Company assessment

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Virtualization Company Level Assessment

  • Change control: Version 8, 21st December, 2006 - Added Spreadsheet version, Third Review and Updates Completed, Fourth review completed.
  • Get Involved: Feel free to leave a suggestion or comments at the bottom of the page and click on "Comments". Alternatively, send email to: n a g at u k . i b m . c o m
  • Assessment Goal: "This assessment is intended to identify your readiness to implement Virtualization solutions (in particular APV), idendify areas that need more focus and to help understand what IBM or Business Partner can do to help."
  • Notes:
    • IBM Advanced POWER Virtualization is often abbreviated as APV.
    • The IBM System p computer range was previously called pSeries.
    • Although POWER4 based machines can do some virtualization, this assessment in primarily concerned with POWER5 and POWER5+ based machines.

Introduction

This Virtualization Company Level Assessment Wiki page is aimed at letting you quickly decide:

  • Do you understand computer virtualization concepts and terms?
  • Are you capable of running a Virtualized environment?
  • How ready your company is for Advanced Power Virtualization (APV)? - i.e. the virtualization on the System p and POWER5 based machine range
  • How far along the road of implementing APV you are currently?
  • How close you are to getting the full benefits from virtualization?
  • What areas, aspects and technology that might need additional focus to make improvements by way of an action plan?

These assessments can be performed by:

  • Directly by an IBM customer to understand areas needing improvements or support,
  • IBM Field Technical Sales Specialist (FTSS) learning about customer strategy and skill levels,
  • IBM Solution Designers or Consultants preparing a virtualization solution and needing to understand the current environment,
  • IBM Global Services to identify areas where services or education will make the biggest difference,
  • IBM Business Partners - performing any of the tasks above.

Why Wiki format?

  • The advantage of making these questions available to everyone via this Wiki page is that you can rate your own company or group at any time plus you can provide feedback to improve the assessment by either editing this Wiki page or by adding a comment (see the very bottom of the page and click on "Comment").

Briefly:

  • The Assessment is performed by answering roughly 90 questions but don't let this put you off!! All of these questions have a simple "yes" or "no" answers and should not take more than a few seconds each. It is estimated that it would take 20 to 30 minutes to complete the Assessment. Some questions refer you to high level Web documents that you are recommended to read or at least be aware of them. Reading these would take, of course, extra time. It must be highlighted that this Assessment is also aimed at building a list of actions which can be used to improve your use of virtualization in the short term - this may actually be more important than finding your ratings.

You will end up with a rating level for the 5 stages of implementing APV. The stages and levels are detailed below:

 

Stage Description
1 Readiness before starting Virtualization
2 Virtualization Background
3 Virtualization APV Product Information
4 Basic Virtualization with a) a HMC or b) IVM
5 Advanced Virtualization with a HMC including Dual VIO Server

Note: There are two alternatives for Stage 4 depending on whether you are using the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or the Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) method to control the Logical Partitions.

Level Description and Suggestions
none Probably just starting out, some background reading is needed, details of APV need to be explored or you have not yet implemented many APV features that might be very beneficial.
Bronze Made a start: further work and time is needed to prepare for virtualization or to move beyond the basic set of features to maximumise the flexibility and cost savings.
Silver Good work: a little extra work or implementing further features is needed to get the full benefits and pay back - the "no" answers are a good action list of areas to consider.
Gold Well done: ready and able to implement or already making good use of APV - any "no" answers are just suggestions you may consider investigating.

Note:

  • See the bottom of this Wiki page for hints and tips to improve your score.
  • Level is determined via the simple scoring system of counting the yes answers and comparing the total to a little table at the end of each section.

Virtualization Company Assessment Questionnaire Results

We suggest three ways to fill in this Assessment:

  1. Print out this page, you can then mark up your answers and start building an action plan for improvements.
  2. Keep some notes as you go and write your own action plan for improvements.
  3. Download this very simple spread sheet Company_Virtualization_Assessment_Questionnaire_v8.xls in Excel 2002 format,





    to record your score,and calculate the ratings and document/save your action plan for improvements.

