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nPartition Administrator's Guide > Chapter 1 Getting Started with nPartitions

nPartition Properties


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This section describes the nPartition properties you work with when performing nPartition administration tasks.

The following nPartitions details are covered here:

Partition Numbers

Each nPartition has its own unique partition number that the nPartition administration tools use for identifying the nPartition.

When you create an nPartition, the tool you use assigns the nPartition the lowest available partition number. For example, the first nPartition always is partition number 0, and the second nPartition to be created is partition number 1.

After you remove an nPartition, no cells are assigned to the nPartition. As a result, the nPartition tools can reuse the partition number when creating a new nPartition.

For example, after you remove partition number 2, the next time you create a new nPartition the parcreate command or Partition Manager will assign cells to partition number 2 when creating a new nPartition, if all lower-numbered nPartitions (partition numbers 0 and 1) already are defined.

Assigned and Unassigned Cells

Each cell in a server complex either is assigned to one of the nPartitions in the complex, or it is unassigned and thus is not used by any of the nPartitions. If an I/O chassis is attached to an unassigned cell, then the chassis likewise is not assigned to an nPartition.

Cells that are unassigned are considered to be available resources; they are free to be assigned to any of the existing nPartitions, or can be used to create new nPartitions.

Base Cells

On both HP 9000 servers and HP Integrity servers, all cells within an nPartition are base cells.

The nPartitions administration tools automatically set the cell type to base cell, if you do not specify the cell type.

Core Cells

One cell in each nPartition must serve as the active core cell. The core cell controls the nPartition until an operating system has booted, and it provides console services and other boot and management abilities for the nPartition. The monarch processor on the core cell runs the Boot Console Handler (BCH) or Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) code while all other processors are idle until an operating system is booted.

On first-generation cell-based servers and HP sx1000 chipset-based servers, core I/O is provided by a PCI card residing in an I/O chassis. On these servers, to be eligible as a core cell, a cell must be assigned to the nPartition, it must be active, and it must be attached to an I/O chassis containing functional core I/O.

On HP sx2000 chipset-based servers, core I/O is provided on each cell, so any cell assigned to an nPartition can be a core cell.

Although an nPartition can have multiple core-capable cells, only one core I/O is actively used in an nPartition: the core I/O belonging to the active core cell.

For details about setting and using the core cell choices (or "alternates") for an nPartition see “Setting nPartition Core Cell Choices”. When none of the core cell choices can serve as the active core cell, or if no core cell choices are specified, the nPartition attempts to select an eligible cell using a default process.

Active and Inactive Cells

Cells that are assigned to an nPartition and have booted to form an nPartition are active cells whose resources (processors, memory, and any attached I/O) can be actively used by software running in the nPartition.

Cells that are inactive either are not assigned to an nPartition, or they have not participated in partition rendezvous to form an nPartition with any other cells assigned to the nPartition. (Partition rendezvous is the point during the nPartition boot process when all available cells in an nPartition join together to establish which cells are active for the current boot of the nPartition.)

For example, a cell is inactive when it is powered off, has booted with a "n" use-on-next-boot value, or is assigned to an nPartition that has been reset to the shutdown for reconfig state.

The resources belonging to inactive cells are not actively used by an nPartition. For a cell and its resources to be actively used the cell must boot and participate in partition rendezvous.

Cell Local Memory

On cell-based servers that are based on the HP sx1000 or sx2000 chipset, a portion of the memory in each cell can be configured as cell local memory (CLM), which is non-interleaved memory that can be quickly accessed by processors residing on the same cell as the memory.

CAUTION: Memory configured as cell local memory only can be used by operating systems that support it.

Any memory configured as cell local memory is unusable when an nPartition runs an operating system that does not support it.

The nPartition management tools enable you to configure CLM for each cell either as a percentage of the total memory in the cell, or as an absolute number of gigabytes of memory.

For details about configuring CLM see Chapter 3.

Cell Property Details

Each cell has various properties that determine how the cell can be used and managed.

To list the properties of cells in a server complex, you can use the parstatus -C command, parstatus -V -c# command, or Partition Manager.

The parstatus -C command output includes cell property summaries such as the current assignments, usage, and I/O details for all cells in the complex.

