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

Overview of Managing nPartitions

 

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  Table of Contents

This section provides overviews of common nPartition management tasks.

The following task overviews are given here:

Basics of Listing nPartition and Complex Status

You can list server complex hardware details and nPartition configuration details using the following tools and commands.

For details see Chapter 8.

  • Service processor (MP or GSP) methods for listing hardware and nPartition status include the following commands, which are available from the service processor Command menu.

    • CP — List nPartition configurations, including all assigned cells.

    • PS — List cabinet, power, cell, processor, memory, I/O, and other details.

    • IO — List connections from cells to I/O chassis on HP Superdome servers.

    • ID — List product and serial numbers.

  • EFI Shell methods (available only on HP Integrity servers) for listing hardware and nPartition status include the following commands. Hardware and nPartition information displayed by the EFI Shell is limited to the local nPartition.

    • info sys — List the local nPartition number and active cell details.

    • info io — List the I/O configuration.

    • info mem — List memory details.

    • info cpu — List processor details.

  • BCH menu methods (available only on HP 9000 servers) for listing hardware and nPartition status include the following commands. Hardware and nPartition information displayed by the BCH menu is limited to the local nPartition in most cases.

    • Information menu, PR command — List processor configuration details.

    • Information menu, ME command — List memory configuration details.

    • Information menu, IO command — List I/O configuration details.

    • Information menu, CID command — List complex product and serial numbers.

    • Configuration menu, PD command — List the local nPartition number and name.

  • nPartition administration tools for listing hardware and nPartition status include the following features.

    • Partition Manager Version 1.0 — The Complex->Show Complex Details action provides complex status information; use the Cells tab, CPUs/Memory tab, I/O Chassis tab, and Cabinet Info tab to display selected details.

    • Partition Manager Version 2.0 — The following user interface features provide nPartition and complex status:

      General tab, Hardware tab, nPartitions tab, Cells tab, I/O tab, CPUs/Memory tab, Power and Cooling tab. Also, the Complex->Show Complex Details action.

    • parstatus -C command — List cell configurations.

    • parstatus -V -c# command — List detailed cell information.

    • parstatus -I command, rad -q command on HP-UX 11i v1 (B.11.11) systems, and olrad -q command on HP-UX 11i v2 (B.11.23) and HP-UX 11i v3 (B.11.31) systems — List I/O chassis and card slot details.

    • parstatus -B command — List server cabinet summaries for the complex.

    • parstatus -V -b# command — List detailed server cabinet status.

    • parstatus -X command — List product and serial numbers.

    • parstatus -P command — List a configuration summary for all nPartitions.

    • parstatus -V -p# command — List detailed nPartition configuration information.

    • parstatus -w command — List the local nPartition number.

    • frupower -d -C command or frupower -d -I command — List power status for all cells (-C) or all I/O chassis (-I).

For further details and summaries see Table 8-1.

Basics of nPartition Creation

Creating an nPartition involves using an nPartition administration tool to assign one or more cells in a complex to the new nPartition. At the time an nPartition is created you also can optionally specify various configuration options for the nPartition, such as its name, cell use-on-next-boot values, and other details. After an nPartition is created you can modify the nPartition, as described in “Basics of nPartition Modification”. For detailed procedures see Chapter 6.

NOTE: When creating an nPartition, follow the HP nPartition requirements and guidelines. HP recommends only specific sets of nPartition configurations. For nPartition configuration requirements and recommendations, see Chapter 3.

The method you choose for creating an nPartition can depend on whether you are creating the first nPartition in a complex, creating a "Genesis Partition" for a complex, or creating an additional nPartition in a complex that already has one or more nPartitions defined.

  • Creating the First nPartition in a Server Complex. To create the first nPartition in a complex you can do so either by creating a Genesis Partition or by using an nPartition administration tool to remotely manage the complex using IPMI over LAN.

    • All cell-based servers support creating a Genesis Partition. See “Creating a Genesis Partition for a Server Complex”.

    • Only cell-based servers based on the HP sx1000 or sx2000 chipset support remote administration using IPMI over LAN.

      From a system with the Enhanced nPartition Commands, use the parcreate command -g... -h... set of options. Or from Partition Manager Version 2.0 use the Switch Complexes dialog to connect to the complex and use the nPartition->Create nPartition action.

      For remote administration details see “Remote and Local Management of nPartitions”.

  • Creating a Genesis Partition for a Server Complex. Creating a Genesis Partition involves the service processor (MP or GSP) CC command to specify that an initial, one-cell nPartition be created within the server complex. To create a Genesis Partition, the complex either must have no nPartitions defined, or all nPartitions must be shutdown for reconfig (inactive). For details see “Genesis Partition”.