If you print this page out use, the below as a summary:

 

Stage Stage Details Stage Score Level Reached i.e.

none

Bronze

Silver

Gold
Action Plan Items for Further Improvement
1 Readiness before starting Virtualization    
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
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  5.  
2 Virtualization Background    
  1.  
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  4.  
  5.  
3 Virtualization APV Product Information    
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  
4 Basic Virtualization with a) a HMC or b) IVM    
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  
5 Advanced Virtualization with a HMC    
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

Hopefully, a later re-assessment, say in 3, 6 or 12 months time, should reveal progressed toward effective use of virtualization and suggest other opportunities for improvement.

One last point - there is no point in lying or fibbing in the answers you give or stretching the truth. This would make the assessment pointless.

Company Assessment Questionnaire

Company Assessment Stage 1 - Readiness before starting Virtualization

This section highlights that for successful virtualization you need to be running systems in a professional manner. The introduction of Virtualization can also be viewed as an opportunity to further develop architecture, solution design defaults and systems administration skills and to re-evaluate certain administration processes. For example, the one application equals one box is a simple but expensive design. Resource sharing and harvesting under used resources saves money and saves implementation staff time. The Virtual I/O Server can reduce setup time, if you plan ahead and you don't need further network cabling but you do need IP addresses. This may mean some IT processes will need to be reviewed. To get the best out of virtualization, running out-of-date software, operating system versions and firmware is not an option!

Scoring:

  • Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.
  • Once you have completed this section total your "yes" answers and use the table at the end to award yourself a level.

Assessment questions:

  • 1. Have you or your technical team got 2 years or more hands-on AIX or Linux Systems Administration expertise?
  • 2. Do you regularly have experience of installing AIX or Linux?
  • 3. Do you install AIX via a NIM Server or Linux via a Network Installer?
  • 4. Do you download and install AIX maintenance levels or Linux updates/service packs at least once a year)?
  • 5. Do you download and update your machine firmware and adapter firmware at least once a year?
  • 6. Is your "standard build" AIX 5.3 ML3 or higher or Red Hat 4 update 3 or SUSE SLES 9 service pack 3?
  • 7. Have you paid for a UNIX or Linux support contract and know how to make immediate support requests and the procedure?
  • 8. Do you have clearly documented escalation processes?
  • 9. Do you have clearly documented change control procedures?
  • 10. Do you test updates before including them in production machines?
  • 11. Do you have full backup and disaster recovery plans that have been tested this year?

Bonus points:

  • 12. Do you already run any POWER4 or POWER5 based machines?
  • 13. Do you already use a HMC and Logical Partitions (LPAR)?
  • 14. Have you booked three or more people on AIX or Linux system administration, performance tuning, LPAR or virtualization education in the past year?
  • 15. Do you encourage employees to read Systems Administration books like the IBM Redbooks or other books such as those from O'Reilly?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 none Perhaps you are very new to System p, AIX and/or Linux on POWER. Every one has to start at some time. There is excellent routes to improve including education, IBM Redbooks and the AIX Manuals. Perhaps a small system for systems administration practice would allow the development of hands-on skills at low risk. The alternative is taking IBM Global Services or IBM Business Partner Services people to fill the gap and provide skills transfer on the job to your staff.
6 to 8 Bronze Make a note of the questions you answered "no". Divide these into two types: Easy and Harder. For the Easy ones, develop plans to correct these immediately. For the harder ones, seek advice, check best practice in the industry and perhaps short duration services to address these specific areas or develop procedures. This could all be improved in a couple weeks.
9 to 11 Silver You are well on the way, make a note of the holes ("no" answers) and make plans to improve these areas soon. Start planning for implementing Virtualization.
12+ Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization as you have the experience, practice and processes.

Company Assessment Stage 2 - Virtualization Background

This section is to establish whether your company understands the general principles, background understanding of Virtualization and has clear expectations of what the goals are for implementing this technology.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.

