IBMi.org – Bart's blog

IBM i and PowerVM features and tools

HMC – Enhanced+ interface tricks

One of the most popular posts on my blog are these related to the HMC, functionality and management. Recently I’ve been invited by IBM research/development team to an adviser role in order to help with improvement the interface. Because at the same time,  I realized there are multiple things which were already added with the latest Service Packs but I was not aware of them. I decided to write this post and share the tricks which you may not know.

First of all, I’m not going to discuss about pros and cons between the old classic interface and the new Enhanced+ which is the default and the only supported interface with the HMC firmware V9. In this post I shown how to enable the classic interface on the console running code V9, but it was disabled with the fix pack V9 R1 M941. I’m still a big fan of the classic interface, mainly because it was faster. Or when you run big environment with many LPARs and many servers. The interface provided more information on one screen. The classic interface also allowed to manage vSCSI server/client adapters which is important for IBM i users , but this should be solved with the coming release 950 which supposed to fix the functionality. Remember that V950 will not be supported on the old Intel consoles. In order to run it you have to migrate to the POWER based console.

One of the most anticipation function for me in 950 release is a capability to manage VIOS save/restore from the HMC. Maybe finally IBM i users will get an interface which is usable and allow us to avoid installing NIM LPAR.

Another popular topic on the blog is description how to create Shared Ethernet Adapter using the HMC, it is 4 yrs old, but still the instruction is propitiate.

Anyway, today I want to demonstrate how you can modify the Enhanced+ interface or use Pins to speed up the operations.

Modify the interface

You all know the default screen with icons (Gallery view), which may look modern but in my opinion has very less practical use.

List of LPARs

I definitely prefer the Table View which provides more information, but by default, it provides fields with information not usable for everyone. But,  you can modify these and save it and always get the same screen again.

This is the default screen.

Default LPAR list

I have never found information about IP address or Attention LED useful, so let’s kick out these, and insert information about Allocated CPU and Virtual CPU. You can do it, by clicking small icon on the left and display Capacity Columns. Select/Deselect what you like.

Now, Let’s move columns to see the most important at the first columns and move others to the right. In order to these, click the column which you want to move and move the cursor down until you see four-side arrows cursor. Click mouse and move the column where you want.

LPARs move

Now, we have the design which we want to keep. Click the Save User Preferences button.

Pins

Another useful function is “Pins”. In another word it is creating Shortcuts. It allows to open the screen/menu to the specific function in one click. For instance, if you very often modify CPU setting on an LPAR, usually, you need to select the Server, then the Partition, and click on General Properties which will open the window where the CPU configuration may be modified. Using Pins functionality, you can get the screen on “one click” and save significant time (you don’t have to wait on each screen to be loaded). In order to add the screen to the shortcut/Pins, click the blue pin in the right corner, and the function will be added to the Pins section.

 

Another function is Global search – it allows quick navigation between LPARs, servers, VIOSes. For instance imagine, that you have LPARs named PGP0001, PGP0002, PGP0003 on different servers. Using the global search lists all partitions with PGP in the name, you can pick one and the interface will take you to the properties of selected LPAR. The global search is always shown in the right top corner.

 

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