Over the course of the past 28 years or so, I’ve been called upon to assist clients with resolving existing service-related POWER Systems issues, both hardware and software (configuration / application performance) related. Expediting the resolution of service-related issues is key to maintaining a successful environment. Whether you’re a newly initiated or seasoned system administrator, there are three critical elements involved in expediting service resolution: documentation, preparation and conversation!
System Configuration Documentation
It may seem obvious but still warrants pointing out, one of the best ways to expedite the resolution of any service-related concern with a failing server is to have a very well-documented history of your server’s configuration.
This collection of data should include:
- Documentation used to keep track of any upgrades/downgrades
- Configuration tweaks (either at the direction of the vendor support staff or self-adjusted tweaks made through trial-and-error)
- Temporary fixes (patches, interim fixes) that have been applied between your regular operating system or application maintenance cycles
- Performance measurements for your configuration that reflect how your server normally performs when healthy and meeting expectations. (The latter can also be considered as an operational baseline.)
In a POWER Server environment, there are several commands that can be helpful when documenting your system. Help your service provider get your system back on track with the following groups of commands:
Commands to Document the System (Mostly Hardware) in AIX:
[table id=23 /]
Commands to Document the System (Configuration/Application) in AIX:
[table id=25 /]
Commands to Document the System (Device Configuration) in the Virtual Input/Output (VIO) Server:
[table id=26 /]
Useful SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Edition and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Linux Commands (Available if IBM Linux Toolkit is Installed):
[table id=27 /]
Documentation is the first word to add to your IT creed. Check back for Part 2 of this blog series to read about the other two words to add: preparation and conversation!
About the Author
Martin Clayton has been working in the IT field for 35 years, including 28 years within IBM’s service division. He attended Wayne State University where he studied electrical and computer engineering. In addition to his work as a field engineer supporting the IBM mainframe, Power Systems, storage and System x platforms, Martin has also been an instructor and developer.
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