Informing the IBM Community

Did IBM just offer you a FREE HMC?



OK, so maybe it’s not 100% free, but with the launch of the new Virtual Hardware Management Console (vHMC) the cost of the acquisition for many folks has tumbled by as much as 80% to a point where it’s almost as good as free.
IBM have announced the long awaited offering, which allows you to run the HMC code in a Virtual Machine (VM) rather than on its proprietary Intel x3550 servers. Hence the new rather natty title “vHMC”.
As regular readers will know, I generally have a pathological dislike of any new name that IBM comes up with (as they are generally vague, verbose and way too similar to a dozen other products) but not this time. So, I thought I’d better take the time to acknowledge this and say WELL DONE IBM, the right solution, the right price and most amazingly of all, the right name!

So what have IBM actually announced?
You can now order a vHMC (5765-HMV) from your friendly business partner and this will then get you a version of V8 HMC code that can be run in a VM. This is a fully functional version of the HMC code and it can co-exist with physical HMCs with exactly the same rules regarding system and software support.
This will not come as a huge surprise to many of you as it’s widely known you could do this (albeit unsupported) by just changing a handful of statements in the code. Not that I would dream of doing such a thing myself but if you were to Google “hmc on virtualbox” I feel sure you might find an article or two.

What is supported?
IBM has offered support for V8 of the HMC code and is compatible with POWER 6 , 6+, 7, 7+, 8 generation systems. It does not support POWER 5, 5+ servers but if you are running a POWER5 can I ask you pause for a moment and check your nearest calendar, just to remind you what decade we are in!
The vHMC is supported on the following virtualisation platforms, starting at these release levels:
• VMware ESXi V5
• Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (with KVM)
From a resource point of view they require a minimum of:
• 4 virtual processors
• 8GB RAM (if you can spare it, allocate 16GB)
• 2 virtual network adaptors
• 160GB of disk
Which by today VM standards is not too bad. To put it into context, it’s about the same resource as your typical Windows 2012 Domain Controller or Linux based Firewall Appliance.

How does the price compare?
Prices vary significantly from region to region, as do discounts, so for this comparison I’ll use my local currency GBP and IBM’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

In the table below you see the typical components required for a traditional and virtual HMC with budget price based on RRP. In this example we see that the vHMC is 70% cheaper than a traditional HMC.
HMC verses vHMC table

Why bother with an HMC?
Are you are still thinking why bother with an HMC at all? They really can be your best friend in times of need, not to mention they can make your systems faster or even save you money by improving server consolidation. To find out more, please take a look at a previous article I wrote on the subject 5 Reasons to love your HMC

Nice to see you
It was great to see so many new faces at our last i-UG event in my home town of Wolverhampton, it was great to see such an energised crowd. Truly, I think that must have been the most IBM i-love Wolves has ever known!
Our next meeting will take place back at the ancestral home of the i-UG, Norton Grange, in Rochdale, on Thursday 11th February 2016. We will then repeat the event with the same agenda in Central London at ArrowECS’s offices in the Royal Exchange on Thursday 3rd March.
We’ve already confirmed a number of excellent guest speakers. Hope to see you there, more details and registration available at


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