Ive been working with a customer recently on an issue with nimadm. They were attempting to migrate a system from AIX 5.3 to 7.1 using nimadm. The NIM client AIX level was 5.3 TL12 SP4 and the NIM master was running AIX 7.1 TL1 SP1.

lpar1 : / # oslevel -s

5300-12-04-1119

root@nim1 : / # oslevel -s

7100-01-01-1141

They were running the following nimadm command:

# nimadm -j nimadmvg -c lpar1 -s spotaix710101 -l lpp_sourceaix710101 -d hdisk1 -Y

The nimadm operation would always fail at phase 11:

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Executing nimadm phase 11.
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Cloning altinst_rootvg on client, Phase 3.
Client alt_disk_install command: alt_disk_copy -j -M 7.1 -P3 -d "hdisk1"
## Phase 3 ###################
Verifying altinst_rootvg...
alt_disk_copy: 0505-218 ATTENTION: init_multibos() returned an unexpected result.
Cleaning up.
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var/log
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var/log
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var
forced unmount of /alt_inst/usr/local
forced unmount of /alt_inst/usr/local
forced unmount of /alt_inst/usr
forced unmount of /alt_inst/usr
forced unmount of /alt_inst/tmp
forced unmount of /alt_inst/tmp
forced unmount of /alt_inst/opt
forced unmount of /alt_inst/opt
forced unmount of /alt_inst/home
forced unmount of /alt_inst/home
forced unmount of /alt_inst/admin
forced unmount of /alt_inst/admin
forced unmount of /alt_inst
forced unmount of /alt_inst
0505-187 nimadm: Error cloning altinst_rootvg on client.
Cleaning up alt_disk_migration on the NIM master.
Cleaning up alt_disk_migration on client lpar1.
Client alt_disk_install command: alt_disk_install -M 7.1 -X
Bootlist is set to the boot disk: hdisk0 blv=hd5

We also found the init_multibos error in the /var/adm/ras/alt_disk_inst.log file on the NIM client:

Tue Nov 22 14:48:12 EETDT 2011

cmd: /ALT_MIG_SPOT/sbin/alt_disk_copy -j -M 7.1 -P3 -d hdisk1

Verifying altinst_rootvg...

alt_disk_copy: 0505-218 ATTENTION: init_multibos() returned an unexpected result.

Cleaning up.

Given that the error appeared to be related to init_multibos, we assumed the failure was due to some multibos checks being performed by alt_disk_copy on the client. The client system did not have an existing multibos standby instance. So, we tried two things: First we created a standby instance on the client (multibos s X) and re-tried the nimadm operation. This failed. Next we removed the standby instance (multibos R) and re-tried the nimadm operation. This worked and the client then migrated to AIX 7.1 successfully. We re-tried the same operations (i.e. create standby instance, remove standby instance & nimadm) several times and each worked as expected.

So it appeared that the unofficial work around to this problem would be to create and then remove a standby multibos instance prior to the nimadm migrate. However, the customer has over 200 LPARs that they need to migrate to AIX 7.1. If possible they would really rather avoid this extra step in the AIX 7.1 migration plan. Weve made contact with IBM support and are hoping they can assist us in identifying the root cause of the issue and provide us with an official solution to the problem.

And just yesterday we hit the same problem when migrating from AIX 6.1 to 7.1 using nimadm. Ill update my blog with any progress we make with this problem. In the meantime, our unofficial work around will get us out of hot water!

UPDATE (14/12/2011): The simple fix is to remove the /bos_inst directory before attempting the AIX migration. i.e.

# rm r /bos_inst

In my nimadm article I wrote:

# multibos sXp

# multibos sX

# shutdown Fr

Confirm the legacy LV names are now in use that is, not bos_.

# lsvg -l rootvg | grep hd | grep open

hd6 paging 80 160 2 open/syncd N/A

hd8 jfs2log 1 2 2 open/syncd N/A

hd4 jfs2 1 2 2 open/syncd /

hd2 jfs2 7 14 2 open/syncd /usr

hd3 jfs2 16 32 2 open/syncd /tmp

hd1 jfs2 1 2 2 open/syncd /home

hd9var jfs2 8 16 2 open/syncd /var

hd7 sysdump 8 8 1 open/syncd N/A

hd7a sysdump 8 8 1 open/syncd N/A

hd10opt jfs2 8 16 2 open/syncd /opt

Remove the old multibos instance.

# multibos -R

Unfortunately, it appears that multibos R may not clean up the /bos_inst directory. If this directory exists the nimadm operation will most likely fail.