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IBM i I/O Support Details

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You are in: IBM i Technology Updates >  Hardware and Firmware > IBM i I/O Support Details
 

When adding or changing hardware, always refer to the IBM Prerequisite website for the up-to-date specifics for all types of code levels needed for support of a feature.

For general information about IBM i Technology Refreshes and Resaves, see IBM i Technology Refreshes and Resaves.

See IBM i I/O Support Summary for a summary view of the items described below.


November 2020 - IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 3 and IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 9 and IBM i 7.2 Resave RS-720-Q

For more details about the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the October 6th, 2020,  IBM Power Systems enhancements announcement.
Dedicated and VIOS support for PCIe4 x8 NVMe Flash adapters - IBM i 7.4 TR 3, IBM i 7.3, IBM i 7.2

IBM i 7.4 TR3 natively supports PCIe4 x8 NVMe Flash adapters as Add in Cards (AICs) that provide multiple capacity points for enterprise workloads on selected Power servers with POWER9™ technology. Support is for selected dedicated and VIOS VSCSI attached NVMe devices. These low latency devices can be used as IBM i load sources and are able to provide a high number of IOPS and enhanced virtualization capabilities.  Mirroring is required.  Pairs of these storage devices can be added to LPAR configurations as dedicated PCIe devices.

Each mirrored set of devices is a partitionable endpoint that can be dedicated to an LPAR, meaning that multiple partitions may be configured for a single system unit without the need to use virtualization.

IBM i 7.4, 7.3, and 7.2 configurations with VIOS are also supported as virtual SCSI drives that are backed by NVMe devices.  For VIOS configurations, support is for VIOS VSCSI LVM client only, so block size is 4096.
 IBM i  IBM i with VIOS
  1.6 TB  #EC7K, #EC7J  #EC7B, #EC7A
  3.2 TB  #EC7M, #EC7L  #EC7D, #EC7C
  6.4 TB  #EC7P, #EC7N 
 #EC7F, #EC7E
Additional code levels required:
- FW950, or later
- VIOS 3.1.2.10 (for VIOS configurations), or later

#EN2A, #EN2B - PCIe3 16 Gb 2-port Optical Fibre Channel adapter
IBM i 7.4 TR 3, IBM i 7.3 TR 9, and IBM i 7.2 support the new two-port PCIe2 16 Gb Fibre Channel Adapter feature codes.  IBM i 7.4 and 7.3 have native support.  IBM i 7.4, 7.3 and 7.2 are supported in VIOS NPIV and VSCSI configurations.   
See the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center for specific Storage System configurations supported.  Submit a SCORE if you require an additional configuration to be supported that is not already listed in SSIC.  

Additional code levels required:
For VIOS configurations, one of these supported releases:
- 3.1.2.10, or later
- 3.1.0.50, or later
- 3.1.1.30, or later

#EC6J, #EC6K - PCIe2 x8 2-Port USB 3.0 adapter
IBM i 7.4 TR 3, IBM i 7.3 TR 9 support the PCIe gen2 x8 Low Profile 2-port USB 3.0 adapter, which provides support for USB devices on Power Systems with POWER9 technology.

Additional code levels required:
For VIOS configurations, VIOS 3.1.2.10, or later

Mainstream 931 GB, 1.86 TB, 3.72 TB, and 7.44 TB capacity solid-state drives (SSDs) - IBM i 7.4, 7.3, 7.2
IBM i supports new Mainstream 2.5" SSD features with IBM i.   Previously known as "Read Intensive SSDs", this type of drive is rated at 1 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day), calculated over a 5-year period. These drives are supported on POWER9 systems in both the system unit and in a disk expansion drawer. There are multiple options for packaging of the drives. The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the System Unit gen3 bays. The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24SX SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#ESLS).

Feature codes for specific Mainstream SAS 4k SSDs for IBM i configurations are:

IBM i SFF-3

IBM i SFF-2

IBM i with VIOS SFF-3

IBM i with VIOS SFF-2

931 GB

#ESJT 

#ESJK

#ESJS

#ESJJ

1.86 TB

#ESJV

#ESJM 

#ESJU 

#ESJL

3.72 TB #ESJX  #ESJP #ESJW #ESJN

7.45 TB

#ESJZ  

#ESJR

#ESJY 

#ESJQ


Note 1 - The 7.45 TB SSD and any virtual LUN greater than 2 TB require IBM i 7.4.

Details about code requirements:
– Power Systems with POWER9 technology:  Any supported IBM i release
-- For VIOS configurations, VIOS 3.1.2.10, or later

July 2020 - IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 2 and IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 8 and IBM i 7.2 Resave RS-720-Q

For more details about the new I/O for Power Systems with POWER9 technology, see the features listed and described in the following July 14th announcement letters:

Storage backplanes and Passthru Card for Power Systems Scale Out models with POWER9 technology and PCIe gen4 switches
In addition to the options for Storage backplanes that were available for the previous Power Systems Scale Out models with POWER9 technology, there are several new options for storage backplanes for the new Power Systems Scale Out models with POWER9 technology and PCIe gen4 slots.  There is also a passthru card that is required for cabling some of NVMe devices to the storage backplane in some configurations, such as with the #EJ1T and #EJ1V storage backplanes. 
All options are supported natively for IBM i 7.4.  However, only #EJ1S is supported natively for IBM i 7.3 and 7.2, and only for the SAS slots.  All options are supported as IBM i virtual client for IBM i virtualization and VIOS configurations.
The storage backplane options provide different numbers of SFF-3 Bays for SAS disk and PCIe Gen4 U.2 bays for NVMe:
Model 41G & 42G  Model 22G (8-, 10-, 11-cores) Model 22G (1-core)
NVMe U.2 Passthru adapter Gen4 capable #EJ1Q  #EJ1Q  #EJ1Q
6 SFF-3 bays & 2 NVMe U.2 drive slots   #EJ1S N/A N/A
4 NVMe U.2 drive slots #EJ1U #EJ1W  #EJ1W
2 NVMe U.2 drive slots  #EJ1T  #EJ1V  #EJ1V
Dedicated and VIOS support for Enterprise PCIe4 NVMe U.2 modules - IBM i 7.4 TR 2, IBM i 7.3 TR 8, IBM i 7.2
IBM i 7.4 TR2 natively supports selected Enterprise PCIe4 NVMe U.2 modules that provide multiple capacity points for enterprise workloads on selected Power servers with POWER9™ technology.  These low latency devices can be used as IBM i load sources and are able to provide a high number of IOPS and enhanced virtualization capabilities.  Mirroring is required.  Mirrored sets of these storage devices can be added to LPAR configurations as dedicated PCIe devices.  Support is also provided for VIOS VSCSI attached NVMe devices.

Each mirrored set of devices is a partitionable endpoint that can be dedicated to an LPAR, meaning that multiple partitions may be configured for a single system unit without the need to use virtualization.

IBM i 7.4, 7.3, and 7.2 configurations with VIOS are also supported as virtual SCSI drives that are backed by NVMe devices.  For VIOS configurations, support is for VIOS VSCSI LVM client only, so block size is 4096.
 IBM i  IBM i with VIOS
  1.6 TB  #ES1F   #ES1E
  3.2 TB  #ES1H   #ES1G
  6.4 TB  #EC5W    #EC5V

November 2019 - IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 7 and IBM i 7.2

For more details on the new Power I/O features and enhancements listed below, see the October 8, 2019, announcement letter IBM Power Systems enhancements

Dedicated and VIOS support for selected PCIe3 x8 SSD NVMe adapters - IBM i 7.4 TR 1, IBM i 7.3, IBM i 7.2

IBM i 7.4 TR1 natively supports PCIe3 x8 SSD NVMe adapters that provide multiple capacity points for enterprise workloads on selected Power servers with POWER9™ technology. Support is for selected dedicated and VIOS VSCSI attached NVMe devices. These low latency devices can be used as IBM i load sources and are able to provide a high number of IOPS and enhanced virtualization capabilities.  Mirroring is required.  Pairs of these storage devices can be added to LPAR configurations as dedicated PCIe devices. 

Each mirrored set of devices is a partitionable endpoint that can be dedicated to an LPAR, meaning that multiple partitions may be configured for a single system unit without the need to use virtualization. 

IBM i 7.4, 7.3, and 7.2 configurations with VIOS are also supported as virtual SCSI drives that are backed by NVMe devices.  Other previously announced devices can be used for the VIOS boot disk but should not be virtualized to IBM i.  For VIOS configurations, support is for VIOS VSCSI LVM client only, so block size is 4096.

 IBM i  IBM i with VIOS
  1.6 TB  #EC6V, #EC6U  #EC5B, #EC5G
  3.2 TB  #EC6X #EC6W  #EC5D, #EC5C
  6.4 TB  #EC6Z, #EC6Y  #EC5F, #EC5E

Additional code levels required:

FW940, or later

VIOS 3.1.0 (for VIOS configurations)

New Enterprise SSDs – 387 GB, 775 GB, 1.55 TB - IBM i 7.4, IBM i 7.3 TR 3, and IBM i 7.2 TR 7

A new generation of enterprise 2.5-inch solid-state drives (SSD) improves enterprise-class reliability, endurance, and capacity characteristics.

Feature codes for specific Enterprise SAS SSDs for IBM i configurations are:

IBM i SFF-3

IBM i SFF-2

IBM i with VIOS SFF-3

IBM i with VIOS SFF-2

387 GB, 4K

#ESB9

#ESBB

#ESB8

#ESBA

387 GB, 5xx

-

-

#ESB0

#ESB2

775 GB, 4K

#ESBF

#ESBH

#ESBE

#ESBG

775 GB, 5xx

-

-

#ESB4

#ESB6

1.55 TB, 4K

#ESBK

#ESBM

#ESBJ

#ESBL

Details about code requirements:

  • Power Systems with POWER9 technology:  Any supported IBM i release
  • Power Systems with POWER8 technology: IBM i 7.4 or IBM i 7.3 TR 3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 7, or later

May and June 2019 - IBM i 7.4 and IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 6

For more details on the new Power I/O features and enhancements listed below, see the April 23, 2019, announcement letter IBM Power Systems hardware enhancements

#EC66, #EC67 - PCIe4 2-port 100 Gb ROCE EN adapter adds dedicated and native SR-IOV NIC, and dedicated and native SR-IOV RoCE

IBM i enhances its support of the PCIe gen4 dual port 100 Gb Ethernet adapter for IBM i 7.4 and IBM i 7.3 TR 6.  IBM i adds both dedicated driver and native SR-IOV support for the Network Interface Card (NIC) function.  This adapter is already available for use in IBM i configurations with Virtual I/O Server (VIOS).  IBM i 7.4 also adds both dedicated driver and native SR-IOV support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) to allow remote direct memory access (RDMA); this RoCE support is used only by IBM Db2 Mirror for i.  #EC66 is a high profile card and #EC67 is a low profile card.  Note that IBM i native SR-IOV NIC and native SR-IOV RoCE require system firmware 930 or later.  If using vNIC, then VIOS 3.1.0.20 or VIOS 2.2.6.40 is also required.

