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A Method for Mapping Real/Virtual Control Panels in a Logically Partitioned Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019891D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 60K

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Disclosed is a methodology that a Hypervisor utilizes to provide a user interface for a partition's Virtual Op Panel, across a wide range of low-end to high-end system models.

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  A Method for Mapping Real/Virtual Control Panels in a Logically Partitioned Environment

   The problem to be solved was how to satisfy a diverse set of requirements for providing Virtual Op Panel interfaces for a partition, in a Hypervisor environment. On legacy iSeries*, the Virtual Op Panel interface used to be DST/SST LPAR screens provided by the primary partition. In the new PowerPC* Hypervisor, these DST/SST screen interfaces are no longer present, since the OS/400* primary partition has been eliminated. In fact, the challenge was to work in a variety of different environments:

low-end to high-end system models Hardware Management Console (HMC)-managed (PC providing GUI interfaces to the system) versus non-HMC-managed systems Real Op Panel on the Central Electronic Complex (CEC) versus no Real Op Panel one partition versus multiple partitions

The problem faced was how to provide Virtual Op Panel operations for a partition, given all of the diverse environments above. Examples of some of the items that appear on the Virtual Op Panel, that require user interfaces are:

Display of System Reference Codes (SRCs) Control Panel Functions (e.g., 21 DST, 22 Partition Dump) IPL Type A/B/C/D
Manual/Normal Key Position

The solution to the problem was to leverage the HMC when one is available, and otherwise utilize the CEC's Real Op Panel when an HMC was not available. The HMC is the most desirable user interface, and the CEC Op Panel the least. The HMC is able to handle one or more partitions, whereas the Real Op Panel would not be able to handle more than one partition without severe obfuscation. Where there exist systems without an Real Op Panel, or systems that are partitioned into more than one partition, an HMC is always required. Hence, the basic "litmus test" for whether the Virtual Op Panel was mapped onto the Real Op Panel or not, is whether the system platform is partitioned, or not.

     For instance, on a low-end system, where there is no HMC and only a single partition, there exists a one-to-one mapping between the Virtual Op Panel (for the partition), and the Real Op Panel (for the platform). Hence, customers are not required to buy an extra HMC device, but instead can utilize Virtual Op Panel functions directly from the Real Op Panel. As an example, a customer wanting to push Op Panel Function 21 (force DST for the OS/400 partition) merely needs to press 21 on the Real Op Panel, and the request is routed from the Real Op Panel, to the Virtual...