Software Projects

Barry Williams
Phone: +64 21 919 896  E-Mail: [email protected]  Website:
Technical Publications
Managing RPM repositories in AIX
Simplifying PowerVM Virtual Adapters
Software Projects
RPMPLUS: Enhanced Open Source Package Manager for AIX
Sep 2013 – Jul 2014
Dimension Data NZ
Auckland, NZ
Senior Systems Engineer
Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider with operations in over 50 countries, over 15,000
employees and over 6,000 clients.
My role is the Subject Matter Expert for AIX (Unix) and IBM Power systems in the Enterprise Services team in
NZ, which specialises in Unix/Linux, Storage and Backup services. My responsibilities include: consulting
services, designing and implementing solutions, migrations and upgrades, and BAU administration for
enterprise clients such as Genesis Energy, Sky TV, Foodstuffs, Farmers and AMP.
Some key projects:
Designed and implemented Dimension Data's Unix hosting environment on IBM Pureflex Power7
systems. Wrote the migration plans and migrated the first customer production workloads into this
new environment.
Built or reconfigured numerous customer Network Installation Manager (NIM) servers for system
image backups, distributing software and server automation. Implemented a secure multiple
customer networked NIM environment for Dimension Data's shared hosting environment.
Maintained the AIX SOE image and wrote our administration scripts.
Designed a solution to secure file access to Genesis Energy's mission critical Gentrack environment.
This involved file sharing via NFS V4, ACL access control and user authentication with Microsoft
Active Directory.
Migrated Foodstuffs South Island’s Dunedin storage subsystems from IBM DS5300 to IBM V7000. No
server outages were required.
Wrote the migration plans for upgrading Foodstuffs AIX Technical Level versions and converting SAN
storage to NPIV for Fibre Channel virtualisation. Successfully migrated the first batch of nonproduction servers, the project is currently ongoing.
Designed a solution for migrating Foodstuffs Virtual I/O servers to 10GB Ethernet and compatibility for
Live Partition Mobility across multiple Power Systems.
Built the Enterprise team's WIKI and consolidated our documentation.
May 2012 – Nov 2012
Melbourne, VIC
AIX Systems Administrator (Contract)
Coles is a leader in Australian food retailing, with more than 100,000 employees and over 11 million
customer transactions a week.
Coles AIX fleet consists of approximately 300 servers with OS versions ranging from AIX 5.3, 6.1 and 7.1
running on numerous Power 6 and 7 systems. Coles mission critical production servers were setup in a
PowerHA cluster configuration across two active data-centers and utilitising PowerHA SystemMirror for
redundancy in the SAN subsystems. The AIX team consisted of 11 AIX Administrators.
I was contracted to commission new servers for the “HR Refresh” project on 2 Power7 780 systems.
AIX Systems administration and support
Commission 12 new AIX 7.1 LPARS running Oracle and SAP for the “HR Refresh” environment.
Upgrade remaining AIX 5.3 servers to AIX 7.1
After hours on call support
Update technical documentation on the UNIX team's WIKI
Feb 2007 – May 2012
Insurance Australia Group
Melbourne, VIC
AIX Systems Administrator (Contract)
Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) is an international general insurance group, with operations in
Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Asia. As of May 2012, IAG’s fleet consisted of
approximately 250 AIX servers on 2 enterprise class IBM Power 795 systems at the primary data-center and 1
POWER6 595 at the secondary data-center for disaster recovery of production servers. The Midrange team
consisted of 7 AIX Administrators.
Initially I was contracted to IAG through IBM to assist with the Power4 to Power5 migration as part of the
Power5 595 purchase in 2007. After a 100% successful migration with no unplanned outages to production
systems, I was kept on as a contractor to do daily BAU tasks, project work and a further 2 hardware
migration cycles.
2007 - Power5 595 Migration details:
This project consisted of migrating and upgrading a mixture of approximately 80 AIX 4.3, 5.1 and 5.3 servers
on 12 Power4 650s and 1 Power4 690 to AIX 5.3 with the latest Technical Level on 3 Power5 595 systems.
My involvement was to work with the Project Manager to arrange planned outage dates with the
infrastructure, application team members and business stakeholders. Planned outages were logged via
IAG's Change Management process. During the prep-work and outage window, I followed the
documented procedures already detailed by the senior AIX administrator. These tasks included:
Build the LPARs profile on the Hardware Management Console.
Identify the physical adapters required for Networking and Storage, cable them if required.
Provide the appropriate HBA details to the Network and Storage teams, in addition provide the disk
information to the storage team.
Configure the virtual components on the Virtual IO servers and client LPARs for non production
servers to be virtualised.
Test the new LPAR with a temporary OS install prior to the migration outage window.
During the outage window, shutdown any applications and databases if required. Restore the Base
Operating System and import the data disks.
Configure any remaining system settings and test the systems operation.
Migrations were first completed and tested for the Development and Test environments weeks prior to
migrating the production servers. This project took 6 months to complete as we did most of the servers on a
per server basis with production servers scheduled after hours.
2009 - Power6 595 Migration details:
This project had a short deadline of approximately 3 months due to an end of lease agreement with IBM.
Due to time constraints, servers were migrated in bulk over weekends as opposed to the previous server by
server migration on a daily basis. In spite of this there was no unplanned outages to production
The project scope consist of:
Migrate approximately 140 AIX 5.3 and AIX 6.1 servers on 3 Power5 595 systems to 2 Power6 595
Patch the Operating Systems to the latest Technical Level.