#EC3M, #EC3L, #EC2T, #EC2U, #EC2R, #EC2S PCIe 2-port Ethernet adapters add dedicated and native SR-IOV RoCE

IBM i 7.4 adds both dedicated driver and native SR-IOV support for RoCE for PCIe gen3 Ethernet adapters to allow remote direct memory access (RDMA); this RoCE support is used only by IBM Db2 Mirror for i.  Sharing these adapters with SR-IOV allows more configuration flexibility.  These adapters are already available for dedicated and native SR-IOV support for NIC, and for use in IBM i configurations with Virtual I/O Server (VIOS).  Note that IBM i native SR-IOV RoCE requires system firmware FW 930, or later.  If using vNIC, then VIOS 3.1.0.20 or VIOS 2.2.6.40 is also required.

#EMXH – PCIe3 6-Slot Fanout Module for PCIe3 Expansion Drawer

This is a new feature for a PCIe3 I/O expansion drawer, supported by IBM i 7.4, IBM i 7.3 TR 6, and IBM i 7.2 TR9.

#EJ19, #EJ1R, and #EJ20 – PCIe x16 to CXP Converter Card

This new card allows an I/O expansion drawer with the new PCIe3 6-Slot Fandout Module to be attached to the System Unit.  For Scale Out systems, this card is single wide, so it does not block an adjacent PCIe gen4 x16 card slot.  IBM i 7.4, IBM i 7.3 TR 6, and IBM i 7.2 TR9 all support this card.

New Enterprise SSDs – 387 GB, 775 GB, 1.55 TB Enterprise

IBM i supports the 2.5 inch small form factor SAS SSDs that feature 3D NAND technology. These drives are rated at 10 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day), calculated over a five-year period. They may be used on Power servers with POWER8 or newer technology.

Feature codes for specific Enterprise SAS SSDs for IBM i configurations are:

IBM i SFF-3

IBM i SFF-2

IBM i with VIOS SFF-3

IBM i with VIOS SFF-2

387 GB, 4K

#ES91

#ES95

#ES90

#ES94

387 GB, 5xx

-

-

#ESGT

#ESGV

775 GB, 4K

#ESND

#ESNB

#ESNC

#ESNA

775 GB, 5xx

-

-

#ESGX

#ESGZ

1.55 TB, 4K

#ESNH

#ESNF

#ESNG

#ESNE

Details about code requirements:

  • Power Systems with POWER9 technology:  Any supported IBM i release
  • Power Systems with POWER8 technology: IBM i 7.4 or IBM i 7.3 TR 3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 7, or later

New Mainstream SSDs – 931 GB, 1.86 TB, 3.72 TB, 7.45 TB
IBM i supports new Mainstream 2.5" SSD features with IBM i . Previously known as "Read Intensive SSDs", this type of drive is rated at 1 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day), calculated over a 5-year period. These drives are supported on POWER9 and POWER8 systems in both the system unit and in a disk expansion drawer. There are multiple options for packaging of the drives. The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the System Unit gen3 bays. The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24SX SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#ESLS).

Feature codes for specific Mainstream SAS 4k SSDs for IBM i configurations are:

IBM i SFF-3

IBM i SFF-2

IBM i with VIOS SFF-3

IBM i with VIOS SFF-2

931 GB

#ESJ9

#ESJ1

#ESJ8

#ESJ0

1.86 TB

#ESJB

#ESJ3

#ESJA

#ESJ2

3.72 TB

#ESJD

#ESJ5

#ESJC

#ESJ4

7.45 TB (Note 1)

#ESJF

#ESJ7

#ESJE

#ESJ6

Note 1 - The 7.45 TB SSD and any virtual LUN greater than 2 TB require IBM i 7.4.

Details about code requirements:

–Power Systems with POWER9 technology:  Any supported IBM i release

–Power Systems with POWER8 technology: IBM i 7.4 or IBM i 7.3 TR 3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 7, or later


October 2018 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 5 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 9

 

#EC66 - PCIe4 2-port HP 100 Gb ROCE EN adapter

With IBM i 7.3 TR 5 and IBM i 7.2 TR 9, the PCIe4 2-port HP 100 Gb ROCE EN adapter is supported in Power Systems with POWER9 technology.  IBM i supports only the NIC function.  VIOS is required.  Additional code requirements:

  • VIOS 2.2.30 

For more details about this new adapter, delivering in October, 2018, see the following IBM Power Systems announcement:


September 2018 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 5 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 9

 

#EC67 - PCIe4 2-port LP 100 Gb ROCE EN adapter

With IBM i 7.3 TR 5 and IBM i 7.2 TR 9, the PCIe4 2-port LP 100 Gb ROCE EN adapter is supported in Power Systems with POWER9 technology.  IBM i supports only the NIC function.  VIOS is required.  Additional code requirements:

  • VIOS 2.2.30 

For more details about this new adapter, delivering in September, 2018, see the following IBM Power Systems announcement:

Mainstream SSDs
IBM i supports new Mainstream 2.5" SSD features.  Previously known as "Read Intensive SSDs", this type of drive is rated at 1 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day), calculated over a 5-year period.  These drives are supported on POWER9 and POWER8 systems in both the system unit and in a disk expansion drawer. There are multiple options for packaging of the drives.  The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the CEC gen3 bays.  The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24SX SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#ESLS).


In addition, IBM i Virtualization configurations are supported for IBM i 7.3, 7.2 and 7.1, but for IBM i 7.1 it is client support only and the client has a size limit of 1.2 TB.


Options for specific Mainstream SAS 4k SSD feature codes and their capacities for native IBM i configurations:

IBM i SFF-3  IBM i SFF-2  IBM i with VIOS SFF-3 IBM i with VIOS SFF-2 
931 GB #ESHT #ESHK #ESHS #ESHJ  
1.86 TB   #ESHV  #ESHM #ESHU #ESHL 
3.72 TB #ESMR #ESM9 #ESMQ #ESM8

Details about code requirements:

–Power System E980: IBM i 7.3 TR 5 or IBM i 7.2 TR 9, or later

–Power Systems S914, S922, S924, H924: IBM i 7.3 TR 4 or IBM i 7.2 TR 8, or later

–Power Systems with POWER8 technology: IBM i 7.3 TR 3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 7, or later

For more details about these new SSDs see the following IBM Power Systems announcement:


March 2018 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 4 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 8

For more details about the new I/O for Power Systems with POWER9 technology, delivering in March, 2018, see the features listed and described in the following announcements:

#EC2T, #EC2U - PCIe3 2-port 25/10 GbE IOA
With IBM i 7.3 TR 4, the PCIe3 2-port 25/10 GbE IOA is supported in Power Systems with POWER9 technology in native dedicated, native SR-IOV, and VIOS configurations.  For IBM i 7.2 TR8, only the VIOS configuration is supported.  For both releases IBM i supports only the NIC function.  Additional requirements are:

  • HMC Version 9
  • FW 910
  • VIOS 2.2.6  (if using VIOS configuration)

#EC2R, #EC2S - PCIe3 2-port 10 GbE IOA
With IBM i 7.3 TR 4, the PCIe3 2-port 10 GbE IOA is supported in Power Systems with POWER9 technology in native dedicated, native SR-IOV, and VIOS configurations.  For IBM i 7.2 TR 8, only the VIOS configuration is supported.  For both releases IBM i supports only the NIC function.  Additional requirements are:

  • HMC Version 9
  • FW 910
  • VIOS 2.2.6  (if using VIOS configuration)

#EC3M, #EC3L - PCIe3 2-port 100 GbE IOA adds Native and Native SR-IOV
The PCIe3 2-port 100 GbE QSFP28 Adapter x16 provides 100 Gb/s Ethernet connectivity.  It was previously announced (November 2016) as supported in IBM i configurations with VIOS. 

Now with IBM i 7.3 TR 4, this adapter is also supported in Power Systems with POWER9 technology in VIOS, native dedicated, and native SR-IOV configurations.  IBM i supports only the NIC function.  Additional requirements are:

  • HMC Version 9
  • FW 910
  • VIOS 2.2.6  (if using VIOS configuration)

When used in Power Systems with POWER8 technology, in addition to the VIOS configurations for IBM i 7.3 and 7.2, native dedicated configurations are now supported with IBM i 7.3 TR4.  IBM i supports only the NIC function.  It is a permanent restriction that there is no support for network boot (D-mode IPL).

#EN1A, #EN1B - PCIe3 32Gb 2-port Fibre Channel Adapter
With IBM i 7.3 TR 4 and IBM i 7.2 TR 8, the PCIe Gen3 32 Gigabit dual-port Optical Fibre Channel (FC) Adapter is supported in Power Systems with POWER 9 technology.  This is a high-performance 8x adapter based on the Broadcom LPe32002 PCIe Host Bus Adapter (HBA). The adapter provides two ports of 32Gb Fibre Channel capability using SR optics. Each port can provide up to 32Gb Fibre Channel functions simultaneously.  Both IBM i native and VIOS configurations are supported.


#EN1C, #EN1D - PCIe3 16Gb 4-port Fibre Channel Adapter
With IBM i 7.3 TR 4 and IBM i 7.2 TR 8, the PCIe Gen3 16 Gigabit quad-port Optical Fibre Channel (FC) Adapter is supported on Power Systems with POWER9 technology.  This is a high-performance x8 PCIe adapter based on the Emulex LPe31004 PCIe Host Bus Adapter (HBA). The adapter provides four ports of 16Gb Fibre Channel capability using SR optics. Each port can provide up to 16Gb Fibre Channel functions simultaneously.  Both IBM i native and VIOS configurations are supported.

