Saturday, November 5, 2011

How fast a week flies Power 7 installation.

The installation of new IBM Power 7 and migration from V5R4 to V6R1 went relatively smooth. The full system save from V5R4 failed with object in library QMTC being damaged and took 5 minutes to resolve and run the save again. Lost 40 minutes overcoming that issue. I know there was a damaged object but could not find it without a full system save. I tried several of the recommended ways to find the damaged object before with no success.

I drove to Coral Springs, Florida from Jacksonville, Florida Thursday, about 4 ½ hour drive and spent the night at mom’s.

Got into the office @ 8:30am and promptly got to work checking the packing lists for the hardware and software. The hardware consists of new 8202-E4B Power 7 with 8GB of memory and 140GB of disk and operating system software loaded System I V6R1. A small machine but a real workhorse.

The best thing about this contract is that I get work with my good friend Jason, the IT Manager. As soon as I was finished with packing list and a cup of coffee we proceeded to open the Power 7 box. I wish I would have took some pictures. IBM delivers the system on a customized pallet just a bit bigger than the box itself. They make un-boxing super simple, pop out the four plastic clips on the side and slip the box up. The side of the inner box then falls to the side and then you just side the Power 7 off the pallet. This system is on wheels and no more than 120lbs, so it is easy to move around. This is not the rack mounted version. Jason likes to have all the equipment off the floor so he had a prepared spot on the table next to the Power 5 and we easily picked the system up and placed it on the table.

The 2 power supplies come disconnected and held in place with a retaining clip. Removed the clip and seated the power supplies into place. Plugged in the Ethernet cable from the switch and the the power plugs for the system. The system starts coming to life. It took me a minute to figure out that the display panel is a little push in display at the top of the machine has hidden from view. This system came with feature 5553 Ethernet console no IOP. The Operations Console will be on the LAN not directly connected to the Power 7. This is my first time installing a system that did not have Twinax console.

Jason and I had already installed the latest iSeries Access with PTF’s on his PC and my ASUS EEE PC1000 Netbook. After about ten minutes the system is ready to start configuring the Operation Console on Jason’s PC. It is really neat how this process now works. The Power 7 uses the BOOTP process to allow discovery of the system over the LAN automatically. After answering a couple of prompts we had Console display and Control panel on the screen. Pretty cool. I then tried with the Netbook over the wireless, no problem, really cool and impressive!

By now it’s around noon and the users were just finishing up, we had requested that users be done with the system by 1:00pm. My how time flies when you’re having fun.
Our next step is to install a 2844 PCI IOP card and a 5702 PCI IOA card in the old Power 5. The reason for this is that the current tape drive on the Power 5 is not compatible with the new LTO 4 drive in the Power 7. By installing the two cards we can attach a LTO 2 tape drive to the Power 5. LTO drives are backward compatible two levels. We shut down the Power 5 and carried it to a cleared desk. Slide off the side cover to gain access to the PCI slots. I already determined during the planning phase that the 2844 is goes into C1 and 5702 into C2. Flip back the container tabs to pull out the blanks and slide in the cards. Piece of cake, slice of pie!

The IBM Power systems are incredible, the machine discovered the cards and auto configured the tape drive. With the Power 5 back in play we started the full system save. I have been planning this for a couple of weeks so the devices, data, problem programs removed or identified. This is where I got bit with damaged object I mentioned above. So the total save time was 1 ½ hours.

Then following the instructions; restored the user libraries and system information such as user profiles. I varied a little from the book here, before running Object Conversion Program I ran RSTAUT. This is just if something failed during the conversion (not likely), I would be able to access the system with the transferred user profiles.

The Object Conversion was estimated to take 18 hours on the old Power 5 and I was not sure how long it would take on the new box. It’s now 6:00PM and I planned to end the day at this point.
We started the Object Conversion and left the office.

We got to office around 8:00am Saturday and found that the Object Conversion completed successfully and only took three hours. I proceeded with updating the saved system information with UPDSYSINF command. Identified the new Ethernet hardware resouce and made the configutaion changes neccssary to start up the TCP servers. Checked out subsystems and devices.

Now all the licensed programs,  QGPL and QUSRSYS  for V6R1 need to be loaded from DVD. This will upgrade the current user software to the current V6R1 version.

After all has been installed we restarted (IPL) the system. Fifteen minutes later we had console screen up. Logged in and checked QSYSOPR message queue. No real issues, license keys, ECS configuration and LDAP directory failure. LDAP not needed so no show stoppers.

Well... sort of no show stoppers. Previously the systems came shipped with the latest cumulative PTF DVD. Evidently no longer. I realized mid-after noon that we needed the latest Cumulative PTF’s and Group PTF’s . No problem we’ll just download them, right? Wrong,sort of! Placed electronic order and determined that 14GB of data needed to be download and would take 12 hours. BoooHisss! This is why I had a Sunday planned as a fall back if problem occured, had hoped to avoid it.

Retrieved the IBM Entitled software keys and applied to the system. This cleared up a few messages. We then updated the Seagull software since none of their objects were convertible. Ran the Optimum Solutions payroll update. Everything is pretty clean, so at 4:00pm we called it quits for the day.    
Based on the time required to apply PTF’s we decided that we would meet at the office around noon. I would also try to apply the PTF’s remotely.

I got up early Sunday and connected to the system by using Logmein on the Netbook using my Samsung Galaxy 7 tablet as a Verizon hot spot. What a pain, in the end it seems that the Logmein overhead and java where not playing well on the Netbook. I could not get a connection going for long. Unfortunately Jason had not configured the VPN so I could only use Logmein. It is now 10:00am so I decided I would go into the office, I could work in the parking lot using Jason's wireless. So there I sat in empty parking lot in Coral Springs applying PTF’s and controlling the system. Just too cool!!

When Jason arrived the PTF apply was 75% complete. We proceeded to removed cards we installed in the Power 5, they were rentals. Boxed up cards and tape drive. Started another full system save after PTF apply completed with no problems.We managed to get out of the office by 5:00pm.

There is one other failure, even though I have a vendor check list, none of the vendors could get me a key before the system was powered up. Usually I install a system one weekend and do the migration the next weekend. Around 6:00pm Friday I looked up at the clock and realized I failed to call the vendors. Should have had it on my main check list not separate document. Live and Learn.

I did not plan on being on location Monday morning but felt that until the keys are applied and users working I was not done. This is the first time I have caused production down time. It really is not that big of a deal for this client but a personal goal of mine. The CFO was fine with my progress and we had the users into the system by 10:00am. I left for home around noon, with a pat on the back and a check in my pocket. Yes I actually get paid for all this fun!


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