PM for Power Systems

Frequently asked questions

What is IBM Performance Management for IBM PowerLinux?

The IBM Performance Management (PM) for PowerLinux is a dynamic, easy to use, performance and capacity planning function that is specifically designed to address the challenges of systems management.

PM for PowerLinux automates many of the functions associated with capacity planning and performance analysis for IBM PowerLinux Systems, and for the IBM Power Systems, IBM System i and IBM System p models running Linux. It's simple, there's nothing that you need to do other than activate the PM Agent for PowerLinux and periodically check that data is being collected and transmitted to IBM.

The PM Agent for PowerLinux collects performance metrics from the server or partition and sends the data to IBM using either the electronic Service agent or via the Hardware Monitor Console (HMC).

Detailed information is available at: http://www.ibm.com/systems/power/support/perfmgmt/

How do I get the IBM Performance Management Agent for IBM PowerLinux (PM Agent)?

For new Linux customers who are ordering Linux from IBM, the PM Agent is distributed as part of the IBM Installation ToolKit. Please use version 5.4.1 or later of the ToolKit.

For existing Linux users, the PM Agent can be downloaded/installed from the YUM repository.

Here are the two equivalent commands:

# yum install ibmPMLinux # on REDHAT, "--downloadonly" is optional and needs yum-downloadonly package
# zypper install ibmPMLinux # on SUSE, "--download-only" is optional and needs a newer zypper version

If the command reports "package 'ibmPMLinux' not found", your YUM repository configuration for "IBM Power Tools" is probably not done yet, and need to set an appropriate repository first.

ibmPMLinux is one of those tool packages that are periodically upgraded/uploaded to:

http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/RHEL/6/ppc64

http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/SLES/11/ppc64

... ... ( alike )

for installation by yum/zypper commands. ibmPMLinux is identical for all IBM Linux releases by now.

Setting the repository can be done by installing the "ibm-power-repo" package on the system:

# yum       install ibm-power-repo

# zypper install ibm-power-repo

# on REDHAT

# on SUSE

Alternatively, you may manually set it up with:

1) "yast"(or yast2) tool

# yast

# on SUSE

# then select:

Software -> Software Repository -> Repositories -> Add # for SLES11, or
Software -> Installation Source -> Add                              # for SLES10

to configure a line of repository like:
(Priority | Enabled | Autorefresh | Name | URL)
99 (Default) | x | x |IBM Power SDK Tools |
http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/SLES/11/ppc64
or
(Status | Refresh | Name | URL)
 On        | On          | YUM    |
http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/SLES/10/ppc64

2) An editor to add a .repo file under /etc/yum.repos.d

# vi /etc/yum.repos.d/ibm_power_tools.repo

# on REDHAT

# as a template

[IBM_Power_Tools]
name=IBM Power Tools
baseurl=http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/RHEL/6/ppc64
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
... ...

NOTE: For SUSE systems, repository files are in different directories upon releases. It is way simpler to configure the "IBM Power Tools" repository with "yast" tool because the detail statements inside may be uneasy:
# cat /etc/zypp/repos.d/"IBM Power Tools.repo"                                  # on SLES11
[IBM Power Tools]
name=IBM Power Tools
enabled=1
autorefresh=1
baseurl=http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/SLES/11/ppc64
type=rpm-md
keeppackages=0

# cat /var/lib/zypp/db/sources/<RandomFileName>                          # on SLES10

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>                                             # xml format!
<source version="2.0" xmlns="http://www.novell.com/metadata/zypp/xml-store">
    <enabled>true</enabled>
    <auto-refresh>true</auto-refresh>
    <product-dir></product-dir>
    <cache-dir>/var/lib/zypp/cache/Source.EO8042</cache-dir>
    <type>YUM</type>
    <url>http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/server/POWER/Linux/yum/IBM/SLES/10/ppc64</url>
    <alias>IBM Power Tools</alias>
</source>

For more detail, please read the manual documents of rpm, yum, zypper, and yast on Linux. In addition, information about them is also available on their websites:
http://www.rpm.org
http://yum.baseurl.org
http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Libzypp
http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:YaST

My server is running RHEL 6.3, are there any critical fixes?

RedHat has posted a zstream kernel fix for the RHEL 6.3 base where CPU utilization metrics (top, vmstat, mpstat, etc) were showing strange and incorrect values.

This behavior is easily seen on an idle system. The updated kernel is easy to install.

See the latest blog post for details.

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