HMC Manages Power Blades Now


HMC Manages Power Blades Now

Last week IBM announced the new HMC HW 7042-CR7 which replaces 7042-CR6 system. Along with that, the new release of HMC SW was also announced - HMC V7R760. It is planned for general availability for November 16, 2012.

A few capabilities of the new release draw our attention:

  • Blade management
  • Support of newer browsers
  • New PowerVM capabilities- support of up to 20 logical partitions per core and automatic cfgdev/rmdev commads on VIOS when DLPAR operations are performed

HMC Power Blades Management

HMC Blade management support is a long waited feature which was dreamed by all those administrators who are used to HMC GUI and all of its features and capabilities. Currently people have two options to manage their Power blades in case they want to use virtualization - IVM and SDMC. And virtualiztion became nearly a must since the introduction of POWER 7 blades - up to 32 cores! However, SDMC never managed to win people’s hearts with its complexity, new terminology (or at least new to those not used to IBM Systems Director) and numerous issues. And since IBM decided to withdraw SDMC product (which will be supported till 2015), the only option left is IVM. IVM however is not quite beloved as well - mainly because of its limitations and terminology differences in comparison with HMC, and association with low-end systems (for which was primary used in the past). In May 2012, IBM announced its intention to enhance the HMC and add support for Power Systems blades. And here it comes…

The release of HMC V7R760 is planned for November 16, 2012. The new version will be able to manage IBM Power Blade servers. This includes:

  • support for dual VIOS
  • live partition mobility between blades and rack servers
  • management of both blades and rack servers from a single management console

IBM also promises simple transition from SDMC Management to HMC Management. Administrators should only add the blades to the management domain of the new console (HMC). And that can be done without a blade server outage.

Transition from IVM to HMC, however, requires blade server downtime. When converting from IVM to HMC managed blades, all partitions must be manually reconfigured. The process will be the same as the process for converting IVM managed rack servers to HMC managed rack servers. Details can be found here.

Support of Newer Browsers

The support of newer browsers is also great news. Currently HMC supports only quite old browser versions such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0 and Firefox Newer versions also seem to work but only in “compatibility” mode and are not supported.

With the release of V7R760, the HMC will support Mozilla Firefox 7 through 10 and Microsoft™ Internet Explorer 7.0 through 9.0.


The V7R760 version of HMC introduces also support to new PowerVM features:

  • You can create up to 20 partitions per processor core.
  • During DLPAR add or remove operation of virtual I/O adapters to or from a VIOS, the HMC now automatically attempts to run the Add/Remove commands (cfgdev/rmdev) on the VIOS. In earlier releases, you would have to manually run these commands on the VIOS.



tags: Blades, HMC


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