Storage backplanes for Power Systems Scale Out models with POWER9 technology
There are several options for storage backplanes for the Power Systems Scale Out models with POWER9 technology.  The options provide different numbers of bays for SFF-3 SAS disk and RDX, an optional external SAS port, and different IOAs:
Models 41A & 42A Model 22A
Base Storage Backplane  #EJ1C (12 SFF-3 Bays +  RDX bay)  #EJ1F (8 SFF-3 Bays)
Expanded Function Storage Backplane
#EJ1D (18 SFF-3 Bays/Dual IOA with Write Cache/Opt Ext SAS port)
#EJ1M (12 SFF-3 Bays/RDX Bay/Opt Ext SAS port) 
#EJ1G (8 SFF-3 Bays/Single IOA with Write Cache)
Split Base Backplane: Add 2nd SAS Ctl #EJ1E (Split #EJ1C to 6+6 SFF-3 Bays)  #EJ1H (Split #EJ1F to 4+4 SFF-3 Bays)
 

December 2017 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 3, IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 7

New 387 GB, 775 GB, and 1.55 TB Enterprise SSDs

IBM i 7.3 TR 3 and IBM i 7.2 TR 7 support the 2.5 inch small form factor SAS SSDs that feature 3D NAND technology.  These drives are rated at 10 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day), calculated over a five-year period.  They may be used on Power servers with POWER8 or newer technology.

Options for specific Enterprise SAS SSD feature codes and their capacities for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ESG6 - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGA - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGC - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGE - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGG - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGJ - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGL - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGN - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGQ - 1.55 TB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESGS - 1.55 TB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i

Options for specific Enterprise SAS SSD feature codes and their capacities for IBM i configurations with VIOS:

  • #ESG5 - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESG9 - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-3 SSD
  • #ESGB - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESGD - 387 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD
  • #ESGF - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESGH - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 5xx SFF-3 SSD
  • #ESGK - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESGM - 775 GB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD
  • #ESGP - 1.55 TB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESGR - 1.55 TB Enterprise SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD

For more details about these SSDs, see November 2017 announce:  IBM Power Systems SSD options.


Oct to Dec 2017 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 3, IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 7, and IBM i 7.1

IBM Mainstream SSD and 15K RPM HDD features - IBM i 7.3 TR 3, IBM i 7.2 TR 7, IBM i 7.1 virtual
For more details on the SSD and HDD features listed below, see Announcement Letter IBM Power Systems HDD and SSD options offer enhanced performance at a lower cost.

Mainstream SSDs

IBM i supports new Mainstream 2.5" SSD features in lower and higher capacity points than was previously available.  Previously known as "Read Intensive SSDs", this type of drive is rated at 1 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day), calculated over a 5-year period.  These drives are supported on POWER8 systems in both the system unit and in a disk expansion drawer. There are multiple options for packaging of the drives.  The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the CEC gen3 bays.  The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24SX SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#ESLS).

In addition, IBM i Virtualization configurations are supported for IBM i 7.3, 7.2 and 7.1, but for IBM i 7.1 it is client support only and the client has a size limit of 1.2 TB.

Options for specific Mainstream SAS 4k SSD feature codes and their capacities for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ES84 - 931 GB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ES8Z - 931 GB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ES93 - 1.86 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ES97 - 1.86 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESE2 - 3.72 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
  • #ESE8 - 3.72 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i

Options for specific Mainstream SAS 4k SSD feature codes and their capacities for IBM i configurations with VIOS:

  • #ES83 - 931GB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD
  • #ES8Y - 931GB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ES92 - 1.86 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD
  • #ES96 - 1.86 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ESE1 - 3.72 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD
  • #ESE7 - 3.72 TB Mainstream SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD

15K rpm HDDs

IBM i also supports a refresh of existing 15K rpm HDDs, which have 256 MB DRAM that can improve performance over previous 15K rpm disk drives in some configurations. 

In addition, IBM i Virtualization configurations are supported for IBM i 7.3, 7.2 and 7.1, but for IBM i 7.1 it is client support only.

Options for specific 15K rpm 4k HDD feature codes and their capacities for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ESNJ - 283 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-3 HDD for IBM i
  • #ESNL - 283 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-2 HDD for IBM i
  • #ESNN - 571 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-3 HDD for IBM i
  • #ESNQ - 571 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-2 HDD for IBM i

Options for specific 15K rpm 4k HDD feature codes and their capacities for IBM i configurations with VIOS:

  • #ESNK - 300 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-3 HDD
  • #ESNM - 300 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-2 HDD
  • #ESNP - 600 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-3 HDD
  • #ESNR - 600 GB 15K RPM SAS 4k SFF-2 HDD

IBM TS1155 Tape Drive - IBM i 7.3 TR 3, IBM i 7.2 TR 7, IBM i 7.1 PTF MF63487
IBM i supports the TS1155 tape drive, providing greater capacity than the IBM TS1150 tape drive.   Use of the TS1155 tape drive delivers up to 15 TB native capacity on existing JD media.  

IBM TS4300 Tape Library - IBM i 7.3 TR 3, IBM i 7.2 TR 7, IBM i 7.1 PTF MF63487

IBM i supports the IBM TS4300 Tape Library to meet the needs of entry and mid-range customers.   For IBM i 7.1 support, PTF MF63487 is required.  See Announcement Letter IBM TS4300 tape library for more information.

IBM LTO8 Tape Technology - IBM i 7.3 TR 3, IBM i 7.2 TR 7, IBM i 7.1 PTF MF64114

IBM i supports LTO8 tape technology, which doubles media capacity, compared with LTO7 tape technology.  For more information, see these Announcement Letters:


March 2017 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 2, IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 6, and IBM i 7.1

For more details on the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the February 2017 announcement letter IBM Power Systems enhances its server and I/O options.

#EUA4 - RDX USB External Docking Station
Feature EUA4 is a follow-on product to the feature EU04 RDX docking station. The rugged removable disk cartridge and docking station can be used similar to a tape drive. This can be an excellent entry system save or restore option and a good alternative to DAT72, DAT160, 8mm, and VXA-2 and VXA-320 tapes, particularly for entry server configurations.  IBM i 7.3 TR2, IBM i 7.2 TR6, and IBM i 7.1 TR11 with PTF MF63266 support this device.  A system with POWER8 technology, and Firmware level 860.20, or later, is required.


March 2017 - IBM i 7.3, IBM i 7.2, and IBM i 7.1

For more details on the new Power I/O features listed below, see the January 2017 announcement letter IBM Power Systems enhances I/O and server options.

PCIe1 SAS Tape/DVD Dual-port 3Gb x8 Adapter (#EJ1P/EJ1N)
PCIe1 SAS Tape/DVD Dual-port 3Gb x8 Adapter (#EJ1P/EJ1N) is a new SAS/tape adapter used to attach some of the older external tape drives and removable media that do not attach via the newer and faster PCIe3 adapters.  This adapter is intended for use on systems with POWER8 technology.  Any supported level of IBM i 7.3, 7.2, or 7.1 code provides support for this new feature code.   


November 2016 - IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 5

For more details on the new Power I/O features listed below, see the announcement letter Power Systems enhances I/O and server options.

#ESLS - EXP24SX SAS Storage Enclosure

The new EXP24SX is a storage expansion enclosure with twenty-four 2.5-inch SFF SAS bays and support for 12Gb SAS interfaces. The bays use carriers/trays identical to the carrier/trays in the previous EXP24S Drawer.

#EJ32, #EJ33 - PCIe3 Crypto Coprocessor 4767

The PCIe Cryptographic Coprocessor 4767 is a high-performance hardware security module (HSM) suitable for high-security processing and high-speed cryptographic operations.  It is the latest generation and fastest of the IBM cryptographic coprocessor family. The adapter is a PCIe Gen1 x4 full-height short card. The adapter runs in dedicated mode only (no PowerVM virtualization).

#EC3M, #EC3L - PCIe3 2-port 100 GbE

The new PCIe3 2-port 100 GbE QSFP28 Adapter x16 (#EC3M, #EC3L) provides 100 Gb/s Ethernet connectivity. IBM i 7.3 TR1 and IBM i 7.2 TR5 support is only in configurations with VIOS, and only for the NIC capability.

#EUA3 - RDX USB Top Mount Docking Station

An RDX USB Top Mount Docking Station (#EUA3) is now available for a Power S814 tower configuration. This provides more integrated RDX packaging for entry POWER8 servers running IBM i.


May 2016 - IBM i 7.3 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 3 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 11

IBM TS4500 R3 Tape Library
The TS4500 R3 includes dual robotic accessors to help increase mount performance and overall system availability.  See IBM TS4500 Tape Library announcement letter for more details.


April and May 2016 - IBM i 7.3 and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 4 and IBM i 7.1 Resave RS-710-S

Unless noted otherwise, for more details on the new Power I/O features listed below, see the April 12 2016 announcements:

#EJ14 - PCIe3 12GB Cache RAID PLUS SAS Adapter

The PCIe3 12GB Cache RAID PLUS SAS Adapter can support up to 72 SSDs and provides higher performance than the predecessor #EJ0L adapter.   Both IBM i 7.3 and IBM i 7.2 TR4 are supported.

#EN0F/#EN0G - PCIe2 8Gb 2-Port Fibre Channel Adapter
This new PCIe2 8Gb 2-Port Fibre Channel Adapter is an alternate choice for IBM i configurations with VIOS.  IBM i client partitions may be IBM i 7.3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 4.  IBM i 7.1 client partitions are also supported.

#5785/#5277 - PCIe 4-Port Async EIA-232 Adapter

Previously supported by AIX and Linux, the PCIe 4-Port Async EIA-232 Adapter now adds IBM i support.  IBM i 7.3 and IBM i 7.2 TR4 are supported.  IBM i 7.1 support is also available with resave level RS-710-S.

1.9 TB Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SSD
IBM Power servers with POWER8 technology running IBM i 7.3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 4 can now use a new 2.5" Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SAS SSD.  This drive is intended to provide a lower cost per TB of SSD storage in a space-efficient footprint.  Like all other SSDs, its performance is excellent when compared with hard disk drives (HDDs).  However, performance compared with the higher cost generations of eMLC3 or eMLC4 SSDs is expected to be noticeably slower in many scenarios, especially for writes.  Also, there are new special warranty considerations due to the drive's limited write capability.  To help monitor the number of writes to the drive, IBM i provides an SSD Fuel Gauge

There are multiple options for packaging of the drives.  The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the CEC gen3 bays.  The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#EL1S).

In addition, IBM i Virtualization configurations are supported for IBM i 7.3, 7.2 and 7.1, but for IBM i 7.1 it is client support only and the client has a size limit of 1.2 TB.

Options for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ES81 - 1.9TB Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD for IBM i
  • #ES8K - 1.9TB Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD for IBM i

Options for IBM i configurations with VIOS:

  • #ES80 - 1.9TB Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SAS 4k SFF-2 SSD
  • #ES8J - 1.9TB Mainstream (aka Read Intensive) SAS 4k SFF-3 SSD

See more information in the IBM Knowledge Center topic Mainstream SSDs

387/775/1550 GB 2.5" SAS eMLC4 2.5" SSDs
IBM Power servers running IBM i 7.3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 4 can use new fourth-generation Enterprise Multi-Level Cell (eMLC4) 2.5 inch SAS SSDs, with up to 1.55 TB capacity.  These drives are available in two different carriers.  The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the System Unit gen3 bays of Power systems with POWER8 technology.  The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#EL1S).   Drives are available in both 5xx and 4k sector sizes.  IBM i 7.1 native support is also available for the 387 GB and 775 GB capacities with IBM i 7.1 resave level RS-710-S.

