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About Virtual Partitions

With Virtual Partitions (vPars) you can take almost any HP 9000 server and turn it into many "virtual" computers. These virtual computers can each be running their own instance of HP-UX and associated applications. The virtual computers are isolated from one another at the software level. Software running on one Virtual Partition will not affect software running in any other Virtual Partition. In the Virtual Partitions you can run different revisions of HP-UX, different patch levels of HP-UX, different applications, or any software you want and not affect other partitions.

There are some base requirements that must be met in order to run vPars on your system. At the time of this writing, the following minimum requirements must be met for each vPar on your system:

  • Minimum of one CPU.

  • Sufficient memory to run HP-UX and any other software that will be present in the vPar.

  • A boot disk off of which HP-UX can be booted. At the time of this writing it is not possible to share bus adapters between vPars. Therefore, a separate bus adapter is required for each of the vPars. This requirement may have been removed by the time you read this book.

  • A console for managing the system. The console can be either physical or virtual. We'll cover the console in detail in the book.

  • An HP 9000 system supported by HP-UX 11i. At the time of this writing only HP-UX 11i is supported in vPars. With systems based on Itanium Processor Family (IPF) processors, there are plans to support numerous operating systems in vPars in the future.

The system we'll use in most of the examples throughout this article is an rp 5400 (formerly know as L-Class) system that meets all of the requirements in the previous list. You may also want to have additional disks and a separate LAN card in your vPars. I strongly recommend the LAN card so that you can establish TELNET, or other, sessions to your vPars rather than connect to them only from the console. The LAN card is also required to perform backup and Ignite-UX related work.

If you have Instant Capacity on Demand (iCOD) employed on your server, all CPUs must be activated in order for vPars to work. When employing Processor Sets (psets) in a vPar, use only bound CPUs.

There is a vPars product bundled with HP-UX 11i as well as a full, or add-on product. There are very few limitations with the add-on product. The bundled product has a limitation of a maximum of two vPars and one of the vPars can have only one CPU.

This article was written with Virtual Partitions software that had recently been released for the first time. There have been many enhancements to Virtual Partitions since the writing of this article. There is a Graphical User Interface being considered for vPars that I haven't covered in this article. There is something to be said for working with a product when it is new. You really get a good understanding of the functionality of the product by using the command line only and performing a lot of manual procedures. In addition, Superdome vPars software is in covered in an Appendix in the vPars book but not in this article.

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