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HP-UX Virtual Partitions


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-035212-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-035212-5

vPars: The breakthrough solution for maximizing HP 9000 utilization, flexibility, and manageability.

  • The authoritative guide to breakthrough Virtual Partitions (vPars) technology for HP-UX
  • Transform virtually any HP 9000 into multiple "virtual" computers
  • Includes practical examples and step-by-step procedures
  • Covers vPars commands and configuration in detail with many examples

Using Virtual Partitions (vPars), you can transform virtually any HP 9000 system into multiple "virtual computers," each running its own instance of HP-UX and associated applications-dramatically improving efficiency, flexibility, availability, and manageability in any enterprise environment. Now, one of the world's leading HP-UX experts and best-selling author Marty Poniatowski presents a comprehensive guide to vPars that covers everything you need to succeed with this breakthrough technology. Using practical examples, this book covers every essential vPars command and administration technique:

  • Analyze your system to determine components to be used in vPars
  • Load HP-UX and vPars software
  • Create vPars with vparcreate
  • Boot vPars with vparboot and vparload
  • Modify vpars with vparmodify
  • View vPars details with vparstatus
  • Remove vPars with vparremove
  • Customize vPars environments with Ignite-UX, backup, users, boot options, and more
  • Tear-out card summarizing all vPars commands

Whether you want to consolidate servers, improve utilization, respond to rapid load changes, protect against software failures, or run production and test systems on the same server, vPars makes it possible - and Marty Poniatowski's step-by-step instructions make it easy.

Sample Content

Table of Contents



About Virtual Partitions.

Virtual Partitions (vPars) Background.

Uses of Virtual Partitions.

Organization of the Book.

Relevant URLs.

Manual Pages Supplied with the Book.


Duane Zitzner. The Author - Marty Poniatowski. Francis Huang - vPars. Expert and Reviewer. Geff Blaha - vPars Expert and Reviewer. Hayden Brown - vPars Expert.

Conventions Used in the Book.

1. Installing HP-UX11i andVirtualPartitionsSoftware. @@AHEADS = Introduction to Virtual Partitions. Selecting the Disks on Which to the Load Software. Loading the Software. Loading the Software Required for Virtual Partitions. Non-vPars-Specific Section of Chapter - Install HP-UX 11i Operating. Environment. Booting the System and “Advanced Installation”. Setting the System Parameters after Booting. Software Distributor Example. Loading Patches. Software Distributor Background. Installing and Updating Software (Command Line or GUI). Copying Software to a Depot (Command Line or GUI). Removing Software from a System (Command Line or GUI). List Information about Installation Software. Configure Installed Software. Verify Software. Package Software That Can Later Be Installed (Local Sys Only). Control Access to Software Distributor Objects. Modify Information about Loaded Software (Local System Only). Register or Unregister a Depot. Manage Jobs (Command Line or GUI, this is SD-OV only). Listing the Software. Manual Pages for Commands Used in Chapter 1. “sw” command summaries.

2. Working With vPars.

Preparing to Create Virtual Partitions. Virtual Partitions Command Summary. Steps to Create Virtual Partitions. 1) Load HP-UX 11i. 2) Load the Virtual Partitions Application Software. 3) Gather the System Component and Hardware Paths. 4) List the Components of the Virtual Partitions. 5) Virtual Partition Kernel-Related Work. 6) Create the First Virtual Partition. 7) Boot the First Virtual Partition. 8) Create the Second Virtual Partition. 9) Boot the Second Virtual Partition. 10) Modify the Virtual Partition. Virtual Partition Dump Files. Summary.

3. Booting and vPars.

Background. Virtual Partition Boot Process Overview. Virtual Partition Boot States. setboot Command and vPars. Other Boot Topics. Non-vPars-Specific Section of Chapter: Boot Process Overview. Boot Console Handler (BCH) & Processor Dependent Code (PDC). PDC Commands. Initial System Load. HPUX Secondary System Loader (hpux). Secure Web Console. Connecting and Configuring the Secure Web Console. Configuring the Guardian Service Processor (GSP). Manual Pages for Commands Used in Chapter 3. Boot. Hpux. Isl. Pdc.

