the combination of SAN/MPIO/VIOSlevels, this phase could take a few weeks. If the combination is similar to a previous client’s environment, this phase could bereduced.The third phase involves Lab Services and the client working together at the client site to build the appropriate process for theenvironment. The client and IBM will create a VIOS mksysb including the new levels of MPIO/SAN software required. Using thismksysb and the toolset, the client and IBM test the process and adjust accordingly. Once the toolset and process are verified, theclient and Lab Services will perform a live upgrade.Stay Up-To-DateClients need to keep their PowerVM environment up-to-date and at supported levels of VIOS, so any issues that may occur can behandled by support and have fixes supplied if needed. IBM can now help simplify that upgrade and require a much shortermaintenance window with this new offering.Are you still running AIX 5.3?AIX 5.3 TL12, SP8 now supports POWER7+ servers. Customers must have a valid AIX Software Maintenance Agreement with aSupport Extension for AIX 5.3 contract. See announcement letter 213-146 for additional details.Models affected: IBM Power 710 (8231-E1D) IBM Power 720 (8202-E4D) IBM Power 730 (8231-E2D) IBM Power 740 (8205-E6D) IBM Power 750 (8408-E8D) IBM Power 760 (9109-RMD)NOTE: Power 770 (9117-MMD) & Power 780 (9179-MHD) were already supported by AIX 5.3 TL12, SP7. Page 4
  • 5. Why PowerLinux for Big Data Analytics?By Kevin McCombs – is no question that Big Data Analytics is exploding in todays world. Just read the papers. Regardless ofwhat your opinion is concerning the recent news that the government may be using data from many sources toidentify potential terrorist activities, one has to agree that the ability to use all of this disparate data for analytics is mind boggling.Imagine the scope if all cell phone activity, data usage, internet usage, email, etc were to be archived and mined. What kind ofperformance would you need to crunch data of that magnitude in a timely matter? We are talking zetabytes of data! Now that’sBig Data, but I digress.Big Data Analytics can basically be broken into two categories, Data in motion and data at rest. Data in motion includes constantlychanging streaming data sources that require real time or low latency analytics. The PowerLinux solution for that would be IBMInfoSphere Streams. Data at rest would include many diverse static datasets. IBMs Watson is a great example of a largePowerLinux cluster that uses data at rest. Watson used Open Source Apache Hadoop for this solution. IBM also offers IBMInfoSphere BigInsights as an enterprise ready, out-of-the-box, Hadoop based solution.Why would one chose PowerLinux over Linux on x86 for this task? In a nutshell, it’s POWER7+. POWER7+ offers double thenumber of threads/core than x86s (4 vs 2). POWER7+ has a 45% higher clock speed that x86 (Sandy Bridge). Power 7+ has 4times more L3 cache than x86. POWER7+ provides the high throughput memory and I/O bandwidth required for Big Data. IBMalso offers a JVM tuned specifically for POWER7+. Lastly, the least known advantage to most customers, POWER7+ has a listprice LOWER than x86.Did you know that PowerLinux can sort 1TB of data in less than half the time of its x86 competition? In 2012 a 10-node Hadoopcluster of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers was able sort through a terabyte of data in less than 9 minutes. In 2012 we reran thebenchmark with the new Power7+ 7R2. A 10 node cluster (16 core/node) reduced that number to under 6.7 minutes, a sorting rateof 1.04 GB/min/core. In contrast, an 18 node Cloudera Hadoop cluster of HP ProLiant Gen8 DL380 could only muster a rate of0.57 GB/min/core in a recent benchmark:( ).PowerLinux is a strong emerging technology for Big Data and a more than worthy opponent for Linux on x86 in many diverseworkloads. Learn more today at: PowerLinux 7R2)Tools for Planning and DocumentationHMC Scanner -!/wiki/Power+Systems/page/HMC+ScannerNMON Analyser - Systems Workload Estimator - System Planning Tool - Energy Estimator - Stencils - 5
  • 6. PowerSC Real Time ComplianceBy Stephen Dominguez – November 2012 PowerSC release has provided an extremely powerful and sophisticatedmonitoring solution for AIX systems called Real Time Compliance, RTC.As its name suggests, RTC provides immediate notification of security events related to a set ofmonitored files. The default install of RTC monitors a set of 278 standard AIX files that are critical tosystem security. This set of files can be changed on the fly without a reboot or need to refresh theRTC daemon. You can even monitor important files installed on your AIX partition related to 3rdpartyproducts.On a per file basis, RTC can monitor for up to two types of security events for a particular file. Onetype of security event is a content change event. The other type of event is an access change event.The following is an example of a content change event:Pretend a hacker gains access to a system and edits, using vi, sensitive security files such as/etc/security/user and /etc/security/login.cfg. As soon as each of these files is changed, an emailmessage will immediately be sent to the RTC administrative email address configured for thatsystem.The message will actually detail what user changed the file, by “userID” and “groupID”. If the userchanged userIDs using the su command, the email message will even detail what was the originallogin ID of the user that edited the file. The message will also detail that vi was used to change thecontent of the file.The following is an example of an access change event:Pretend a hacker gains access to a system and changes the file permissions, using chmod, ofsensitive security files such as /etc/inetd.conf and /etc/inittab. As soon as each of these files ischanged, an email message will immediately be sent to the RTC administrative email addressconfigured for that system. The email will contain the same type of detail as described previously forthe content change event.The real magic of RTC is gained when you also implement PowerSC’s Security and ComplianceAutomation feature. RTC actual works in cooperation with the Security and Compliance Automationfeature to provide security monitoring capabilities never before possible.This is how it works:Pretend you deploy the HIPAA profile of PowerSC’s Security and Compliance Automation feature inorder to help your AIX partitions to be more HIPAA compliant.Deploying that profile will change the policy of the default minimum length of passwords to 8characters. Let’s also suppose you have deployed RTC. Now if a hacker gains access to yoursystem and goes into /etc/security/user and changes the “minlen” attribute from 8 to 0, not only willRTC send you a notification that /etc/security/user has changed, but because you have alsodeployed the Security and Compliance Automation feature, when RTC notices a content change in/etc/security/user, RTC will trigger the aixpert engine to re-check the security policies configured bythe Security and Compliance Automation feature. When all of this is completed, not only will you getan email about the file content change, but aixpert will use its capabilities and identify that the HIPAApolicy for the default minimum length of passwords has been changed and the email will detail thatthe actual value of 8 has been changed to zero.In Summary, Real Time Compliance is a truly powerful AIX security monitoring feature. To learnmore about the PowerSC consulting services available to assist you in deploying and integratingPowerSC please contact me, Stephen Dominguez, at Server Redbooks (aka “D” models)Power 710 and 730 Technical Overview and IntroductionPower 720 and 740 Technical Overview and IntroductionPower 750 and 760 Technical Overview and IntroductionPower 770 and 780 Technical Overview and IntroductionPage 6