Implementing IBM Power Virtualization Center in Your Data Center

IBM Redbooks Solution Guide


Abstract

This IBM® Redbooks® Solution Guide describes IBM Power Virtualization Center (PowerVC), the next generation of enterprise virtualization management for IBM Power Systems™. PowerVC is designed to simplify the management of virtual resources in IBM Power Systems environments.

PowerVC has a powerful yet simple and intuitive GUI and a deep integration with IBM Power Virtualization Management (PowerVM®) virtualization technologies. PowerVC enables virtualization without limits for the IBM Power Systems family of servers running IBM AIX®, IBM i, or IBM PowerLinux™. This Solution Guide is intended for experienced users of PowerVM and other virtualization solutions.

Contents


This IBM® Redbooks® Solution Guide describes IBM Power Virtualization Center (PowerVC), the next generation of enterprise virtualization management for IBM Power Systems™. PowerVC is designed to simplify the management of virtual resources in IBM Power Systems environments.

PowerVC has a powerful yet simple and intuitive GUI and a deep integration with IBM Power Virtualization Management (PowerVM®) virtualization technologies. PowerVC enables virtualization without limits for the IBM Power Systems family of servers running IBM AIX®, IBM i, or IBM PowerLinux™. This Solution Guide is intended for experienced users of PowerVM and other virtualization solutions. The following figure indicates some of the significant features that are offered with PowerVC.

Meet your virtual environment needs with IBM PowerVC
Figure 1. Meet your virtual environment needs with IBM PowerVC


Did you know?

More than 70% of IT budgets is spent on operations and maintenance costs. With PowerVC, you can manage your virtual environment with little concern about your existing virtualization configurations while realizing reduced operations and maintenance costs, and unleashing innovation within IT departments. Both editions of PowerVC (PowerVC Express Edition and the PowerVC Standard Edition) can provide a virtualized environment that is adaptable to the changing needs of your organization.


Business value

PowerVC joins the PowerVM set of enterprise virtualization technologies to provide a virtualization management solution that is deeply integrated with IBM Power Systems. PowerVC is based on open standards and is a building block of IBM Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings based on IBM Power Systems.

Two editions of PowerVC

PowerVC is available in two editions:
  • PowerVC Express Edition: For managing small deployments using the IBM Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM), a browser-based tool from which you can point, click, and consolidate multiple workloads onto one IBM Power Systems system
  • PowerVC Standard Edition: For managing larger deployments using the IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC)
Environment and features

PowerVC can manage Linux on Power and AIX running on IBM POWER® hardware, including IBM Flex System™ POWER compute nodes. Here are the features and benefits of the PowerVC Express and Standard Editions:
  • Virtual Image capture, deployment, and management
  • Policy-based virtual machine (VM) placement to improve usage
  • Targeted VM placement for deployment to reduce complexity
  • Managing real-time optimization and VM resilience to increase productivity
  • VM Mobility with placement policies to reduce the burden on IT staff
  • A management system that manages existing PowerVM deployments
  • An open and extensible PowerVM management system that is adaptable and runs in parallel with existing infrastructure, preserving your investment
HMC benefits

HMC is a critical component for managing your IBM Power Systems hardware infrastructure. Similarly, PowerVC can become a critical component as well, bringing the following benefits to your PowerVM virtualization infrastructure:
  • A management solution for all PowerVM virtualization users
  • Increased resource usage
  • Improved workload management for performance and availability
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs
  • Effective and efficient management of the advanced features that are offered by IBM Power Systems premium hardware

Steps for configuring your storage area network (SAN) and network on PowerVC are explained in IBM PowerVC Introduction and Configuration, SG248199. (For a link to this book, see the "Related information" section in this Solution Guide.) After the storage controllers and switches are accessible, PowerVC Standard Edition does the following tasks:
  • Collects inventory on Fibre Channel (FC) fabric.
  • Collects inventory on storage devices (pools and volumes).
  • Monitors for health.
  • Detects misconfigurations.
  • Manages zoning.
  • Manages logical unit numbers (LUNs) on storage devices.
  • Manages masking of LUNs on storage devices.
  • Manages snapshots on storage devices.
  • Manages LUN copy operations on storage devices.
Note: PowerVC Express Edition manages storage controllers, but does not manage SAN switches.


Solution overview

This Solution Guide offers product information about both editions of PowerVC. Consider which edition might serve the critical business needs in your environment. This section begins with an overview of each edition and the components that make each product unique.

PowerVC Express Edition

PowerVC Express Edition is intended for organizations that are entering the virtualization arena, in which the VM hosts are IBM POWER7® or IBM POWER7+™ based IBM Power Systems Express servers that are managed by IVM.