4. Building an HP-UXKernel.

Virtual Partitions and the Kernel. Virtual Partition Kernel-Related Work. Devices and Virtual Partitions. Non-vPar Specific Section of Chapter - Modify and Build an HP-UX. Kernel. Dynamically Loadable Kernel Modules. Building a Kernel. Description of Kernel Parameters. Kernel Parameters. Overview of Select Kernel Parameters.

5. Virtual Partitions and Devices.

Background on Virtual Partitions and Devices. Virtual Partitions and Local Bus Adapters. Virtual Partitions and Processors. Virtual Partitions and Memory. Virtual Partitions and LAN. Virtual Partitions and the Console. Adding and Removing Devices in Virtual Partitions. Non-vPar Specific Section of Chapter - Background on Device Files and Peripherals. Device Files in HP-UX 11i. An Example of Adding a Peripheral. Memory Management - Kind of Related to Device Files. Cache Memory. Checking Available RAM. Managing Cache and RAM. Virtual Memory. Swap.

6. Users and Groups.

Virtual Partitions and Users. Individual User Setup. Application Users. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter - Set Up Users and Groups. Assigning Users to Groups. NIS for Managing Users. What Does NIS Manage? How Do I Plan For NIS? How Do I Configure an NIS Master Or Slave Server? How Do I Configure an NIS Client? How Do I Maintain My NIS Environment?


Backup of Virtual Partitions. Backup to a Tape Drive on the Local Virtual Partition. Backup to a Tape Drive on a Different Local Virtual Partition. Backup of Virtual Partitions Using SAM. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter - Built-in Backup Programs. Tar. Cpio. fbackup and frecover. Dd. dump and restore.

8. System Startup and Shutdown Scripts.

System Startup and Shutdown Scripts in Virtual Partitions. Application Startup in Virtual Partitions. Virtual Partition Startup. Non-vPar Specific-Section of Chapter - Introduction. System Startup and Shutdown Scripts. System Shutdown. Chapter 9 File Systems.

Virtual Partition File Systems. Separate vPars File Systems. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter: Introduction. Veritas Volume Manager. Logical Volume Manager Background. Logical Volume Manager Terms. Disk Mirroring. Logical Volume Manager Commands. Adding Disks. Commonly Used LVM Procedures. Reconfiguring Some Disks: An Example of Using Some Logical Volume. Commands. Why Change? Optional Procedure to Exchange Dump Priorities. HP VERITAS Volume Manager. HP VERITAS Volume Manager Setup. Volume Manager Storage Administrator. HP VERITAS Volume Manager Mirroring and Striping. Some Additional File-System-Related Commands. Viewing File Systems with bdf. File System Maintenance with fsck. Initializing with mediainit.

10. Ignite-UX.

Ignite-UX Bootable Recovery Achive for Virtual Partitions. Creating Bootable Recovery Archives for vPars. Using Ignite-UX GUI to Create a vPar Archive. Virtual Partition Recovery. Virtual Partition Installation with Ignite-UX. Ignite-UX and vPars Cookbook. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter: Ignite-UX Overview. Set up Server with Depots and Install Clients. Run Ignite-UX GUI. System Recovery with Ignite-UX. An Example of Creating a Bootable System Recovery Tape. Running the check_recovery Command. Manual Pages for Commands Used in Chapter 10. make_net_recovery.

11. System Administration Manager(SAM).

SAM and Virtual Partitions. Virtual Partitions. Backup Using SAM. Users and SAM. ServiceControl Manager (SCM) and Virtual Partitions. System Configuration Repository (SCR) and Virtual Partitions. Using SCR. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter: SAM Overview. Running and Using SAM as Superuser. Author's Disclaimer: SAM is a Moving Target. Running Restricted SAM Builder. Initially Setting User Privileges. Accounts for Users and Groups. Adding a User. Adding a Group. Auditing and Security. Audited Events and Audited System Calls. Audited Users. Authenticated Commands. System Security Policies. Backup and Recovery. Scheduling a Backup. Interactive Backup and Recovery. Performing a Restore. Clusters. Disks and File Systems. Disk Devices. File Systems. Logical Volumes. Swap. Volume Groups. Display. Kernel Configuration. Configurable Parameters. Drivers. Dump Devices. Subsystems. Networking and Communications. Bootable Devices. DNS (BIND). Hosts. NIS. NIS+. Name Service Switch. Network Interface Cards. Network Services. Network File Systems. System Access. Partition Manager. Performance Monitors. Disk and Terminal Activity. GlancePlus. Inter-Process Communication Facility Status. Processes with Highest CPU Usage. System Activity. System Properties. Virtual Memory Activity. Peripheral Devices. Cards. Device List. Tape Drives. Terminals and Modems. Uninterruptable Power Supplies. Printers and Plotters. Print Requests. Printers and Plotters. Save/Restore Spooler Configuration. Process Management. Process Control. Scheduling Cron Jobs. Routine Tasks. Backup and Recovery. Selective File Removal. System Log Files. System Shutdown. Run SAM on Remote Systems. Software Management. Time. NFS Diskless Concepts. ServiceControl Manager (SCM) Overview.

