The iSeries Blog

Jul 10 2008   7:11AM GMT

A testimonial on installing a System i blade

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Lukas Beeler has a thorough post about his experience with installing System i onto an IBM JS12 blade.

As he stresses, this is not an instruction manual. It is rather Beeler’s personal journey in doing the installation. The bottom line?

The whole setup took me roughly 24 hours (i started a day ago at 16:00). Of course, the system wasn’t always busy because i didn’t give him any work, but it’s worth to note that setting up a JS12 blade takes considerably longer than setting up a model 515 or M15.

The JS12 blade is one of two blades that IBM is currently offering the System i on — the other is the JS22. The JS12 is a single-socket server with one dual-core Power processor, up to 64 GB of RAM, and support for AIX, Linux or IBM i (version 6.1 and up).

One of the most time-consuming processes, Beeler wrote, was initialization of a single 147GB hard drive that took almost five hours. Aside from just leaving a bad taste in his mouth from waiting around so long, he said it could have ramifications for disaster recovery down the road. Initialization of three other disks essentially took overnight because the process got stuck at 99% and Beeler needed to get some sleep.

Beeler comes upon a revelation near the end, realizing that running the System i OS on the blade isn’t going to be like the good ol’ days:

While the installation happened, i used an additional session to explore the system. The disks where shown to the system as virtual disks, similar to SAN attached disks. But one of the more interesting parts was looking at the Hardware Service Manager in SST/DST – it was completely empty, and didn’t contain any hardware. For me, this was a moment that was quite indicative of the whole experience – i on Blade is not “AS/400 in Blade Form”. It’s a completely new environment that you’ll need to learn to deal with. You got another layer of indirection (VIOS) with it’s own platform (AIX), plus you have the blade management in itself.

Beeler is next going to install an ERP app to see how the blade handles it.

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