With the introduction of PowerVM based POWER9 enterprise class scale-out servers, comes a newer version of HMC.  HMC V9 R1.910 has many enhancements along with the ability to manage the Power 9 servers. Let’s take a quick look at the enhancements in HMC V9 R9.1.910..

Live Partition Mobility (LPM):

  1. Enhanced FFDC collection on a LPM failure to collect log (snap) data from the VIOS/MSP partitions involved in the partition migration operation
  2. Enhancement to maintain resource roles for a partition following a partition migration operation or remote restart operation
  3. LPM override, through CLI or Rest API, for checking/enforcing affinity score on target system.

Simplified Remote Restart (SRR):

  1. Ability to remote restart with reduced CPU, Memory on target system.
  2. Ability to choose a different virtual switch on the target system
  3. Test option to remote restart a partition when the system is in Operating state
  4. Ability to view the configuration information collected & stored for remote restart
  5. Ability to remote restart without powering on the partition on target system

SRIOV:

  1. Enhancement for specifying the maximum capacity setting when configuring an SRIOV logical port or virtual NIC.
  2. Ability to enable or disable an SRIOV logical port similar to the ability provided for virtual ethernet adapter.

Enhanced UI Improvements:

  1. Users can now save settings such as the Default View, Pagination, Column Reorder and Visible Columns which will be persisted across sessions.
  2. Ability for one step add of multiple physical volumes to a partition
  3. Virtual Network Enhancements:
    1. Ability to create a Network Bridge on an existing internal network
    2. Ability to add multiple virtual networks with same VLAN ID & Virtual Switch to a partition
    3. SEA device name will now be displayed in the network bridge table
    4. Ability to remove/delete a virtual switch
  4. Ability to choose an existing slot number or specify a slot number for a server adapter while attaching virtual storage to a partition
  5. Enhancement to Create Partition for specifying CPU, Memory & Maximum Virtual Slot values.
  6. Performance improvements in the dashboard views and across different panels in the Enhanced UI.

We will have follow-on blogs for performance improvements and videos showing the Enhanced UI changes.

HMC Management Enhancements:

The following features were added based on customer requests for enhancements.

  1. Ability to specify custom IP address range for DHCP configuration on HMC (RFE 93939 and RFE 85853)
  2. CLI Enhancement to display the overall Network Time Protocol (NTP) synchronization status and the state of configured NTP servers (RFE 101180)

HMC Versioning:

To start off, HMC V9 is the minimum required version for managing a Power 9 system and, as you would have noticed, the VRM (Version, Release, Maintenance) format for the V9 is different from the earlier version of the HMC.

The differences in the VRM with V8 & Prior versus V9 & later is depicted in the following table

  • The initial release of the V9 HMC is VRM V9 R9.1.910.0
    • If a PTF with security fix comes out the following month, the lshmc –V o/p would still show V9 R9.1.910.0 along with the PTF number

Version 9

Release 1

Service Pack 910

PTF MH0XXXX : interim fix for xxx

  • If service pack 1 comes out 3 months later, the VRMF will be shown as 9.1.911.0

Version 9

Release 1

Service Pack 911

  • When 9.1.920.0 comes out, it is an update and essentially a service pack and you would have to install/upgrade to 9.1.910.0 and then update to 9.1.920.0. You would also update 9.1.91x to 9.1.920.0 to get service fixes when 9.1.920.0 comes out.

Version 9

Release 1

Service Pack 920

Base Version V9R1

  • If and when, the release is incremented to 9.2 instead of 9.1, new recovery images or vHMC images will be published & a fresh install/upgrade can be done.
  • N-2 Upgrade support will continue to be supported and for 9.1.910.0, upgrade will be supported from 860 or 870 releases. When 9.2.xxx.0 comes out, N-2 upgrade would be from either 870 or 9.1.xxx.x releases.
  • The rule of thumb still exists that the HMC VRM must be equal to or higher than the firmware version on the managed system to  leverage the new function and Repair & Verify support for the newer server models. The system firmware version is now shown in the maintenance/service pack field versus the Release field of V8.

Important Notes:

  1. HMC V9 can manage POWER7, POWER8 & POWER9 systems but cannot be used to manage POWER6 systems.
  2. The following browser versions are now supported
    1. Google Chrome Version 62.03202.75
    2. Safari Version 11.0.1
    3. Internet Explorer 11.0.9600
    4. Mozilla Firefox Version Mozilla Firefox Version 45 Extended Support Release (ESR) and Mozilla Firefox Version 52 Extended Support Release (ESR)
  3. On POWER9 servers, The HMC Virtual Appliance for PowerVM must run in POWER8 compatibility mode, for this release.

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