Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM)

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The IVM allows you to do POWER5 Virtualization on System p (505, 510, 520, 550, 560), IBM BladeCenter JS21 and OpenPower (710 and 720) without using a HMC.

Main points:

  • This makes a lot of sense on these lower end machines and on systems where full HMC functions are not required and where the HMC can seem expensive (when managing just one machine).
  • The HMC function is actually performed by the IVM running on the first logical partition (LPAR) - which is a VIO Server Version 1.2 that owns all the physical adapters.
  • All the other LPARs use virtual disks, virtual Ethernet, virtual console and virtual CDROM/DVD.
  • The IVM is accessed mainly by the IVM website from this VIO Server but there are a few commands which you access by telnet to the VIO Server.
  • Only four simple commands are used for the initial IVM setup and the one more for accessing the virtual console to the LPAR to install the LPAR OS (AIX, Red Hat and SUSE). There are more commands but these are not used much. As a quick reminder these are:
    • license -view and then license -accept
    • mkgencfg -o init
    • chdate mmddHHMMYYyy -timezone TZ
    • mktcpip -hostname HostName -inetaddr Address -interface Interface -start -netmask SubnetMask -gateway Gateway -nsrvaddr NameServerAddress -nsrvdomain Domain
  • Everything else is done from the good looking and simple to use IVM website.

The Web user interface looks like this:

In this picture you can see the following:


Where What
Far Left The list of menus for controlling LPAR, Virtual and real Networks, Virtual and real Disk Storage, User accounts and Service features
Middle Top Shows the whole machine details like CPU and Memory and the CPU utilization
Middle Middle Shows the four Logical Partitions (LPAR).
  1. this first is the Virtual I/O Server which owns all the adapters for disks and network
  2. an LPAR running AIX 5.3
  3. the rest are running SUSE SLES 9 or Red Hat EL 4
  4. the last one is currently not running.

    Also there are details of the configuration for each LPAR and the CPU use
Middle Bottom shows the operations that can be performed on these LPARs

IVM is likely to be used by two distinct types of System Admin:


Experience Comment
Without HMC experience This is a much simpler and friendly way to get the power of POWER5 Virtualization functions. It is easy to pick up and the Redbook (see below) covers all the details - this also covers a few limitations that you should understand before using the IVM.
With HMC and VIO Server experience This will be easy but bare in mind that the VIO Server "owns" all the adapters - most of your questions about limitations will be answered by this fact. IVM also automates a lot of HMC functions so it will be much quicker to setup and use.

Both types will benefit from the Advanced topics below - once you have some experience of the basics.

Key places to get more information:


Details URL
The IVM IBM Redbook
If you have IVM installed use the built in help Use the "website help button" for more information
The IVM Whitepaper

Integrated Virtualization Manager at the Movies

You can watch and download ten small movies of hands-on use of IVM on the AIX6 and POWER6 Movie AIX Wiki page at:

Each is around 10 minutes long and is a good introduction to IVM and many of the features it provides - include new features like the Optical Media Library that is now available.

Advanced Integrated Virtualization Manager Topics

In this document we cover some advanced topics of IVM that should prove useful after you have read the above places for information and used the IVM for a couple of days.


21 pages PDF Format size 600KB IVM_FAQ.pdf

Topics Covered are:

  1. Assumptions and Goals of this document.
  2. Key places to get more information on Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM):
  3. Can I set up the VIO Server without using the Flexible Service Processor (FSP) IP addresses setup and ASMI via a network?
  4. Performance - Explain the performance numbers on the IVM administration web interface?
  5. The Performance Numbers are not quite what you might expect.
  6. Apparent Processor Utilization time lag issues?
  7. Why aren't these Processor Utilization numbers automatically updated?
  8. If I am mirroring disks on the VIO Server, how can I ensure they are on different disks?
  9. What sort of disks are recommended with IVM for data protection?
  10. Should I use rootvg for VIO client virtual disks?
  11. How do I stop/halt a partition that is completely stuck?
  12. What appears in the "Reference code" on View Partitions panel when there is no problem?
  13. Processor Utilization numbers are missing on the View Partitions Panel?
  14. How do I get out of the mkvt command?
  15. User Management - what is the point?
  16. How do I remove a storage pool?
  17. Why can't I delete a partition and get the error message as below?
  18. Will the CD be the default boot device?
  19. Shutting down - what is the best way?
  20. What is the difference between View/Modify Devices and Advanced View/Modify Devices?
  21. If you give a whole physical disk to a partition, is it a physical disk or a virtual physical disk?
  22. Can I remove a disk from a storage pool?
  23. Is moving the optical device (CD or DVD) safe?
  24. Why won't Linux shutdown when using the IVM web interface "shutdown" option?
  25. How to avoid this long Linux shut down wait and the subsequent error?
  26. Why telnet to the VIO Server partition, when ssh is much more secure?
  27. How do I get the System Attention amber LED switched off?
  28. Removing the Attention LED setting for a partition?
  29. Where does all the memory go?
  30. Can I control the "Reserved firmware memory"?
  31. What should I do about the little bit of free memory left over?
  32. Is the memory release when I stop the partition?
  33. Is the CPU released when I stop the LPAR?
  34. Performance - How can I ensure the VIO Server is not staved of CPU?
  35. Performance - How much memory is right for the VIO Server?
  36. What is the point of the Processing Units Minimum and Maximum do?
  37. What is the point of the Memory Minimum and Maximum do?
  38. What is the point of the Virtual Processor Minimum and Maximum do?
  39. Performance - To cap or not to cap, that is the question?
  40. What does the Virtual Processor (VP) really mean?
  41. Performance - Is virtual SCSI or virtual Ethernet harder on the VIO Server?
  42. Performance - What is best: balancing CPU across LPARs using Weight Factor or Entitlement?

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