Hardware requirements and recommendations

Review the minimum CPU, Memory, RAM, and disk space requirements for setting up and running IBM® Cloud Private clusters.

The following tables list the minimum system requirements per node for running IBM Cloud Private in both evaluation and production environments.

System requirements vary depending on whether you want to set up a multi-node cluster, or set up a test environment by using a single host. A single host environment has boot, master, worker, and proxy nodes all running on a single host.

Hardware requirements (single node cluster)

Requirement All management services enabled Metering and monitoring services disabled Notes
Number of hosts 1 1
Cores 8 or more 4 or more Choose a modern processor with multiple cores. Servers often come packaged with two sockets (two processors), so the total number of cores in the system is the number of sockets multiplied by the number of cores in each processor. Today, processors typically have at least eight cores per processor. Higher end processors can have 20 or more cores per processor. When it comes to choosing a processor, it might be of best value to take a moderate approach. That is, select a processor that has an average (not the highest or the lowest) number of cores, frequency, and cache size.
CPU >=2.4 GHz >=2.4 GHz
  • For a Linux® 64-bit cluster, choose a CPU that supports SSE 4.2.
  • For a Linux® on Power® (ppc64le) cluster, use a CPU that is version Power8 or higher.
RAM 32 GB or more 8 GB or more You might need more than this minimum amount of memory, if you plan to run applications in this test cluster that might use a substantial amount of memory.
Disk space to install >=200 GB >=150 GB

Hardware requirements (multi-node cluster)

Note: In your multi-node cluster, if you do not use a management node, ensure that the master node meets the requirements of the management node plus the master node.

Requirement Boot node Master node Proxy node Worker node Management node VA node etcd node Notes
Number of hosts 1 1, 3, or 5 1 or more 1 or more 1 or more 1, 3, or 5 1 or more odd number of nodes
Cores 1 or more 2 or more 2 or more 1 or more 4 or more
  • 2 or more
  • 6 or more (production environment)
1 or more Choose a modern processor with multiple cores. Servers often come packaged with two sockets (two processors), so the total number of cores in the system is the number of sockets, multiplied by the number of cores in each processor. Today, processors typically have at least eight cores per processor. Higher end processors can have 20 or more cores per processor. When it comes to choosing a processor, you might select one that has not the highest or the lowest number of cores, frequency, and cache size.
CPU >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz >= 2.4 GHz
  • For a Linux® 64-bit cluster, choose a CPU that supports SSE 4.2.
  • For a Linux® on Power® (ppc64le) cluster, use a CPU that is version Power8 or higher.
  • For a Linux on IBM® Z cluster, use a CPU that is version EC12 or higher.
RAM >=4 GB >=8 GB >=4 GB >=4 GB >=8 GB
  • >=8 GB
  • >=16 GB (production environment)
>=4 GB
Disk space to install >=100 GB >=150 GB >=150 GB >=150 GB >=150 GB
  • >=100 GB
  • >=400 GB (production environment)
>=100 GB

Note: Accounts that use PowerVM can share cores. For larger environments, assign processor cores.

Disk space requirements

Location Minimum disk space Node
/ 50 GB All nodes
Note: Certain temporary files are copied to /root and /tmp. You need 50 GB on /root and 50 GB on tmp. Another option is to assign 50 GB to a file system shared by /root and tmp such as /.
/var 240 GB Master and management nodes
/var/lib/docker >=100 GB All nodes
/var/lib/etcd >=10 GB Master
/var/lib/icp >=100 GB Master, management, and VA nodes
/var/lib/mysql >=10 GB Master
/var/lib/registry >=10 GB Master
Note: Must be large enough to host all the Docker images that you plan to store in your private image registry.
/var/lib/kubelet >=10 GB
  • All nodes need >10 GB of disk space
  • If you enable the Vulnerability Advisor, the VA node needs >=100 GB of disk space.
/tmp 50 GB Staging directory for installation files on all the nodes.

Important: The /var directory is the default storage location for most Docker images and the containers that are used in your IBM Cloud Private cluster. Other directories that are used by the installer but do not require significant amounts of disk space includes the following directories:

To prevent disk space issues, mount the default storage directories on separate paths that have larger disk capacities. For more information about mounting the Docker storage directory (/var/lib/docker), see Specifying a default Docker storage directory by using bind mount. You can also use this bind method to mount the other IBM Cloud Private default storage directories. To prevent disk space issues in your cluster, you might want to use a bind mount to mount the following directories:

For more information about mounting the default storage directories, see Specifying other default storage directories by using bind mount.

File system requirements

IBM Cloud Private requires POSIX file systems. In high availability (HA) clusters, you must set up a POSIX-compliant file system for shared storage. This file system must be located outside of your IBM Cloud Private cluster. For HA clusters, see High availability IBM® Cloud Private clusters for the file system requirements on master and proxy nodes.

For a list of file systems that are supported by IBM Cloud Private, see Supported file systems and storage.

Supported IaaS and hypervisors

IBM Cloud Private is certified on several Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers and hypervisors.

Table 5. Supported IaaS versions
IaaS Versions
VMware vCenter 5.5, 6.0, 6.5
OpenStack Mitaka and later
Hyper-V 10.0.15063.0 and later
Nutanix AHV 20170331.54 and 20170331.74
IBM PowerVC 1.4.1 and later

IBM Cloud Private is certified on KVM, ESX, Nutanix Acropolis, and IBM PowerVM hypervisors.

IBM Cloud Private can also run on the IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platforms.

Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry demonstrated portability across multiple IaaS providers in the community. While IBM Cloud Private is certified for on-premises installations on VMWare, OpenStack, and bare metal, you can install it on other IaaS systems. For additional information, contact your sales representative.