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HP-UX System Administrator's Guide: Overview: HP-UX 11i Version 3 > Chapter 2 HP-UX Virtualization Technologies

Load Balancing (One Multiple Core Server, One Operating System Instance)


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While the HP-UX scheduler does a good job of utilizing multiple cores when they are available, sometimes you need (or want) to override the default scheduling algorithms, for example to dedicate processing resources to an important application.

When your server is equipped with more than one core, the technologies in the load balancing category can help you precisely allocate the resources of multiple cores and other processing resources (memory, disk I/O bandwidth). These technologies include:

Process Resource Manager (PRM)

Technology Summary

Process Resource Manager (PRM) is a resource management tool used to control the amount of resources that processes use during peak system load (when the server is at 100% core, 100% memory, or 100% disk bandwidth utilization).

Processes and users are assigned to PRM Groups. The PRM Groups are then allocated dedicated cores and memory. This both dedicates resources to the groups and isolates the group’s members from using other system resources.

Tools to Administer/Configure

The Process Resource Manager can be configured using the HP System Management Homepage or from a series of PRM management and configuration commands.

How to Obtain

The Process Resource Manager is included in the following operating environments or can be purchased from an HP authorized reseller:

  • BOE - Base Operating Environment

For Further Information

Detailed information about the Process Resource Manager is available on HP’s web site from:

Workload Manager (WLM)

The Process Resource Manager allows you to manually dedicate resources to specific applications. However, many factors are likely to change constantly, such as system load, resource utilization, resource needs, and the mix of applications that are running at any given time. If the conditions and needs of your server environment are constantly changing, WLM can continuously monitor and adjust resources to maintain application performance and business goals.

Technology Summary

Workload Manager (WLM) is an automatic resource management tool used for goal-based workload management. A workload is a group of processes that are treated as a single unit for the purposes of resource allocation. For example, a database application that consists of multiple cooperating processes could be considered a workload.

WLM provides automatic resource allocation and application performance management through the use of prioritized Service Level Objectives (SLOs). Multiple prioritized workloads can be managed dynamically on a single server based on their reported performance levels.

WLM manages workloads as defined in a configuration file. You assign applications and users to workload groups. WLM automatically allocates processing core resources to achieve the desired SLO. WLM can manage real memory and disk bandwidth but not in response to SLOs. With real memory, WLM allows you to specify lower and upper limits on the amount of memory a workload receives. You can statically assign disk bandwidth shares. If multiple users or applications within a workload are competing for resources, standard HP-UX resource management determines the resource allocation.

Tools to Administer/Configure

The Workload Manager can be configured manually using a configuration file and WLM commands, interactively using the WLM configuration wizard, or by using the WLM graphical user interface.

NOTE: WLM manages workloads on individual servers. To manage workloads on multiple servers, install and configure WLM on each of the servers.

WLM can be integrated with HP Serviceguard by storing the WLM configuration file in a file system shared by all nodes in the cluster and then activating the configuration on each node independently.

Alternatively, you can use the HP Integrity Essentials Global Workload Manager (gWLM) to manage workloads across multiple servers. gWLM allows you to define resource-sharing policies that can be used across the servers.

How to Obtain

The Workload Manager is available as a standalone product that can be purchased from an HP authorized reseller or is available in the following operating environments:

  • DC-OE - Data Center Operating Environment

  • VS-OE - Virtual Server Operating Environment

  • MC-OE - Mission Critical Operating Environment

For Further Information

Detailed information about the Workload Manager is available on HP’s web site at:

Processor Sets (PSETS)

Processor Sets, a key technology underlying the Process Resource Manager and the Workload Manager, can also be used on its own.

Technology Summary

A processor set represents a set of cores grouped together as an independent scheduling domain for use by the HP-UX scheduler for exclusive access to applications assigned to that processor set. Processor Sets allow you to isolate compute intensive or high priority applications from other processes running on a server giving you greater control over the scheduling of critical processes. Processor Sets may be created and re-configured dynamically by users who have the appropriate privileges.

The Processor Sets technology can be used alone, but is often used in conjunction with the Process Resource Manager (PRM).

Tools to Administer/Configure

The psrset command creates and manages processor sets.

How to Obtain

The PSET technology is included in HP-UX 11i version 3.