  • 1. Can you explain why the IT industry is so excited about virtualization in 5 minutes or 300 words?
  • 2. Have you a written description of the computing resources that you intend to Virtualize?
  • 3. Have you a clear statement of what you aim to achieve with the introduction on Virtualization technology?
  • 4. What is the problem or "pain points" you are addressing with Virtualization?
  • 5. Can you state how Virtualization saves money?
  • 6. Can you state how Virtualization saves time?
  • 7. Can you state how Virtualization increases flexibility?
  • 8. Can you state how Virtualization reduces time to market i.e. a rapid response to new requirements?
  • 9. Have you a list of what is not expected to change with the adoption of Virtualization?
  • 10. Have you defined your expectations of the time to a) implement, 2) test, 3) get into production with this new technology?
  • 11. Have you made an assessment of alternative Virtualization technologies and understand their strengths and weaknesses?
  • 12. Have you costed the non-Virtualization option?
  • 13 - 15. Have you researched Virtualization and read the following the Virtualization papers below (up to three points)
    1. The Business Case for IBM System p5 Virtualization-(Link) ?
    2. Server Partitioning Unplugged - What Businesses Need to Know About IBM System p LPAR solutions-(Link) ?
    3. Online article The POWER Behind Virtualization (Link)?
    4. IBM Systems Magazine article "Virtual Explanation"-(Link)?
    5. IBM Systems Magazine article "A Powerful Direction"-(Link)?
  • 16 - 17. Have you read two or more of the sixteen Virtualization Case Studies at (Link) ? (up to two points)
  • 18. Does your CIO or Directors have Virtualization on their agenda?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 none We recommend some more research on the industry trends toward Virtualization and why its important for reduced IT costs, reduced reaction time to changing needs and increasing in flexibility, Perhaps a good start is a briefing from IBM or an IBM Business Partner to lay out the ground work or a Services lead project/report in making use of Virtualization in your organisation. The questions include links to some excellent IBM reference material.
6 to 9 Bronze Carry on reading up in this subject area, applying the Virtualization features to your environment and in particular to improved cost savings, speed of implementation and flexibility. You may be thinking of ways to remove "pain points" in your IT service. As a rough guide this may take as little as a few weeks to think through and document an outline - you might like to cross check this with an IBM or an IBM Business Partner Virtualization consultant.
10 to 14 Silver You are well on the way, we recommend further reading all the links in the questions and/or documenting your goals and Virtualisation plans.
15+ Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization as you understand the benefits of this technology and how you want to apply them.

Company Assessment Stage 3 - Virtualization APV Product Information

This section is to establish that you are ready to implement System p specific details and solution design tasks before the hardware arrives.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.

  • 1. Has three or more management level people attended a Virtualization or APV briefing from IBM or an IBM Business Partner?
  • 2. Has three or more technical level people attended a Virtualization or APV briefing from IBM or an IBM Business Partner?
  • 3. Does your technical staff have ready access to IBM Redbooks and in particular:
    • APV: Introduction - SG247940 (Link)?
    • APV: Architecture & Performance Considerations - SG245768 (Link)?
    • APV Best Practices (Link)?
    • Effective System Management Using the IBM Hardware Management Console for pSeries - SG247038 (Link)?
    • Virtual I/O Server Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) (Link)?
  • 4 - 11. Do your technical team understanding the following terms and can describe them? (up to 7 points)
    • Dedicated or Shared Processor LPAR?
    • Entitlement, Capped, Weight factor?
    • Virtual Processor?
    • SMT and Logical Processors?
    • Virtual I/O Server?
    • PLM?
    • Dynamic LPAR?
    • HMC?
    • Hypervisor?
  • 12. Can you list the components that come with the APV package?
  • 13. Has your technical team seen, understood and discussed the Virtual I/O Server datasheet (hardware list, software levels, end-to-end solutions) (Link)?
  • 14 - 16. Have your staff attended the following IBM Training Instructor-Lead Classes (up tp 3 points):
    • Q1373 (AU73) Logical Partitioning (LPAR) and Virtualization on System p POWER5 Systems
      • Learn the skills needed to become an effective administrator on IBM's System p POWER5-based systems that support Logical Partitioning (LPAR). Learn about the features of Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV) and how to configure and manage LPARs running AIX 5L or Linux using the Hardware Management Console (HMC).
    • Q1375 (AU75) AIX 5L Virtualization Performance Management
      • Learn advanced skills to measure, analyze, and tune AIX 5L subsystems for optimal performance on the IBM POWER5 processor-based systems. Focus on the features that relate to the special monitoring, configuring, performance management, and tuning needs of AIX 5L logical partitions (LPAR).
    • Q1378 (AU78) APV Implementation and Best Practices
      • Learn advanced skills to plan, set up, and implement basic and advanced configurations of the Virtual Input/Output (VIO) Server and its clients including high available solutions when using the Advanced Power Virtualization features on IBM System p5 systems. Learn about the supported high available Virtual Small Computer System Interface (VSCSI) and Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN) configurations and gives the students the opportunity to implement and test some of those solutions.

