IBM AIX 7.2 provides several key technology-level enhancements and IBM AIX Enterprise Editions are updated

IBM United States Software Announcement 220-381
October 6, 2020

Table of contents
OverviewOverviewProgram numberProgram number
Key requirementsKey requirementsOrdering informationOrdering information
Effective dateEffective datePricesPrices
DescriptionDescription


Overview

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IBM® AIX® 7.2 Technology Level 5 (TL5) enhancements

The IBM AIX operating system provides clients with an enterprise-class IT infrastructure that delivers the reliability, availability, security, performance, and scale required to be successful in the global economy. AIX 7.2 TL5 offers the following improvements:

  • Increased scope and usability for the AIX Live Update function (high availability)
  • New levels of operating system security
  • New levels of workload scalability
  • New I/O features and storage enhancements
  • Operating system modernization
  • File systems improvement

AIX Enterprise Editions enhancements

AIX Enterprise Edition 1.4 with AIX 7.2 has been updated with AIX 7.2 TL5 and IBM VM Recovery Manager HA 1.5.

AIX Enterprise Edition 1.4 with AIX 7.1 has been updated with VM Recovery Manager HA 1.5.



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Key requirements

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An IBM POWER7+®, or later, technology-based server.

A Fibre Channel NPIV in addition to AIX 7.2 TL5. The following are required for the full performance benefits of NPIV multi-queue support:

  • 16 GB or 32 GB Fibre Channel adapter (adapter feature codes EN1A, EN1B, EN1C, EN1D, EN2A, and EN2B)
  • VIOS 3.1.2
  • POWER9™ system with FW940, or later


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Effective date

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November 13, 2020



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Description

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AIX 7.2 TL5 enhancements include:

  • Enhanced scope and usability for the AIX Live Update function (high availability)
    • Support for systems with IBM Spectrum® Protect LAN-free backup to N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)-connected tape devices.
    • Support for Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) configured on raw AIX logical volumes (LVs).
    • Support for Veritas InfoScale 7.4.2 (VxDMP, VxVM, and VxFS). Note that this support was first introduced in AIX 7.2 Technology Level 4, Service Pack 2.
    • SAP Applications with Live Update Planning Guide is available, documenting best practices based on AIX Live Update testing with SAP.

  • New levels of operating system security
    • AIX introduces support for LV encryption, providing a data-at-rest encryption solution that performs efficient encryption and decryption of data within an LV. Multiple encryption key protection methods are supported, including passphrase, KMIP-compliant key management servers, IBM PowerVM® platform key store, and key file methods. New command line utilities hdcryptmgr and keysvrmgr are introduced to provide cryptographic management of LVs and cryptographic key server information. AIX utilizes on-chip cryptographic acceleration where available for improved performance.
      Note: The PowerVM platform key store requires an IBM POWER9 system with FW950, or later. LV encryption of the AIX rootvg is not supported at this time.
    • AIX adds IPsec enhancements as follows:
      • AIX IPsec supports the use of the same certificates at a given endpoint to configure multiple IKEv2 tunnels when using RSA signatures in Phase1 for IKEv2 protocol. For more information on this configuration, see IBM Knowledge Center under the subtopic "Configuring multiple IKEv2 tunnels by using the same digital certificate".
      • AIX IPsec support for IKEv2 liveness: Upon enabling this feature in the /etc/isakmpd.conf file, the IPsec initiator will monitor the health of its peer. If a peer is abruptly down, the initiator will expire Phase1 and Phase2 Security Associations (SAs).
      • AIX IPsec support for IKEv2 SA Idle Timeout support: Upon enabling this feature in the /etc/iskampd.conf file, IKEv2 will terminate the Phase2 SAs that are idle (no data traffic) for an SA idle timeout period.
      • AIX IPsec support for IKEv2 retransmission control: Configuring a shorter time for retransmission of the IKEv2 negotiation packets is introduced through the "RETRANSMISSION_ATTEMPT" option in the /etc/isakmpd.conf file.
      • AIX IPsec support for On-Demand tunnels: Any outgoing packet or an only incoming IKE packet will trigger the On-Demand capability (if configured in the XML) on AIX and change the tunnel states from "Dormant" to "Active". However, On-Demand tunnels will not be triggered for an incoming non-IKE packet, starting with AIX 7.2 TL5.
    • AIX RSCT (Reliable Scalable Cluster Technology) installation packages now support AIX Trusted Execution environment for better security and enhanced trust level of the complete system.

  • New levels of workload scalability
    • AIX adds enhancements to Fibre Channel NPIV to provide multi-queue support. NPIV multi-queue provides higher throughput, reduced latency, and higher Input Output Operations per Second (IOPS) by spreading I/O workload across multiple work queues.