  • Creating Additional nPartitions in a Server Complex. You can use either of two methods to create additional nPartitions in a complex where one or more nPartitions already are defined: either use parcreate or Partition Manager from an nPartition running in the complex, or use the remote administration feature of those tools running on a system outside the complex. For a detailed procedure see “Creating a New nPartition”.

    • Creating a New nPartition Locally — To create a new nPartition in the same complex where parcreate or Partition Manager is running at least one nPartition must be booted with an operating system that has the nPartition tools installed.

      Login to HP-UX on the nPartition and issue the parcreate command, or access Partition Manager running on the nPartition and use its Create nPartition action.

    • Creating a New nPartition Remotely — To remotely create a new nPartition in a complex, do so either by using the Enhanced nPartition Commands version of parcreate, or by using Partition Manager Version 2.0.

      Only cell-based servers based on the HP sx1000 or sx2000 chipset support remote administration.

      Both parcreate and Partition Manager support two methods of remote administration: WBEM and IPMI over LAN. For remote administration using WBEM the tool remotely accesses a booted operating system running on an nPartition in the target complex (for example, by the -u... -h... set of options). For remote administration using IPMI over LAN the tool remotely accesses the service processor of the target complex (for example, by the -g... -h... set of options).

      For remote administration details see “Remote and Local Management of nPartitions”.

For detailed procedures for creating and managing nPartitions see Chapter 6.

Genesis Partition

The Genesis Partition is the initial, one-cell nPartition created within a server complex by the service processor (MP or GSP) CC command. The Genesis Partition is just like any other nPartition except for how it is created and the fact that its creation wipes out any previous nPartition configuration data.

For a detailed procedure see “Creating a Genesis Partition”.

If your server complex has its nPartitions pre-configured by HP, you do not need to create a Genesis Partition.

NOTE: For servers based on the HP sx1000 or sx2000 chipset, you can instead use nPartition tools running on a remote system to remotely create and configure new nPartitions (including the first nPartition in the complex).

See “Remote and Local Management of nPartitions” for details.

You can use nPartition management tools running on the Genesis Partition as the method for configuring all nPartitions in the complex. The Genesis Partition always is partition number 0.

When it is first created, the Genesis Partition consists of one cell that is connected to an I/O chassis that has core I/O installed. The Genesis Partition also should have a bootable disk (or a disk onto which you can install an operating system).

If an operating system is not installed on any disks in the Genesis Partition, you can boot the Genesis partition to the system boot interface (either BCH or EFI) and from that point install an operating system. This installation requires either having access to an installation server, or to a CD drive (or DVD drive) attached to an I/O chassis belonging to the nPartition.

After you boot an operating system on the Genesis Partition, you can modify the nPartition to include additional cells. You also can create other, new nPartitions and can modify them from the Genesis Partition or from any other nPartition that has an operating system with the nPartition tools installed.

Basics of nPartition Modification

Modifying an nPartition involves using an nPartition administration tool to revise one or more parts of the server Complex Profile data, which determines how hardware is assigned to and used by nPartitions. The Complex Profile is discussed in “Complex Profile”.

For detailed procedures see Chapter 6.

You can modify an nPartition either locally or remotely.

  • For local administration, use nPartition Commands or Partition Manager from an nPartition in the same complex as the nPartition to be modified. Some nPartition details also can be modified locally from an nPartition console by using EFI Shell commands or BCH menu commands.

  • For remote administration, use remote administration features of the Enhanced nPartition Commands or Partition Manager Version 2.0.

    You can use either of two methods for remote administration: WBEM and IPMI over LAN.

    • For remote administration using WBEM the tool remotely accesses an operating system running on an nPartition in the target complex.

      Use the -u... -h... set of parmodify options or the Partition Manager Switch Complexes action and "remote nPartition" option.

    • For remote administration using IPMI over LAN the tool remotely accesses the service processor of the target complex.

      Use the -g... -h... set of parmodify options or the Partition Manager Switch Complexes action and "remote partitionable complex" option.

    See “Remote and Local Management of nPartitions” for details.

nPartition Modification Tasks

The following tasks are among the basic procedures for modifying nPartitions.

  • Assigning and Unassigning Cells

    To assign (add) or unassign (remove) cells from an nPartition use the parmodify -p# -a#... command to add a cell, or the parmodify -p# -d#... command to remove a cell from the specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number). From Partition Manager select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, and select the Add/Remove Cells tab.