In addition, IBM i Virtualization configurations are supported for IBM i 7.3, 7.2 and 7.1, but for IBM i 7.1 with the 1.55TB capacity drives, it is client support only and the client has a size limit of 1.2 TB.

Options for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ES79 - 387GB SFF-2 SSD 5xx eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES7F - 775GB SFF-2 SSD 5xx eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES7L - 387GB SFF-3 SSD 5xx eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES7Q - 775GB SFF-3 SSD 5xx eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES86 - 387GB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES8D - 775GB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES8G - 1.55TB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES8P - 387GB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES8R - 775GB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES8W - 1.55TB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4 for IBM i

Options for IBM i configurations with VIOS:

  • #ES78 - 387GB SFF-2 SSD 5xx eMLC4
  • #ES7E - 775GB SFF-2 SSD 5xx eMLC4
  • #ES7K - 387GB SFF-3 SSD 5xx eMLC4
  • #ES7P - 775GB SFF-3 SSD 5xx eMLC4
  • #ES85 - 387GB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4
  • #ES8C - 775GB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4
  • #ES8F - 1.55TB SFF-2 SSD 4k eMLC4
  • #ES8N - 387GB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4
  • #ES8Q - 775GB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4
  • #ES8V - 1.55TB SFF-3 SSD 4k eMLC4

387/775 GB 1.8" SAS eMLC4 SSDs
IBM Power servers running IBM i 7.3 or IBM i 7.2 TR 4 can use new fourth-generation Enterprise Multi-Level Cell (eMLC4) 1.8 inch SAS SSDs, with up to 775 GB capacity.  These drives are placed in a 1.8" SAS bay of a Power System with POWER8 technology.  Drives are available in both 5xx and 4k sector sizes.  IBM i 7.1 support is also available with IBM i 7.1 resave level RS-710-S.

Options for native IBM i configurations:

  • #ES1D - 387GB 1.8" SAS 5xx SSD eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES2W - 387GB 1.8" SAS 4k SSD eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES2Y - 775GB 1.8" SAS 5xx SSD eMLC4 for IBM i
  • #ES4L - 775GB 1.8" SAS 4k SSD eMLC4 for IBM i

Options for IBM i configurations with VIOS::

  • #ES1C - 387GB 1.8" SAS 5xx SSD eMLC4
  • #ES2V - 387GB 1.8" SAS 4k SSD eMLC4
  • #ES2X - 775GB 1.8" SAS 5xx SSD eMLC4
  • #ES4K - 775GB 1.8" SAS 4k SSD eMLC4

November 2015 - IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 3, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 11

Unless noted otherwise, for more details on the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the October 5th 2015 announcement:  Multiple enhancements for IBM Power Systems I/O and servers

LTO-7 Tape Drives

IBM i 7.2 TR 3 and IBM i 7.1 TR 11 support the new LTO-7 tape drives available in IBM Storage products.  These drives provide more capacity than previous generations of tape.  For specifics see the following IBM Storage announcements:

See IBM i Removable Media for additional details about IBM i support of LTO-7 tape.

4-port 8Gb Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN12)

IBM i 7.2 TR 3 and IBM i 7.1 TR 11 provide support for the High Profile 4-port 8 Gb Fibre Channel Adapter.  IBM i requires VIOS for this adapter.  This same adapter is also available as feature #EN0Y for low profile slots. 


May 2015 - IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 2, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 10

Unless noted otherwise, for more details on the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the April 28th 2015 IBM Power Systems:  Server and  I/O Enhancements RFA.

#EN15 / #EN16 / #EN17 / #EN18 - 4-port 10 Gb Ethernet NIC
Both SR optical and SFP+ Copper features for a new 4-port 10 Gb Ethernet NIC are supported by IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 for low profile and high profile slots.  Configurations can be native, native SR-IOV, or VIOS.  Use of this NIC adapter for LAN console with IBM i is supported. 

Requirements:

  • IBM i 7.2 TR 2 or IBM i 7.1 TR 10
  • HMC 8.3 (for SR-IOV)
  • FW 8.3 (for SR-IOV)
  • VIOS 2.2.3.51 (if using VIOS configuration)

Native and VIOS NPIV attachment of FlashSystem
IBM i 7.2 TR 2 supports native direct attach, as well as VIOS and native SAN attach with switches, for the IBM FlashSystem 900.  Previously, IBM i required SVC in a configuration with a FlashSystem.  Use of a Fibre Channel attached FlashSystem is an alternative to using native SAS SSD configurations.  See the FlashSystem 900 RFA for more details about this new storage system.  Check the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center for any additional FlashSystem configurations to be supported.  Submit a SCORE if you require an additional configuration to be supported.

Usage note:  

  • FlashSystem 900 configurations with IBM i need to specify 4096 block size using the Command Line Interface (CLI) on the FlashSystem.  At this time, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Flash System does not allow this value to be specified.

#EN0A / #EN0B Add IBM i 16 Gb FC Native Direct Attach
Both IBM i 7.2 TR 2 and IBM i 7.1 TR 10 support native direct attach configurations for the #EN0A and #EN0B PCIe2 16Gb 2-port Fibre Channel adapter.  IBM servers with POWER8 and POWER7+ technology and IBM external storage systems are supported.  See the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center for specific Storage Systems supported.  Submit a SCORE if you require an additional configuration to be supported.

Usage note:  

  • Both the source and the target must be using 16 Gb ports.

#EC2M / #EC2N / #EC37 / #EC38 - 10 Gb NIC/RoCE adapter
Both SR optical and SFP+ Copper options are available for the new 2-port 10 Gb Ethernet NIC / RoCE adapter.  IBM i support requires VIOS 2.2.3.51 or newer, and is for the NIC capability only.  The IBM i client may be IBM i 7.2 or IBM i 7.1.  


10K RPM Disks with 4K block sizes
IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 now have a number of options for 10K RPM Disks with 4K block sizes.

Requirements:

  • IBM i 7.2 TR 2 or IBM i 7.1 TR10 for native configurations less than 1.2 TB
  • IBM i 7.2 TR 2 for native configurations with 1.7 TB features
  • IBM i 7.2 for VIOS configurations with 4096 block sizes
  • IBM i 7.2 TR 1  or IBM i 7.1 TR9 for VIOS configurations with 4160 block sizes
  • Disk drive with one of the following feature codes:
             - #ESF4/ESF5 – 10K RPM 571/600 GB SFF-3 with 4K block size
             - #ESEU/ESEV – 10K RPM 571/600 GB SFF-2 with 4K block size
             - #ESF8/ESF9 – 10K RPM 1.1/1.2 TB SFF-3 with 4K block size
             - #ESF2/ESF3 – 10K RPM 1.1/1.2 TB SFF-2 with 4K block size
             - #ESFU/ESFV – 10K RPM 1.7/1.8 TB SFF-3 with 4K block size
             - #ESFS/ESFT – 10K RPM 1.7/1.8 TB SFF-2 with 4K block size

November 2014 - IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 9

Unless noted otherwise, for more details on the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the October 6th 2014 IBM Power Systems I/O enhancements RFA.

19-inch PCIe Gen3 4U I/O Expansion Drawer (#EMX0)

The 19-inch PCIe Gen3 4U I/O expansion drawer (#EMX0) provides slots to hold PCIe adapters that cannot be placed into a system node of an IBM Power E870 or E880 server.  For more details see either the IBM Power System E870 server RFA or the IBM Power System E880 server RFA.

TS1150 Enterprise Tape Drive

Also announcing in October 2014 and supported by both IBM i 7.2 and 7.1 is a new Enterprise Tape device TS1150.  This tape device is supported in the TS4500 and TS3500 tape libraries. See the IBM TS1150 RFA for more details.  

2.0 TB Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU2T)

Increased storage capacity is available in RDX removable disk technology with the 2.0 TB Removable Disk Drive Cartridge (#EU2T).  The release level supported matches that of the RDX docking station.

177 GB 1.8-inch SSD Read Intensive (#ES0Y/#ES0Z)

A 177 GB 1.8-inch solid-state drive (SSD) is available in two different formats for Easy Tier intensive-read applications:
 
- #ES0Y - 177 GB 1.8-inch 4k SSD Read Intensive for VIOS
- #ES0Z - 177 GB 1.8-inch SSD Read Intensive for VIOS 528 bytes

These Read Intensive drives may be used on an IBM i 7.2 or 7.1 partition only in a configuration with VIOS.

571/600 GB 15K RPM 5xx SAS Disk Drive (#ESDE/#ESDN/#ESDJ/#ESDK/#ESDP/#ESDF)
 
IBM Power servers running IBM i 7.2 or 7.1 can now add a 571 or 600 GB disk with 5xx Block size.  It is available on different carriers as follows:

For native IBM i configurations:

- #ESDE - 571 GB 15k RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive - 528 Block, single-sided format
- #ESDN - 571 GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-2 Disk Drive - 528 Block, single-sided format
- #ESDJ - 571 GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-1 Disk Drive - 528 Block, single-sided format

For IBM i configurations with VIOS:

-  #ESDK - 600 GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-1 Disk Drive - 5xx Block
-  #ESDP - 600 GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-2 Disk Drive - 5xx Block
-  #ESDF - 600 GB 15k RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive - 5xx Block

387/775 GB 4K SSD Drive (#ES0V/#ES0X/#ES0R/#ES0T/#ES0U/#ES0W/#ES0Q/#ES0S)
 
New 387 GB and 775 GB SSDs in two different carriers are available for use in servers with POWER8 technology.  The SFF-3 carriers are for use in the CEC gen3 bays.  The SFF-2 carriers are for use in the gen2 slots in the EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay Drawer (#EL1S).  Both IBM i 7.2 and 7.1 support are available.

For native IBM i configurations:

 - #ES0V - 387 GB SFF-3 4k SSD for IBM i
 - #ES0X - 775 GB SFF-3 4k SSD for IBM i
 - #ES0R - 387 GB SFF-2 4k SSD for IBM i
 - #ES0T - 775 GB SFF-2 4k SSD for IBM i

For IBM i configurations with VIOS:

 - #ES0U - 387 GB SFF-3 4k SSD
 - #ES0W - 775 GB SFF-3 4k SSD
 - #ES0Q - 387 GB SFF-2 4k SSD
 - #ES0S - 775 GB SFF-2 4k SSD

283/571 GB 15K RPM SAS 4K (#ESEY/#ESFA/#ESFE/#ESFN) adds VIOS

IBM i 7.2 and 7.1 now also support VIOS configurations with the 4K sector format.

