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This paper surveys the current state of information technology (IT) availability on the IBM System p5® server platform, then describes how selected hardware and software features of the next-generation IBM Power™ Systems platform (by which we specifically mean IBM POWER6™ processor-based systems running the IBM AIX™ 6 operating system) will enable client IT organizations to more closely approach true continuous availability. Also presented is information on several IT management disciplines that are critical to achieving high levels of availability. The objective is to enable accelerated adoption and success with the new Power Systems platform by explaining how the technologies can be used to improve IT availability. We define the underlying dependencies required to implement the new live partition mobility and the live application mobility features and show how the environment can be best designed for planned maintenance. Until now, the concept of server virtualization in the UNIX® environment has been limited to a single server, but the Power Systems platform extends the virtualization realm. A brief discussion is given comparing software clustering with the new mobility features and illustrating how they are complementary.
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