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Old 01-06-2016, 02:43 AM   #1
EpicZerg
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IBM Power 550 Express OS?


A friend of mine gave me a decommisioned IBM Power 550 Express (fully equipped with all the NICs you can imagine, and SAS drives). And now my question is: How does one Install an Operating System on this beast? and first of all which OS's are even supported? (POWER6 Arch)

- EpicZerg
 
Old 01-06-2016, 10:07 AM   #2
Soadyheid
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Welcome to LinuxQuestions!

Can I answer your question regarding loading an OS? Err... Not really but I do know a little about IBM Power systems.

You may want to read the IBM Red paper technical overview on the P550 which makes my head hurt so I've no idea how you'll take it.

It runs AIX V6.1 or Linux for PowerPC apparently. It's designed to work as a host for a load of virtual machines running in vPars (virtual partitions)each assigned their own disk (or DASD in IBM speak - "Direct Access Storage Device"), nics, HBAs, etc, though you can configure it to have only one system using all the system resources. If I remember you can also micro-slice the processor so a virtual machine can be assigned part of a processor (time sliced)
It has a service processor which allows you to control and monitor various parts of the system, e.g, put a nic on standby power to allow it to be effectively hot swapped. (Not easy to get downtime to swap a nic if there are twenty virtual machines on it running Oracle databases!)

It's usually accessed via an HMC (Hardware Maintenance Console) which is a separate IBM x86 iSeries box running the monitoring software which is IBM proprietary stuff. So I reckon you're in for a roller coaster!

IBM also run a CoD (Capacity on Demand) system where the processors are licenced so I don't know where that's likely to leave you. All firmware is licensed as well but to be fair, HP and other manufacturers have gone down this road as well. A maintenance contract or Warranty is needed to get access to current versions though you probably aren't going to be trying to use the system in a commercial environment where it's important to keep there things up to date.

Anyway, that's enough to ruin your day. There's more than learning Linux attached to making your P550 breath again, you'll need to learn about the P550 specific IBM stuff as well! I'm sure there are others on the forum who can help you with the SysAdmin/Unix/Linux Analyst work.

Good luck and Play Bonny!

Looks like a load of fun!

 
Old 01-06-2016, 10:20 AM   #3
EpicZerg
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But all I've seen is that those OS's are all kind of proprietary and not very cheap
So my problem with that is, that if you bought such a beast in the past you wouldve probably gotten the needed images and stuff or is that not so?
I've looked it up a bit on the IBM Knowledge Database and i quickly found a list of supported OS's but i wouldnt pay ~700$ just to test if it still works or if it can be given away to my other geeky friends to have their fun with it

My intention is more or less just to fire it up and see what such a monstrosity of IBM machine is capable of (i wont test everything probably, because im pretty lazy )

I do have quite a lot of experience with some distributions which include redhat and SUSE so I'd like to know if and how different the "Enterprise Server for Power6" version of it is and how you can use it to some extend at least.



(btw excuse me for my bad grammar and spelling errors. I'm a non native english speaker :P)

Kind Regards,
Kenny
 
Old 01-06-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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That's fine for Linux
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/550/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER6

The distros available - all free! - are
Yellow Dog (Power specialists)
Debian
Ubuntu (yes, really)
 
Old 01-06-2016, 11:21 AM   #5
EpicZerg
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This might seem kind of Newbish..
How does one acquire those Distros for POWER6 ?
Can you use other architectures? (probably not, but its IBM i dont know )

Thanks in advance
 
Old 01-06-2016, 12:48 PM   #6
Soadyheid
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You need to go to the Distros website or Distrowatch and look for the PowerPC (PPC) version of Linux

Distrowatch: Yellowdog
Gentoo
Debian
Ubuntu
Remember to select the PPC version!


Quote:
Can you use other architectures?
Nope, it's has PowerPC processors, not Intel or AMD X86 ones.

Play Bonny!

 
Old 01-07-2016, 08:05 AM   #7
EpicZerg
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Wanna add me on skype for further discussions?
- kenny
 
Old 01-07-2016, 10:47 AM   #8
Soadyheid
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Hmmm... Skype sort of defeats the object of this Forum in that others won't gain any benefit from any discussions.
So saying... Any time I've played with an IBM box I've had to be sitting beside it (Mainly RS6000 stuff) as it's usually been a bit of an on-the-job training experience. I'm hardware rather then software orientated so I've never had to install an OS.

I may be able to help via the forum depending on what you're doing though.

Your profile doesn't show your location.

Play Bonny!


Last edited by Soadyheid; 01-07-2016 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Location?
 
  


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