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IBM i and PowerVM features and tools

How to install any Operating System on POWER remotely

Since HMC firmware version 7.7.7, IBM added very cool feature, which allows installation of the Virtual I/O Server directly from the HMC. This is very convenient when you get your POWER machine to the new location, and you want to install an operating system, for instance, IBM i or AIX, but you prefer to do it remotely.

There was another command installios for quite some time in the HMC. But it wasn’t very user friendly. Especially for IBM i administrators, the command looks like an occult. With new feature ‘Virtual I/O Server Repository’ it’s very easy to get the VIOS installed, even for someone who has never done it before.

If you get a brand new machine to a new location, and you don’t have a NIM server (or you don’t know what is this), it’s enough that you get the HMC operational and accessible from a remote location (you can ask a business partner to configure it). The HMC will host the VIOS installation images and performs almost automatically entire VIOS installation process.

1.Download VIOS installation .iso images from IBM website.

2.Copy installation images to the HMC. Go to HMC Management – Manage Virtual I/O Server Image RepositoryHMC-ManageVIOS Image repository

3.Complete information where the images can be copied from

HMC-ManageVIOS Image repository_details

HMC-ManageVIOS Image repository_result

4. Select your brand new VIOS partition profile, and click Operations – Activate – Profile and select Yes for Install Virtual I/O Server as part of activation process?

HMC-ManageVIOS Image repository_install

5. Type in the IP address, subnet mask and default gateway for VIOS.

HMC-ManageVIOS Image repository_IP

6. The installation process starts. It will do everything what is necessary to install the VIOS. HMC-ManageVIOS Image repository_installation_process

Remember that your HMC console acts as a NIM server. Therefore, if the console is behind the firewall, you must ensure that all ports required by NIM are opened.

7. When the installation finished, open virtual terminal in the HMC vtmenu , and do the first login to the VIOS with a default password padmin for padmin user.

Once the VIOS is installed, you can use it as virtual media repository. It allows you to create virtual drive where you can load OS installation images (IBM i, AIX, or Linux) and proceed with OS installation completely remotely. This process I described some time ago here.

I think this is great feature in the HMC, and IBM i people should use it. It saves time, its very convenient, and you don’t have to travel to the data room just to insert the SLIC DVD.

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8 responses to “How to install any Operating System on POWER remotely

  1. Pingback: Data3 – Common Sweden » TE’s Pick ‘n’ Mix c12/12/14

  2. csudheer August 20, 2015 at 05:38

    How do we install from NIM server.

    • Bart August 20, 2015 at 05:45

      The aim of this post is a situation: a brand new data center or an infrastructure where no any other POWER system exists.
      If you have a system with an AIX with NIM or IBM i OS already running it is much easier. Do you want me to describe how to do it from NIM?
      IBM i can simulate a DVD drive thru vSCSI from ages do you want me to describe it?

      • Eugene September 10, 2015 at 21:46

        Hi Bart, did you try to play with this feature in order to install AIX LPAR? I mean – what if I would use an AIX image instead of VIOS image in “Manage Virtual I/O Sever Image Repository”. It could sounds weird, but I have a managed-box without VIOS, also there is no NIM and I was told that we could not count on local on-site support for using DVD/CD drive of the box. At least for now… Thus I’m looking for “non-standard” way which could help to install AIX on a new LPAR. Thanks in advance.

      • Bart September 11, 2015 at 08:01

        Hello Eugene,
        Thank you for valuable question.
        No, I haven’t tried to install AIX LPAR via “Manage Virtual I/O Sever Image Repository”. Very good question, but I think it should work. I don’t have time to test it,but if you would try, please let me know the result.
        The only thing might be, that “Manage Virtual I/O Sever Image Repository” would require an LPAR VIOS type.

        I assume that your new box is completely empty, no any other operating system installed. If you would have an IBM i lpar, you can basically do almost all tricks as with VIOS.

  3. Eugene September 21, 2015 at 14:14

    You are right regarding LPAR type. Unfortunately the step 4 is impossible with type AIX/LINUX. So, the only option in my case is an installation from NIM which I will try to make from another LPAR on the same box.

  4. Paul Fenstermacher February 24, 2017 at 15:45

    What is the path where the VIOS images are stored on the HMC?

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