Server support - Aix

This is a discussion on Server support - Aix ; Hello everyone, I am new to this group and new to Unix and AIX.... I am not a newbie in other areas though. I just started working for a small trucking company and I am their only IT person. We ...

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Thread: Server support

  1. Server support

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this group and new to Unix and AIX.... I am not a newbie in
    other areas though.

    I just started working for a small trucking company and I am their only
    IT person. We have an IBM RS-6000 7025-F50 which is running a
    enterprise application, Statis by Datatrac.

    The tape drive appears to have failed. When we put a tape in it just
    spits it back out. The tapes looked to me to be in marginal condition
    so I replaced them but that did not resolve the issue. I called our IBM
    Business Partner and discovered that they had gone out of business and
    then I called IBM directly. I discovered that our support agreement has
    lapsed. I think that our business partner may have dropped the ball or
    that when they called before I started working here and the bosses did
    not understand what they we saying no to.

    To make a long story short they tell me they need $4240 on hold to
    show up and at that time they will give me a quote! maybe I am being
    naive but does that seem like a reasonable price to pay to swap out a
    drive? Is this something I could do? I have installed tons of hardware
    in the past just not into an IBM server. I know a little about SCSI and
    such I know that I would want to set the SCSI Id to the same as the
    last drive and terminate the SCSI chain. How hard could it be? Will IBM
    sell me the drive?

    Thank you,
    Charles


  2. Re: Server support

    tabasco1 wrote:
    > To make a long story short they tell me they need $4240 on hold to
    > show up and at that time they will give me a quote! maybe I am being
    > naive but does that seem like a reasonable price to pay to swap out a
    > drive? Is this something I could do? I have installed tons of hardware
    > in the past just not into an IBM server. I know a little about SCSI and
    > such I know that I would want to set the SCSI Id to the same as the
    > last drive and terminate the SCSI chain. How hard could it be? Will IBM
    > sell me the drive?


    Swapping the tape drive is not hard at all. There are detailed
    procedures for almost any IBM pSeries/RS6000 server in the user
    or service manuals to be found here:
    http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infoce...ctbysystem.htm

    If you want to get an exact fitting part, and if you can settle
    with one _not_ directly delivered from IBM, look up the P/N or
    FRU in the service guide or in the output of the 'lscfg -v'
    command and get quotes from one of the various hardware resellers
    on the net. http://www.ajava.biz jumps into my mind, although
    i never had any buisness contact with them.

    Regards,

    Frank

  3. Re: Server support

    In article <1163785498.193840.49300@h54g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>, "tabasco1"
    writes:
    > Hello everyone,
    >
    >
    > To make a long story short they tell me they need $4240 on hold to
    > show up and at that time they will give me a quote! maybe I am being
    > naive but does that seem like a reasonable price to pay to swap out a
    > drive?


    no, it's insane.
    The whole F50 is probably much less worth than $4000.

    > Is this something I could do? I have installed tons of hardware
    > in the past just not into an IBM server. I know a little about SCSI and
    > such I know that I would want to set the SCSI Id to the same as the
    > last drive and terminate the SCSI chain. How hard could it be? Will IBM
    > sell me the drive?


    internal tape drives from IBM are pretty expensive,
    and the one that came with the F50 is pretty old
    technology (DDS-2) so that you would get a refurbished one anyway,
    if at all.
    So you could look at other 2nd hand sources as well,
    should be in the $$$ range, maybe even less
    (found a DDS-4 for $$ at eBay :-)
    At that price you may buy 2 or 3 of them, as further spares.
    Swapping isn't hard, the SCSI Id can easily be set by jumpers,
    as documented on the drive.

    good luck.

  4. Re: Server support

    Thank you Frank. That was a big help. I ran the command and piped it to
    more and got all the information I need. I will now go and price the
    part. :-)

    Do you have any suggestions for a Newbie to UNIX/AIX who has been
    thrown in to this situation? Perhaps a couple of good books or a
    website? I want to take a few classes but right now my budget is very
    sparse.

    Thanks a million,
    Charles

    Frank Fegert wrote:
    > tabasco1 wrote:
    > > To make a long story short they tell me they need $4240 on hold to
    > > show up and at that time they will give me a quote! maybe I am being
    > > naive but does that seem like a reasonable price to pay to swap out a
    > > drive? Is this something I could do? I have installed tons of hardware
    > > in the past just not into an IBM server. I know a little about SCSI and
    > > such I know that I would want to set the SCSI Id to the same as the
    > > last drive and terminate the SCSI chain. How hard could it be? Will IBM
    > > sell me the drive?