On this system, only a single Virtual I/O Server per host is supported for accessing storage that can be deployed as SANs, local storage, or a combination of these items. Here is the supported hardware:
  • IBM Storwize® V3700
  • IBM Storwize V7000
  • IBM SAN Volume Controller
  • IVM local storage

PowerVC Standard Edition

PowerVC Standard Edition is intended for enterprise class virtualization environments where VM hosts are IBM POWER6®, POWER7, and POWER7+ based IBM Power Systems servers that are managed by HMC.

Dual Virtual I/O Servers per host are supported for accessing storage and network. VMs can also use N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) attached storage. Here is the supported hardware:
  • IBM Storwize V3700
  • IBM Storwize V7000
  • IBM SAN Volume Controller

Powered by OpenStack

PowerVC is powered by open source OpenStack from the OpenStack Foundation. OpenStack is software that controls large pools of server, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center. PowerVC and OpenStack work in concert to lead your data center toward higher efficiencies.

For more information about the OpenStack modular architecture, see IBM PowerVC Introduction and Configuration, SG24-8199 and the website at http://www.openstack.org.

IBM Platform Enterprise Grid Orchestrator (EGO) and OpenStack

PowerVC uses IBM Platform Enterprise Grid Orchestrator (EGO) to extend the OpenStack set of technologies in to IBM Power Systems environments. EGO incorporates enhanced security, intelligent placement of VMs, and other advanced policy-based features that are required for enterprise-level clouds. EGO is a proven technology that is used in grid and scaled-out environments by more than 2000 IBM clients. Its open, extensible architecture supports reservations, energy-aware, over-subscription, and user-defined policies.

Simple to manage

PowerVC is designed to simplify the management of virtual resources in your Power Systems environment. The PowerVC no-menus interface guides you through three simple configuration steps to register physical hosts, storage providers, and network resources to start capturing and intelligently deploying your virtual machines, among the other tasks that are shown in the following list:
  • Create virtual machines and then resize and attach volumes to them.
  • Import existing virtual machines and volumes so they can be managed by IBM PowerVC.
  • Monitor the usage of the resources that are in your environment.
  • Migrate virtual machines while they are running (hot migration).
  • Deploy images quickly to create virtual machines that meet the demands of your ever-changing business needs.


Solution architecture

Why is there another virtualization management offering? IBM designed PowerVC to give IBM Power Systems customers virtualization management in which nearly all pre-existing virtualization configurations can act as the starting point.

PowerVC sits between the HMC and the IBM SmartCloud® Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. In this way, it provides a systems management product that our enterprise customers require to perform the following tasks:
  • Effectively manage the advanced features that are offered by our premium hardware
  • Drive up resource usage and manage workloads for performance and availability

The following figure shows a graphic representation of the technology behind PowerVC.

PowerVC technology overview
Figure 1. PowerVC technology overview

For more information, see IBM PowerVC Introduction and Configuration, SG24-8199.

Storage access in PowerVC Express Edition

PowerVC Express Edition uses virtual Internet small computer system interface (vSCSI) for access to storage.

Here is a description of the flow of storage management from physical storage LUNs to VMs in the PowerVC Express Edition:
  • LUNs are provisioned on a supported storage controller.
  • LUNs are masked to IVM FC ports and are discovered as hard disk logical devices in the IVM.
  • LUNs are mapped from IVM to VMs over the vSCSI virtual adapter pair.

This process is performed automatically by PowerVC Express Edition. No zoning is involved because individual VMs do not access physical LUNs directly over the SAN.

The following figure shows how VMs in the PowerVC Express Edition access storage.

PowerVC Express Edition storage access flow
Figure 2. PowerVC Express Edition storage access flow

Storage access in PowerVC Standard Edition

Here is a description of the flow of storage management from physical storage LUNs to VMs in the PowerVC Standard Edition:
  • Access to SAN from VMs is configured on Virtual I/O Servers using FC adapter pair and NPIV.
  • LUNs are provisioned on a supported storage controller.
  • LUNs are masked to VM virtual FC ports.
  • SAN zoning is adjusted so that VMs have access from their virtual FC ports to the storage controller host ports. Changes in zoning are done automatically by PowerVC Standard Edition because individual VMs access physical LUNs directly over SAN.
  • LUNs are discovered as logical devices in the VMs

These steps are performed automatically by PowerVC Standard Edition.

The following figure shows how VMs in PowerVC Standard Edition access storage.

PowerVC Standard Edition storage access flow
Figure 3. PowerVC Standard Edition storage access flow


Usage scenarios

This section describes two scenarios: one for PowerVC Express Edition, and one for PowerVC Standard Edition. For each scenario, there is a description of the hardware and software requirements.

During installation and configuration in an IBM lab environment, some roadblocks were faced and addressed. We share these roadblocks with you in IBM PowerVC Introduction and Configuration, SG24-8199, which also lists the components that were used during the installation and setup of PowerVC Express Edition.