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 5 none Advanced POWER Virtualization has many powerful and advanced features that have to be understood before implementing and it is important to get a good grounding in these before proceeding. Perhaps a good start is a technical briefing from IBM or an IBM Business Partner into detail the facts and features of APV. A further option that may be available is a demonstration of APV (this may involve travelling to IBM location or the Business Partners demo facilities). An alternative is a pre-caned demo movie on APV that is available.
6 to 9 Bronze You have the basics and need to further understanding - check the options above in the "none" level as one of them could help you get up to speed. Also, there is nothing better than the hands-on education or IBM APV Redbooks for a deeper understanding -you could be ready for Virtualization with perhaps a few days reading or one good workshop.
10 to 14 Silver You are very nearly ready to start your virtualisation project. We recommend a little more reading and perhaps an IBM or IBM Business Partner Virtualization specialist could review with you the features you plan to make initial use, answer detailed questions and also to confirm your understanding.
15+ Gold Well done - you are ready to make good use of Virtualization as you understand the APV options and APV features available

Company Assessment Stage 4a - Basic Virtualization with a HMC

This section is an audit of the hands-on Virtualization features and techniques that you are currently using. This section does not include dual VIO Servers - which is in Section 5. If you answer "no" to any question then you should consider adding this item to your action plan.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.

  • 1. Have you a System p machine based on POWER5?

General Micro-Partition features:

  • 2. Do you have a HMC?
  • 3. Are you using LPARs already?
  • 4. Are you using Shared Processor LPARs (SPLAR)?
  • 5. Have you got AIX 5.3 installed and running?
  • 6. Have you Linux (SUSE SLES on POWER or Red Hat RHEL on POWER) installed and running and installed the IBM RAS RPMs?
  • 7. Have you got Dynamic LPAR changes working?
  • 8. Have you PLM running or timed Dynamic LPAR changes from the HMC scheduled operations?
  • 9. Have you changed the HMC password from the default?
  • 10. Do you have a policy for Entitlement, Capping, Weight factor and Virtual Processors?
  • 11. Have you updated the system firmware to the latest or latest minus one level?
  • 12. Have you an automated means to document your LPAR configuration for general management and disaster recovery?

Virtual I/O features:

  • 13. Have you installed the Virtual I/O Server 1.3?
  • 14. Have you implemented a virtual Ethernet within the machine?
  • 15. Have you created and tested a Shared Ethernet Adapter (SEA)?
  • 16. Are you running the VIO Server uncapped?
  • 17. Has your VIO Server got 1 GB or more memory?
  • 18. Have you setup more than one virtual SCSI disk?
  • 19. Have you got multiple disks in the VIO Server and separated the VIO Server disk and the Client disks?
  • 20. Have you got purely Virtual Client LPARs running i.e. only virtual Ethernet and virtual SCSI with no adapters?
  • 21. Have you installed them over a virtual Ethernet?
  • 22. Have you an automated way to backup the VIO Server and all of the Client LPAR data?
  • 23. Have you moved a PCI/tape device using DLPAR or moved an optical (CDROM/DVD) device using Virtualization?