# parstatus -C [Cell] CPU Memory Use OK/ (GB) Core On Hardware Actual Deconf/ OK/ Cell Next Par Location Usage Max Deconf Connected To Capable Boot Num ========== ============ ======= ========= =================== ======= ==== === cab0,cell0 active core 4/0/4 8.0/ 0.0 cab 0,bay0,chassis1 yes yes 0 cab0,cell1 active base 4/0/4 8.0/ 0.0 - no yes 0 cab0,cell2 active base 4/0/4 8.0/ 0.0 cab 0,bay1,chassis3 yes yes 0 cab0,cell3 absent - - - - - - cab0,cell4 active core 2/0/4 4.0/ 0.0 cab 0,bay0,chassis3 yes yes 1 cab0,cell5 active base 2/0/4 4.0/ 0.0 - no yes 1 cab0,cell6 active base 2/0/4 4.0/ 0.0 cab 0,bay1,chassis1 yes yes 1 cab0,cell7 absent - - - - - - #

The parstatus -V -c# command gives detailed information about the properties and status for the cell (-c#) that you specify.

# parstatus -V -c0 [Cell] Hardware Location : cab0,cell0 Global Cell Number : 0 Actual Usage : active core Normal Usage : base Connected To : cab0,bay0,chassis0 Core Cell Capable : yes Firmware Revision : 20.1 Failure Usage : activate Use On Next Boot : yes Partition Number : 0 Partition Name : Partition 0 [CPU Details] Type : 8820 Speed : 900 MHz CPU Status === ====== 0 ok 1 ok 2 ok 3 ok 4 ok 5 ok 6 ok 7 ok CPUs =========== OK : 8 Deconf : 0 Max : 8 [Memory Details] DIMM Size (MB) Status ==== ========= ========= 0A 2048 ok 4A 2048 ok 0B 2048 ok 4B 2048 ok 1A 2048 ok 5A 2048 ok 1B 2048 ok 5B 2048 ok 2A 2048 ok 6A 2048 ok 2B 2048 ok 6B 2048 ok 3A 2048 ok 7A 2048 ok 3B 2048 ok 7B 2048 ok Memory ========================= DIMM OK : 16 DIMM Deconf : 0 Max DIMMs : 16 Memory OK : 32.00 GB Memory Deconf : 0.00 GB #

Active and Inactive nPartition Boot States

Each nPartition has a boot state of either active or inactive.

The boot state indicates whether the nPartition has booted so that it may be interactively accessed through its console (active nPartitions) or if it cannot be used interactively (inactive nPartitions)

You can use the parstatus -P command or Partition Manager to list all nPartitions and their boot states (active or inactive status).

# parstatus -P [Partition] Par # of # of I/O Num Status Cells Chassis Core cell Partition Name (first 30 chars) === ============ ===== ======== ========== =============================== 0 inactive 2 1 ? feshd5a 1 active 2 1 cab1,cell2 feshd5b #

Likewise, you can view nPartition boot states using the Virtual Front Panel, which is available from the service processor Main menu for the server complex.

Active nPartition. An nPartition that is active has at least one core-capable cell that is active (not in a boot-is-blocked state). When an nPartition is active, one or more of the cells assigned to the nPartition have completed partition rendezvous and the system boot interface (the BCH or EFI environment) has loaded and been displayed through the nPartition console. An operating system can be loaded and run from the system boot interface on an active nPartition.

Inactive nPartition. An inactive nPartition is considered to be in the shutdown for reconfig state, because all cells assigned to the nPartition either remain at a boot-is-blocked state or are powered off.

To make an inactive nPartition active, use the BO command at the service processor (MP or GSP) Command menu. The BO command clears the boot-is-blocked flag for all cells assigned to the nPartition, thus allowing the cells to rendezvous and enabling the nPartition to run the system boot interface. (If all cells assigned to an nPartition are powered off, you must power on its cells to enable the nPartition to become active.)

To make an nPartition inactive perform a shutdown for reconfig. You can issue commands from the operating system, the system boot interface (BCH or EFI), or the service processor (MP or GSP) Command menu. All three methods reboot an nPartition and hold all of its cells at boot-is-blocked; as a result the nPartition is shutdown for reconfig (placed in an inactive state). For details see Chapter 5.

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