PowerVC Express Edition

PowerVC Express Edition is intended for environments that are entering the virtualization arena, and where the VM hosts are POWER7 or POWER7+ based IBM Power Systems Express servers that are managed by IVM.

The information in this section provides a consolidated view of the hardware and software requirements for your PowerVC Express Edition environment.

Management and managed hosts

The following tables describe the hardware, software, and minimum requirements for PowerVC Express Edition.

Table 1. Hardware and OS support for PowerVC Express Edition host
Host typeSupported hardwareSupported OSs
PowerVC management hostIBM Power processor-based models:
  • IBM PowerLinux 7R1 and PowerLinux 7R2 servers
  • POWER7 and POWER7+ servers
  • IBM System x® servers that meet the following minimum requirements: Processors - Intel or AMD x64 processors with 2 or more logical cores and a speed of 2 GHz, 10 GB memory, and a 40 GB hard disk
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Version 6.4 or later for IBM Power or x86_64
Managed hosts
  • PowerLinux 7R1 and PowerLinux 7R2 servers
  • POWER7 and POWER7+ servers

Note: Managed hosts must be IBM PowerLinux, POWER6, POWER7, or POWER7+ models and not a combination of these systems.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 and 6.4 or later
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Version 11 SP3 or later
  • AIX V6.1 TL9 or later and AIX V7.1 TL3 or later

Table 2. Minimum resource requirements for PowerVC Express Edition VMs
System resourceAmount
Processors
  • Minimum: An uncapped shared processor VM with 1.0 processor unit of entitled processing capacity and 2 virtual processors.
  • Suggest one of the following: An uncapped shared processor VM with a minimum of 2.0 processor units of entitled processing capacity and 2 virtual processors.
  • A VM with 2 dedicated processors.
Memory10 GB
Hard disk
  • 40 GB for SAN storage
  • 60 GB for local storage
Tip: You must temporarily store International Organization for Standardization (ISO) images before you import them into PowerVC. If you plan to store them temporarily on your PowerVC VM, then you might need to create the VM with more than the minimum 40 or 60 GB of hard disk drive space. Choose the size based on the number and size of the ISO images that you plan to import.

In addition, all hosts must have FC cards that are suitable for connecting to the SAN switches.

Virtualization platform

The following table includes the virtualization platform version requirement for the PowerVC Express Edition.

Table 3. Supported virtualization platforms for PowerVC Express Edition
PlatformRequirement
Virtual I/O ServerVersion 2.2.2.1 or later

Network resources

The following table describes the network infrastructure that is supported by PowerVC Express Edition.

Table 4. Supported network resources for PowerVC Express Edition
ItemRequirement
Network switches that are supported by PowerVC Any entry level IBM or Cisco switch that supports VLAN tagging

Storage providers

The following table shows the hardware that is supported by PowerVC Express Edition.

Table 5. Supported hardware for PowerVC Express Edition
ItemRequirement
Storage systems that can be managed by PowerVC.Version 6.4 or later of IBM Storwize V3500 (China only), V3700, and V7000, and SAN Volume Controller
SAN switches that are supported by PowerVCIBM System Networking SAN24B-5
Note: PowerVC Express Edition does not manage network switches, but supports network configurations that use virtual LAN (VLAN)-capable switches. PowerVC Standard Edition does support the management of SAN switches.

PowerVC Standard Edition

PowerVC Standard Edition is designed for enterprise class virtualization environments where VMs are hosted on IBM Power Systems servers that are managed by the HMC.

PowerVC Standard Edition integrates with any IBM system that includes a POWER6, POWER7, or POWER7+ processor on a Power System or IBM PureFlex™ System Foundation (built to order) that is managed through HMC.

Management and managed hosts

The following tables describe the hardware, software, and minimum requirements for PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 6. Hardware and OS support for PowerVC Standard Edition host
Host typeSupported hardwareSupported operating systems
PowerVC management hostIBM Power processor-based models:
  • POWER7 and POWER7+ processor-based blades
  • Flex System on IBM Power Architecture® compute nodes

IBM System x servers that meet the following minimum requirements:
  • Intel or AMD x64 processors with 2 or more logical cores and a speed of 2 GHz, 10 GB memory, and 40 GB hard disk
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Version 6.4 or later for IBM Power or x86_64
Managed hosts
  • POWER6, IBM POWER6+™, POWER7, and POWER7+ processor-based servers
  • POWER6 and POWER7 processor-based blades.
  • Flex System Power Architecture compute nodes
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 and 6.4 or later
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Version 11 SP3 or later
  • AIX V6.1 TL9 or later and Version 7.1 TL3 or later
Tip: As a preferred practice, the PowerVC management host should have at least 200 maximum virtual adapters that are configured on each virtual input server.

