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by Leena Basanthi, Bobichan John, William Carlson | Published August 8, 2018
Hyperconverged system is a software-centric infrastructure which tightly integrates compute, networking, storage resources, and other technologies pre-integrated in a scale-out server environment. IBM® Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix now supports IBM AIX®. AIX runs fully virtualized on the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor and its virtual machine (VM) lifecycle is managed through Nutanix Prism. This article demonstrates how the advanced architecture of IBM Power® can be blended with Nutanix web-scale technology, for quick and easy deploy of application workload on an AIX guest VM, through migration from an existing AIX environment or through fresh deployment.
It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with IBM Hyperconverged Systems, AIX, Nutanix Prism, IBM DB2®, IBM WebSphere® Application Server (WAS), and IBM WebSphere MQ. If not, it is recommended to review the documentation in the ” Related topics” section first.
An enterprise cloud infrastructure combining Nutanix software stack with IBM Power Systems™ architecture, is a good fit for transactional and analytic workloads, offering agility, scalability, security and ease of management. The IBM Hyperconverged Systems, powered by Nutanix are scale-out nodes that combines storage, computing, and networking into a single system.
The IBM Power System CS822 model, integrated with Nutanix enterprise cloud platform software, targets enterprise workloads. Nutanix’s built-in AHV hypervisor allows IBM Power customers to run a variety of virtualized applications. In addition, Nutanix offers a management solution through its Prism console for centralized IT management that streamlines and automates common workflows, thus reducing data center complexity. This joint initiative enables hyperconverged deployments for enterprise workloads such as databases, large-scale data warehouses, web infrastructures, and mainstream enterprise applications.
The primary objective of this article is to provide guidelines on how IBM Power customers can leverage IBM Hyperconverged systems using AIX on Nutanix to run their workloads, with examples in these scenarios:
IBM Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix now supports AIX 7.2 TL 2 SP2, or later, on. AIX can be a guest VM on the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor, including storage and networking and it can be managed by the Prism console. For ease of deployment, AIX cloud ready raw disk images are available. These images can be used directly for VM deployments on CS series nodes. You can also opt for migrating an AIX logical partition (LPAR) to the Nutanix environment. The following section provides the step-by-step procedure to migrate the IBM AIX partitions to the Nutanix environment.
We tested the following procedure in our environment by setting up a Hyperconverged environment using the following products/versions.
IBM team has done a deployment to capture the considerations on how enterprise applications can be easily deployed and managed on IBM Hyperconverged Systems, powered by Nutanix.
To showcase how the IBM-Nutanix integrated solution enables you to run enterprise transactional and analytics workloads, the team created a test bed that includes Nutanix cluster, AIX workloads (such as IBM Websphere Application Server and DB2), and test applications. Here’s a brief description:
Applications: IBM Websphere Application Server, Messaging Queue, DB2, and test applications are installed on each VM that runs AIX 7.2. [ See Table 1: Components version ]
The combination of Nutanix and IBM Power eases the deployment of enterprise applications by removing the infrastructure complexity and in turn provides superior performance gains and VM density in cloud environments, with IBM POWER8® chip architecture enabling more threads per core, memory bandwidth, and cache. Furthermore, a variety of workloads can be installed avoiding the need for a separate silo of infrastructure. Here is a brief description of the workloads that were installed on the Nutanix cluster for our testing.
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) – IBM WebSphere Application Sever is a middleware offering that allows you to build, run, integrate, secure, and manage Java-based applications ranging from simple websites to cloud solutions. The quick way to install IBM WebSphere Application Server is to use IBM Installation Manager that comes with the installation kit and then configure an IBM repository. In addition, you can install supplements such as IBM HTTP Server, Web Server Plug-ins for WebSphere Application Server, the WebSphere Customization Toolbox, or the WebSphere Application Client, and add them to the composite repository.
IBM WebSphere Messaging Queue – WebSphere MQ provides a universal messaging backbone with robust connectivity for flexible and reliable messaging for applications, and integration of existing IT assets that use a service-oriented architecture.
DB2 – IBM DB2 is a multi-workload database management solution built to handle a massive volume of data and deliver high performance to support real-time analytics. It provides data availability for demanding applications, scalability, massive parallel processing, and flexibility for enterprise demands.
Test application – It is an application developed by IBM Internal team and has the online transaction processing (OLTP) functions to simulate customers browsing and buying books. Its database contains a catalog of all the books and its cost.
In summary, this testing configuration and stack is intended to represent a realistic configuration of the IBM hardware and software components for an infrastructure stack to support AIX on Nutanix Hyperconverged environment. A customer-like application using WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere MQ and DB2 is used to apply and measure transactional loading so this environment can always be running while tests, operations, and migrations occur. Finally, transactions generated from this application server (or grouping of like application servers) can be used to stress/test back-end database servers.
This section lists a few considerations and technical issues to take care while installing IBM WebSphere applications on AIX clients in a Nutanix environment.
./managesdk.sh ‑listAvailable ‑verbose
./managesdk.sh ‑setCommandDefault ‑sdkName 1.8_64
./managesdk.sh ‑setNewProfileDefault ‑sdkName 1.8_64
./managesdk.sh ‑enableProfile ‑profileName AppSrv01 ‑sdkName 1.8_64
./imcl ‑acceptLicense install com.ibm.websphere.ND.v90_22.214.171.12460526_1854
<install_directory> ‑repositories /<directory_path>/repository.config,/
Following is the procedure that we followed and tested to migrate an existing AIX LPAR to Hyperconverged Nutanix environment.
unmirrorvg rootvg hdisk11
reducevg rootvg hdisk11
bosboot ‑a ‑d /dev/hdisk1
bootlist ‑m normal hdisk1
Review the supported levels of software products on AIX 7.2 and perform the necessary migration activities.
The dd command creates image with disk contents to a file. The dd images can later be used for building volume groups on the virtual machine on Nutanix.
dd if=/dev/<rootvg disk name> of=/<desired NFS location>/<rootvg disk name>.dd.rtvg bs=1m
dd if=/dev/<datavg disk name> of=/<desired NFS location>/<datavg disk name>.dd.dtvg1 bs=1m
<use the same procedure for all the data disks>
Create an image on Nutanix and build a new VM: Upload the rooting image file to the Nutanix environment using the Prism console and build a new VM using the same image. You need to add additional data disks with the same size in the existing LPAR while building a new VM and finally activate the VM. You can transfer the datavg image files to a new VM or a NFS location. Refer to the Prism documentation for more details.
To clean up the new VM and re-create all the data volume groups:
exportvg <datavg name>
<use the same procedure for all the datavg>
importvg ‑y <datavg name> <one of the datavg disk name>
<use the same procedure for all the datavg>
IBM and Nutanix bring the best of private and public clouds to its enterprise customers by offering agility, efficiency, and security with their infrastructure. This combination eases the deployment and management of enterprise workloads such as Enterprise DB, MongoDB, WebSphere Application Server, Business Applications, Database as a Service (DBaaS), using the Power performance and server virtualization without worrying about storage or network bottlenecks.
The solution in this article is deployed as a cluster of nodes. This Nutanix cluster can grow by adding more nodes for demanding workload, thus giving you a linear predictable performance and capacity increase as the cluster grows. In addition, IBM Power customers can migrate an existing AIX LPAR to a hyperconverged Nutanix environment and benefit from Nutanix web-scale technology that simplifies infrastructure management and reduces operational cost.
The goal of this integrated solution is to provide an infrastructure that is easy to manage and simple to scale for demanding transactional and analytics workloads.
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