Performance features:

  • 24. Are you monitoring performance on the LPARs and VIO Server?
  • 25. Have you automated error log notification?
  • 26. Do you know the spare CPU capacity on the machine over your busy week?
  • 27. Do you have a process to tune LPAR resources for performance or capacity harvesting?
  • 28. Do you have a feedback loop to verify that Virtualization met your initial expectations?

Bonus Points:

  • 29. Have you run a pilot or proto-type LPAR using Dynamic LPAR changes and a Shared Processors?
  • 30. Are you running a production service using Dynamic LPAR changes and a Shared Processors?
  • 31. Is it now standard to implement new applications and use Dynamic LPAR changes and Shared Processors?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 9 none You have implemented the very minimum of the Advanced POWER Virtualization features to get started. The bulk of the features, that result in the main benefits, have not yet been used. We recommend using a IBM or IBM Business Partner specialist to advise you on the next steps, so that you benefit from the features already on the machine but not yet in use. Making use of many of these features will be relatively easy and the rewards will be high.
10 to 17 Bronze You have made a start and there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Virtualization, a good proof of concept or proto-type non-production LPAR project on more the features that not used so far could help or one of the advanced level Virtualisation workshops.
18 to 22 Silver You are well on the way, we recommend thinking about the missing items, read about them and perhaps a small project to improve your understanding before them using in production. If you don't, you are probably missing out on some of the benefits of Virtualisation. May be an IBM or IBM Business Partner Virtualization specialist could review and recommend improvement.
23+ Gold Well done - you making good use of the important basic Virtualization features and will be getting the benefits of Virtualization in harvesting spare capacity, high performance peaks and the ability to react quickly to changing needs.

Company Assessment Stage 4b - Basic Virtualization with Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM)

IVM is an alternative to the HMC approach to Virtualization. IVM is suitable for models up to the p550 8 way (i.e. not p570, p575, p590 or p595). Most customers will be using either a HMC or IVM but not both. So if you have answered the HMC based questions skip this section. Although, some customers find IVM is a useful tool for managing non-computer room (full locked process) proto-type and experiment type machines for testing and system administration skills development. Briefly, with the IVM the HMC type functions are running on the VIO Server on the POWER5 machine and accessed via an IVM web site on the VIO Server.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.

  • 1. Have you a machine based on POWER5 running IVM?

General Micro-Partition features:

  • 2. Are you using Shared Processor LPARs (SPLAR)?
  • 3. Have you got AIX 5.3 installed and running?
  • 4. Have you Linux installed and running and installed the IBM RAS RPMs?
  • 5. Have you got Dynamic LPAR changes working (this required VIOS 1.3)?
  • 6. Have you changed the padmin password from the default?
  • 7. Do you have a policy for Entitlement, Capping, Weight factor and Virtual Processors?
  • 8. Have you updated the system firmware to the latest or latest minus one level?

Virtual I/O features:

  • 9. Have you installed the Virtual I/O Server 1.3?
  • 10. Have you implemented a virtual Ethernet within the machine?
  • 11. Have you created and tested a Shared Ethernet Adapter (SEA)?
  • 12. Are you running the VIO Server uncapped?
  • 13. Has your VIO Server got 1 GB (the default) or more memory?
  • 14. Have you setup more than one virtual SCSI disk?
  • 15. Have you got multiple disks in the VIO Server and separated the VIO Server disk and the Client disks?
  • 16. Have you installed over a virtual Ethernet?
  • 17. Have you an automated way to backup the VIO Server and all of the Client LPAR data?
  • 18. Have you moved the optical devices using IVM?

Performance features:

  • 19. Are you monitoring performance on the LPARs and VIO Server?
  • 20. Have you automated error log notification?
  • 21. Do you know the spare CPU capacity on the machine over your busy week?
  • 22. Do you have a process to tune LPAR resources for performance or capacity harvesting?
  • 23. Do you have a feedback loop to verify that Virtualization met you initial expectations?
  • 24. Do you have LPARs using a VIO Server in production?
  • 25. Is LPARs and VIO Server use the default for new workloads?

