Virtual I/O Server overview

Learn the concepts of the Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) and its primary components.

The VIOS is part of the PowerVM® Editions hardware feature. The VIOS is software that is located in a logical partition. This software facilitates the sharing of physical I/O resources between client logical partitions within the server. The VIOS provides virtual Small Computer Serial Interface (SCSI) target, virtual Fibre Channel, Shared Ethernet Adapter, and PowerVM Active Memory™ Sharing capability to client logical partitions within the system. The VIOS also provides the Suspend/Resume and remote restart features to AIX®, IBM® i, and Linux client logical partitions within the system.
Note: The Suspend/Resume feature of logical partitions is not supported on the POWER8® 8286-41A, 8286-42A, 8286-42A, 8247-21L, and 8247-22L Power Systems™ servers. This feature is supported on other models of Power Systems servers, with appropriate levels of the management console, firmware, and PowerVM.
As a result, you can perform the following functions on client logical partitions:
  • Share SCSI devices, Fibre Channel adapters, Ethernet adapters
  • Expand the amount of memory available to logical partitions and suspend and resume logical partition operations by using paging space devices

A dedicated logical partition is required for the VIOS software solely for its use.

You can use the VIOS to perform the following functions:
  • Sharing of physical resources between logical partitions on the system
  • Creating logical partitions without requiring additional physical I/O resources
  • Creating more logical partitions than there are I/O slots or physical devices available with the ability for logical partitions to have dedicated I/O, virtual I/O, or both
  • Maximizing use of physical resources on the system
  • Helping to reduce the storage area network (SAN) infrastructure

Last updated: Thu, October 15, 2020