Convert all remaining production servers from physical to virtual hosts, except for the production TSM
servers and NIM server.
My involvement in this hardware migration was very similar to last with additional responsibilities of making
technical changes to the migration procedure document and testing them, as well as assisting junior team
members with the migration work.
2011 - Power7 795 Migration details:
This 8 month project ran in parallel to a storage SAN infrastructure change from IBM to Hitachi, which added
additional complexity in the migration procedure. We did experience some performance regressions with
the new disks which was eventually resolved with OS disk parameter tuning. We also moved a Power6 595
to the DR site to accommodate our expanding server count which I was not involved in.
The project scope consist of:
Migrate approximately 250 AIX 5.3 and AIX 6.1 servers on 2 Power6 595 systems to 2 Power7 795
Patch the Operating Systems to the latest Technical Level.
Convert all TSM servers to virtual hosts.
My involvement was similar to the previous migration with the additional task of automating the build of 250
LPAR HMC profiles using shell scripts.
Other Responsibilities:
Following the 2007 Migration, my contract was extended annually for the next 5 years. During this time in
addition to the 2 later hardware migrations my day-to-day responsibilities were the following:
Provide operating system support and maintenance for all 250 AIX servers which ran workloads for
Websphere, MQ, Broker, DB2, Oracle, SAP, TIM, TAM, SAS, Business Objects, Informatica and various
in-house applications.
Monitor system performance and availability on a daily basis to ensure adequate response times for
production environments. Assist the Performance and Capacity Planning team by implementing
custom scripts for NMON to capture system performance data to be imported into SAS.
Assist the Storage team to provide reliable backup services and SAN disk infrastructure.
Provide feedback to the senior technical specialist on process improvements and technical
Provide support to vendors and application programmers as necessary.
Provide operating system related support to internal infrastructure teams (Middleware, Security and
Database) for their application specific installation and configuration requirements.
(I was commonly known as a very approachable and helpful member of the UNIX team, and for this
received numerous peer recognition awards from other infrastructure team members – refer to the awards
section below)
Upgrade operating systems to current versions; maintain software patches and fixes that comply
with vendor requirements.
Coordinate hardware repairs with vendors as necessary.
Perform research and troubleshooting for technologies and operating systems as required.
Document system configuration and procedures for the Midrange team. I Implemented a WIKI
system using the open source Dokuwiki software to streamline technical documentation efforts.
(In 2012 following a large P1 incident, an inquiry in infrastructure wide documentation was undertaken. The
Midrange Manager received positive recognition for the documenting practices within his team, since then
the Database team has adopted the same system.)
Provide UNIX administration training to IAG graduates as part of the IAG Graduate Program. During
this time I trained 5 grads as part of their 6 month Midrange rotation. Two of which have continued
down the AIX career path and are now full-time AIX Administrators.
Jun 2005 – Jan 2007
Spectrum Consulting
Auckland, NZ
AIX Systems Administrator
Spectrum Consulting Limited is an IBM Business Partner specialising in IBM POWER Systems and AIX UNIX. Their
clients’ systems ranged from small RS/6000 servers to large enterprise class virtualized POWER systems.
My responsibilities were:
Provide overall support and maintenance of operating systems and network configuration for
clients’ AIX systems ranging from POWER5 520, 550 and 570s.
Perform new software and hardware implementations.
Perform monthly hardware and operating system health checks and provide clients with the detail
report and analysis.
Provide onsite AIX 5.1 and 5.3 administration training for clients.
Provide internal training to junior team members.
Delivered a 5-day training course (AU14 AIX 5L System Administration) representing IBM Education
Australia in Wellington, NZ.
Mar 2004 – Sep 2004
Ingram Micro NZ
Auckland, NZ
Network Sales Specialist
Ingram Micro NZ is part of the world’s largest wholesale provider of technology products and services, and
carries a broad range of technology products including: system, networking, component, peripheral,
software and storage products.
My responsibilities were:
Provide pre-sales product recommendation to customers for a range of network brands.
Prepare hardware quotes.
Jun 2001 – Dec 2003
SOHO Systems
Auckland, NZ
Computer Technician
SOHO Systems is a Professional IT Support Services company for small to medium businesses.
My responsibilities were:
Manage clients’ IT systems on site and remotely.
Perform network and printer hardware installation and configuration.
Provide general PC hardware and software support including fixing and assembling new desktop
and server hardware.
Qualifications and Achievements
IAG Corporate Office RewardHelp Awards (Peer Nominated)
Achievement – May 2008, Sep 2008, May 2009
Doing a Great Job – Jul 2010
Helping Others (Assisting People) – Jul 2007, Feb 2008, Apr 2008, Jul 2008, Dec2009
Helping Others (Customer Support) – Dec 2007, Jul 2008, Nov 2009
2007 – 2010
IBM Certified Specialist pSeries Administration and Support for AIX 5L v5.2
ComTIA Linux+
ComTIA Network+
Operating Systems:
AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux
IBM System P, IBM PureFlex, IBM Hardware Management Console
IBM PowerVM, Virtual IO Server, Micro-Partitioning
FreeBSD Jails
Bourne, KSH93, Python
System maintenance and Automation:
AIX NIM, Ansible
Monitoring and Performance Tools:
Nagios, RRDtool, NMON, Xymon, ControlM
Backup and Restore:
TSM client, AIX mksysb, UNIX tools (tar, rsync)
Networking and Network Security:
TCP/IP Networking, Samba, NFS V3 & 4, Firewall configuration
System Security
Sudo configuration, Unix Permissions, NFS V4 ACL
Available on request