    Also see “Assigning (Adding) Cells to an nPartition” and see “Unassigning (Removing) Cells from an nPartition”.

  • Removing an nPartition

    To remove (delete) an nPartition use the parremove -p# command to remove a specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number). From Partition Manager select the nPartition and use the nPartition->Delete nPartition action.

    Also see “Removing (Deleting) an nPartition”.

  • Renaming an nPartition

    To rename an nPartition use the parmodify -p# -P name command to set the name for a specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number). From Partition Manager select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, and select the General tab. On an HP 9000 server you also can use use the BCH Configuration menu PD NewName command.

    Also see “Renaming an nPartition”.

  • Setting Cell Attributes

    To set attributes for a cell use the parmodify -p# -m#... command to modify cell attributes for a specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number).

    From Partition Manager Version 1.0 select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, Change Cell Attributes tab, select the cell(s), and click Modify Cell(s).

    From Partition Manager Version 2.0 select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, and use the Set Cell Options tab (to set the use-on-next-boot value) and Configure Memory tab (to set the cell local memory value).

    On an HP 9000 server you also can use the BCH Configuration menu CELLCONFIG command to set use-on-next-boot values. On an HP Integrity server you also can use the EFI Shell cellconfig command to set use-on-next-boot values.

    Also see “Setting Cell Attributes”.

  • Setting Core Cell Choices

    To set core cell choices for an nPartition use the parmodify -p# -r# -r#... command to specify up to four core cell choices in priority order for a specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number).

    From Partition Manager Version 1.0 select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, Core Cell Choices tab.

    From Partition Manager Version 2.0 select the nPartition, use the nPartition->Modify nPartition action, Set Cell Options tab, and use the Core Cell Choice column to set priorities.

    On an HP 9000 server you can use the BCH Configuration menu COC command to set core cell choices. On an HP Integrity server you can use the EFI Shell rootcell command to set core cell choices.

    Also see “Setting nPartition Core Cell Choices”.

  • Setting nPartition Boot Paths

    On HP Integrity servers boot paths can be listed and configured only from the local nPartition.

    From HP-UX use the setboot command to configure the local nPartition boot paths, or use the parmodify -p# -b... -s... -t... command to set boot paths for a specified nPartition (-p#, where # is the partition number).

    On an HP 9000 server you can use the BCH Main menu PATH command to configure boot paths. On an HP Integrity server you can use the EFI Shell bcfg command to configure boot paths.

    Also see “Configuring Boot Paths and Options”.

For more details and summaries see Table 6-1.

Basics of nPartition Booting and Resetting

This section gives a brief overview of the boot process for cells and nPartitions and lists the main nPartition boot commands and tasks.

For more details see Chapter 5.

Boot Process for Cells and nPartitions

The nPartition boot process, on both HP 9000 servers and HP Integrity servers, includes two phases: the cell boot phase and the nPartition boot phase.

  1. Cell Boot Phase of the nPartition Boot Process. The cell boot phase occurs when cells are powered on or reset. The main activities that occur during the cell boot phase are power-on-self-test activities. During this phase each cell operates independently of all other cells in the complex. Cells do not necessarily proceed through this phase at the same pace, because each cell may have a different amount of hardware to test and discover, or cells might be reset or powered on at different times. The main steps that occur during the cell boot phase are:

    1. A cell is powered on or reset, and the cell boot-is-blocked (BIB) flag is set.

      BIB is a hardware flag on the cell board. When BIB is set, the cell is considered to be inactive.

    2. Firmware on the cell performs self-tests and discovery operations on the cell hardware components. Operations at this point include processor self-tests, memory tests, I/O discovery, and discovery of interconnecting fabric (connections between the cell and other cells, I/O, and system crossbars).

    3. After the firmware completes cell self-tests and discovery, it reports the cell hardware configuration to the service processor (GSP or MP), informs the service processor it is "waiting at BIB", and then waits for the cell BIB flag to be cleared.

  2. nPartition Boot Phase of the nPartition Boot Process. The nPartition boot phase occurs when an nPartition is booted, after its cells have completed self tests. During this phase "nPartition rendezvous" occurs, however not all cells assigned to an nPartition are required to participate in rendezvous. A minimum of one core-capable cell that has completed its cell boot phase is required before the nPartition boot phase can begin. By default, all cells assigned to the nPartition that have a "y" use-on-next-boot value are expected to participate in rendezvous, and the service processor will wait for up to ten minutes for all such cells to reach the "waiting at BIB" state. Cells that have a "n" use-on-next-boot value do not participate in rendezvous and remain waiting at BIB. The main steps that occur during the nPartition boot phase are:

    1. The service processor provides a copy of the relevant Complex Profile data to the cells assigned to the nPartition.

      This data includes a copy of the Stable Complex Configuration Data and a copy of the Partition Configuration Data for the nPartition. For details see “Complex Profile”.

