I received an email from one of my customers recently that simply said:


“mate …on lpar30, for some reason the IBM.DRM and others are failing to start .. um .. any chance you could have a quick look at that ?”


So I asked, “OK, so this use to work right?”. To which I received a relatively confused reply, ”.....yep it did....actually no....it’s never worked....or has it???...I’m not sure...”.


Based on my experience, the most common issue that prevents DLPAR operations from working are network problems. Before diving into the deep end and trying to debug RSCT, it’s always best to start with the basics. For example, can you ping the HMC from the LPAR? Can you ping the LPAR from the HMC? If either of these tests fails, check the network configuration on both components before doing anything else.


On the HMC check the network settings first e.g.


·         Click on HMC Configuration and then Customize Network Settings.

– Verify the IP address, netmask, default gateway, network routes, DNS server are all set correctly.

– Check the LPAR communications box in HMC configuration screen for LAN adapter that is used for HMC-to-LPAR communication.

– By the way, unlike POWER4 systems, LPARs on POWER5 and POWER6 systems do not depend on host name resolution for DLPAR operations.


·         Check routing on the LPAR and the HMC.

– Use ping and the HMC’s Test Network Connectivity task to verify the LPAR and the HMC can communicate with each other.


If you check the network and you are happy that the LPAR and the HMC can communicate, then perhaps you need to re-initialise the RMC subsystems on the AIX LPAR. Run the following commands:


# /usr/sbin/rsct/bin/rmcctrl –z

# /usr/sbin/rsct/bin/rmcctrl –A

# /usr/sbin/rsct/bin/rmcctrl –p


Wait up to 5 minutes before trying DLPAR again. If DLPAR still doesn’t work i.e. the HMC is still reporting no values for DCaps, and the IBM.DRM subsystem still won’t start, try using the recfgct command.


WARNING: The recfgct command referenced above is *not* supported for use by customers without direct IBM support instructions. It erases all RSCT configuration info and makes it look like the node was just installed. This may be fine for DLPAR recycling, but if you have any other products dependent on RSCT on the partition in question, you will be *broken*. In particular, PowerHA 7 will crash, and Tivoli SAMP will have all its cluster info destroyed, partitioning it from the rest of the domain until it can be manually re-added (and it may also crash, depending on the presence of resources). If you find that DLPAR is not working, and all other network checks and even the RMC recycling (-z/-A/-p) does not work, it is strongly recommended that you use the ctsnap command to gather data and contact IBM support. (Capturing iptrace for a few minutes would not be a bad idea either. A complementary tcpdump on the HMC would also be good, but this may not be possible for most customers given HMC's access restrictions.) Then, if you wish to proceed with recfgct and find that it does resolve whatever the problem was, it would be equally wise to gather another ctsnap after the partition is once again connected to the HMC, to compare to the previous one.


CAUTION: Running the recfgct command on a node in a RSCT peer domain or in a Cluster Aware AIX (CAA) environment should NOT be done before taking other precautions first. This note is not designed to cover all CAA or other RSCT cluster considerations so if you have an application that is RSCT aware such as PowerHA, VIOS Storage Pools and several others do not proceed until you have contacted support. If you need to determine if your system is a member of a CAA cluster then please refer to the Reliable Scalable Cluster Technology document titled, "Troubleshooting the resource monitoring and control (RMC) subsystem". http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SGVKBA_3.1.5/com.ibm.rsct315.trouble/bl507_diagrmc.htm



hscroot@hmc1:~> lspartition -dlpar


<#5> LPAR:<24*9117-MMB*10284FP, ,>

       Active:<1>, OS:<AIX, 6.1, 6100-05-01-1016>, DCaps:<0x0>, CmdCaps:<0x0, 0x0>, PinnedMem:<768>



# /usr/sbin/rsct/install/bin/recfgct


Wait 5 minutes. This should resolve your DLPAR issue. The IBM.DRM subsystem should now be active and there should be good (non-zero) values for DCaps:


# lssrc -g rsct_rm

Subsystem         Group            PID          Status

 IBM.DRM          rsct_rm          6881300      active

 IBM.CSMAgentRM   rsct_rm          7274530      active

 IBM.ServiceRM    rsct_rm          6029480      active

 IBM.AuditRM      rsct_rm          6357058      active

 IBM.ERRM         rsct_rm          4456566      active

 IBM.LPRM         rsct_rm          6946986      active


hscroot@hmc1:~> lspartition -dlpar


<#5> LPAR:<24*9117-MMB*10284FP, ,>

       Active:<1>, OS:<AIX, 6.1, 6100-05-01-1016>, DCaps:<0xc5f>, CmdCaps:<0x1b, 0x1b>, PinnedMem:<994>



Only run the rmcctrl and recfgct commands if you believe something has become corrupt in the RMC configuration of the LPAR. The fastest way to fix a broken configuration or to clear out the RMC ACL files after cloning (via alt_disk migration) is to use the recfgct command.


These daemons should work “out of the box” and are not typically the cause of DLPAR issues. However, you can try stopping and starting the daemons when troubleshooting DLPAR issues.


The rmcctrl -z command just stops the daemons. The rmcctrl -A command ensures that the subsystem group (rsct) and the subsystem (ctrmc) objects are added to the SRC, and an appropriate entry added to the end of /etc/inittab and it starts the daemons.