  • New I/O features and storage capabilities
    • IBM continues to enhance the POWER/AIX platform with the introduction of support for Fibre Channel Non-Volatile Memory Express (FC-NVMe) used for bootable and non-bootable SAN storage volumes through 2x32 Gbps EN1A or EN1B Fibre Channel adapters. This added AIX feature enables clients to easily connect to traditional FC-SCSI SAN storage targets and new FC-NVMe SAN storage targets that may have dedicated or shared protocol Fibre Channel ports. Consult the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center (SSIC) for additional information on supported configurations.
    • AIX adds support for new IBM Power® Systems I/O features:
      • PCIe4 Flash Adapter x8 (feature codes EN7A, EN7B, EN7C, EN7D, EN7E, and EN7F)
      • PCIe3 2-Port 16 Gb FC Adapter (feature codes EN2A and EN2B)
      • PCIe2 2-Port USB 3.0 Adapter (feature codes EC6K and EC6J)
    • AIX adds NVMe drives to the list of device types supporting space reclamation for LV storage. When storage is freed through LV operations, such as rmlv command, rmlvcopy command, or the chfs (shrink file system) command, corresponding blocks may be de-allocated on the NVMe drive. This lowers random write latency and improves NVMe drive lifespan.
    • Enhancements to AIX Fibre Channel device drivers (including multi-pathing) for 16 Gb and faster adapters allow AIX to receive and process SAN switch fabric congestion status, thus providing better and faster pathing decisions.
    • AIX now supports a finer granularity for read and write timeout values of virtual storage. A single virtual SCSI adapter may have multiple different types of virtual storage, such as physical volume, shared storage pool volume, or logical volume, with each type of virtual storage disk supporting different read and write timeout values. Previous releases of AIX required all virtual storage devices on the same virtual SCSI adapter to share the same read and write timeout value.

  • Operating system modernization
    • AIX 7.2 TL5 is certified for The Open Group UNIX® V7 Product Standard. The Open Group UNIX V7 Product Standard is provided to systems conforming to version 4 of the Single UNIX Specification. It is a significantly enhanced version of the UNIX 03 Product Standard. For more information, see:
    • AIX adds a new command: create_ova. This new command creates an open virtual appliance (OVA) package. An OVA package is an archive file that can be deployed as a virtual machine. The create_ova command is used to create a single-volume raw disk image and to export contents of a raw disk image to a compatible OVA package format. The OVA package can be imported into any IBM Power Virtualization Center (PowerVC) environment that contains a supported storage device. You can also import the OVA package into any cloud service that supports the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) packaging standard. The imported OVA package can be deployed as a virtual machine.
    • AIX adds support for Cisco Discovery Protocol, a feature that allows AIX systems that have physical network connections with supported Cisco switch products to query critical physical switch port information on demand. This information includes layer1 and layer 2 information, switch capabilities, and protocol options. Support for the Cisco Discovery Protocol is managed by the new AIX cdpctl command.
    • AIX adds customized Regular Expression rule in the "tr" command to accommodate heterogeneous collation rules in different locales. The new feature improves the user's ability to reuse their script application in different locales.
    • AIX adds enhancements to globalization enablement to support additional national characters in different languages and locales:
      • AIX supports Unicode 12.1. The new feature allows AIX libc APIs to support 137,928 characters for a total of 150 scripts
      • Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) locale support: AIX rebuilt all 172 CLDR locales. The new feature enables users to easily get the same locale environment on other platforms.
      • AIX ships the latest ICU4C (open source) library. The new feature allows AIX ISV and clients to easily port their non-AIX applications to AIX platforms.
    • The AIX version of Tcl/Tk is updated to 8.6.10. This updated version includes numerous features and enhancements not available in the prior version (8.4.7). For more information about new feature and fixes included in the updated version, see Tcl/Tk 8.6.10 and Tcl/Tk 8.5.19.
    • The AIX version of Expect is updated to version 5.45.4. This updated version includes numerous enhancements. expectk binary is deprecated from AIX and no longer built. Clients should instead use tclsh with packages requiring Tk and Expect. For more information, see the Expect/Timeline web page.
    • The AIX version of the RPM command has been updated to 4.15.1.0. Among the enhancements included in the updated version are a new command line option, tags for python binding, changes for SPEC file, and newer macros. For the complete release notes associated with the updated version, see:

      The RPM dependencies have also updated to following levels: gzip-1.10, patch-2.7.6, bzip2-1.0.8, gettext-0.19.8.1, texinfo(info)-6.6, file-5.36, lua-5.3.4, nspr-4.21, nss-3.45, readline-8.0, and sqlite-3.32.1.

    • Several enhancements are made to the AIX pollset API to support programming models found in modern applications and open source software that utilize polled events:
      • Dynamic addition, update, and removal of file descriptors in pollsets
      • Edge-triggered event notifications
      • Ability to provide metadata to be returned with a poll, allowing applications to store data or a pointer to a data structure containing information related to the polled event

  • File systems improvement
    • SMB version 3.0.2 client protocol support for AIX is available through AIX Web Download Pack Programs and the AIX expansion pack. AIX 7.1 and 7.2 documentation is updated to provide an overview of specific protocol features that are supported.
    • AIX adds Geographic Logical Manager (GLVM) improvements as follows:
      • GLVM is enhanced to send compressed data over the network to the remote node using Power Systems hardware compression acceleration.
      • GLVM is enhanced to monitor the network interfaces that are configured for remote mirroring. Monitoring detects network interface state changes and continues mirroring through available networks.
      • GLVM is enhanced to show additional statistics related to completed remote writes, cached writes, in-transit writes, and averages report.
    • AIX enhances JFS2 support to increase the maximum number of supported open files allowed to 14 million per Scheduler Resource Allocation Domain (SRAD).

