Cluster Aware AIX (CAA)
CAA simplifies cluster configuration and improves the performance/reliability of cluster services on AIX. Having built several HACMP (PowerHA) clusters over the years, I can tell you that this new feature will make an AIX PowerHA administrator's life a lot easier. This new set of cluster services and tools is going to reduce cluster administration effort. It will also provide third-party cluster software with a more efficient method of integrating with AIX and forming clusters across multiple AIX nodes.
Some of the major changes to managing, monitoring and configuring clusters on AIX 7.1 are centered around things like a new multicast address for cluster communications between the nodes in the cluster to improve node communication, a new event infrastructure architecture for monitoring and responding to cluster events (like a node down for example) using a new pseudo filesystem interface, known as Autonomic Health Advisory File System (AHAFS), and a shared central cluster configuration repository that is accessible by all nodes in a cluster, which improves cluster configuration consistency.
Once you have configured a basic cluster, using the new mkcluster command, the cluster exports cluster messaging and cluster socket services to other applications, such as Reliable Scalable Cluster Technology (RSCT) and PowerHA SystemMirror. PowerHA SystemMirror 7.1 will be the first release of PowerHA that takes advantage of CAA
Terabyte segment support
AIX 7 extends the capabilities of the AIX OS to expand the vertical scalability of AIX to partitions with 256 processor cores and 1024 threads to handle the largest workloads. To support higher performance for large workloads, AIX 7 also includes new Terabyte segment support which leverages memory management capabilities of POWER7 processors designed to improve memory performance. This Terabyte segment capability is also included in AIX 6 at Technology Level 6 but is not automatically enabled on AIX 6.
AIX5.3 on AIX7.1
AIX 7 also includes new virtualization capabilities designed to simplify the consolidation of older, AIX V5.3 environments. This new capability, which requires the purchase of the “AIX 5.3 Workload Partitions for AIX 7” product, is designed to allow administrators to simply back up an existing LPAR running AIX 5.3 and restore it into an AIX 7 Workload Partition.
This enhancement to RBAC -- which was first introduced in AIX 6.1 with Enhanced RBAC -- is an interesting new feature. It will allow administrators even greater control over the delegation of certain system administration tasks. With RBAC in 6.1 you could allow unprivileged users to execute privileged commands. With Domain RBAC we can further isolate these users to certain resources on a system. For example, I can delegate the use of the ifconfig command to a non-root user so that they can manage network interfaces. Without Domain RBAC this user could use ifconfig to manipulate any network interface on the system. Domain RBAC allows me to isolate the user to a specific interface only, for example, en1. So now this non-root user can only use ifconfig against the en1 interface. They can bring en1 up and/or down as required, but if they attempt to do the same with any other interface, such as en0, they will be prevented from accessing the interface.
Distributed Systems Management (DSM) actually replaces the Cluster System Management (CSM) filesets that have been part of AIX for many years. DSM integrates with IBM Systems Director. It will help Director automate the installation of AIX LPARS via NIM. However, you can also take advantage of this functionality by using NIM and DSM together. There are several new commands that can help you streamline AIX installation via NIM. If you are experienced with using NIM, you may be familiar with the process of enabling a NIM client BOS installation and then accessing the console and initiating a network boot. With DSM, you can now automate the network boot and avoid having to manually access the SMS menu. It will make your NIM AIX installations more efficient. You can also open remote console sessions with your LPARs, directly from a NIM master.
It is now possible to rename devices in AIX. You can rename most devices, such as disks and adapters. For example, you could rename hdisk5 to hdisk0, or rename vscsi3 to vscsi8. This is really useful, especially in clustered environments. It is often the case that hdisks in an AIX cluster may end up with the different names across cluster nodes. As an example, in a 2 node cluster, you could have a shared disk known to one node as hdisk1 and hdisk4 to the other. The PVID/LUN id is identical but the hdisk name is different. This can be confusing for the administrator and could lead to mistakes. With the rendev command, you can now rename the devices so that the hdisk names are identical across cluster nodes. Cluster Aware AIX takes advantage of this feature and automatically keeps cluster device names (hdisk and network interfaces) in sync across all nodes in a cluster.
NIM not Bound to rsh