PowerVC Standard Edition Version 1.2.2 is a significant update that significantly expands the storage support including Cisco SAN, IBM XIV and EMC storage devices. Based on the Juno release of OpenStack, PowerVC 1.2.2 planned general availability is December 12, 2014.
New storage support for PowerVM based systems
- Cisco SAN fabric
- IBM XIV storage devices
- EMC VMAX storage devices
- EMC VNX storage devices
- EMC PowerPath client support
- Classic vSCSI (SAN volume backed only, no local disks)
Limited support for storage devices and SAN fabrics has been one of the most significant issues blocking widespread adoption of PowerVC. The PowerVC engineering team worked with IBM storage teams to deliver new support for XIV storage and classic (Non-Shared Storage Pools) VSCSI devices The PowerVC team worked with the OpenStack community to integrate block storage Cinder drivers for Cisco SAN fabric and two classes of EMC storage devices.
The PowerVC engineering team intends to continue working with the community to integrate support for additional storage devices over time but we believe that the new storage devices supported in this release will address many of our client’s storage requirements.
Restrictions and Considerations for new storage support
As in all discussions of resource support, there are conditions and restrictions that you should be aware of for the new storage devices supported. PowerVC relies on the storage vendor provided OpenStack Cinder drivers. The vendor controls the overall requirements and restrictions for the drivers they contribute to OpenStack.
Cisco SAN fabric
We tested with Cisco NX-OS 6.2
IBM XIV storage devices
Only XIV Gen3 devices are supported
Already noted above, PowerVC only supports SAN backed disks (no local disks or LVM backed vSCSI devices. For vSCSI, the client must do the SAN zoning manually. PowerVC will allocate and manage the SAN LUNs automatically.
This support requires the use of an SMI-S provider which currently is only available on X86 platforms (See EMC web for full details). The PowerVC management server must have network connectivity to the server running the EMC SMI-S Solution Enabler server.
This support requires that the EMC Navisphere CLI be installed on the PowerVC management server. Since the Navisphere CLI is only available on X86 platform systems, the PowerVC management server must be installed on an X86 system.
The initial release of PowerVC Standard Edition V1.2.2 will support the use of EMC PowerPath in the managed client VM/LPARs. PowerVC V1.2.2 does not currently support the use of PowerPath in the VIOS.
Enhanced storage support for PowerVM based systems
- Export/Import virtual machine images between storage devices
- Multiple I/O Group support for SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
PowerVC 1.2.2 also eliminates two previous storage limitations. Frist, you can now move captured VM images between storage devices (import/export). For example, you could capture a VM image on a V7000 and import it into a XIV storage device. Second, clients now can use multiple I/O groups when using SVC or V7000 storage.
New managed clients (PowerVM)
- IBM i (Requires IBM i 7.1 TR7 or 7.2)
- RHEL 7 (Included in PowerVC 1.2.1 Fixpack 2)
PowerVC can manage IBM i clients on PowerVM based systems. Support for RHEL 7 as a “manage to” client was previously added in Fixpack 2 in August 2014. One additional clarification for AIX managed client support: PowerVC supports all levels of AIX 6 and AIX 7 regardless of the AIX Technology Level.
New managed clients (PowerKVM)
- SLES 12 (little endian)
- Ubuntu V14 (little endian)
PowerVC supports management of new, little endian Linux distributions. This support is only available on Linux only, POWER8 processor based systems that use the PowerKVM hypervisor
While the new storage and clients support are the most interesting features of PowerVC V1.2.2 for many clients, there are also some interesting functional enhancements.
- One-Click System Evacuation (aka Maintenance Mode)
- Add/Remove Virtual network interface (VNIC) after the initial VM deployment
- IP address pools
- Expanded auditing
- Third party supported OpenStack Drivers (Included in PowerVC 1.2.1 Fixpack 2)
The One-Click System Evacuation feature (also known as maintenance mode), allows an administrator to prepare for a planned outage by automatically relocating all virtual machines off of a physical server using a user specified placement policy. Alternatively, the administrator can put the physical server into maintenance mode to prevent the creation of new VMs on that physical server. This video demonstrates the One-Click System Evacuation capability: http://youtu.be/KjQhpSkuDLQ,
The add/remove VNIC capability allows administrator to add or remove network connections after deploying a virtual machine. Administrators sometimes must change the network configuration for virtual machines after they were deployed and this capability keeps PowerVC “in sync” with those changes.
The IP Pools feature allows the administrator to have PowerVC automatically assign the IP address for a new VM from a pool of eligible IP addresses as an alternative to specifying an individual IP address or relying on DHCP. This capability also allows administrators to reserve IP addresses within the pool to prevent PowerVC from using reserved addresses.
Auditing is now available for almost every PowerVC service including compute, network, storage, image, verification, and metering. (Keystone, the OpenStack identity service, does not yet support auditing). You can use auditing to identify which administrator took a particular action. See the powervc-audit command for more information.
Finally, as of PowerVC 1.2.1 Fixpack 2, administrators can register and use third-party supported OpenStack drivers for block storage that have not yet been tested or integrated by the PowerVC engineering team. Block storage support in OpenStack (aka Cinder) has been rapidly evolving; this capability makes it easier for clients who may wish to test new Cinder drivers. When using this capability, the OpenStack community provides all support for the drivers, not IBM.
As you can see, PowerVC Version 1.2.2 will address many clients’ requirement for additional storage support, especially for Cisco SAN fabrics. We expect this release of PowerVC allow many clients to start building Power Systems based clouds.
Full details in announcement letter at http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&appname=iSource&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS214-292