    2. The service processor releases BIB for all cells assigned to the nPartition that have a "y" use-on-next-boot value and complete the cell boot phase in time.

      The service processor does not release BIB for any cell with a "n" use-on-next-boot value, or for any cell that did not complete the cell boot phase within ten minutes of the first cell to do so.

      Once BIB is release for a cell, the cell is considered to be active.

    3. nPartition rendezvous begins, with the system firmware on each active cell using its copy of complex profile data to contact other active cells in the nPartition.

    4. The active cells in the nPartition negotiate to select a core cell.

    5. The chosen core cell manages the rest of the nPartition boot process. A processor on the core cell runs the nPartition system boot environment (BCH on HP 9000 servers, EFI on HP Integrity servers). The core cell hands off control to an operating system loader when the OS boot process is initiated.

You can view progress during the cell and nPartition boot phases by observing the Virtual Front Panel for an nPartition, which is available from the service processor (MP or GSP) Main menu.

Common nPartition Boot Commands and Tasks

The following summary briefly describes the main nPartition boot commands and tasks. For more summaries and details see Table 5-1.

  • Service processor (MP or GSP) support for managing nPartition booting includes the following commands, which are available from the service processor Command menu.

    • RS — Reset an nPartition.

      On HP Integrity servers you should reset an nPartition only after all self tests and partition rendezvous have completed.

    • RR — Reset and perform a shutdown for reconfig of an nPartition.

      On HP Integrity servers you should reset an nPartition only after all self tests and partition rendezvous have completed.

    • BO — Boot the cells assigned to an nPartition past the "waiting at BIB" state and thus begin the nPartition boot phase.

    • TC — Perform a transfer of control reset of an nPartition.

    • PE — Power on or power off a cabinet, cell, or I/O chassis.

      On HP Integrity rx8620 servers, rx8640 servers, rx7620 servers, and rx7640 servers, nPartition power on and power off also is supported to manage power of all cells and I/O chassis assigned to the nPartition using a single command.

  • EFI Shell support for managing nPartition booting includes the following commands. (EFI is available only on HP Integrity servers.)

    • bcfg — List and configure the boot options list for the local nPartition.

    • autoboot — List, enable, or disable the nPartition autoboot configuration value.

    • acpiconfig — List and configure the nPartition ACPI configuration setting, which determines whether HP-UX, OpenVMS, Windows, or Linux can boot on the nPartition.

      To boot HP-UX 11i v2 (B.11.23), HP-UX 11i v3 (B.11.31), or HP OpenVMS I64, the ACPI configuration setting must be set to default.

      To boot Windows Server 2003, the ACPI configuration setting for the nPartition must be set to windows.

      To boot Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server:

      • On HP rx7620 servers, rx8620 servers, or Integrity Superdome (SD16A, SD32A, SD64A), the ACPI configuration must be set to single-pci-domain.

      • On HP rx7640 servers, rx8640 servers, or Integrity Superdome (SD16B, SD32B, SD64B), the ACPI configuration must be set to default.

    • acpiconfig enable softpowerdown — When set, causes nPartition hardware to be powered off when the operating system issues a shutdown for reconfig command. On HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers with a windows ACPI configuration setting, this is the default behavior. Available only on HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers.

    • acpiconfig disable softpowerdown — When set, causes nPartition cells to remain at BIB when the operating system issues a shutdown for reconfig command. In this case an OS shutdown for reconfig makes the nPartition inactive. On HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers this is the normal behavior for nPartitions with an ACPI configuration setting of default or single-pci-domain. Available only on HP Integrity rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers.

    • reset — Resets the local nPartition, resetting all cells and then proceeding with the nPartition boot phase.

    • reconfigreset — Performs a shutdown for reconfig of the local nPartition, resetting all cells and then holding them at the "wait at BIB" state, making the nPartition inactive.

  • BCH menu support for managing nPartition booting includes the following commands. (BCH is available only on HP 9000 servers.)

    • BOOT — Initiate an operating system boot from a specified boot device path or path variable.

    • REBOOT — Resets the local nPartition, resetting all cells and then proceeding with the nPartition boot phase.

    • RECONFIGRESET — Performs a shutdown for reconfig of the local nPartition, resetting all cells and then holding them at the "wait at BIB" state, making the nPartition inactive.