    >
    > Swapping the tape drive is not hard at all. There are detailed
    > procedures for almost any IBM pSeries/RS6000 server in the user
    > or service manuals to be found here:
    > http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infoce...ctbysystem.htm
    >
    > If you want to get an exact fitting part, and if you can settle
    > with one _not_ directly delivered from IBM, look up the P/N or
    > FRU in the service guide or in the output of the 'lscfg -v'
    > command and get quotes from one of the various hardware resellers
    > on the net. http://www.ajava.biz jumps into my mind, although
    > i never had any buisness contact with them.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Frank



  5. Re: Server support

    Thanks Michael.

    I guess that is why IBM is a multi billion dollar company. :-)

    With everyones help I was able to find the part number and with that
    and google I will have no trouble getting a replacement. I will come
    up smelling like roses when I save them 4000 bucks!

    Thanks again,
    Charles

    I guess that is why IBM
    Michael Kraemer wrote:
    > In article <1163785498.193840.49300@h54g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>, "tabasco1"
    > writes:
    > > Hello everyone,
    > >
    > >
    > > To make a long story short they tell me they need $4240 on hold to
    > > show up and at that time they will give me a quote! maybe I am being
    > > naive but does that seem like a reasonable price to pay to swap out a
    > > drive?

    >
    > no, it's insane.
    > The whole F50 is probably much less worth than $4000.
    >
    > > Is this something I could do? I have installed tons of hardware
    > > in the past just not into an IBM server. I know a little about SCSI and
    > > such I know that I would want to set the SCSI Id to the same as the
    > > last drive and terminate the SCSI chain. How hard could it be? Will IBM
    > > sell me the drive?

    >
    > internal tape drives from IBM are pretty expensive,
    > and the one that came with the F50 is pretty old
    > technology (DDS-2) so that you would get a refurbished one anyway,
    > if at all.
    > So you could look at other 2nd hand sources as well,
    > should be in the $$$ range, maybe even less
    > (found a DDS-4 for $$ at eBay :-)
    > At that price you may buy 2 or 3 of them, as further spares.
    > Swapping isn't hard, the SCSI Id can easily be set by jumpers,
    > as documented on the drive.
    >
    > good luck.



  6. Re: Server support

    tabasco1 schrieb:
    ...
    > The tape drive appears to have failed. When we put a tape in it just
    > spits it back out.


    Has the drive seen ever a cleaning tape ?. It will cost only a few
    bucks and please use NEW tapes afterwards. I have seen people using
    their only one DDS tape over the years and sometime stored them even on
    a hot place :-(

    Also a
    $ errpt | more
    and a
    $ errpt -a | more

    should show some error messages regarding the drive.

    So first cleaning then new tape and then check the error log

    hth
    Hajo


  7. Re: Server support

    I thought of getting a cleaning tape but it is immediately kicking out
    the tape. The drive is not trying to do anything with it.

    I like your command thanks. This is part of what it gave me.

    IDENTIFIER TIMESTAMP T C RESOURCE_NAME DESCRIPTION
    B617E928 1112020206 T H rmt0 TAPE OPERATION ERROR
    1BA7DF4E 1112013806 P S SRC SOFTWARE PROGRAM ERROR
    B1731DA3 1112013806 P S RMCdaemon Internal error.
    A6DF45AA 1112013806 I O RMCdaemon The daemon is started.
    BA431EB7 1112013806 P S SRC SOFTWARE PROGRAM ERROR
    B1731DA3 1112013806 P S RMCdaemon Internal error.
    A6DF45AA 1112013806 I O RMCdaemon The daemon is started.
    BA431EB7 1112013806 P S SRC SOFTWARE PROGRAM ERROR
    B1731DA3 1112013806 P S RMCdaemon Internal error.
    A6DF45AA 1112013806 I O RMCdaemon The daemon is started.
    2BFA76F6 1112013206 T S SYSPROC SYSTEM SHUTDOWN BY USER
    9DBCFDEE 1112013706 T O errdemon ERROR LOGGING TURNED ON
    192AC071 1112013106 T O errdemon ERROR LOGGING TURNED OFF
    B617E928 1111020206 T H rmt0 TAPE OPERATION ERROR
    476B351D 1110020106 P H rmt0 TAPE DRIVE FAILURE
    B617E928 1105020206 T H rmt0 TAPE OPERATION ERROR

    Thanks,
    'Chalres

    Hajo Ehlers wrote:
    > tabasco1 schrieb:
    > ..
    > > The tape drive appears to have failed. When we put a tape in it just
    > > spits it back out.

