IBM Hardware Management Console
Hardware Management Console is a technology created by IBM to provide a standard interface for configuring and operating partitioned (also known as an LPAR or virtualized system) and SMP systems such as IBM System i, IBM System p, IBM System z, and IBM Power Systems.
The HMC is a Linux kernel using Busybox to provide the base utilities and X using the Fluxbox window manager to provide graphical logins. The HMC also utilizes Java applications to provide additional functionality.
Using an HMC, the system administrator is able to manage the software configuration and operation of partitions in a server system, as well as to monitor and identify hardware problems. HMCs offer an inexpensive method to administer complex and expensive servers, as a console need only consist of a 32-bit Intel-based desktop PC with a DVD-RAM drive. HMC is used to:
- Configure and manage logical partitions and partition profiles
- Perform DLPAR functions.
- Activate and manage Capacity on Demand resources.
The HMC is a PC connected to the mainframe. zSeries mainframes prior to the IBM System z9 used a modified version of OS/2 with custom software to provide the interface. System z9's HMC no longer uses OS/2, but instead uses a modified version of Linux with an OS/2 lookalike interface to ease transition as well as a new interface. Unlike the previous HMC application on OS/2, the new HMC is web-based which means that even local access is done via a web browser. Remote HMC access is available, although only over an SSL encrypted HTTP connection. The web-based nature means that there is no longer a difference between local console access and remote access, which means a remote user potentially has full control if authorized, allowing more flexibility for locating systems within data centers. IBM refers to the new HMC as a "closed platform" which does not allow the user to install software or access the command line interface to increase security and stability. The HMC is also firewalled by default with a minimal number of open ports for remote access.
Power Systems HMC Versions
- HMC V8, for POWER6, POWER7 and POWER8 models (POWER5 support was dropped)
- HMC V8R8.4.0
- HMC V8R8.3.0
- HMC V8R8.2.0
- HMC V8R8.1.0 (initial release)
- HMC V7, for POWER5, POWER6 and POWER7 models
- HMC V7R7.9.0 (initial support for SR-IOV cards)
- HMC V7R7.2.0 (initial support for Power 710, Power 720, Power 730, Power 740 and Power 795 models)
- HMC V7R7.1.0 (initial support for POWER7)
- HMC V7R3.5.0 (released Oct. 30, 2009)
- HMC V7R3.4.0
- HMC V7R3.3.0
- HMC V7R3.2.0
- HMC V7R3.1.0 (initial support for POWER6 models)
- HMC V6
- HMC V6R1.3
- HMC V6R1.2
- 4.2.0, for POWER5 models
- 3.x, for POWER4 models