"Virtualization" is the concept of executing software in an environment that minimizes or eliminates the software's dependence on the hardware on which it runs. This is a critical IT concept that can be leveraged to satisfy today's demand for managing dynamic workloads, optimizing computing resource, and quickly responding to requests for additional computing capacity. By using this technology, you can virtualize one or more of the resources used to build your IT infrastructure, resulting in a wide range of benefits for both the provider and consumers. Virtualization of resources is a prerequisite for building a successful cloud infrastructure, and the effective management of a vitalized environment has become critical in the pursuit of maximum benefits.

The IBM i™ operating system (OS) has always been known for its innovative technology to run multiple applications in a single environment, virtualize storage with its single level storage, and to integrate security, DB2 for i, and other middleware. In addition, IBM i network install and virtual media support provide unbeatable hands off install and save capabilities. The combination of IBM i and IBM PowerVM™ deliver powerful virtualization technologies and together with IBM Power™ Systems offer an integrated solution for managing unpredictable growth.

Further extend your virtualization capabilities with IBM PowerVC™ Virtualization Center. It provides a powerful yet simple way to further virtualize your IT infrastructure by enabling you to quickly add additional IBM i OS instances into the environment using virtual appliance technology. IBM PowerVC can also optimize resources by adjusting allocations across a mixed environment or suspending individual IBM i environments during quiet times.

Frequently asked questions

What does virtualization mean?

Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as a hardware platform, operating system, a storage device or network resources. The goal of virtualization is to centralize administrative tasks while improving scalability and overall hardware-resource utilization.

Why do I have to virtualize all my resources before I can take advantage of and/or participate in cloud computing?

When building an infrastructure of hardware-resources, the rule-of-thumb is that the more "virtualized" the resources, the more this pool of hardware resources can be the leveraged and the greater the benefits. Without some virtualized resources, you cannot expect to see the benefits of cloud computing. The more virtualized the infrastructure you are using to serve your clients, the more benefits will be seen by both you and your consumers.

What virtualization technologies are currently available with IBM i on Power Systems?

  • PowerVM Hypervisor
    • for virtual machine environments of CPU and memory
    • IBM i server partitions can provide virtual I/O resources to IBM i, AIX, and iSCSI attached blade servers
  • Virtualized storage and networking - VIOS and external storage
    • the basis for satisfying many virtualization requirements
  • Network install
    • provides dynamic install capability for software products
    • Suspend/Resume – suspend a workload
      • minimizes resource usage for environments that have varying usage requirements
    • Active Memory Sharing
      • intelligently exchange memory between running partitions

What are the benefits of virtualization to my business?

The combination of IBM i, Power Systems, PowerVM, and PowerVC can increase your capability to meet unexpected customer and market demands while simultaneously reducing your infrastructure management costs.

  • Achieve business success with the flexible, scalable IBM Power Systems family
  • Reduce complexity and costs by managing multiple environments on a single system with PowerVM
    • Get better utilization of I/O by sharing across multiple partitions
    • Deploy and manage new IBM i instances quickly and consistently using PowerVC
  • Simplify management of IT resources with the integrated application environment provided by the IBM i operating system