    >
    > Has the drive seen ever a cleaning tape ?. It will cost only a few
    > bucks and please use NEW tapes afterwards. I have seen people using
    > their only one DDS tape over the years and sometime stored them even on
    > a hot place :-(
    >
    > Also a
    > $ errpt | more
    > and a
    > $ errpt -a | more
    >
    > should show some error messages regarding the drive.
    >
    > So first cleaning then new tape and then check the error log
    >
    > hth
    > Hajo



  8. Re: Server support

    A

    $ errpt -aj B617E928 | more

    gives some information about the failure but i feel that the drive has
    really failed.

    Have nice weekend
    Hajo


  9. Re: Server support

    tabasco1 wrote:
    > Do you have any suggestions for a Newbie to UNIX/AIX who has been
    > thrown in to this situation? Perhaps a couple of good books or a
    > website? I want to take a few classes but right now my budget is very
    > sparse.


    If you're willing to learn by yourself and have a sparse machine to
    play around with, take a look at the IBM Redbooks [1]. They're quite
    good and rather easy to understand. For a more detailed Redbook list
    check out older posts in this group (e.g.: [2]). After learning a
    few basics, you'll find things much less confusing and you can draw
    a lot more knowledge from a course, once it's within your budget.

    Regards,

    Frank


    [1] http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/portals/UNIX
    [2] http://groups.google.de/group/comp.u...2bc9ca16bae99d

  10. Re: Server support


    What does lsdev -Cc tape show?

    What kind of tape media/drive is it?

    8mm or 4mm I'm guessing in that it's spitting the tape out.

    Is there a solid yellow light on the drive?
    (as suggested, a cleaning tape maybe in order).

    Other reasons on our external IBM 8mm's was a bad connection, but yours
    is internal.

    I haven't used 4mm or 8mm in a long while, but will mess around with it
    in our lab.
    I remember this issue but only recall the things I mentioned above
    right now.

    The IBM 8mm's (2.3G and 5G) were the last IBM drives we ever bought.
    I've been using OEM (non-IBM) tape drives on RS's for well over a
    decade and can tell you that you don't have to use IBM tape drives with
    an RS6000. IBM never made a stink about it either.

    I've used Exabyte 8mm, Quantum DLT, and various LTO 1, 2, and 3 drives.
    Heck, their service agreement even offered to cover them at one stage.


  11. Re: Server support

    On 17 Nov 2006 09:44:58 -0800, "tabasco1" wrote:

    >... small trucking company and I am their only
    >IT person. We have an IBM RS-6000 7025-F50 which is running a
    >enterprise application, Statis by Datatrac.
    >


    From other responses, it seems you have solved (or are on the way to
    solving) the immediate technical problem. But the keyword here is
    "enterprise application".

    While maintenance and support contracts may appear expensive, you are
    "running your business" on this system. What happens if a more serious
    failure occurs? Will the company be able to weather a 3-5 day outage?
    What if you were on a well deserved vacation in Aruba (thanks to an
    extravagant bonus lauded on you by upper management for your frugality
    and another problem occured? You are "their only IT person"; would
    your colleagues/backup be able to resolve the problem?

    This is a discussion you should have with management. Perhaps you
    should upgrade to a newer system (which would include a warranty).
    Perhaps you should get a maintenance contract, either with IBM or some
    third party. Maintenance is probably a few hundred a month. Maybe you
    should get a spare machine on ebay.

    -- David

  12. Re: Server support

    Thanks.

    I can play a little but I have to be carfull it is a production machine
    afterall.

    Charles


    Frank Fegert wrote:
    > tabasco1 wrote:
    > > Do you have any suggestions for a Newbie to UNIX/AIX who has been
    > > thrown in to this situation? Perhaps a couple of good books or a
    > > website? I want to take a few classes but right now my budget is very
    > > sparse.

    >
    > If you're willing to learn by yourself and have a sparse machine to
    > play around with, take a look at the IBM Redbooks [1]. They're quite
    > good and rather easy to understand. For a more detailed Redbook list
    > check out older posts in this group (e.g.: [2]). After learning a
    > few basics, you'll find things much less confusing and you can draw
    > a lot more knowledge from a course, once it's within your budget.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Frank
    >
    >
    > [1] http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/portals/UNIX
    > [2] http://groups.google.de/group/comp.u...2bc9ca16bae99d



  13. Re: Server support

    tabasco1 wrote:
    > I can play a little but I have to be carfull it is a production machine
    > afterall.


    Then try to get your company buy a spare machine (maybe from ePay,
    or from one of the resellers i mentioned earlier). Being able to
    test new stuff on a nonproduction machine and having a spare sitting
    around in case the main machine dies, have always been good points
    to persuade upper management ;-)

    Regards,

    Frank

  14. Re: Server support

    Thanks
    It is the 8mm 5gb Exabyte.
    isdev -C shows;
    rmt0 Available 10-60-00-5,0 5.0 GB 8mm Tape Drive
    The yellow light is on solid and does not flash or blink when you try
    to put a tape in.

