I have a few things that I was hoping someone with more experience could clarify in regards to using PowerVM (specifically to virtualise via LPARs AIX).

So here is what I think I understand regarding PowerVM/LPAR's etc:

  • PowerVM itself (i.e. the Hyper-visor/firmware) has no hostname or IP Address of it's own (Excluding things like RSA cards).
  • PowerVM is just a hyper-visor/firmware and not a full Operating System.
  • Resources are controlled/distributed to the individual LPAR OS's via a VIOS LPAR, which in turn is managed by either a HMC and/or an IVM.

Now I'm not overly familiar with IBM virtualisation (More used to Windows/Linux/Solaris) so what I was looking for is if someone could either confirm or clarify these points for me?


Yes, you are more-or-less correct on all 3 points.

  • PowerVM is the hypervisor. It has redundant service processors that do the work of RSA cards you'd find in the intel systems. There are 3 tiers of PowerVM each providing additional functionality on the system. (More LPARs, Partition Mobility, etc)
  • There is no operating system to manage for PowerVM.
  • VIOs do not control the client (AIX/Linux) LPARs, they simply provide virtualized I/O (network, vscsi, FCP). The PowerVM hypervisor is responsible for the control. The HMC/IVM is a window to PowerVM and allows you to manage the running resources on the system.

See an Introduction to Virtualization on Power on the IBM PowerVM Wiki. It provides some introductory details about PowerVM, and I'd recommend you dig a bit more in the main page of that wiki, there are a lot of great articles on there.

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