What’s new in PowerVC Standard Edition Version 1.2.3

PowerVC_1.2.3

The first PowerVC release in 2015 includes new capabilities for more sophisticated management of enterprise Power environments. It includes new features for managing groups of servers, improved automated placement of virtual machines, enhanced storage support and the capability to restart VMs that were on a failed server.

Based on the “Kilo” OpenStack release, the planned general availability for PowerVC V1.2.3 is June 12, 2015.

Enhanced storage support

The latest version PowerVC has a number of enhancements to give you more flexibility to configure and manage storage.

Multiple disk capture/deploy

You can now capture and deploy multiple volumes with PowerVC. For example, you could capture a boot disk, and then deploy the boot disk with data volumes from VM2 and VM3. You can capture boot and data volumes separately and deploy them together. Volumes do not have to reside on the same storage devices and PowerVC can discover and import multiple volumes when importing existing VMs.

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Multiple disk capture and deploy

Multiple disk capture and deploy

Share storage volumes between VMs

You can configure PowerVC to share a storage volume between two virtual machines to support high availability solutions that require shared disks.

SVC Mirroring

PowerVC now supports synchronous mirroring of SAN Volume Controller (SVC) volumes. You must define two storage pools in your SVC environment prior to creation of the new volume. You can use the SVC management console to add mirrors to existing SVC volumes.

IBM SDDPCM and EMC PowerPath in VIOS

PowerVC supports the use of IBM SDDPCM and EMC PowerPath multipathing software in the PowerVM Virtual I/O Server. Each VIOS can only use a single type of multipathing software.

Description field for captured VM volumes

You can now add a description to each captured storage volume. Clients used the PowerVC Request for Enhancement tool at https://ibm.biz/PowerVCRFE to request this feature.

Description field

Description field

New managed clients supported (PowerVM)

PowerVC now supports new, little endian distributions of Linux under PowerVM on POWER8 processor-based systems. Please see the PowerVM announcement for additional requirements such as firmware level and patches.

  • RHEL 7.1 (LE)
  • SLES 12 (LE)
  • Ubuntu V15.04 (LE)

RHEL 7.1 for PowerVC management server

The PowerVC 1.2.3 management server now requires Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 7.1. The move from RHEL 6 was required due to the Red Hat lifecycle. The PowerVC management server can run on X86 based systems or on big endian or little endian editions of RHEL 7.1 on Power Systems.

Host groups

Collections of physical hosts can be grouped together to focus management operations such as deployment on a subset of the hosts managed by PowerVC. Each group can have a unique placement policy like packing or striping.

PowerVC Host Groups

Host Groups

Advanced placement policies

The scheduler component of PowerVC now supports more sophisticated automated placement of VMs during initial placement and during relocation in addition to the “Packing” and “Striping” previously available. The PowerVC scheduler now considers the different amount of processing and memory capacity provided by different models of Power Systems servers.

CPU Balance placement

Using the CPU Balance option places VMs on the physical host with the largest amount of free CPU capacity.

Memory Balance placement

Using the Memory Balance option places VMs on the host with largest amount of free memory capacity.

CPU Usage placement

Using the CPU Usage option places VMs on the host with the lowest historical CPU usage. The usage is the average CPU usage measured every minute over the last 15 minutes.

PowerVC Advanced Placement Policies

Advanced Placement Policies

Virtual machine affinity and anti-affinity

Sometimes you must consider the relationship between virtual machines when deploying or relocating VMs.

Affinity

VMs with Affinity are deployed to the same physical host. For example, an application server VM and a web front end VM are placed on the same host to minimize communications latency.

Anti-affinity

VMs with Anti-affinity are deployed to different physical hosts. This eliminates the physical host as a single point of failure for the application.

Virtual Machine Affinity and Anti-affinity

Virtual Machine Affinity and Anti-affinity

Redundant HMC support

PowerVC now supports redundant Power Hardware Management Consoles (HMC) to avoid a single point of failure when managing PowerVM environments. The PowerVC administrator must initiate the switchover between the redundant HMCs.

Cloud-init support for AIX 6 & AIX 7 clients

PowerVC worked with the AIX engineering team to deliver cloud-init image activation for AIX VMs. Image activation is the process that automatically runs when a new VM image is deployed to customize the VM instance. For example, you can use it to set the hostname, networking configuration, and SSH keys.

Cloud-init has become the de facto standard for activation in OpenStack. It offers more capability than the VSAE activation engine that previously was the only choice for AIX activation. The AIX team will deliver the cloud-init open source software via the AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications web page at https://ibm.biz/aixtoolboxc

Administrator Initiated Remote VM Restart (POWER8 only)

PowerVC V1.2.3 supports the simplified remote restart of VMs on POWER8 processor-based systems. Remote VM Restart allows VMs running on a host which unexpectedly fails to restart on hosts within the host group. The PowerVC administrator must initiate restart of VMs on a failed host.

Remote Restart

Remote Restart

PowerVC Express Edition withdrawn

PowerVC Express Edition and PowerVC Base Edition were withdrawn from marketing in April 2015.

These two editions were primarily stepping-stones to PowerVC Standard Edition. PowerVC Express Edition only worked with Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) managed systems. PowerVC Base Edition was an early edition of PowerVC that was only available in China.

While both of these editions were important to the evolution of PowerVC Standard Edition, they are not relevant to our core enterprise customers, who use the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or PowerKVM to manage virtualized Power servers.

IBM plans to continue offering and enhancing PowerVC Standard Edition.

Scaling to 30 servers and 3000 VMs

PowerVC continues to improve the number of hosts and number of virtual machines it can manage.

Link to the official announcement letter

Summary

The PowerVC engineering team has delivered a lot of new functionality in this release of PowerVC. Many of these features are the result of feedback and formal requests from clients like you. The PowerVC team welcomes your feedback and participation on our LinkedIn group https://ibm.biz/powervclink, on our Facebook page https://ibm.biz/powervcface and on DeveloperWorks https://ibm.biz/smcpowervc

Look for new articles on PowerVC 1.2.3 features in these groups and on our YouTube channel http://ibm.biz/powervcyoutube in the coming weeks.

Jay

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About Jay Kruemcke

Jay has had more than twenty years of experience in the information technology industry. Starting from a rather humble beginning at IBM, Jay became a mainframe systems support programmer. Eventually Jay joined the AIX operating systems development team early in that product's development. Jay leveraged technical skills that he built in systems management to establish himself as a member of the IBM Austin Executive Briefing Center. His expertise in systems management with the SAP ERP system enabled his first product management role, as the owner of the Tivoli management product for SAP. Over the next three years he established that product as a success with the help of a strong development team. Jay returned to AIX in a product management position initially focusing on managing new requirements for the AIX operating system. Jay established himself as a subject manager expert in AIX and Power Systems virtualization and became a frequent guest at conferences around the world. Jay succumbed to the dark side and spent four years in IBM marketing in which he introduced AIX version 6 and AIX version 7 and many product innovations including the first every open beta program for an AIX release and a significant restructuring of the AIX offering structure and prices. Jay was part of the cloud software development organization and and focused on managing development engagements for clients deploying clouds using Power Systems servers with PowerVC and related products. In March of 2016, Jay retired from IBM and started in a new role as a product manager for SUSE, the Open Software company. Jay new focus is on enterprise Linux for POWER and ARM processor based systems. The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of my employer. Follow me on twitter @mr_sles, @cloudrancher and @chromeaix.
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One Response to What’s new in PowerVC Standard Edition Version 1.2.3

  1. Udo Sachs says:

    Thanks for the excellent summary !
    🙂 Udo Sachs (SVA)

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