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Installation and Migration Guide

Installing your SP system

This section discusses some common terminology, as well as the major sections of the installation process.

Installation involves the following major steps:

  1. Prepare (install or migrate) the control workstation with PSSP and AIX.
  2. Enter configuration information for nodes that are new to the system.
  3. Install and customize the nodes.

You complete all installation and configuration steps centrally from the control workstation.


Before installing your system, become familiar with the following terminology used throughout this book. The definitions provide you with an overview only. For more detailed discussions, refer to the appropriate section in this book or the remainder of the PSSP library:

Prepare and install the control workstation

The first step in installing the SP system is preparing the control workstation. This involves connecting your frame's RS-232 lines to the serial ports of your control workstation, configuring the Ethernet connections on your control workstation, and verifying name resolution. Other steps include installing AIX and PSSP software with required PTFs.

Enter node and configuration information

After preparing the control workstation, you can begin configuring the nodes. To configure them, you can use PSSP commands or the Software Management Interface Tool (SMIT) interface to enter information into the System Data Repository (SDR). The information you enter is based on the planning worksheets you completed. If you have not yet completed these worksheets, refer to RS/6000 SP: Planning, Volume 2, Control Workstation and Software Environment and understand the information presented there before you begin installing your system. (Both configuration methods are described throughout the detailed installation information.)

Install PSSP on the nodes (externals)

PSSP node installation consists of these phases:

In the network installation phase, PSSP uses the AIX Network Installation Management (NIM) support to restore an AIX mksysb image created with the mksysb command. It can also perform an AIX migration install to the hard disk of the node. During the customize phase, PSSP personalizes the node with host names, default routes, and TCP/IP network adapter information from the SDR. AIX reboots the node. Final customization takes place after the node reboots, during boot processing.

Use the spbootins command to change the bootp_response attribute of the Node object in the SDR. You can set this attribute to install, customize, or migrate. For more information on these attributes, refer to PSSP: Command and Technical Reference.

Network installation

To install the nodes, network boot the nodes. Boot/install servers on the same network respond by installing the AIX image on the nodes.


Customization involves the following:

You customize your system after installing it. You can also customize a node that already has AIX and PSSP installed at any time. Situations that would call for a customize-only step include:

You can do additional customization in one of three ways:

Before the initial boot of a node, the required RS/6000 SP options (such as ssp.clients, ssp.basic, and ssp.sysctl) are installed if they are not part of the AIX image already on the node.

Boot processing

After PSSP completes installation and customization, AIX reboots the node. PSSP can do additional configuration during the node reboot depending upon the choices you made in the SMIT Site Environment panel or with the spsitenv command.

Install PSSP on the nodes (internals)

The previous section Install PSSP on the nodes (externals) provided a high-level discussion of the installation process. This section provides a more detailed discussion of the process and is intended to provide you with additional, in-depth information.

AIX provides the NIM environment to install AIX on the nodes. PSSP defines the control workstation as a NIM master. If a system has more than 40 nodes, boot/install servers are defined as NIM masters so they can install nodes. In this case, the first node in each frame, by default, is a NIM master for its frame. You can change this by using the spchvgobj command. You can define other nodes as boot/install servers and have PSSP make them NIM masters. This section discusses the parts of NIM exploited by the SP system. For more detailed information about the NIM environment, see the version of IBM AIX Network Installation Management Guide and Reference that is appropriate for your level of AIX.

The NIM environment includes a NIM master, a network, and its clients. The NIM master contains the information necessary to install its NIM clients.

Installing and migrating nodes (NIM clients)

After PSSP configures the NIM masters and the NIM clients, you can begin installing the nodes. If you have fewer than 40 nodes, the control workstation installs the nodes. Otherwise, the PSSP default is for the first node in each frame to install other nodes in that frame. You may select other SP nodes to be the NIM masters. This depends upon the physical layout of the installation network configuration.

When the node is network booted, the NIM master completes the installation and migration steps as follows:

  1. Installs the AIX mksysb image for installation or performs an AIX migration install for migration.
  2. Runs pssp_script on the node to do the following:
    1. Defines the host name and configures the primary adapter interface
    2. Installs the necessary AIX and PSSP file sets if they are not already installed
    3. Configures the switch if one is installed.
    4. Copies and runs tuning.cust if it exists in the boot/install server's /tftpboot directory.
    5. Copies and runs script.cust if it exists in the boot/install server's /tftpboot directory.
  3. Reboots the node for more PSSP configuration. During this initial post-installation reboot, psspfb_script is run on the node from /etc/inittab. The psspfb_script performs the following tasks:
    1. Defines and configures the network adapters specified in the SDR for this NIM client.
    2. Calls spauthconfig to set up the security environment on the node.
    3. Copies and runs firstboot.cust if it exists in the boot/install server's /tftpboot directory.

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