Tech Tip

Tech Tip: The POWER of IBM’s PowerVC

Written by Debi Riedel, Director of Technology Resources, Datatrend Technologies, Inc.

IBM PowerVCPowerVC is an IaaS cloud solution that is built on OpenStack project technology and designed to simplify the management of virtual resources in a Power systems environment. It uses the industry standard, open source community interfaces of OpenStack.

PowerVC resides between console-style interface tools and IBM SmartCloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering; tools such as:

  • IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC), a Linux® kernel using BusyBox that provides a standard interface for configuring and operating partitioned (also known as an LPAR or virtualized system) and SMP systems (such as Power).
  • IBM Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM), a browser-based tool that literally allows clients to point, click, and consolidate multiple virtual workloads onto one Power system without needing an appliance such as the HMC to manage LPARs on a single system.
  • The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an open source hypervisor that provides enterprise-class performance, scalability, and security to run Windows® and Linux workloads. KVM turns the Linux kernel into a bare-metal hypervisor that can access the hardware virtualization support built into processor hardware.

PowerVC brings the features of OpenStack APIs to Power cloud resource management.

PowerVC is designed to help users dynamically build an infrastructure that supports a Software Defined Environment (SDE) or a cloud infrastructure. Its interface supports management of RHEL, SLES, and AIX® operating systems on Power hardware by allowing you to register physical hosts, storage providers, and network resources with which you can deploy and capture virtual machines. Some of the tasks PowerVC helps with include:

  • Deploying images to create new virtual machines.
  • Resizing and attaching volumes to these new images.
  • Capturing the existing virtual machines.
  • Importing existing virtual machines and volumes so that they can be managed by IBM PowerVC.
  • Initiating start/stop/reboot/delete operations on created virtual machines or managed virtual machines.
  • Monitoring the utilization of the resources that are in your environment.
  • Supporting migration of virtual machines when they are running (or “hot migration”).

PowerVC automatically captures the following management information:

  • Existing host/hypervisor configuration, including VIOS partition information.
  • The CPU, memory, and I/O settings for the existing virtual machine definitions in a Power host.
  • The existing volume definitions in the supported storage controllers.
  • The existing zoning information in the supported SAN switches.

PowerVC lets you capture and manage a library of VM images, making it easier to quickly deploy a VM environment by launching a stored image of that environment instead of having to manually recreate a particular environment. By saving and centralizing virtual images, you can migrate the images around and quickly deploy applications on them.

You can also create groups of resources needed to support workloads.

IBM PowerVC is available in two editions:

  • IBM PowerVC Express Edition is for entry environments where virtual machine hosts are Power 7, Power 7+, and Power 8 systems managed by the IVM.
  • IBM PowerVC Standard Edition is for enterprise-class virtualization environments where virtual machine hosts are Power 6, Power 7, Power 7+, and Power 8 servers managed by the HMC and Power KVM.