Hardware and software requirements

The following information provides a consolidated view of the hardware and software requirements for your IBM® Power® Virtualization Center environment.


Table 1. Hardware and operating system requirements for PowerVC hosts.
Host type Supported hardware Supported operating systems
PowerVC management server


To determine the supported IBM Power hardware for RHEL 7 and later, see the appropriate page:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), version 7.n, where n>=1 for IBM Power for ppc64 and ppc64le

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server, version 7.n, where n>=1 for x86_64

Managed hosts
IBM POWER6 or later processor classes.
  • Includes all form factors, such as chassis, rack, blade, and Power Flex.
  • All other PowerVC requirements apply, including storage, networking, guests, and so on.
  • Managed hosts should have a minimum of 4 cores and 8 GB of memory.
For details about the supported guest operating system levels for deployed virtual machines, see Supported activation methods.
Note: The version of RSCT installed on AIX® and Linux deployed guest operating systems should have the latest fix applied.
The following information describes the minimum and recommended resources required for PowerVC virtual machines. In the table, the meaning of the "Processor capacity" column depends on the type of host that is being used as the PowerVC management server.
  • If the PowerVC management server is PowerVM®, "Processor capacity" refers to either the number of processor units of entitled capacity or the number of dedicated processors.
  • If the PowerVC management server is KVM on Power or x86, "Processor capacity" refers to the number of physical cores.
Table 2. Minimum space requirements for PowerVC management server
  Minimum Recommended
Number of managed virtual machines or volumes (whichever is larger)   Up to 400® 401-1000 1001-2000 2001-3000 3001-5000
Processor capacity 1 2 4 8 8 12
Virtual CPUs 2 2 4 8 8 12
Memory (GB) 10 10 12 20 28 44
Swap space (GB) 10 11 12 20 28 44
Disk space (GB) 40 100 120 140 160 180
PowerVC has the following space requirements:
  • /tmp: 250 MB
  • /usr: 250 MB
  • /opt: 2.5 GB
  • /var: 3 GB
It is recommended that 20% of the disk space is assigned to /var. Examples: For 400 virtual machines, 20 GB are recommended. For 1000 virtual machines, 24 GB are recommended. For 2000 virtual machines, 28 GB are recommended. Additional space might be required for backups, images, fix packs, and so on.

Supported activation methods

This table lists the supported activation methods for virtual machines on managed hosts.
Table 3. Supported activation methods for virtual machines on managed hosts
Operating system Little endian (LE) or big endian (BE) Version Initialization
AIX BE 6.1 TLn SPn, where n >=0

7.1 TLn SPn SPn, where n >=0

7.2 TLn SPn, where n >=0

IBM i BE 7.1 TRn, where n >=8

7.2 TRn, where n >=1



IBM i Activation Engine (deprecated)
RHEL BE 6.n, where n >=4

7.n, where n >=1

RHEL LE 7.n, where n >=1 cloud-init
SLES BE 11 SPn, where n >=3 cloud-init
SLES LE 12 SPn, where n >=0 cloud-init
Ubuntu LE 16.n, where n >=0

14.04.n, where n >=0

Note: The version of RSCT installed on guest virtual machines must have the latest fix applied.

Hardware Management Console

Table 4. HMC requirements
Item Requirement
Software level
For HMC and vHMC, PowerVC supports the following:
  • The previous release (8.n-1.0)
  • The current release (8.n.0)
  • The upcoming release (8.n+1.0)
The current release is 8.6.0, so n=6.
Important: When installing PowerVC, you should also install the latest HMC fixes. There are a several patches for HMC that will improve the stability and performance of PowerVC. To see the latest updates, go to the Hardware Management Console page in Fix Central.
Hardware level Requirements
  • Up to 300 virtual machines: CR5 with 4 GB memory
  • More than 300 virtual machines: CR6, CR7, or CR8 with 8 GB memory


  • Up to 300 virtual machines: CR6, CR7, or CR8 with 8 GB memory
  • More than 300 virtual machines: CR6, CR7, or CR8 with 16GB memory

Virtual I/O Server

Note: PowerVC does not install or configure third-party software on the Virtual I/O Server (VIOS).  Any third-party software that you want to use for VIOS resources must be installed and configured on the VIOS before managing it with PowerVC.

It is recommended that the VIOS has all current updates installed. To see the latest updates, review the available VIOS updates in IBM Fix Central.

For VIOS sizing requirements when using SR-IOV, see IBM PowerVM Best Practices.

Table 6. Supported virtualization platforms.
Platform Requirement
Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) for POWER8 or earlier Version 2.2.5.n where n >= 0, or version 2.2.4.n where n >= 22.

The version of RSCT installed on the Virtual I/O Server should have the latest fix applied.


Table 7. Supported network hardware and software
Item Requirement
Network switches PowerVC does not manage network switches, but supports network configurations that use VLAN-capable switches.
Note: Only Fibre Channel (FC) fabrics are supported. Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) networks are not supported
Virtual networks Supports Shared Ethernet Adapters for virtual machine networking.

Supports SR-IOV based vNICs.

When using the software-defined networking technical preview, flat, VLAN, or vxlan overlays are supported.

Storage drivers

Some storage drivers support different devices depending on the OpenStack release. PowerVC Version 1.3.2 supports the OpenStack Newton release.


Table 9. Supported security software
Item Requirement More information
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server (optional) OpenLDAP 2.0 or higher OpenLDAP
Microsoft Active Directory 2003 or higher Active Directory Doman Services
IBM Tivoli Directory Server 6.3 and its replacements: IBM Security Directory Server and IBM Security Directory Suite IBM Security Directory Suite

Web browsers

  • Mozilla Firefox ESR 38 and 45
    Note: PowerVC does not load if Ask me every time is selected as the custom history setting.
  • Google Chrome, version 50 or later
    Note: PowerVC does not load if Block all cookies is selected.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 11.0