Table 7. Minimum resource requirements for PowerVC Standard Edition VMs
System resourceIBM Power SystemsIBM System x
Processors
  • Minimum: An uncapped shared processor VM with 1.0 processor unit of entitled processing capacity and 2 virtual processors

As a preferred practice, use one of the following options:
  • An uncapped shared processor VM with a minimum of 2.0 processor units of entitled processing capacity and 2 virtual processors
  • A VM with 2 dedicated processors
Intel or AMD x64 with two or more logical cores each and a speed of 2 GHz
Memory10 GB10 GB
Hard disk40 GB40 GB

Hardware Management Console (HMC)

The following table shows the HMC version and release requirements to support PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 8. HMC requirements for PowerVC Standard Edition
ItemRequirement
Software levelVersion 7.7.8 or later

Virtualization platform

The following table lists the Virtual I/O version requirement for PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 9. Supported virtualization platforms for PowerVC Standard Edition
PlatformRequirement
Virtual I/O ServerVersion 2.2.3 or later

Network resources

The following table describes the network infrastructure that is supported by PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 10. Supported network resources for PowerVC Standard Edition
ItemRequirement
Network switchesPowerVC does not manage network switches, but supports network configurations that use VLAN-capable switches.
Virtual networksSupports shared Ethernet adapters for VM networking.

Storage providers

The following table shows the hardware that is supported by PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 11. Supported storage hardware for PowerVC Standard Edition
ItemRequirement
Storage systemsVersion 6.4 or later of IBM Storwize V3500 (China only), V3700, V7000, and SAN Volume Controller.
SAN switchesCan manage the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 and SAN48B-5 switches.
AttachmentsNPIV-capable FC is required for storage controllers. Internet small computer system interface (iSCSI) is not supported.

Security

The following table lists the security features that are supported by PowerVC Standard Edition.

Table 12. Supported security software for PowerVC Standard Edition
ItemRequirement
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server (optional)All versions of OpenLDAP


Integration

The following table shows the available set of platform and virtualization management solutions for IBM Power Systems when they are used as the foundation for IBM SmartCloud solutions that integrate PowerVM.

Table 13. IBM Power Systems VM solutions
OfferingSolutionFunctions
SmartCloudCloud management
  • User self-service provisioning
  • Service catalog with virtual systems and applications
  • Subscriber and account management (multi-tenancy)
  • Delivered as IBM SmartCloud Entry, IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, and IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator solutions
PowerVC IBM Power Systems virtualization management
  • Leadership solution for PowerVM
  • Intelligent virtual image management and deployment
  • Resource pooling and dynamic virtual management placement
  • Ongoing optimization and VM resilience
HMCIBM Power platform management
  • PowerVM configuration and virtualization setup
  • Hardware and firmware configuration and controls
  • Service, support, and update management

For more integration specifics, see the "Usage scenarios" section in this Solution Guide, where the following integration components for the two scenarios are listed:
  • PowerVC Express Edition:
    • Management and managed hosts
    • Virtualization platform
    • Network resources
    • Storage providers
  • PowerVC Standard Edition
    • Management and managed hosts
    • HMC
    • Virtualization platform
    • Network resources
    • Storage providers
    • Security


Supported platforms

The following are key prerequisites for PowerVC:
  • PowerVM Standard Edition (5765-PVS): Basic function
  • PowerVM Enterprise Edition (5765-PVE): Full function


Ordering information

Orders may be placed by using the e-config application online, which is available at http://www.ibm.com/services/econfig. For new orders, select the type, model, and features from the following tables. The following tables list the feature numbers for ordering the PowerVC editions.

Table 14. 5765-VCX - PowerVC Express Edition V1.2
DescriptionFeature number
Per processor - Power 750 and below, with PureFlex Power nodes and 1 year Software Maintenance Agreement0002

Table 15. 5765-VCS - PowerVC Standard Edition V1.2
DescriptionFeature number
Per processor - Power 750 (and below) with PureFlex Power nodes and 1 year Software Maintenance Agreement0003
Per processor - Power 770 with 1 year Software Maintenance Agreement0002
Upgrade Power 750 (and below) to Power 7700006
Per processor - Power 780 or Power 795 with 1 year Software Maintenance Agreement0001
Upgrade Power 750 (and below) to Power 780 or Power 7950005
Upgrade Power 770 to Power 780 or Power 7950004
Upgrade from 5765-VCX0009

For more ordering information, see the "Related information" section of this Solution Guide. 5765-VCS - PowerVC Standard Edition V1.2 (sales manual) contains an IBM Offering Information page that might be of interest.


Related information

For more information about the products, technologies, and processes that are described in this Solution Guide, see the following resources:

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment. publib-b.boulder.ibm.com

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Publish Date
15 January 2014


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