PCIe Crypto Coprocessor (#EJ27/#EJ28/#EJ29)

Both IBM i 7.2 and 7.1 support a new set of feature codes for the PCIe Crypto Coprocessor cards.  These new features will still have the CCIN value 4765, and are identical in function to the predecessor #4807, #4808, and #4809 adapters.  The new feature codes supported are:

 - #EJ27 - No blind swap cassette
 - #EJ28 - gen3 blind swap cassette
 - #EJ29 - gen4 blind swap cassette


July 2014 - IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 8

For more details on the new Power I/O feature listed below, see the June 10th 2014 RFA: IBM Power Systems feature new I/O enhancements.

#ES0K - 387GB 1.8" SSD for IBM i

Both IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 TR 8 support the new third-generation eMLC 1.8-inch SSD for the EXP30 Ultra Drawer (#EDR1) on POWER7 systems.  This SSD can be specified as a load source.


June 2014 - IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 8

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the April 28 2014 RFAs for Power System S814 Server  or Power System S824 Server.

#EC46 - PCIe2 4-Port USB 3.0 Adapter

Both IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 TR 8 support the PCIe Gen2 x8 short 4-port USB 3.0 adapter, which provides support for USB devices on Power Systems with POWER8 technology.

#EJ10 - PCIe3 SAS Tape/DVD Adapter Quad-port 6Gb x8

The PCIe3 SAS Adapter is a high performance SAS tape controller using PCIe Gen3 x8 technology. It supports LTO-5 or LTO-6 tape drives and DVD.  #EJ10 is available for usage on Power Systems with POWER8 technology and on some POWER7 models as well.  IBM i 7.2, IBM i 7.1 TR 8, and IBM i 6.1 with machine code 6.1.1 support this adapter natively and in iVirtualization configurations.  IBM i 7.1, or later, is required for VIOS configurations.

Note that #EJ0J and #EJ10 are the same adapter with the same 57B4 CCIN, but have different feature code numbers to indicate different usage to IBM configurator tools. #EJ10 runs SAS LTO-5/LTO-6 tape drives and DVD, while #EJ0J runs HDD/SSD. Support of both tape/DVD and HDD/SSD on the same adapter is not supported.

Note also that #EJ0X Tape adapter, available earlier in 2014, does not support DVD, but also has the same CCIN 57B4.

New Ethernet NIC adapters for VIOS configurations on systems with POWER8 technology

Both IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 TR 8 support VIOS configurations for new hardware features that allow additional options to consider for Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) traffic on systems with POWER8 technology.  Those additional options are:

  • #EN0S - PCIe2 4-Port (10Gb+1GbE) SR+RJ45 Adapter - This is a PCIe Gen2 x8 short Ethernet adapter that supports Ethernet NIC (Network Interface Card) traffic. The adapter provides two 10 Gb SR optical ports and two 1 Gb RJ45 ports in a PCIe 8x short form adapter.
  • #EN0U - PCIe2 4-port (10Gb+1GbE) Copper SFP+RJ45 Adapter - This is a PCIe Gen2 x8 short Ethernet adapter that supports Ethernet NIC (Network Interface Card) traffic. The adapter provides two 10 Gb twinax copperl ports and two 1 Gb RJ45 ports in a PCIe 8x short form adapter.
  • #EN0W - PCIe2 2-port 10/1GbE BaseT RJ45 Adapter - This is a PCIe Gen2 short x8 adapter that provides two 10G-BaseT ports. The ports are RJ45. The ports default to automatically negotiate the highest speed either 10Gb (10GBaseT), 1Gb (1000BaseT) or 100Mb (100BaseT) full duplex. Each RJ45 port's configuration is independent of the other. The adapter supports Ethernet NIC (Network Interface Card) traffic.
  • #EC3B - PCIe3 2-Port 40GbE NIC RoCE QSFP+ Adapter - This is a PCIe Gen3 adapter that provides two 40 Gb Ethernet QSFP+ ports. IBM i supports only the NIC protocol on this adapter.  This card allows an IBM i partition with a VIOS configuration to attach to a 40 Gb networking infrastructure.  Although a single IBM i connection will not scale above 10 Gb at this time, this configuration does enable multiple IBM i client partitions to share the bandwidth of the 40 Gb connection.
     

Disk Drives for systems with POWER8 technology

The slots in the Power Systems with POWER8 technology are now "generation 3", so there are special feature codes for both Solid State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) with the proper carriers to fit into those systems.  Also, disk drives are now available with 4K block sizes.  IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 TR8 provide support for these specific feature codes when controlled by I/O adapter hardware assigned directly to the IBM i partition:

    - #ES0M - 387GB SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
    - #ES0P - 775GB SFF-3 SSD for IBM i
    - #ES17 - 387GB 1.8" SSD for IBM i
    - #ESD4 - 571GB 10K RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive (IBM i)
    - #ESD8 - 1.1TB 10K RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive (IBM i)
    - #ESDA - 283GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive (IBM i)
    - #ESDS - 283GB 10k RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive (IBM i)
    - #ESDU - 139GB 15k RPM SAS SFF-3 Disk Drive (IBM i)
    - #ESEY - 283GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-2 4K Block - 4224 Disk Drive
    - #ESFA - 283GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-3 4K Block - 4224 Disk Drive
    - #ESFE - 571GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-3 4K Block - 4224 Disk Drive
    - #ESFN - 571GB 15K RPM SAS SFF-2 4K Block - 4224 Disk Drive
 


June 2014 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 8 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the April 8 2014 RFA for IBM Power Systems POWER7/POWER7+ Enhancements.

PCIe2 4-port (10Gb FCoE & 1GbE) SFP+Copper&RJ45 (#EN0K)

An additional high profile 4-port Ethernet adapter with 10Gb and 1Gb ports is announced. The adapter supports NIC and FCoE workloads when used in VIOS configurations. Native SR-IOV for Ethernet is supported on select POWER7+ servers. For IBM i, native SR-IOV support is provided with IBM i 7.1 TR8.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code are supported as clients in VIOS iVirtualization configurations.

PCIe2 4-port SR&RJ45 Adapter (#EN0H) adds native SR-IOV

Existing #EN0H adapter is also adding SR-IOV support.  The adapter already supports NIC and FCoE workloads when used in VIOS configurations. Now Native SR-IOV for Ethernet is supported on select POWER7+ servers.   For IBM i, native SR-IOV support is provided with IBM i 7.1 TR8.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code are supported as clients in VIOS  and iVirtualization configurations.

PCIe2 LP 4-port(10Gb FCoE & 1GbE) SFP+Copper&RJ45 (#EN0L)

An additional low profile 4-port Ethernet adapter with 10Gb and 1Gb ports is announced.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code support this adapter for NIC and FCoE workloads when used in VIOS configurations.

PCIe2 16Gb 2-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN0A/#EN0B) Adds Native

IBM i now provides native support for the two-port PCIe2 16 Gb Fibre Channel Adapter.  Already available for VIOS configurations, now this adapter can be used without VIOS.  See SSIC for supported configurations.  Submit a SCORE if you require a configuration that is not already listed in SSIC.

EXP30 Ultra Drawer (#EDR1) adds cascading

IBM i 7.1 native (non-VIOS) SAS configurations can now support up to two EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay drawers (#5887) cascaded from an EXP30 Ultra Drawer (#EDR1).  IBM i 6.1 with Machine Code 6.1.1 can be a virtual client of an IBM i 7.1 configuration with this support.


June 2014 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 7 and IBM i 6.1 Additional Enhancements

PCIe3 LP RAID SAS Adapter with Zero Write Cache (#EJ0M)

The PCIe3 RAID SAS Adapter Quad-port 6 Gb x8 (#EJ0M) is the low profile version of the recently announced #EJ0J.  It is a very cost-effective solution for higher-performance I/O configurations of SFF (2.5 inch) SAS SSDs or HDDs with small or modest write workloads. It offers more performance and a higher maximum of attached SAS drives. The new adapter can offer over twice as many IOPS as the previous adapter and supports twice as many SSDs. The new adapter also supports HDDs and SSDs while the previous adapter supports only SSDs.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1.1 configurations are supported natively and with iVirtualization.  IBM i 7.1 is required for VIOS configurations.  For more details see the April 8 2014 RFA for IBM Power Systems POWER7/POWER7+ Enhancements.

EXP30 Ultra Drawer (#EDR1) adds VIOS support

Already available in native and iVirtualization configurations, IBM i 7.1 configurations with VIOS can now also use the EXP30 Ultra Drawer.  Note that VIOS 2.2.3.0 is required.  For boot device support, FW780 is also required.


Jan and Feb 2014 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 7 and IBM i 6.1 Additional Enhancements

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the January 14 2014 RFA for IBM Power Systems I/O.

PCIe3 12 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter (#EJ0L)

The PCIe3 12 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter Quad-port 6 Gb x8 (#EJ0L) is an excellent solution for higher-performance I/O configurations of SFF (2.5-in) SAS SSDs or HDDs.  Write cache adapters can significantly improve performance of workloads with write activity.  This adapter is the next-generation large-write-cache SAS adapter following the PCIe Gen2 (PCIe2) 1.8 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter (#5913/#ESA3). It offers significantly more performance and a higher maximum number of attached SAS drives.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1.1 configurations are supported natively and with iVirtualization.  IBM i 7.1 is required for VIOS configurations.

PCIe3 RAID SAS Adapter with Zero Write Cache (#EJ0J)

The PCIe3 RAID SAS Adapter Quad-port 6 Gb x8 (#EJ0J) is the next generation of zero write cache SAS adapters, following the feature ESA1 PCIe Gen2 (PCIe2) RAID SAS Adapter. It is is a very cost-effective solution for higher-performance I/O configurations of SFF (2.5 inch) SAS SSDs or HDDs with small or modest write workloads. It offers more performance and a higher maximum of attached SAS drives. The new adapter can offer over twice as many IOPS as the previous adapter and supports twice as many SSDs. The new adapter also supports HDDs and SSDs while the previous adapter supports only SSDs.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1.1 configurations are supported natively and with iVirtualization.  IBM i 7.1 is required for VIOS configurations.

