What's new in version 1.4.4

IBM® Power® Virtualization Center version 1.4.4 provides many new features and enhancements. We are more than delighted to listen to our client requirements and implement the same along with our benchmark innovation strategies that take PowerVC to the next level every release.

Functional enhancements

Active backup of PowerVC using powervc-backup
You can now use powervc-backup with --active option to take a backup of PowerVC management server even when operations are in progress. This enables PowerVC system administrators to run cron jobs that can take periodic backups which can be used to restore PowerVC in the case of any disaster. For details, see High availability and disaster recovery.
Image sharing across projects is now possible
PowerVC now supports sharing of images across projects. The admin user of ibm-default project can use public images which are available across projects. For details, see Working with images. RFE ID: 111333.
View user information for operations within a project
The Message tab now lists user information for every operation along with other details. This helps to understand when a user has performed a specific operation. The user name is listed as system for operations that are performed by PowerVC services internally. REF ID: 129693.
Resources now get automatically added for HMC custom resource role
Virtual machines that are created after HMC is registered in PowerVC using custom resource role, get automatically added to HMC custom resource role. However, the HMC version must be 940 or later with the autoresourcerole option enabled. RFE ID: 113136.
Configuring initiator port groups
Initiator port groups (IPGs) define the set of VIOS ports to be used for volume attachment when using NPIV storage. This feature enables different set of VIOS ports for each type of volume attachment and allows to scale the number of volumes that can be attached to a virtual machine. Starting PowerVC version 1.4.4 fix pack 2, PowerMax supports initiator port groups. For details see, Working with initiator port groups and Configuring initiator port groups. RFE IDs: 106538, 108803, 121862, 125097, 130118, 130584.
Live capture of virtual machines is possible when using tape drives

You can live capture virtual machines even when using tape drives. Run powervc-tape-reg command, to attach tape drives and zone to virtual machines. PowerVC version 1.4.4 fix pack 2 skips tape drives on a virtual machine and the capture proceeds with the rest of the volumes allowing live capture of virtual machines.

AIX® LKU support for Hitachi storage

PowerVC version 1.4.4 fix pack 2 comes with AIX LKU support for Hitachi storage. For details, see AIX LKU support for Hitachi storage.

Deploy a virtual machine using existing boot and data volumes
PowerVC images are backed by storage volumes. When an image with volumes is deployed, the virtual machine uses the clone copy of the image volumes. You can now choose to create an image without any volumes attached. While deploying this image, you can select the existing volumes in the Deploy template. This prevents cloning of volumes and avoids any data redundancy. For details, see . RFE IDs: 123514, 124189.
Pin virtual machines
You can choose to soft pin or hard pin a virtual machine to the host where it is currently running. When you 'Soft Pin' a virtual machine for high availability, PowerVC automatically migrates the virtual machine back to the original host once the host is back to operating state. In a case where the virtual machine has any licensing restriction with the host, the 'Hard Pin' option helps you to restrict the movement of the virtual machine during remote restart, automated remote restart, DRO and live partition migration. For details, see Pin virtual machine to a host. RFE ID: 120220.
Support for inactive migration of virtual machines
PowerVC now supports cold migration so that you can migrate virtual machines that are in Shutoff state as well. RFE ID: 94698.
Recall virtual machines to the host
PowerVC automatically recalls virtual machines that were moved during host maintenance mode or automated remote restart to the source host that has recall option enabled. For details, see Recall virtual machines to a host. RFE ID: 112989, 125658.
Change availability priority of a virtual machine
Starting this release, PowerVC allows you to update Availability Priority setting of a virtual machine. RFE ID: 128477.
Retain and save availability priority of a virtual machine
PowerVC retains the Availability Priority setting even after live partition migration (LPM) or remote restart of virtual machines to a new host. Also, the Availability priority setting will be saved during automated remote restart (ARR) and virtual machine migration when a host is in maintenance mode. RFE ID: 128465.
Pure Storage technical preview
PowerVC supports Pure Storage as an integrated driver in technical preview mode. You can now add a Pure Storage driver by using the CLI and work with it. For details, see Planning for Pure Storage (technical preview). RFE ID: 111465.
Customize hostname on the backend storage (SVC)
You can now customize hostname on the backend storage during NPIV virtual machine deployment by using storage_hostname_template subcommand. For details, see Commands. RFE ID: 106538.
Use powervc-log command to enable debug logs
Use powervc-log command to enable debug logs for PowerVC without having to restart PowerVC services. This command helps in capturing detailed diagnostic information in logs without the risk of interruption to any ongoing operation. For instructions to use the command, open the CLI and enter the command name followed by --help.
Added Description field in storage template
Now you can add description while creating a storage template. RFE ID: 134625.
IBM PowerVC FlexVolume Driver version 1.0.2 is available
PowerVC FlexVolume Driver 1.0.2 is now available on Docker. This version includes bug fixes for latest versions ICP or OCP support.
Red Hat® OpenShift Container Platform 4.3 support with PowerVC version 1.4.4 fix pack
You can run Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) 4.3 on Power Systems. PowerVC CSI (Container Storage Interface) pluggable driver works with OCP 4.3 and enables dynamic provisioning of storage volumes for containers. PowerVC also provides CoreOS guest support.
Infinidat storage support (pluggable)

You can now register Infinidat storage with PowerVC version 1.4.4 fix pack. Infinidat storage solves the challenges of OpenStack storage at scale: simplicity, efficiency, reliability, and integration. InfiniBox, delivers over 8 petabytes of storage in a pre-integrated standard 42U rack with 100% availability outstanding performance, and great API integration. For details, see Using Infinidat storage with PowerVC blog.

Changes in hardware and software support

ppc64 support
Support for PowerVC installation on ppc64 architecture is being withdrawn. You can migrate to ppc64le or x86_64. For details, see Migrating PowerVC from ppc64 to ppc64le or x86_64.
Recall virtual machines API
This API allows recall or LPM of all virtual machines that were moved from a host during host maintenance mode or automated remote restart. For details, see Recall virtual machines.
Retain PowerVC state with powervc-backup
The powervc-backup command now detects the state of PowerVC services before an operation and restores the same state after the backup operation completes. If the services were running or stopped before the operation, they will continue to be in the same state after backup completes.
Note: State of services is not detected during active backup.
Cloud-init version update
Cloud-init package version has been updated to the latest version namely 19.1 for supported guest OS such as SLES 15, RHEL 8.0, RHEL 8.1, and RHEL 8.2. For details, see Installing and configuring cloud-init on Linux.
Changes in guest OS support
Support for SLES BE (all supported versions) and Ubuntu 14.0.4 has been withdrawn. For details, see Guest operating system support.

Security enhancements

Package signing
The RPMs and repo for Debian packages shipped as part of PowerVC installer are Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) signed, and these signatures are verified during PowerVC installation. For details, see Package signing.