AIX Ansible® module content updates

AIX has launched its AIX collection of module content in Ansible Galaxy. The first set of modules for the AIX collection were made available in June 2020. These modules can be found at Ansible's official hub for IBM AIX. Community feedback and contributions to the collection are encouraged.

For subscribers to the Red Hat® Automation Platform, the same modules are also available in Ansible Automation Hub as fully supported content. For additional information about Ansible and Power Systems, see the Ansible and IBM Power Systems website.

Recent AIX Toolbox updates

The following new packages were added to the AIX Toolbox within the last six to twelve months:

auditbeat, aix-x11-pc, bash-completion, cmake, cmocka, community-mysql, filebeat, ganglia-mod_aixdisk, ganglia-mod_ibmame, ganglia-mod_ibmams, ganglia-mod_ibmfc, ganglia-mod_ibmnet, ganglia-mod_ibmpower, ganglia-mod_ibmrperf, ganglia modules for AIX and Power, lftp, mariadb, metricbeat, nagios, p7zip, pigz, protobuf, pv, lutok, tripwire

These packages are available in the toolbox repository, and can be installed by using Yellowdog Updater Modified (YUM). These packages can also be downloaded from the AIX Toolbox for Linux® Applications web page.

The following packages were updated in the AIX Toolbox within the last six to twelve months:

ImageMagick, R, ansible, automake, bind, binutils, bison, bzip2, ca-certificates, clamav, coreutils, cpio, cscope, curl, db, dbus, diffutils, expat, fdupes, file, findutils, gawk, gc, gcc, gettext, ghostscript, git, gnupg2, gnutls, grep, gzip, httpd, iftop, iperf3, krb5, less, libassuan, libdbi, libgcrypt, libgd, libgpg-error, libiconv, libjpeg, libmpc, libpcap, libpng, libsodium, libssh2, libtasn1, libtiff, libwebp, libyaml, logrotate, lutok, lz4, make, mc, mod_perl, mongo-c-driver, mpfr, ncurses, net-snmp, nginx, npth, nspr, nss, openblas, openldap, parallel, pcre, pcre2, perl, php, postgresql, proftpd, pv, python2, python3, readline, rlwrap, rrdtool, rsync, ruby, salt, samba, scons, screen, sed, snappy, socat, sqlite, squid, stunnel, subversion, sudo, tcltk, tcpdump, texinfo, unrar, vim, xz, zeromq, zip, zsh

As Python2 went out of support from the community, many Python modules are added and updated in AIX Toolbox for Python3. Now Ansible and Salt are also updated to work with Python3.

Following are the Python modules that are added for Python3:

python3-alabaster, python3-attrs, python3-bcrypt, python3-cffi, python3-chardet, python3-cheetah3, python3-cheroot, python3-futures3, python3-idna, python3-imagesize, python3-importlib-metadata, python3-jaraco.classes, python3-jaraco.collections, python3-jaraco.functools, python3-jaraco.text, python3-linecache2, python3-more-itertools, python3-packaging, python3-portend, python3-pygments-pytest, python3-pynacl, python3-pyparsing, python3-pytz, python3-pyyaml, python3-sphinx, python3-sphinxcontrib-applehelp, python3-sphinxcontrib-devhelp, python3-sphinxcontrib-htmlhelp, python3-sphinxcontrib-jsmath, python3-sphinxcontrib-qthelp, python3-sphinxcontrib-serializinghtml, python3-shpinxcontrib-trio, python3-snowballstemmer, python3-tempora, python3-torando, python3-traceback2, python3-urllib3, python3-wcwidth, python3-zc.lockfile, python3-zipp

The introduction of new packages, updates to existing packages, and notifications of security updates are announced on the AIX Open Source discussion forum. There, users can also interact with the IBM open source team and with other users to post questions about packages.

AIX Enterprise Editions enhancements

AIX Enterprise Edition 1.4 with AIX 7.2 has been updated with AIX 7.2 TL5 and VM Recovery Manager HA 1.5.

AIX Enterprise Edition 1.4 with AIX 7.1 has been updated with VM Recovery Manager HA 1.5.



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Reference information

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For more information on VM Recovery Manager HA 1.5, see Software Announcement 220-376, dated October 6, 2020.



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Program number

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Program number VRM Program name
5765-G98 7.2.5 IBM AIX Standard Edition
5765-CD1 1.4.0 IBM AIX Enterprise Edition 7.1
5765-CD3 1.4.0 IBM AIX Enterprise Edition 7.2


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Ordering information

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Not applicable



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Prices

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