PCIe3 SAS Tape Adapter Quad-port 6Gb (#EJ0X)

The PCIe3 SAS Tape Adapter Quad-port 6Gb (#EJ0X) supports the attachment of SAS LTO-5 and LTO-6 tape drives. The 6Gb ports offer twice the bandwidth of the 3 Gb ports on the preceding PCIe SAS adapter (#5901). This allows the PCIe3 SAS adapter to better match the performance bandwidth capabilities of the newer LTO SAS drives. Plus, the new PCIe3 adapter has four ports, whereas the previous PCIe adapter has two ports, giving a fourfold bandwidth advantage to the PCIe3 adapter.  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1.1 configurations are supported natively and with iVirtualization.  IBM i 7.1 is required for VIOS configurations.

PCIe Bisync Adapter (#EN13/#EN14)

Although the use of binary synchronous (Bisync) communications protocol has greatly decreased, some IBM i clients still have applications that need to be migrated to newer servers without replacing the existing bisync communications infrastructure. The feature EN13 and EN14 adapters can accommodate these needs on POWER7 and POWER7+™ technology-based servers.  These new adapters can be used instead of features #2893 and #2894, which are being withdrawn from marketing. (Note that non-binary synchronous functions are available for IBM i 7.1 TR5 and later releases through the lower-cost PCIe async adapter (#5289/#5290)).  Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1.1 configurations are supported natively.


November 2013 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 7 and IBM i 6.1 Additional Enhancements

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the October 7th, 2013 RFA for IBM Power Systems I/O.

PCIe2 1.8 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter Tri-port 6 Gb CR (#ESA3)

The PCIe2 1.8 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter Tri-Port 6 Gb CR (#ESA3) is a low cost version of the large-cache PCIe SAS adapter (#5913) that provides high-performance capabilities for large quantities of solid-state drives (SSD) or hard disk drives (HDD). This newer version has lower energy requirements and lower cost than the #5913, yet provides about the same performance.  POWER7+ servers are supported initially, with POWER7 support intended to follow.

Feature ESA3 is supported for the full set of SAS adapter functions on POWER6 servers with the exception of controlling boot drives or load source drives. On POWER6 servers, previously offered PCIe and PCI-X SAS adapters continue to offer boot drive and load source drive support.

Both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code support this new feature.

Higher performance 387 GB SFF SSD with eMLC (#ES10, #ES11, #ES19, #ES1A)

Advances in technology now allow a new 387 GB SFF SSD to have more IOPS (I/O operations per second) and improved latency.  IBM i support is provided for both POWER7 and POWER7+ servers, and for both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code. 

775 GB SFF SSD with eMLC (#ES0E, #ES0F, #ES0G, #ES0H)

The new 775 GB SFF SSD, using the same technology as the new higher performance 387 GB disk drive, doubles the capacity that can fit in a single slot.  IBM i support is provided for both POWER7 and POWER7+ servers, and for both IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code.

1.2 TB / 1.1 TB 10K RPM SAS HDD (#ESD0, #ESD1, #ESD2, #ESD3)

The 1.2 TB / 1.1 TB 10k RPM SAS HDD offers lower cost per gigabyte and better storage density compared to smaller HDDs. IBM i 7.1 TR 7 supports these new drives directly. IBM i 6.1 is supported with VIOS.  Both POWER7 and POWER7+ servers are supported.

Addition of Async PPP Protocol to PCIe 2 Port Async EIA-232 Adapter (#5289/5290)

IBM i 7.1 TR 7 adds Async PPP Protocol support for a significantly lower priced 2-port asynchronous communications adapter (#5289/#5290). IBM i clients gain additional configuration flexibility since this adapter is available for both low-profile and full-high PCIe slots in POWER7 and POWER7+ systems.

VIOS support for RDX USB Docking Station for Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU03/EU04)

Native and iVirtualization support has been offered since late 2012 for RDX technology (see information below for the October and November 2012 support of RDX for native and iVirtualization configurations).  Now the USB RDX technology is also being supported in VIOS configurations for the same USB hardware that was supported natively.  The virtual RDX device is shown in an IBM i partition as an Optical device, so the same command set applies.  This virtual support will be useful for virtual client partition back-up, save/restore, install, etc.

Note that VIOS 2.2.3.0 is required.  For boot device support, FW780 or FW770.30 is also required.

See Removable Mass Storage (RMS) for more details.

#5913/ESA1/ESA2 SAS Adapter Performance Boost with VIOS

Performance is boosted in a configuration of IBM i client with VIOS for the #5913/ESA1/ESA2 adapters.  With this support, there is better handling of "write" workloads. 

For any existing configurations with these adapters, the HDD/SSD disk drives need to be reformatted to get the boost.  An additional benefit is that the usable capacity on the SAS disk drives is also increased.

Note that VIOS 2.2.3.0 is required.  For boot device support, FW780 is also required.See SAS Adapter Performance Boost with VIOS for more details.
 


May/June/July 2013 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 and IBM i 6.1 Additional Enhancements

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the May 28th, 2013 RFA for IBM Power Systems I/O.

Native and direct attachment of SVC and Storwize Storage

IBM i 7.1 partitions on POWER7+ and POWER7 servers now support native attachment of IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and IBM Storwize V7000, IBM Storwize 5000, IBM Storwize V3700, and IBM Storwize V3500 storage systems.   This support is in addition to the existing VIOS support.  Both fabric attach and direct attach configurations are supported.

Loadsource device support is included, as is the full use of PowerHA for i, including Logical Unit (LUN) level switching.  See PowerHA SystemMirror Technology Updates for more information about PowerHA support. 

Native support is with IBM i 7.1 TR 6 plus additional permanently applied PTFs:  MF56600, MF56753, MF56854.  IBM i 7.1 RS-710-H  resave with the appropriate IBM i code levels ia also available.  IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code can be a virtual client in an iVirtualization configuration where IBM i 7.1 is the server partition.  Support is for all models of the IBM SVC and Storwize storage systems that have SVC code level 6.4.1.4, or later. 

For direct attach configurations, support is with 4 Gb PCIe dual port Fibre Channel adapters #5774 and #5276.

There are some "best practices" for configuration, namely:

  • Each host fibre channel port can be configured to support 1 or 2 paths to a maximum of 64 LUNs.  
  • Each IBM i fibre channel port logs into one port on each of the controller nodes.  
  • The recommended switch zoning is to have 1 host fibre channel port and one port from each node included in the same zone.
  • There is support for variable sized LUNs on the IBM Storwize Storage Systems, but 80 GB is the recommended minimum LUN size to create.  
  • Note that having just a small number of large LUNs is not recommended since best performance is achieved when data can be spread across multiple LUNs.  Use Disk Magic to characterize your workload to understand how many LUNs are required.
  • When setting up the configuration, formatting the LUNs before assigning them to the IBM i host partition is recommended when reusing storage that had an IBM i LUN that was deleted.
  • Because there is no support for host side SSD identification, the IBM i ASP balancer function will not recognize the IBM Storwize LUNs as SSDs; therefore, the IBM Storwize storage system should be configured for EasyTier.

See this techdoc for a summary of IBM i supported storage:  IBM i POWER External Storage Support Matrix Summary

For compatibility and availability information for specific fabric attach configurations, consult the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center.

For compatibility and availability information about SVC, see IBM SVC Information Center.

PCIe2 16 Gb 2-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN0A) support for Power 770 and 780

The two-port PCIe2 16 Gb Fibre Channel Adapter provides approximately twice the bandwidth per port of an 8 Gb Fibre Channel adapter. IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 require VIOS for this adapter.  Already available in March for smaller Power systems (see March announce information below), this adapter in June and July supports the latest Power 770 and 780 models.

PCIe2 4-port (10 Gb FCoE & 1 GbE) SR&RJ45 Adapter (#EN0H/EN0J) additional support

This combination 10 Gb plus 1 Gb adapter can potentially help consolidate two or more adapters, saving PCIe slots and adapters.  This four-port PCIe Gen2 adapter gives you two 10 Gb CNA/FCoE ports plus two 1 Gb Ethernet ports for use by IBM i partitions.  IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 support both the NIC and FCoE functions on this card.  VIOS is required.  Both VSCSI and NPIV protocols may be used.  Already available in March for smaller Power systems for the NIC protocol, this adapter in June and July adds support for the latest Power 770 and 780 models for both NIC and FCoE protocols.  In July the smaller Power systems will also add support of the FCoE protocol through VIOS.

Integrated Multifunction Card w/ 10 GbE RJ45 & Copper Twinax (#EN10/EN11) 

The integrated multifunction card that was available in March (see March announcement information below) for Ethernet and USB ports is now adding support for FCoE protocol through VIOS for use by IBM i partitions. VIOS virtual client configurations are supported for both IBM i 6.1 and IBM i 7.1.

EXP30 Ultra SSD I/O Drawer (#EDR1) support for Power 770 and 780

The #EDR1 EXP30 Ultra SSD I/O Drawer provides 30 hot-swap SSD bays and integrated large write cache, high performance SAS controllers.  Ultra-high levels of performance are enabled in an ultra-dense packaging design without using a PCIe slot on the server.  IBM i 7.1 has native attach and iVirtualization support of this drawer.  IBM i 6.1 has iVirtualization support only.  Already available in March for smaller Power systems, this I/O drawer in June and July adds support for the latest Power 770 and 780 models.

GX++ 2-port 10Gb FCoE CNA SR Optical Adapter (#EN22) support for Power 795

Available since late 2012 (see October and November 2012 announcement information below), this GX++ adapter provides PCIe Gen2 functionality and performance in extremely dense and efficient packaging for the Power 795.  IBM i support in July expands to include the FCoE protocol in addition to the Ethernet NIC function on this adapter, and requires the use of VIOS. Both VSCSI and NPIV protocols may be used.  Support is with IBM i 7.1TR 6 and with IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code, or later.


February and March 2013 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see I/O Enhancements for Power Systems.

IBM i 6.1.1 Native I/O Enablement (#EB34)

IBM i 6.1 with machine code 6.1.1 is supported as a virtual client of IBM i 7.1 or VIOS on the POWER7+ models. This means that all I/O must be virtual, served by either IBM i 7.1 or VIOS. Hardware feature #EB34 extends the configuration options to include native I/O attachment in addition to virtual attachment for selected POWER7+ models. This feature code delivers a VET code that can be applied via HMC or ASMI interfaces (similar to COD/CBU) that will enable IBM i 6.1.1 native I/O support for an IBM i 6.1 partition on the POWER7+ system.

The 6.1.1 native I/O is generally limited to the 6.1.1 native I/O that was available on prior POWER7 system models -- it does not include I/O that has been announced as IBM i 7.1 or later. An example is the IBM i native support for USB tape, which is available for IBM i 7.1 or later only.