Bonus Points:

  • 26. Have you run a pilot or proto-type LPAR using Dynamic LPAR and a Shared Processors?
  • 27. Are you running a production service using Dynamic LPAR and a Shared Processors?
  • 28. Is it now standard to implement new applications and use Dynamic LPAR changes and a Shared Processors?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 9 none You have implemented the very minimum of the Advanced POWER Virtualization features to get started. The bulk of the features, that result in the main benefits, have not yet been used. We recommend using a IBM or IBM Business Partner specialist to advise you on the next steps, so that you benefit from the features already on the machine but not yet in use. Making use of many of these features will be relatively easy and the rewards will be high.
10 to 17 Bronze You have made a start and there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Virtualization, a good proof of concept or proto-type non-production LPAR project on more the features that not used so far could help or one of the advanced level Virtualisation workshops.
18 to 22 Silver You are well on the way, we recommend thinking about the missing items, read about them and perhaps a small project to improve your understanding before them using in production. If you don't, you are probably missing out on some of the benefits of Virtualisation. May be an IBM or IBM Business Partner Virtualization specialist could review and recommend improvement.
23+ Gold Well done - you making good use of the important basic Virtualization features and will be getting the benefits of Virtualization in harvesting spare capacity, high performance peaks and the ability to react quickly to changing needs.

Company Assessment Stage 5 - Advanced Virtualization with a HMC

This section is an audit of the hands-on Advanced Virtualization features and techniques and in particular dual VIO Servers. Dual VIO Server is used primarily to allow VIO Server updates but will also help in the unlikely event of a VIO Server crash. In practice, the VIO Server has proved very reliable.

Give yourself one point for each yes answer - answer either for yourself or for your immediate group of technical folk.

General features

  • 1. Have you implemented Dual Virtual I/O Servers?
  • 2. Are you at the current release Virtual I/O Server 1.3, at the time of writing (Nov 2006)?

Dual Virtual I/O Server networking features:

  • 3. Have you set up either Network Interface Backup on the VIO Clients or SEA Failover on the VIO Servers?
  • 4. Do you know the strengths of the above two alternatives?
  • 5. Have you tested a VIO Server crash and recovery for the virtual network?
  • 6. Did you test the subsequent failure of the other VIO Server?
  • 7. Are you using Ethernet Channel at the VIO Servers for increase bandwidth and durability?

Dual Virtual I/O Server storage features:

  • 8. Have you setup shared disks using VIO Server SCSI disks
  • 9. Have you setup shared disks using VIO Server SAN disks?
  • 10. Have you tested a VIO Server crash and recovery for the virtual disks?
  • 11. Did you test the subsequent failure and recovery of the second VIO Server to prove complete redunancy?
  • 12. Are you using MPIO over SAN at the VIO Servers of LVs or using MPIO at the VIO Client of whole LUNs for increase bandwidth and durability ?

Advanced Features:

  • 13. Do you test the Dual VIO Servers before each update?
  • 14. Are you saving you HMC System Plans for documentation and recovery?

Bonus Points:

  • 15. Have you run a pilot or proto-type LPAR using dual VIO Servers?
  • 16. Are you running a production service using dual VIO Servers?
  • 17. Is it now standard to implement new applications and using dual VIO Servers?

