As I've noted previously, there are more newcomers to the AIX platform than you might imagine. A company may acquire an AIX system through a merger or replace an old Solaris or HP-UX box with a current IBM Power Systems model. As a result, one of their IT pros suddenly becomes the AIX guy. So, now what? How does an AIX newbie get up to speed with virtualization and AIX?
I've mentioned the QuickSheets and QuickStarts from William Favorite. I've also highlighted conferences, classes and free monthly user group meetings that you can look into. Recently though, I was pointed to this old IBM web page featuring various AIX learning resources. I call it old because some of the links no longer work, but what's still available is surprisingly useful.
Some of the material covers concepts from AIX 5.3, but even much of this information remains valid today. It's also nice that some of the links take you to current Redbook offerings and IBM training courses.
The working links cover:
* AIX security and migration (this is AIX 5.3 material)
* Virtualization introduction
* Systems Director
* Power Systems Redbooks (updated here)
* IT technical training
* IBM business partner training
* IBM professional certification
On a related note, I've always believed that the simplest thing employers can do to help their IT staff members get started with AIX or any operating system that's new to them is to invest in a small lab/sandbox machine and HMC.
I'm continually amazed to see companies spend big bucks on the latest hardware and software, but then neglect to foot the bill for additional test systems. It's great that some companies devote an LPAR or two to testing, but you can only do so much in that environment. (In addition, there can be pressure to repurpose virtual test labs into running other production workloads. Then before you know it, the production needs grow so critical that these LPARs are made offlimits to reboots and testing.)
With Windows and x86 Linux servers especially, it's relatively easy and cheap to get access to test machines. I also know of people who've purchased old Power hardware on eBay just to have something that they can run AIX on.
With actual test boxes, you can safely reboot servers, install firmware and upgrade operating systems without touching production. If you make a mistake on a test system, not only haven't you hurt anything, you've learned a valuable lesson.
How do you learn, and keep learning? How do you stay current with your skills? If your machine is happily running along and you have little need to touch it, how can you ever expect to be able to support the machine when an issue hits?