Use of USB Flash Drive

IBM i 7.1 TR 6 on POWER7+ and POWER7 systems support the use of USB attached flash drives for both native attach and iVirtualization configurations (where IBM i is serving I/O to a virtual client IBM i partition, or where IBM i is a virtual client of an IBM i partition).

Flash drives, also referred to as memory keys or thumb drives, are very small pluggable devices that do not have removable media. A single flash drive can hold a large amount of data that would otherwise have needed multiple DVDs, and can typically access the data much faster. On IBM i, they are "optical class" devices whose main purpose is data movement such as IFS copy, Save/Restore operations directly to/from the device, or D-mode IPLs. Due to lack of reliability of flash drives in general, they are not recommended as backup devices, but they are very handy and useful for these types of operations:

- Copying a file (e.g., PTF fix, database file, spool file) from one IBM i partition to another.

- Copying a file from an IBM i partition to another type of system, for example, a Windows 7 or Apple PC

- Copying a mainstore dump and other debug info from an IBM i partition and taking it to another partition, or even a PC, to send it in to IBM service.

- Installing PTFs, or an XPF application

- ISV software distribution

- Performing a D mode IPL

- Use as an alternative to sending files over a network, if your network is constrained

The USB ports on POWER7 and POWER7+ system units can be used for flash drives, but USB ports on PCIe adapters are not supported. All POWER7 and POWER7+ system units are therefore supported, except the Flex ITEs (since they are supported through VIOS only) and the Power 795 (since there is no USB port in the system unit).

There are no IBM Power Systems features available for USB flash drives. IBM does not qualify and does not recommend any particular device. The intent is to provide generic support for a USB 2.0 device (up to 32 GB in capacity) (Note that in October 2017 the maximum size limit was removed, so USB Flash drives greater than 32 GB in size are now supported -- there is no stated max.)  so that the USB flash vendor of choice may be used. IBM i uses the industry standard UDF protocol, so data interchange can be done with other operating systems that use UDF format. Performance varies from device to device, but ranges of 1 to 4 MB/S for IFS writes are typical. If a particular vendor's flash drive does not work, it may not comply with the USB interface specifications, and a different vendor's drive should be tried.

IBM i usage notes:

  • If an IBM i 7.1 TR 6 partition owns the device, it will have a device type of 63BC.
  • Although flash drives are not supported by VIOS, an IBM i 7.1 partition is capable of hosting this device to another IBM i 7.1 partition, or to an IBM i 6.1 partition. On an IBM i 7.1 virtual client partition a flash drive will be shown as device type 63BC. On an IBM i 6.1 virtual client partition with 6.1.1 machine code and current PTFs a flash drive will be shown as device type 632C.
  • The device appears to the system when plugged into a USB port that is configured to be in an IBM i partition. Like RDX, it is an optical class device, and may be used with save/restore or with the QOPT file system in IFS. Because there is no eject button to remove media, users should be careful to not unplug the device when it is in use. The file system expects safe removal of media; for Flash Drives, this is done by varying off the device description, or logically removing the media with the RMVOPTCTG command (option 4 on WRKOPTVOL) prior to unplugging the device. Once a configuration is active, the operating system will allow the same operations to change media as devices that remain operational when the media is removed. This means the configuration may be varied off and on when the media is removed, and the device description will remain operational but report “no media”.
  • When a flash drive is initialized on IBM i, it is initialized with the UDF file system. If a flash drive is inserted that has files on it, but displays on the system as "unknown format," it is probably formatted with a file system that IBM i does not recognize (Microsoft NTFS, for example).
  • Save/restore operations are done just as with a DVD, for example SAVLIB DEV(RMS01).... Because it is an optical class device, you can also use IFS to manage data, e.g. WRKLNK OBJ('/QOPT/RDXVOL'). Commands are the normal optical storage commands (WRKOPTVOL, INZOPT, etc). See IBM Knowledge Center topic Removable Mass Storage for more information.
  • For D-mode IPL, it is required for most configurations to have an HMC to be able to tag the USB adapter as the Alternate restart device.  Otherwise there is a default search sequence that is used by the system to find the alternate restart device.  See more details at  D-mode IPL from USB Flash Drives and Alternate restart (D-IPL) device rules.

Additional details are available in an IBM Knowledge Base Document.

PCIe2 16 Gb 2-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN0A/EN0B)

The two-port PCIe2 16 Gb Fibre Channel Adapter provides twice the bandwidth per port of an 8 Gb Fibre Channel adapter. Both a full high (#EN0A) and a low profile (#EN0B) adapter are offered. IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 require VIOS for this adapter.

PCIe2 4-port (10 Gb FCoE & 1 GbE) SR&RJ45 Adapter (#EN0H/EN0J)

The four-port PCIe2 Converged Network Adapter (CNA) provides two 1 Gb RJ45 Ethernet ports for use by IBM i partitions. Both a full high (#EN0H) and a low profile (#EN0J) adapter are offered. IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 support the NIC function on this card. VIOS is required. The FCoE function is not supported by IBM i.

Integrated Multifunction Card w/ 10 GbE RJ45 & Copper Twinax (#EN10/EN11) 

The new integrated multifunction card includes Ethernet and USB ports for use by IBM i partitions. IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 require VIOS to use the Ethernet ports on this adapter. The USB support is IBM i native attach, VIOS attach, and iVirtualization configurations for IBM i 7.1. VIOS and iVirtualization virtual client configurations are supported for IBM i 6.1 use of the USB function.

EXP30 Ultra SSD I/O Drawer (#EDR1)

The #EDR1 EXP30 Ultra SSD I/O Drawer provides 30 hot-swap SSD bays and integrated large write cache, high performance SAS controllers. Ultra-high levels of performance are enabled in an ultra-dense packaging design without using a PCIe slot on the server. IBM i 7.1 has native attach and iVirtualization support of this drawer. IBM i 6.1 has iVirtualization support only.

2.5/6.25TB LTO-6 SAS Tape Drive, Half-high (#EU11/5724)

A half-high LTO-6 SAS tape drive feature #EU11/5724 delivers increased capacity of up to 2.5 TB (uncompressed) or 6.25 TB (typical compression) and enables increased performance over previous tape features.

1.5 TB Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU15)

A 1.5 TB RDX cartridge feature #EU15 delivers 50% more capacity than the largest cartridge previously available.


November and December 2012 - IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1

Tape Library Support for 2.5/6.25TB LTO-6 SAS Tape Drive

IBM i supports Tape Libraries with LTO-6 SAS tape drives. IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 are supported for both native attach and VIOS NPIV configurations. IBM i 7.1 requires PTFs MF55967 and MF55886. IBM i 6.1 requires PTFs MF55968 and MF55885. See IBM Removable Media on IBM i for additional information, including any additional PTFs and firmware levels, In particular, see the links for SMART IOA adapters and NPIV on that page.



October and November 2012 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the RFA for Power I/O for October 3, 2012.

GX++ 2-port 10Gb FCoE CNA SR Optical Adapter (#EN22)

This is a new GX++ adapter that provides PCIe Gen2 functionality and performance in extremely dense and efficient packaging for the Power 795. The new GX++ adapter eliminates the need for a GX++ 12X adapter, 12X cables, a 12X-attached PCIe I/O drawer, and a PCIe adapter. In some cases, this new GX++ adapter may even alleviate the need for an expansion rack. The adapter offers slightly lower latency compared to a similar PCIe adapter since it is attached directly to the GX++ port. IBM i supports only the Ethernet NIC function on this adapter, and requires the use of VIOS. Support is with IBM i 7.1TR 5 and with IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code, or later.

RDX Docking Stations for Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU03, #EU04, #EU07)

RDX technology is an excellent entry save/restore media option offering many advantages over tape drives. Throughput and access are excellent. The media is especially durable with drives/cartridges lasting for many years The RDX drives do not need to be cleaned. Combining the ability for quickly accessing different files on the cartridge and a large 1 TB capacity, one can more easily use a single cartridge to do daily backups without operator involvement.

There are a few types of docking stations supported by IBM i:

  • RDX USB Internal Docking Station for Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU03)
  • RDX USB External Docking Station for Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU04)
  • RDX SATA Internal Docking Station for Removable Disk Cartridge (#EU07)

The USB-3 attached features are supported with IBM i 7.1 TR 5 and are available for newer models of POWER7 servers.

The SATA feature is available on many earlier POWER6 and POWER7 servers and is supported by both IBM i 7.1 TR 5 and IBM i 6.1, or later. Note that there is no boot support with IBM i 6.1.

Although the RDX device is not supported by VIOS, it can be virtualized by having an IBM i 7.1 partition as the serving partition. The virtual client partition may be either IBM i 7.1 TR 5 or IBM i 6.1 with PTFs.

An IBM i 7.1 partition shows the type number of the RDX device as 63B8. Whether native attached or as a virtual client, the drive is reported as a generic DVD drive when using IBM i 6.1 -- Type is 632A for native attach and Type 632C for virtual client.

For IBM i, support of RDX is very similar to a DVD. So, if you already know the command set that applies for DVD, it is essentially the same for RDX.

See  Removable Mass Storage (RMS) for more details.

80/160 GB DAT160 USB Tape Drive (#EU16)

IBM i 7.1 now supports the 80/160GB DAT160 USB Tape Drive (#EU16) via native USB attachment, allowing additional configuration flexibility. Using the USB-attached DAT160 (#EU16) instead of the SAS/SATA attached DAT160 (#5619) in the system unit can separate running the tape drive from running the disk or SSD, thereby avoiding possible tape/disk bandwidth contention with the disk. See the "80/160GB DAT160 USB Tape Drive" topic in the May 2012 section below for virtual client support of this drive.

PCIe Async EIA-232 Adapter (#5289, #5290)

IBM i 7.1 TR 5 adds support for a significantly lower priced 2-port asynchronous communications adapter (#5289/#5290). IBM i clients gain additional configuration flexibility since this adapter is available for both low-profile and full-high PCIe slots in POWER7 systems.

Typical async usages are supported for this adapter, including the popular IBM Facsimile Support for i (5798-FAX), which is sometimes called Fax/400.

856GB 10k RPM SAS SFF Disk Drive (#1737/#1738)

The 856 GB 10k RPM SAS HDD offers lower cost per gigabyte and better storage density compared to smaller HDDs. IBM i 7.1 TR 5 supports these new drives directly. IBM i 6.1 is supported with VIOS.



May 2012 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 4 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the RFA for Power I/O for April 24, 2012.

