Planning for PowerVC

Before you install IBM® Power® Virtualization Center it is important that you consider the requirements of the product and the options that are available to you with regard to how your environment is configured. It is important that you understand the specific hardware and software requirements as well as the technologies that are supported for the hosts, storage, and network components of your environment.

Following are the configuration requirements at a high level. The specific details surrounding these requirements are later in this section:
  • PowerVC does not support 4-byte characters in names, descriptions, and so on.
  • For release specific technical support information, see Contacting IBM Support.
  • For RHEL 9, fabrics, hosts, storage types that are not on latest cryptographic library may get impacted for SSH connections. While registering such, use update-crypto-policies --set DEFAULT:SHA1 command to allow SHA1 protocol.
  • The hosts must be supported Power Systems models, as defined in the hardware and software requirements.
  • Each host must have at least one Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) virtual machine on it. The Virtual I/O Server needs to be configured with some specific settings to support some PowerVC tasks.
  • For HMC-managed hosts
    • For maximum supported HMC-managed hosts, see Compute plane nodes.
    • Each host can have a maximum of 1000 virtual machines on it.
    • A maximum of 5000 virtual machines can be on all of the hosts combined.
  • For NovaLink-managed hosts
  • When your environment consists of both HMC-managed and NovaLink-managed hosts
    • A maximum of 3000 virtual machines can be on all of the hosts combined.
    • A maximum of 50 hosts is supported of which 30 hosts can be HMC-managed.
In addition, the management server or host must meet the following requirements:
Table 1. General requirements for the management server
Power Systems host or server x86 server
  • Must be a supported Power Systems model.
  • Must have a virtual machine (logical partition) on it that meets the minimum requirements for PowerVC.
  • Must meet the minimum requirements for processors, memory, and hard disk.
Note: For supported operating systems, see Hardware and software requirements
  • The storage system must be one of the supported models.
  • When using NPIV to connect, at least one supported Fibre Channel SAN switch is required for interaction between your hosts and the storage area network. If possible, you should use two SAN switches and create redundant fabrics.
  • The switch must be configured to accept zoning operations.
  • Each Storwize® V7000 control enclosure at version 6.4 can support a maximum of 256 virtual machines.
  • Each Storwize V7000 control enclosure at version 7.1 and above can support a maximum of 512 virtual machines.
  • At least one supported network switch must exist to enable network traffic among your hosts and storage. If possible, it is a best practice to separate your data and management networks and also have a network for Live Partition Mobility (known as migration in PowerVC). To do so, you need two network switches. The migration and management networks often share a switch in this kind of environment.
  • Multiple Shared Ethernet Adapters (SEAs) can be configured on each host with multiple virtual LANs (VLANs).
  • To enable Resource Monitoring and Control (RMC) connections, each VLAN must be routable to the hosting management network. Several PowerVC features, such as live migration and dynamic LPAR, add or remove NIC, etc require an active RMC connection between the management console (HMC or the NovaLink partition) and the virtual machine. In a NovaLink environment, the system will try to use an internal virtual switch (named MGMTSWITCH) to provide the RMC connections. This internal management network requires that images be created with rsct or later. See Updating Reliable Scalable Cluster Technology (RSCT) packages for PowerVM NovaLink for details.
  • The PowerVC virtual machine or server must be able to communicate with the SAN Volume Controller.