    • PATH — List and set boot device path variables (PRI, HAA, ALT).

    • Configuration menu, PATHFLAGS command — List and set the boot control flag for each boot path, effectively determining the nPartition autoboot behavior.

  • HP-UX includes the following commands for shutting down and rebooting the nPartition.

    • shutdown -r — Shuts down HP-UX and resets the local nPartition, resetting cells and then proceeding with the nPartition boot phase.

      On HP 9000 servers shutdown -r resets only the active cells.

      On HP Integrity servers shutdown -r has the same effect as shutdown -R. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed.

    • shutdown -h — On HP 9000 servers, shuts down HP-UX, halts all processing on the nPartition, and does not reset cells.

      On HP Integrity servers, shutdown -h has the same effect as shutdown -R -H and results in a shutdown for reconfig.

    • shutdown -R — Shuts down HP-UX and performs a reboot for reconfig of the nPartition. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed. The nPartition then proceeds with the nPartition boot phase.

    • shutdown -R -H — Shuts down HP-UX and performs a shutdown for reconfig of the nPartition. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed. All cells then remain at a "wait at BIB" state and the nPartition is inactive.

      On HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers with a default (to support HP-UX) ACPI configuration setting a "wait at BIB" state is the default behavior, but the acpiconfig enable softpowerdown EFI Shell command can be used to instead cause all nPartition hardware to power off.

  • HP OpenVMS I64 includes the following commands for shutting down and rebooting the nPartition.

    • @SYS$SYSTEM:SHUTDOWN.COM — Shuts down the OpenVMS I64 operating system.

      The @SYS$SYSTEM:SHUTDOWN.COM command provides a series of prompts that you use to establish the shutdown behavior, including the shutdown time and whether the system is rebooted after it is shut down.

      • To perform a reboot for reconfig from OpenVMS I64 running on an nPartition, issue @SYS$SYSTEM:SHUTDOWN.COM from OpenVMS, and then enter Yes at the "Should an automatic system reboot be performed" prompt

      • To perform a shutdown for reconfig of an nPartition running OpenVMS I64: first issue @SYS$SYSTEM:SHUTDOWN.COM from OpenVMS and enter No at the "Should an automatic system reboot be performed" prompt, then access the MP and, from the MP Command Menu, issue the RR command and specify the nPartition that is to be shutdown for reconfig.

    • RUN SYS$SYSTEM:OPCRASH — Causes OpenVMS to dump system memory and then halt at the P00>> prompt. To reset the nPartition following OPCRASH, access the nPartition console and press any key to reboot.

  • Microsoft Windows includes the following commands for shutting down and rebooting the nPartition.

    • shutdown /r — Shuts down Windows and performs a reboot for reconfig of the nPartition. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed. The nPartition then proceeds with the nPartition boot phase.

    • shutdown /s — Shuts down Windows and performs a shutdown for reconfig of the nPartition. The default behavior differs on HP Integrity Superdome servers and HP Integrity HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers.

      On HP Integrity Superdome servers, shutdown /s causes all cells to be reset and nPartition reconfiguration to occur as needed. All cells then remain at a "wait at BIB" state and the nPartition is inactive

      On HP Integrity HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers, the default behavior is for shutdown /s to cause nPartition hardware to be powered off. On HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers with a windows ACPI configuration setting, the the acpiconfig disable softpowerdown EFI Shell command can be used to instead cause all cells to instead remain at a "wait at BIB" state.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server include the following commands for shutting down and rebooting the nPartition.

    • shutdown -r time — Shuts down Linux and performs a reboot for reconfig of the nPartition. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed. The nPartition then proceeds with the nPartition boot phase.

      The required time argument specifies when the Linux shutdown is to occur.

      You can specify time in the format hh:mm, in which hh is the hour (one or two digits) and mm is the minute of the hour (two digits); or in the format +m, in which m is the number of minutes delay until shutdown; or specify now to immediately shut down.

    • shutdown -h time — Shuts down Linux and performs a shutdown for reconfig of the nPartition. All cells are reset and nPartition reconfiguration occurs as needed. All cells then remain at a "wait at BIB" state and the nPartition is inactive.

      The required time argument specifies when the Linux shutdown is to occur.

      On HP rx7620, rx7640, rx8620, and rx8640 servers with an ACPI configuration setting of single-pci-domain, a "wait at BIB" state is the default OS shutdown for reconfig behavior, but the acpiconfig enable softpowerdown EFI Shell command can be used to instead cause all nPartition hardware to power off.

For details see Chapter 5.

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