    Thanks again,
    Charles


    On Nov 19, 10:49 pm, "Alan N." wrote:
    > What does lsdev -Cc tape show?
    >
    > What kind of tape media/drive is it?
    >
    > 8mm or 4mm I'm guessing in that it's spitting the tape out.
    >
    > Is there a solid yellow light on the drive?
    > (as suggested, a cleaning tape maybe in order).
    >
    > Other reasons on our external IBM 8mm's was a bad connection, but yours
    > is internal.
    >
    > I haven't used 4mm or 8mm in a long while, but will mess around with it
    > in our lab.
    > I remember this issue but only recall the things I mentioned above
    > right now.
    >
    > The IBM 8mm's (2.3G and 5G) were the last IBM drives we ever bought.
    > I've been using OEM (non-IBM) tape drives on RS's for well over a
    > decade and can tell you that you don't have to use IBM tape drives with
    > an RS6000. IBM never made a stink about it either.
    >
    > I've used Exabyte 8mm, Quantum DLT, and various LTO 1, 2, and 3 drives.
    > Heck, their service agreement even offered to cover them at one stage.



  15. Re: Server support

    Thanks David,

    I am 150% on the same page with you. Logicalis is working on getting me
    a quote on both the service and a new server. I am also seeing how much
    our enterprise applications vendor would charge to do it, That would be
    cool because they would reconfigure it before they send it to us.

    Thanks,
    Charles

    On Nov 21, 6:59 am, David Luner wrote:
    > On 17 Nov 2006 09:44:58 -0800, "tabasco1" wrote:
    >
    > >... small trucking company and I am their only
    > >IT person. We have an IBM RS-6000 7025-F50 which is running a
    > >enterprise application, Statis by Datatrac.From other responses, it seems you have solved (or are on the way to

    > solving) the immediate technical problem. But the keyword here is
    > "enterprise application".
    >
    > While maintenance and support contracts may appear expensive, you are
    > "running your business" on this system. What happens if a more serious
    > failure occurs? Will the company be able to weather a 3-5 day outage?
    > What if you were on a well deserved vacation in Aruba (thanks to an
    > extravagant bonus lauded on you by upper management for your frugality
    > and another problem occured? You are "their only IT person"; would
    > your colleagues/backup be able to resolve the problem?
    >
    > This is a discussion you should have with management. Perhaps you
    > should upgrade to a newer system (which would include a warranty).
    > Perhaps you should get a maintenance contract, either with IBM or some
    > third party. Maintenance is probably a few hundred a month. Maybe you
    > should get a spare machine on ebay.
    >
    > -- David



  16. Re: Server support

    tabasco1 wrote:
    > Thanks
    > It is the 8mm 5gb Exabyte.
    > isdev -C shows;
    > rmt0 Available 10-60-00-5,0 5.0 GB 8mm Tape Drive
    > The yellow light is on solid and does not flash or blink when you try
    > to put a tape in.
    >


    I have been using their 7 GB tape drive since they first came out and
    have had to have to replaced several times over the years. Since they
    have been under IBM maintenance (around $20 per month) we have not had
    to spend a dime making their service a real deal. They also came out on
    a Sunday evening and had a new drive delivered by air once at no charge.
    The only time I have had a real problem with this drive model is when
    the heads got out of alignment and the drive failed during a restore.
    That was a real nightmare as we had to use a data recovery service which
    bought a drive and misaligned the heads to read the tape. If you have a
    chance you might want to occasionally test the tape on a different drive.

    > Thanks again,
    > Charles
    >
    >
    > On Nov 19, 10:49 pm, "Alan N." wrote:
    >> What does lsdev -Cc tape show?
    >>
    >> What kind of tape media/drive is it?
    >>
    >> 8mm or 4mm I'm guessing in that it's spitting the tape out.
    >>
    >> Is there a solid yellow light on the drive?
    >> (as suggested, a cleaning tape maybe in order).
    >>
    >> Other reasons on our external IBM 8mm's was a bad connection, but yours
    >> is internal.
    >>
    >> I haven't used 4mm or 8mm in a long while, but will mess around with it
    >> in our lab.
    >> I remember this issue but only recall the things I mentioned above
    >> right now.
    >>
    >> The IBM 8mm's (2.3G and 5G) were the last IBM drives we ever bought.
    >> I've been using OEM (non-IBM) tape drives on RS's for well over a
    >> decade and can tell you that you don't have to use IBM tape drives with
    >> an RS6000. IBM never made a stink about it either.
    >>
    >> I've used Exabyte 8mm, Quantum DLT, and various LTO 1, 2, and 3 drives.
    >> Heck, their service agreement even offered to cover them at one stage.

    >


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