 

Scoring: Level Comments
1 to 4 none You have not really started using the advanced features like the Dual VIO Server Virtualization - consider using the advanced level Virtualization education classes or a hands-on IBM or IBM Business partner specialist to review your use and advise you of the next more advanced use.
5 to 7 Bronze You have made a good start on these features and there are plenty of features that are worth adding to get the best out of Dual VIO Server Virtualization, a good proof of concept project could help, or a hands-on IBM or IBM Business partner specialist to advise you how to get the best use of these RAS features.
8 to 12 Silver You are well on the way, we recommend thinking about the remaining missing items. You may have decided they are not for you which is fait enough but note most customers use most features for production workloads. We recommend, at least, trying them, perhaps via a small proto-type project to prove your understanding before using in production.
13+ Gold Well done - you are making full use of Dual VIO Server Virtualization to increase the reliability of your important workloads as well as being able to update your Virtual I/O Servers online. Perhaps you could consider writing up your Virtualization design discussions, production use experience as a case study and then present at IBM user conferences

Company Assessment is Complete

When you reach here, you have finished all the Company Assessment questions. You should have five stages complete and worked out your rating for each. If you have five Gold ratings then "pat yourself on the back" and go home early - you deserve it.

How to Improve Your Score?

The following suggestions may help build your knowledge and use of Advanced Power Virtualization:

  1. Evaluate the questions you answered with a "no". Decide which of these you can work on in the short and/or medium term to improve your rating. From this build an action plan for your technical and management team. We recommend saving your results, putting a note in your diary for three months time to take the Virtualization Assessment again to see how much improvement has been made.
  2. Education - IBM and IBM Business Partners offer training courses in APV. The following are widely available but there may be more on offer in your country (ask you local IBM Representative):
    1. Q1373 (AU73) Logical Partitioning (LPAR) and Virtualization on System p POWER5 Systems
    • Learn the skills needed to become an effective administrator on IBM's System p POWER5-based systems that support Logical Partitioning (LPAR). Learn about the features of Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV) and how to configure and manage LPARs running AIX 5L or Linux using the Hardware Management Console (HMC).
    1. Q1375 (AU75) AIX 5L Virtualization Performance Management
    • Learn advanced skills to measure, analyze, and tune AIX 5L subsystems for optimal performance on the IBM POWER5 processor-based systems. Focus on the features that relate to the special monitoring, configuring, performance management, and tuning needs of AIX 5L logical partitions (LPAR).
    1. Q1378 (AU78) APV Implementation and Best Practices
    • Learn advanced skills to plan, set up, and implement basic and advanced configurations of the Virtual Input/Output (VIO) Server and its clients including high available solutions when using the Advanced Power Virtualization features on IBM System p5 systems. Learn about the supported high available Virtual Small Computer System Interface (VSCSI) and Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN) configurations and gives the students the opportunity to implement and test some of those solutions.
  3. IBM and IBM Business partners offer Global Services support and can be used to build skills, knowledge and information transfer, reviewing and recommending best practice, initial installation and testing by the following skills people:
    1. Architecture and Solutions Design Consultants
    2. Server Consolidation studies (called Zodiac or Cobra projects)
    3. Virtualization Planning Consultants
    4. Virtualization Hands-on Specialists
    5. Virtualisation Project Planning
    6. Virtualization Implementation Reviews

      Contact you IBM Representative for further details.
  4. Self Help - this involves reading the Virtualization material i.e. IBM Redbooks, website articles and Whitepapers included in links above. The top 6 are:
    1. Virtual I/O Server Datasheet (hardware list, software levels, end-to-end solutions) (Link)?
    2. Advanced POWER Virtualization on IBM System p5 SG247940 (Link)?
    3. Advanced POWER Virtualization on IBM eServer p5 Servers: Architecture and Performance Considerations (Link)?
    4. Advanced POWER Virtualization Best Practices (Link)?
    5. Effective System Management Using the IBM Hardware Management Console for pSeries Redbook (Link)?
    6. Virtual I/O Server Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) (Link)?

Open Questions for Further Improvements and Feedback

You may also like to think about the following "open style" questions:

  1. Do internal processes, mind set and standards hold back adoption of Virtualization and how might these be fixed?
  2. What are/have been your biggest challenges/problems?
  3. What else (apart from the current manuals, Redbooks, Education classes, AIX plus Virtualization Wiki website and Question Forum and Implementation Services) would you like from IBM or IBM Business partners, to help you with your Virtualization planning or implementation ?

The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of IBM or IBM management.