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As part of Red Hat’s hybrid cloud vision, Red Hat Insights is available on all actively supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to help continuously analyze platforms and applications and better predict potential risk, no matter where RHEL is actually deployed. Even with this relative ubiquity of the service, we’ve never had IBM Power-specific recommendations in Insights — until now.

Insights now integrates with an offering from IBM, the IBM Fix Level Recommendation Tool (FLRT). IBM FLRT provides cross-product compatibility information and fix recommendations for IBM products. One of the main IBM FLRT use cases is to plan upgrades of key components and to verify the installed software and firmware level to assess health and stability of your IBM Power systems.

For those running RHEL virtualized in a logical partition (LPAR) on IBM Power, the Insights client can now identify the underlying IBM Power Server hardware and firmware level. A new Insights recommendation is in place to align your system with the official guidance by IBM.
In case the IBM Power Server firmware becomes outdated, Insights will proactively let you know about the issue. The Advisor service report includes IBM FLRT recommendations accompanied with remediation steps tailored for your specific IBM Power Server type.

How it works together

The architecture of the integration between FLRT and Insights is outlined in the diagram below. The only prerequisites are:

  • a valid RHEL subscription and

  • Red Hat Insights enabled

Architecture of the integration between FLRT and Insights

Insights processes configuration data in five steps:

  1. Insights receives a new archive with system metadata from a RHEL server running on IBM Power

  2. Advisor service checks its cache for already-obtained results for given parameters

  3. If no match is found in the cache, Advisor queries the IBM FLRT tool via its public-facing API for any recommendations based on the provided Machine Type Model (MTM) and Hardware Firmware Level (HFL).

  4. Once Advisor has the latest results from IBM FLRT API, it caches the result

  5. This recommendation is stored in the Insights database (DB) to make it available for customers

This way we can surface issues detected by the FLRT tool directly in Insights without sending too many requests to IBM FLRT every day.

Red Hat customers will now notice a new entry in the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console. The recommendation by IBM FLRT for your system will be listed in Red Hat Insights Advisor:

Red Hat Hybrid Cloud ConsoleRecommendation details contain system-specific version information, suggestions, IBM FLRT reports and a ready-to-use link to the firmware update package from IBM Fix Central: 

Firmware update package from IBM Fix Central

Enable Insights with FLRT today

Registering your systems with Red Hat Insights is very straightforward and typically requires only a single command to be executed. Nevertheless, we have prepared the registration assistant application, which helps you go through the required steps based on your setup.

Head over to Red Hat Insights and leverage our registration assistant to get started.


About the authors

With more than 10 years of experience in the software industry, Stefan Bunciak is currently the Product Manager for Red Hat Insights. He completed his master's degree in Informatics at Masaryk University in Brno and is skilled in project and people management, quality engineering, and software development. In his spare time, he plays violin in a folklore band.

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Thorsten Hesemeyer is an IT Specialist working for Technical Field Enablement for SAP on Power Systems in St. Leon-Rot, Germany. He is an LPIC-3 certified Linux expert with 30 years of onsite customer experience. His main areas of expertise are data center migrations, server virtualization and container orchestration with Red Hat products for many IBM customers. Thorsten holds a Diploma in Physics degree from Ruhr-University Bochum.

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