12. Performance Topics.

Performance and Virtual Partitions. Sar and ioscan with Disks. Uptime. Networking. HP GlancePlus/UX. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter: Introduction. Standard UNIX Commands. I/O and CPU Statistics with iostat. Virtual Memory Statistics with vmstat. Network Statistics with netstat. Checking Processes with ps. Killing a Process. Signals. Showing Remote Mounts with showmount. Showing System Swap. sar: The System Activity Reporter. Using timex to Analyze a Command. More Advanced and Graphical Performance Tools. HP GlancePlus/UX. Process List Description. CPU Report Screen Description. Memory Report Screen Description. Disk Report Screen Description. GlancePlus Summary. Using VantagePoint Performance Agent to Identify Bottlenecks. HP VantagePoint Performance Agent and HP VantagePoint Performance An-alyzer/UX.

13. Networking.

Virtual Partitions and Networking. Virtual Partition Host-Related Information. Using the Two Networking Cards With Telnet. Non-vPar-Specific Section of Chapter: Networking Background. UNIX Networking. An Overview of IEEE802.3, TCP/IP. Physical Layer. Link Layer. Network Layer. Transport Layer. Internet Protocol (IP) Addressing. Subnet Mask. Using Networking. ARPA Services (Communication among Systems w/ Different OS). Berkeley Commands (Communication between UNIX Systems). Host Name Mapping. /etc/hosts. /etc/hosts.equiv. /.rhosts. Network File System (NFS). Set Up DNS Servers Using BIND 8.1.2 on HP-UX 11.0 and 11i. A Word on Slave (Secondary) Name Servers. A Word on Cache-Only Name Servers. A Final Word on Name Server Setup. Other Networking Commands and Setup. Ping. Netstat. Route. Ifconfig. Rpcinfo. Arp. Lanadmin. Ndd. Nslookup.

14. Common Desktop Environment.

CDE and Virtual Partitions. Custom Greeting for Different Virtual Partitions. Menu Picks for Virtual Partitions. Non-vPars-Specific Part of Chapter: Introduction. Why a Graphical User Interface (GUI)? CDE Basics 894 CDE on AIX and HP-UX. CDE on Solaris. Customizing CDE. Making Changes Using Style Manager. Backdrop and Colors. Adding Objects to or Removing Objects from the Front Panel. Changing the Front Panel in Other Ways. Modifying Things in Slide-up Subpanels. Front Panel Animation. Adding Items to the Workspace Menu. Creating Control Buttons, Actions, and File Types. Using Different Fonts. Changing the Login Picture. CDE - Advanced Topics. The X Window System. Motif. CDE. X, Motif, and CDE Configuration Files. X Configuration Files. Motif Configuration Files. CDE Configuration Files. CDE Configuration File Locations. How Configuration Files Play Together. Specifying Appearance and Behavior. The Sequence of Events When CDE Starts. CDE and Performance. Tactics for Better Performance. Conclusion.

Appendix A. Virtual Partitions Online Manual.

Man Pages.

Appendix B. Superdome Virtual Partitions.

Superdome vPars. The Hierarchy of Partitions. nPartition and Superdome Background. Working With nPartitions and vPars. Defining and Configuring the Four vPars. The Console.




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 par-titions. 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 requirements 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 book is an 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 each of 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 book was written with Virtual Partitions software that had not yet been released. There have been many enhancements to Virtual Partitions since the writing of this book. There is a Graphical User Interface being considered for vPars that I haven't covered in this book. 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 in covered in Appendix A had just become available as early access software. The vPars software for Superdome operates identically to that on the L-Class and N-Class systems covered in the earlier examples in the book. Although the Virtual Partitions product has been streamlined since the writing of this book you'll gain a good understanding of Virtual Partitions by the procedures I cover herein.