For Further Information

See the following documents (available on docs.hp.com) for further information about PSETS:

  • psrset(1M) manpage

  • Processor Sets Product Note

  • Instant Capacity Compatibility with Processor Sets

  • VSE Concepts and Terminology

Instant Capacity (iCAP/TiCAP/GiCAP)

Technology Summary

Instant Capacity technology allows you to purchase at a significantly reduced price: cores, memory, and cell boards that you do not yet own (and cannot yet use). These components, known as iCAP components or components without usage rights, are standing by, ready for activation when you need them. You then purchase usage rights for some or all of these components and are given the ability through the use of a special codeword to activate (temporarily or permanently) these server components. This gives you the ability to quickly handle peak or unexpected demands for server resources as long as the system remains in compliance with the Instant Capacity contract.

There are three types of Instant Capacity:


You purchase (for a small price) memory, processors, or cell boards for which you do not yet have usage rights. When you need these resources, you purchase usage rights for them and receive codewords to activate them. From that point on, you own those resources.


Similar to iCAP, but the usage rights that you purchase are only temporary (TiCAP is currently sold in 30-day increments). Your usage of the iCAP resources is measured in 30-minute increments and when you’ve used up the purchased time, the iCAP resources are deactivated until you activate them again by purchasing another right-to-use codeword.


GiCAP allows users to share rights for Instant Capacity components within a group of servers, and provides “pooled” temporary capacity across the group.

Tools to Administer/Configure

A series of iCAP commands allows you to interact with HP-UX to adjust the processing capacity of a server containing iCAP hardware. The commands allow you to enter purchased codewords to activate your rights to use the stand-by processors, or to decrease the processing resources you are using in order to save money.

The commands to administer iCAP resources are:


Global Instant Capacity (GiCAP) management commands for GiCAP groups.


icapmodify - Activate and deactivate cores. Specify system contact e-mail address. Change Instant Capacity (iCAP) configuration information. Specify Instant Capacity from e-mail address. Specify system identifier. Specify temporary capacity warning period. Apply iCAP codewords.


Displays Instant Capacity status and configuration information, counts, status, and allocation of Instant Capacity components (cores, memory, and cells) for an Instant Capacity system.


Tests e-mail connectivity to HP for Instant Capacity (iCAP) systems. Requests a confirmation response E-mail from HP. Turns configuration change notification and asset reporting on or off.

How to Obtain

The capability to activate instant capacity components is part of the HP-UX Foundation Operating Environment (and is therefore available in all operating environments that build upon the Foundation Operating Environment). However, in order to use the instant capacity technologies, you must have purchased and installed components without usage rights to activate.

For Further Information

You can find comprehensive information about the various iCAP technologies in the following documents:

  • HP Instant Capacity User's Guide—See the latest version of this guide at http://docs.hp.com.

  • Detailed information on iCAP, TiCAP, and GiCAP is available at http://www.hp.com/go/icap.

  • Information on the iCAP commands and their options are available in the following iCAP manpages:


    iCAP overview manpage


    Instant Capacity Daemon


    Global Instant Capacity management commands for GiCAP groups


    Activate/Deactivate Cores

    icapnotify(1M )

    Test e-mail connectivity to HP for Instant Capacity systems

    icapstatus(1M )

    Display Instant Capacity status information

Pay per use (PPU)

Pay per use (PPU) is a product that enables you to “pay as you go”. Pay per use is a pricing model in which you are charged for your actual usage of computing resources.

Technology Summary

With Pay per use, you treat computer processing capacity as you would electricity, water, or other utilities. You acquire a specific hardware platform with a number of cores and are charged for the actual usage based on one of the following HP contractual agreements:

  • Core percent utilization (percent core)

  • Number of active cores (active core)

Tools to Administer/Configure

The Pay per use program uses a dedicated system known as the Utility Meter that is set up by HP.

For servers you plan to use with Pay per use, you must set up a software agent (the PPU Agent) on every partition (both hardware and software partitions). The PPU Agent reports usage information to the Utility Meter which in turn communicates to HP your actual usage.

A single Utility Meter can service up to 100 servers or partitions running HP-UX 11i or Windows Server 2003.

Most of the configuration of the Pay per use components is done through the ppuconfig command. ppuconfig can:

  • Display current settings

  • Test communications to HP

  • Set usage caps

  • Specify hostnames and system identifiers for use in reporting usage to HP and for your use when viewing usage information on the portal

  • Specify which utility meter a server or partition should use to report its usage information

How to Obtain

Pay per use is shipped with the HP-UX Foundation Operating Environment and is customer configurable on all HP-UX servers. However, you must enable the Pay per use system to communicate with a Utility Meter (a special system which must be set up by HP). A single Utility Meter can support multiple Pay per use systems (currently up to 100), so you do not need a Utility Meter system for every Pay per use system.

For Further Information

You can find comprehensive information about Pay per use and the Utility Meter in the following documents:

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