Admin Alert: Printing and Emailing a System i Rack Config
February 13, 2008 Joe Hertvik
When requesting new hardware quotes for a System i, iSeries, or AS/400 server, your vendor will most likely ask you for a server rack configuration that was generated on the machine that you are upgrading. To alleviate confusion about this process, this column covers everything concerning rack configurations, including what a rack configuration is, why it’s needed, and how to generate and send a configuration to your vendor.
What’s a Rack Config?
A rack configuration (rack config) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a listing of all the physical components in the rack (or racks) that host your System i, iSeries, or AS/400 server. A rack config is a physical roadmap to your system. It tells the reader where the system units, system buses, adapters, IOPs, IOAs, disk drives, memory cards, and other components are located in each of your cabinets.
Vendors frequently request a rack config whenever they quote or order new hardware for your system. They do this so that they can determine a few basic items, including:
Rack configs are also requested when ordering new hardware so that the vendor can see whether any existing components can be used in the new machine, hopefully saving you money in the process. For example, if you just bought new hard drives for an i520 that you’re upgrading to an i550, you may be able to recycle those drives and spare yourself the expense of buying additional storage. A rack config helps the vendor determine which parts can and cannot be migrated to the new machine.
How Many Ways Can We Generate a Rack Config?
Depending on what type of machine you have, there are several different ways to generate a rack config. For partitioned machines, a rack config can be generated for each partition on the box. For non-partitioned machines, there is only one rack config and IBM specifies a different rack configuration generation process than the procedure used for partitioned machines.
For partitioned machines, you can generate a rack configuration by running the System Service Tools command (STRSST) from a green screen and performing the following steps on your partitions.
For non-partitioned machines, IBM offers a slightly different set of STRSST options. You can find instructions for generating this type of rack configuration by going to IBM’s Website on How To Generate a Rack Configuration for Non-Partitioned iSeries.
If you have an old CISC AS/400 (don’t laugh, there are still some of these floating around out there), you may need to use the following instructions to generate a rack configuration, if the STRSST instructions listed above don’t work for you.
Getting the Rack Config To Your Vendor
Once printed, the rack config will be contained in a QPCSMPRT spooled file under the user profile that created the listing. The next trick is to send it to the requesting vendor. For that, you generally have the following options:
To save your rack configuration printout to a Windows folder for emailing to a vendor, perform the following steps.
When I tested this process on an i5/OS V5R3 machine, the rack configuration text file was saved in the same reporting format (columns and all) as the QPCSMPRT spooled file that it was generated from.
And That’s All There Is To It
As you can see, it isn’t too hard to generate and send a System i rack configuration to a vendor. All it takes is to know a few quick commands and shortcuts, and you’re on your way. If you have any further questions about rack configurations, feel free to email me using the Contacts button above and I may include your questions in a future column.
About Our Testing Environment
Configurations described in this article were tested on an i5 550 box running i5/OS V5R3. Most of the commands shown here are also available in earlier versions of the operating system running on iSeries or AS/400 machines. If a command or function is present in earlier versions of the i5/OS or OS/400 operating systems, you may notice some variations in the pre-V5R3 copies of these commands. These differences may be due to command improvements that have occurred from release to release.