Lately, I am a very busy person; I had to learn enough LINUX to install it on pSeries hardware, only to quickly realize that the level of support in relation to this platform is, let’s be honest, abysmal. On the other hand, if you do LINUX on INTEL/AMD and/or VMWARE the IBM experts are fast and the support you receive it up to what you expect.
After installing a pair of LINUX “hosts” in fully virtualized lpars I was sent for LINUX training. While being trained, I soon discovered the beauty and elegance of VMWARE. Upon my return from the training and with the “help of my friends” I set one RedHat quest on one WMWare cluster (DEV/TEST) and copied it to the other two (PRODUCTION clusters in two data centers). From now on, to build LINUX HTTP/TomCat box all that needs to be done is to clone the copy! By the way, before the copies were made, we disabled the networking services on the “gold” copy. One has to spend just a few minutes in front of a WMWARE to understand its power, elegance, and simplicity. Yes, here there is no more LINUX but on VMWARE.
Yes, I can hear it. Your voice is laud and clear. “How could I do that to AIX?” Why? Because my love is not blind; I want AIX to be the best OS there ever been. I do not want AIX to STAGNATE! I want to retire doing AIX! Is it enough for you?
To be honest, I always wondered why AIX persisted to stick around; each and every technical presentation I attended or read never really demonstrated the full potential of this OS. They never talk, nor exploit
mksysb, file system
snapshots, the fact that a file system can be increased/decreased while mounted, about
smitty and hundred of other features of this OS.
Yes, AIX has many great futures like, for example,
NFS4 ACLs or
wpars but they are implemented and presented in such an old and arcane mode that most admins to not even bother to read and learn about them. Whose fault it is? Were these features implemented just to be able to say that AIX has them?
Virtualization is great and there is no way to neglect it or to avoid it. But why do you have to spend hours to read and learn before you can implement it? I did not read a simple manual but was able to use VMWARE – I got a five minute presentation from a WIN admins in our office. My time is expensive and in a short supply. I have family; my wife and children not to mention our dogs and cats – they all require attention and the time to interact with. My lawn needs trimming and I would like to have a free moment so I could go and do some fly fishing? Why do I need to spend hours learning to virtualize? Is it my fault (I might be not the smartest kid around) or it is the GUI that I can blame? Why I must separately select the slot for a
VSCSI adapter on the client and VIOS server side? Why do I even need to be concerned with the slot? Tell me why? The only reason I will accept your answer is if you say that it is so to exercise my own mindfulness otherwise I think that this is just plain silly.
Maybe all what is required is to have HMC “GUI” designers to download a copy of Oracle’s “Virtual Box” or VMWare in order to get some inspiration? Maybe it is time to stop repeating how great AIX is and to return to the drafting board to make AIX and its components match the times (2012) we live in? It is not 1990 any more. I am with AIX since 3.2.5 and I have not seen any improvement in its access and control methods. Why? Are we perfect already? Who said so?
While I am at it, why AIX admin is restricted to virtualize only vertically? Why is he limited to virtualize only within one managed system/frame? Why is AIX virtualization not able to unify more then one managed systems? Being able to virtualize in both directions, why not to be able to detect a failing memory, disk or adapter and automatically provide its replacement with an appropriate element from another frame or frames? Too difficult, you say? Do not tell me that LINUX is simpler to use because it is smaller. If AIX is complex because it is big then hide its size and complexity so it is easier to use.
Today, I had to upgrade and install some patches on one AIX host and LINUX. Compare
yum, nope you just cannot compare these two -
yum is better, no hassles no complications – a very straight forward process.
You say that LINUX does not have enough power for big databases.The existing INTEL/ADM hardware does not have enough horses but for how long? Additionally, if I can harness power of several smaller INTEL servers …….. why do I need one “big” iron? Indeed, the market is changing not just fast but in a very rapid pace. I remember people saying that SUN/SPARC (the darling of Wall Street) will never go away – such a powerful hardware! But where is it now? Have you seen SOLARIS lately?
Have you ever tried to integrate your own menus with
smitty? How many of you read its customization manual and did not experience a form of a mental breakdown? It is really to difficult to revise it to make it more accessible and easier to use? A lot of programming jobs have been outsourced overseas, cannot one or two of these more cost effective programmers be used to write a new
smitty customization module with a modern interface. I am not kidding, I really would love to be able to easily incorporate my scripts and other tools in
smitty menus and I think there is more people interested in an easy
smitty customization. Could you help us?
Is it possible to turn the existing firmware upgrade process into one single step including an automatic download of code for the selected hardware component?
A the standard answers go, this one is often used – “well, there is just not enough demand for this so we decided to invest our resources somewhere else”….. sorry, I do not buy it. People lose interest in something they cannot understand in a day or two aka they lose it quickly; there are deadlines to meet, work orders to close, …. there is never enough time. So, it is got to be easy to “COMPREHEND” in order to be used – in order to be in “DEMAND”! It is the fault of the maker if there is no or very little demand for his product! So if you make it easy to use it will be used, I bet.
As for my retirement as AIX administrator – only the time will show …. . For now, having Darwin’s theory of evolution in mind, to survive as UNIX admin I have to keep adjusting to the ever changing environment around me with no attachments nor preferences. LINUX is now part of this blog too.
It is the question of a passion and a vision that strengthens one and lack thereof weakens another. Not to mention that blind applause is poisonous.
Carry on AIX admins!