The IBM System Planning Tool is a highly useful and free tool that IBM offers which can help you get the most out of your AIX systems. This browser-based application can run on any Windows box with IE or Firefox installed. At its most basic, it automates the process of designing and implementing your systems, but it can do a lot more than that.
Here are four benefits to the IBM System Planning Tool:
1. Export your designs for easy rollout. Any system you design can be exported to a system plan file (.SYSPLAN) and then imported into the Hardware Management Console or Integrated Virtualization Manager. This allows you to deploy the same configuration on multiple systems and be assured that they will come out identical. In many cases, it can even automate the OS install. This makes large-scale rollouts nearly as simple as designing a single system.
2. System plans can be archived and saved for future use. With the IBM System Planning tool, you can have a complete retrievable backup of all your system designs and architectures. There’s no guesswork needed. The SYSPLAN files remain in place and can be accessed whenever you might need to make reference to them, or be used to tweak and update existing deployed systems you designed.
3. Design systems based on estimated needs. Thanks to its integration with IBM’s Workload Estimator system, you can design systems based on either existing data or your own estimates of future need. The tool is robust enough to give you a lot of leeway to play with variables and look for ways to optimize your architecture in a risk-free environment.
4. Order new systems based on your SYSPLAN file. If a new hardware order is in your future, the IBM System Planning tool helps here as well. Orders can be submitted to IBM and built to order based on your submitted SYSPLAN, including partition configuration requests. You can even specify slot usage and rack placement options from within the Planning Tool and have exactly what you need delivered to your door and ready to go.
In short, the IBM System Planning Tool is one that no AIX administrator has a good reason to be without. It’s free, easy to use, and can be run while on the road as easily as on the job. If you aren’t using it already, now’s the time to start.
Photo Credit: Chad Magiera