PCIe2 RAID SAS Adapter Dual-port 6Gb (#ESA1, #ESA2)

A new low profile PCIe Gen2 SAS adapter (#ESA2) is small enough to fit in the 2U Power 710/730 or in the 2U PCIe Riser card of the Power 720/740. It supports SSDs providing RAID 0, 5, 6 and 10 capabilities using a single PCIe slot. A full high version (#ESA1) is available for taller Power Systems PCIe Gen2 slots. Though its overall SSD performance capacity is lower than that of the #5913 PCIe2 1.8GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter announced in October 2011, its ability to fit in 2U space, use of only one PCIe slot, and price performance can be advantageous. Note that there is no VIOS support for this adapter.

387 GB SFF SSD with eMLC (#ES0B, #ES0D)

SSD capacity and performance are doubled for SFF SAS bays with a 387 GB eMLC solid state drive (#ES0B/ES0D). These SSDs have twice the capacity of the existing 177GB SSDs and their price per GB is significantly improved.

PCIe2 4-port 1Gb Ethernet Adapter (#5260, #5899)

The PCIe2 4-port 1Gb Ethernet Adapter (#5260/5899) offers four copper/UTP Ethernet ports at a significantly lower price than the existing 4-port UTP adapters (#5271/5717).

PCIe2 LP 8Gb 4-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN0Y)

The PCIe2 LP 8Gb 4-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#EN0Y) is a low profile adapter for Gen2 slots. It is smaller than, but functionally equivalent to, the existing full high 4-port 8Gb adapter (#5729) announced in October 2011. IBM i requires VIOS for this adapter.

80/160GB DAT160 USB Tape Drive (#EU16)

The 80/160GB DAT160 USB Tape Drive (#EU16) is enclosed in a Power 720/740/750 system unit and driven through a USB connection. Its drive performance is the same as the existing SAS DAT160 drives (#5619), but it does not use the integrated SAS controller and thus may offer an overall performance advantage to the system. IBM i requires VIOS for this drive.



October 2011 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 3 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, see the RFA for Power I/O - October 12, 2011

PCIe2 1.8 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter Tri-Port 6 Gb (#5913)

The PCIe2 1.8 GB Cache RAID SAS Adapter Tri-Port 6 Gb (#5913) is a large-cache PCIe SAS adapter that provides high-performance capabilities for large quantities of solid-state drives (SSD) or hard disk drives (HDD). Note that although this adapter is supported on IBM i in a VIOS configuration, caution is recommended with workloads that are heavy on writes.

Feature 5913 is supported for the full set of SAS adapter functions on POWER6 servers with the exception of controlling boot drives or load source drives. On POWER6 servers, previously offered PCIe and PCI-X SAS adapters continue to offer boot drive and load source drive support.

SAS SFF 15K RPM 283 GB disk drive

The SAS SFF 15K RPM 283 GB capacity disk drive boosts the SFF server storage capacity on IBM Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 770, 780, and 795 servers.

PCIe2 2-Port 10 GbE SR Adapter (#5287)

The full high PCIe2 2-Port 10 GbE SR adapter is a high performance adapter with two optical ports. It is equivalent to the existing low-profile Gen2 2-port 10 Gb Adapter (#5284). IBM i requires VIOS for this adapter.

PCIe2 2-Port 10 GbE SFP+ Adapter (#5288)

The PCIe2 2-Port 10 GbE SFP+ adapter is a full high adapter with two twinax ports. It is equivalent to the existing low-profile adapter (#5286). IBM i requires VIOS for this adapter.

PCIe2 8x 4-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#5729)

PCIe2 8x 4-port Fibre Channel Adapter (#5729) is a new PCIe Gen2 adapter. It provides four 8Gb Fibre Channel ports and doubles both the number of ports and the total bandwidth available on a Fibre Channel adapter. IBM i requires VIOS for this adapter. With the additional ports and bandwidth clients can increase virtualization and consolidation of Fibre Channel configurations.



May 2011 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 2 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, please see the RFA for Power I/O - April 12, 2011

EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay drawer (#5887)

IBM i now supports the new EXP24S SFF Gen2-bay drawer, which has a higher physical density, fitting 24 hard disk drive (HDD) disks in the space that used to fit just 12. This drawer can be used in conjunction with existing SAS adapters. It supports up to 24 hot-swap SFF SAS HDDs in 2.5-inch form-factor SAS bays. It has twice the number of drives compared to the current feature 5886 EXP12S I/O drawer with its twelve 3.5-inch drive capacity. In addition to 6 Gb SAS capability, the EXP24S SFF drives provide significant energy savings compared to the EXP12S 3.5-inch drives. This disk drawer attaches to both POWER6 and POWER7 servers.

571 GB 10K RPM SFF SAS Disk Drive (#1916, #1962)

IBM i now provides support for the new 571 GB SAS disk drive, which provides a lower cost per gigabyte and more gigabytes per 2U rack space.

PCIe2 Riser Card (Gen2) (#5685) Native Support

IBM i now provides native support for this previously announced PCIe Riser Card (Gen2), without the use of VIOS, with IBM i 7.1. This riser card is used in the IBM Power 720 and IBM Power 740 Express to provide greater bandwidth with a smaller number of PCI slots/adapters. It is an optional feature, containing four PCIe Gen2 low-profile (LP) slots for Gen1 or Gen2 adapter cards. It is physically very similar to the PCIe Riser Card (Gen1) (#5610).

177 GB SFF SSD with eMLC (#1787)

SAS-bay-based SSD options are enhanced with a 177 GB SSD, which provides 2.5 times more capacity per drive than the current 69 GB SSD. The 177 GB drive provides a much improved cost per gigabyte and requires a smaller number of SAS bays for the same number of gigabytes. A few SSDs may reduce the need for many HDDs, saving rack space, I/O drawers, maintenance, and energy. SSDs can often do so while improving system performance and batch windows at the same time. Two feature numbers are used for this drive to indicate if it is used for AIX/Linux or IBM i.

The new SAS SFF 177 GB SSD with eMLC provides about 2.5 times more gigabytes per SAS bay as compared to the existing SAS-bay-based SLC 69 GB SSD option. This new 177 GB eMLC SAS-bay-based option uses very similar technology to the PCIe-based 177 GB eMLC introduced late in 2010. SSD or flash technology can provide 33 to 125 times more I/O operations per second (IOPS) compared to spinning disk drives (HDD) and can, therefore, slash I/O-bound batch window times, improve interactive or query response time, and even make previously performance-impractical applications work well.

eMLC technology stands for "Enterprise Multi-Level Cell" Flash memory technology. It blends enterprise-class performance and reliability characteristics with the more cost-effective characteristics of MLC Flash storage. Using advances in the SSD device controller Flash memory management in concert with advances in MLC technology, IBM provides substantially better cost per gigabyte or cost per SAS bay. More impressively, eMLC does this while continuing to provide great sustained performance levels with extended endurance/reliability. These IBM eMLC SSDs were designed to provide 24x7x365 usage while continuously running write-intensive workloads for at least five years. Typical client usage is expected to be much lower, especially regarding the average percentage of writes, and thus drive lifespan may be much longer.

The new SSD-based drives are mounted on gen 1 or SFF-1 carriers/trays and are supported in the #5803 12X PCIe I/O drawer on the Power 795.

DVD/Tape SAS External Storage Unit (#5724)

This 1U I/O drawer is used in the Power 795 CEC rack. It holds HH DAT160 tape drives or HH LTO5 tape drives or slimline DVD drives.

1.5 TB / 3.0 TB LTO-5 SAS Tape Drive (#5638)

Additional configuration flexibility is provided for the Power 750 system unit and the Power 795 1U I/O drawer (#5724) by the addition of an Ultium5 drive. The feature 5638 drive is already available in the Power 720 and 740 system unit.

PCIe-based SSD Offering (#2053, #2054, #2055, #1996)

The previously announced PCIe-based SSD Offering of PCIe RAID and SSD SAS Adapters and their 177 GB SSD modules (#2053, #2054, #2055, #1996) is now supported on IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code on POWER7 servers. This SSD option previously required IBM i 7.1 or required VIOS with IBM i 6.1.



October 2010 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 6.1

For more details on any of the new Power I/O features listed below, please see RFA for Power I/O - August 17, 2010

HEA Daughter cards

POWER7 HEA Daughter cards provide integrated I/O connectors for a CEC enclosure. The connections can be virtualized into the system LPARs. All of the connectors are on the rear bulkhead of the CEC enclosure. Choices of features are:

   #1824 and #1832 for a 1 Gb HEA daughter card with 4 ports

   #1825 and #1833 for a Fiber 10 Gb HEA daughter card with 2 ports

   #1826 and #1837 for a Copper 10 Gb HEA daughter card with 2 ports

Space efficient SSD offering and SSD performance enhancements

IBM i 7.1 supports the latest Solid State Disk (SSD) offering, utilizing space efficient packaging and higher capacity SSD. Utilize PCIe RAID and SSD SAS Adapters (#2053, #2054, #2055) with 177 GB SSD module with eMLC (#1996) features and IBM i 7.1 storage management and database support for SSD to achieve higher performance for your storage subsystems.

PCIe cryptographic adapter

IBM i 7.1 support is available for the PCIe cryptographic adapter (#4807, #4808, #4809) providing additional performance and function with improved reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features. The adapter provides a powerful, tamper-resistant solution for POWER7 and POWER6™ clients who handle secure cryptographic and digital signature workload in their business in a highly efficient manner. PCIe Crypto cards can provide higher performance and more function than the currently available PCI-X Crypto cards. They can be installed in newer technology PCIe slots in Power Systems and I/O drawers.

283 GB 10K RPM SFF SAS disk drive

POWER7 servers running IBM i can now leverage the price-performance of a large capacity, 10k rpm SAS SFF drive (#1911). The Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 750 770, 780 and 795 servers running IBM i 7.1 support the use of this RAID formatted, 528-byte block drive.

10 Gb FCoE PCIe Dual Port Adapter

10 Gb FCoE PCIe Dual Port Adapter (#5708) is a high-performance, 10 Gb, dual port, PCIe Converged Network Adapter (CNA) utilizing SR optics. Each port can provide NIC (Network Interface Card) traffic and Fibre Channel functions simultaneously. IBM i supports use of this adapter through VIOS.

1.5 TB / 3.0 TB LTO-5 SAS Tape Drive

LTO-5 bridge box (TS2250 and TS2350) support on POWER6™ and POWER7 servers by IBM i 7.1 is now available.

TS7650 ProtecTIER IOPless support

The IBM System Storage® TS7650 ProtecTIER Deduplication Appliance configuration support was recently enhanced. IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code or later now supports attachment via IOP-less Fibre Channel adapters. The IOP-less configuration is more desirable than the previously available IOP-based support as it takes fewer PCI slots, can use newer technology I/O drawers and can run under IBM i on POWER7 servers.

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Modified date:
06 October 2020

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