PowerVM NovaLink

PowerVM® NovaLink is a software interface that is used for virtualization management. You can install PowerVM NovaLink on a PowerVM server. PowerVM NovaLink enables highly scalable modern cloud management and deployment of critical enterprise workloads. You can use PowerVM NovaLink to provision large numbers of virtual machines on PowerVM servers quickly and at a reduced cost.

PowerVM NovaLink runs on a Linux® logical partition on a POWER8®, POWER9™, or Power10 processor-based system that is virtualized by PowerVM. You can manage the server through a representational state transfer application programming interface (REST API) or through a command-line interface (CLI). You can also manage the server by using PowerVC or other OpenStack solutions. PowerVM NovaLink is available at no additional charge for servers that are virtualized by PowerVM.

PowerVM NovaLink can be installed only on POWER8, POWER9, or Power10 processor-based systems.

Benefits of PowerVM NovaLink

PowerVM NovaLink provides the following benefits:
  • Rapidly provisions large numbers of virtual machines on PowerVM servers.
  • Simplifies the deployment of new systems. The PowerVM NovaLink installer creates a PowerVM NovaLink partition and Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) partitions on the server and installs operating systems and the PowerVM NovaLink software. The PowerVM NovaLink installer reduces the installation time and facilitates repeatable deployments.
  • Reduces the complexity and increases the security of your server management infrastructure. PowerVM NovaLink provides a server management interface on the server. The server management network between PowerVM NovaLink and its virtual machines is secure by design and is configured with minimal user intervention.
  • Operates with PowerVC or other OpenStack solutions to manage your servers.

PowerVM NovaLink architecture

The PowerVM NovaLink software 2.0.2, or later is required to manage Power10 systems and the software runs only on Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 8.2, or later logical partitions on Power10 systems. The PowerVM NovaLink partition uses I/O resources that are virtualized by the Virtual I/O Server. The PowerVM NovaLink software is delivered by using the standard RPM Packet Manager (RPM) for Red Hat versions of PowerVM NovaLink, similar to any other software in the Linux operating system. 

PowerVM NovaLink includes an installer that configures the PowerVM NovaLink environment in one action. The PowerVM NovaLink installer creates the Linux and Virtual I/O Server logical partitions and installs the operating systems and PowerVM NovaLink software.

The PowerVM NovaLink stack consists of the following services:

Managed system co-management

POWER8, POWER9™, and Power10 processor-based systems can be co-managed by PowerVM NovaLink and an HMC.

When a managed system is co-managed by the HMC and PowerVM NovaLink, you set either PowerVM NovaLink or the HMC to be in the controller mode. Certain system management, partition management, and Capacity on Demand (CoD) tasks can be performed only from the interface that is in controller mode. For example, if PowerVM NovaLink is in the controller mode, you can run partition change operations only by using PowerVM NovaLink. If you want to run partition change operations by using the HMC, you must set the HMC to controller mode.

Firmware updates for a co-managed system can be performed only from the HMC. The HMC must be set to the controller mode to update the firmware.

To set the HMC to the controller mode, run the following command from the HMC command line, where managed_system is the name of the managed system:
chcomgmt -m managed_system -o setcontroller -t norm
After you have completed your tasks on the HMC, run the following command from the HMC command line to set PowerVM NovaLink as the controller again.
chcomgmt -m managed_system -o relcontroller
Note: When a server is co-managed by the HMC and PowerVM NovaLink, partition profiles and system plans are not supported, regardless of whether the HMC is set to the controller mode. Use the Enhanced UI on the HMC to modify the current configuration of a partition. Use PowerVC or another OpenStack solution to manage the flavors (resource profiles) for your PowerVM NovaLink servers.

The HMC retains its hardware and service management roles in a co-managed environment, even when the HMC is not in controller mode. However, you must set the HMC to controller mode to perform any operations that change the system state. Operations that change the system state include firmware update, repair and verify, power on, or power off.

For more information about OpenStack, see the OpenStack documentation (http://docs.openstack.org/).

For more information about PowerVC, see the PowerVC Standard Edition information in IBM® Knowledge Center (https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSXK2N).