I hope you enjoy reading the book and learning the material as much as I did writing it.

Marty Poniatowski

Virtual Partitions (vPars) Background

HP-UX Virtual Partitions (vPars) allow you to run multiple instances of HP-UX on the same HP 9000 server. From a hardware perspective a vPar consists of CPU, memory, and I/O that is a subset of the overall hardware on the computer. From a software perspective a vPar consists of the HP-UX 11i Operating Environment and all application-related software to successfully run your workload. Figure P-1 shows a conceptual diagram of the way in which HP 9000 computer system resources can be allocated to support multiple vPars.

The components of which your HP 9000 is comprised can be allocated in a variety of ways. You can see that the eight-way system shown has a different number of processors, different amount of memory, and different number of I/O cards allocated to each vPar. The unused components can be added to any of the vPars or be the basis for yet another vPar. In addition, components can be moved from one vPar to another (with some restrictions described later in the book).

Uses of Virtual Partitions

I have worked on many vPars installations that have a variety of uses for vPars. The following are a sampling of the reasons to use vPars:

Increased System Utilization
- Many servers are underutilized. With vPars you can devote a subset of system resources to each vPar. With each vPar running its own instance of HP-UX 11i and associated applications, you'll get higher overall system utilization.
- Many applications have resource needs that change. With vPars you can devote fewer system components when application needs are low and additional resources when an application needs them. An increased end-of-the-month workload, for instance, can be given more system resources to complete faster.
Server Consolidation
- Running multiple instances of HP-UX 11i and their associated applications on one HP server reduces the overall number of servers required. Web servers that had run on different servers can now be run in different vPars on the same computer.
Application Isolation
- HP vPars are fully software-isolated from one another. A software failure in one vPar does not affect other vPars.
Mixed Production, Test, and Development
- Production and testing can take place on the same server with vPars. When testing is complete, the test vPar can become the production vPar. Similarly, development usually takes place on a separate system. With the software isolation of vPars, however; development can take place on the same sys-tem with other applications.

These are just a sampling of the uses I've seen for vPars. Many others will emerge as vPars become widely used and systems experts implement them in more computing environments.

Organization of the Book

I did not restrict this book to covering only Virtual Partitions (vPars) related material. I cover many HP-UX 11i system administration topics and the way in which they are affected by vPars. This is, however, not a complete HP-UX 11i system administration book. The HP-UX 11i System Administration Handbook and Toolkit is a complete system administration guide that you may want to consider as a companion to this book. It also contains a UNIX section as well as an HP-UX and Windows interoperability section.

Each chapter starts with partition-specific information and later in the chapter contains background information on the topic. In the chapter covering booting partitions, for instance, I first cover topics specifically related to booting partitions. Later in the chapter I cover booting in general. Covering both the partition-specific information related to a topic and then background information on the same topic gives you most of what you need to know to successfully deal with partitions.

Relevant URLs

There are many Web sites that can assist you in your Virtual Partition-related work and HP-UX system administration in general. The following are some of the more prominent HP-UX-related Web sites as they existed at the time of this writing:

IT Resource Center (This is essential for every HP-UX administrator):
Technical documentation, including most HP-UX documents:
Software depot home page:
vPar product information:
vPar Systems Administrator's Guide:
Instant Capacity on Demand (iCOD):
The International Association of HP Computing Professionals:
Configurable kernel parameters:
Index of HP-UX online documents:
Information on HP's new architecture Itanium processor family:
Register name servers at:
Excellent unsupported system administration scripts at:
Software used for UNIX and Windows interoperability at:
Information on Perl, including sites to download Perl:
The Perl Journal:
Information about the GNOME desktop environment:
Public-domain software that has been ported to HP-UX:
Site devoted to managing and promoting open source:
Linux documentation site:
Information on Java running on HP:

Manual Pages Supplied with the Book

I am most grateful to Hewlett-Packard Company for having allowed me to include vPars manual pages and a few other select manual pages in this book. I have received a great deal of positive feedback on the inclusion of manual pages in my previous books. Many readers find it helpful to have the manual pages in the book to refer to when reading it when there is no system available to check on a command (apparently, a lot of people are reading my books while not at the office).


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