The rmcctrl –p command enables the daemons for remote client connections i.e. from the HMC to the LPAR and vice versa.


If you are familiar with the System Resource Controller (SRC) you might be tempted to use stopsrc and startsrc commands to stop and start these daemons.

Do not do it; use the rmcctrl commands instead.


If /var is 100% full, use chfs to expand it. If there is no more space available, examine subdirectories and remove unnecessary files (for example, trace.*, core, and so forth). If /var is full, RMC subsystems may fail to function correctly.


The polling interval for the RMC daemons on the LPAR to check with the HMC daemons is 5-7 minutes; so you need to wait long enough for the daemons to start up and synchronize.


The Resource Monitoring and Control (RMC) daemons are part of the Reliable, Scalable Cluster Technology (RSCT) and are controlled by the System Resource Controller (SRC). These daemons run in all LPARs and communicate with equivalent RMC daemons running on the HMC. The daemons start automatically when the operating system starts and synchronize with the HMC RMC daemons.


The daemons in the LPARs and the daemons on the HMC must be able to communicate over the network for DLPAR operations to succeed. This is not the network connection between the managed system (FSP) and the HMC; it is the network connection between the operating system (AIX) in each LPAR and the HMC.


Note: Apart from rebooting, there is no way to stop and start the RMC daemons on the HMC.


The following links also contain some (out dated) information relating to DLPAR verification and troubleshooting. Even though it is quite old some of it is still relevant today and is good a place to start.


The most common reasons for failures with Dynamic Logical LPARing



Dynamic LPAR tips and checklists for RMC authentication and authorization



Setting up the HMC/LPARs hostname and network (old but interesting)



lsLPAR -dlpar, DCAPs values (old but still applies)



The previous link (above) provides some information relating to the values for DCaps and what they mean (also out dated):


0 - DR CPU capable  (can move CPUs)

1 - DR MEM capable  (can move memory)

2 - DR I/O capable  (can move I/O resources)

3 - DR PCI Bridge   (can move PCI bridges)

4 - DR Entitlement  (POWER 5 can change shared entitlement)

5 - Multiple DR CPU (AIX 5.3 can move 2+ CPUs at once)

0x3f = max, and 0xf is common for AIX 5.2


If you are interested in how HMC and LPAR authentication works with DLPAR, then read on. Otherwise, happy DLPARing!


HMC and LPAR authentication (RSCT authentication)


The diagram below outlines how the HMC and an LPAR authenticate with each other in order for DLPAR operations to work. RSCT authentication is used to ensure the HMC is communicating with the correct LPAR.


Authentication is the process of ensuring that another party is who it claims to be. Authorization is the process by which a cluster software component grants or denies resources based on certain criteria. The RSCT component that implements authorization is RMC. It uses access control list (ACL) files to control user access to resources.


The RMC component subsystem uses cluster security services to map the operating system user identifiers, specified in the ACL file, to network security identifiers to determine if the user has the correct permissions. This is performed by the identity mapping service, which uses information stored in the identity mapping files ctsec_map.global and ctsec_map.local.




The RSCT authorization process in detail:


1.    On the HMC: DMSRM pushes down the secret key and HMC IP address to NVRAM when it detects a new CEC; this process is repeated every five minutes. Each time an HMC is rebooted or DMSRM is restarted, a new key is used.


2.       On the AIX LPAR: CSMAgentRM, through RTAS (Run-time Abstraction Services), reads the key and HMC IP address out from NVRAM. It will then authenticate the HMC. This process is repeated every five minutes on a LPAR to detect a new HMCs and if the key has changed. An HMC with a new key is treated as a new HMC and will go though the authentication and authorization processes again.


3.       On the AIX LPAR: After authenticating the HMC, CSMAgentRM will contact the DMSRM on the HMC to create a ManagedNode resource in order to identify itself as a LPAR of this HMC. CSMAgentRM then creates a compatible ManagementServer resource on AIX. This can be displayed on AIX with the lssrsrc command. e.g.


root@aix6 / # lsrsrc "IBM.ManagementServer"

Resource Persistent Attributes for IBM.ManagementServer

resource 1:

        Name             = ""

        Hostname         = ""

        ManagerType      = "HMC"

        LocalHostname    = ""

        ClusterTM        = "9078-160"

        ClusterSNum      = ""

        ActivePeerDomain = ""

        NodeNameList     = {"aix6"}


4.       On the AIX LPAR: After the creation of the ManagedNode and ManagementServer resources on the HMC and AIX respectively, CSMAgentRM grants HMC permission to access necessary resource classes on the LPAR. After granting the HMC permission, CSMAgentRM will change its ManagedNode, on the HMC, Status to 1. (It should be noted that without proper permission on AIX, the HMC would be able to establish a session with the LPAR but will not be able to query for OS information, DLPAR capabilities, or execute DLPAR commands afterwards.)


5.       On the HMC: After the ManagedNode Status is changed to 1, LparCmdRM establishes a session with the LPAR, queries for operating system information and DLPAR capabilities, notifies CIMOM about the DLPAR capabilities of the LPAR, and then waits for the DLPAR commands from users.