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back to article IBM opens up beta for AIX 7

For only the second time since Big Blue entered the Unix market for real in February 1990 with the launch of the RS/6000 line of workstations and servers, the company is letting customers who use its Power-based servers take a future AIX release for a test drive in an open beta program. The AIX 7 open beta, which launches today …

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Happy

Hmmm...

Sounds a bit like "Project Copy Solaris".

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Happy

can't wait tu run aix on 256-cores

with power7 that would be the performance equal to... ~1000 fastest sun sparc64 cores!

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Bronze badge

LPM is available for LPARs already...

There is a comment in this announcement the implies that Live Partition Mobility only works on WPARs? It clearly already works fine with AIX 6.1 on LPARs. Perhaps AIX 7.1 adds WPAR function for it.

As to copying Solaris features, this is probably IBM trying to steal-away the UNIX development community from their traditional Solaris roots. IBM sells WPAR as a development tool. PowerVM is the predominant production-environment tool.

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Boffin

LPM...

Not sure which comment you picked up, there. Possibly the one about 5.2 LPAR migration to WPAR (which IBM are calling System Partitions, I think). Anyway...

Two distinct features here. WPARs on 6.1 (and 7.1, natch) have Live Application Mobility (checkpoint / resume between different AIX global instances - probably in LPARs, but not necessarily). This is distinct from Live Partition Mobility which lets you flick entire LPARs between separate physical servers. The latter requires support in the silicon, so only works for Power 6 / Power 7, whereas WPARs (and the mobility) will work all the way back to Power 4 / 970.

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Boffin

256 core support is still not enough for IH HPC supernodes

The shape of these is 4 drawers of 8 Power7 QCM's, each QCM containing 4 Power7 chips, each of which has 8 cores. This equates to 1024 cores per supernode, so these will have to be divided in some way into at least 4 system images, even using AIX 7.1. With previous versions of AIX (Power 7 IH nodes are supposed to be usable with AIX 5.3 and AIX 6.1) it is worse.

If you look at the way that AIX has handled multiple threads up to AIX 6.1 (one logical processor per thread, scheduled as a separate processor), then that makes it even worse, meaning a single OS image would have to cope with 8192 logical processors.

Of course, it is not clear that each thread will be handled the same way with AIX 7.1, but there are only so many ways that you can do this using traditional scheduling techniques.

It is not clear from IBM how this partitioning will be done, but if they are going to use LPARs, then this has an overhead, especially if they intend to virtualize the I/O. Because it will not be possible for a single system to handle all the processors, WPARs are completely out of the question.

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