IBM PowerVC has been playing a vital role in transforming the IBM Power Systems story by providing the advanced virtualization management and enabling upward integration with IBM and industry leading cloud solutions. PowerVC has seen great adoption in the last several years with good revenue growth; more than 3000 customers are using PowerVC in various segments. To help keep PowerVC on this path, we have been adding many cutting-edge features in each release catering to the market need and customer feedback. One of the key focus areas for PowerVC is storage support and management. Since every data center is set up differently, we continue to get requests from our customers. In the last couple of releases, PowerVC has listened to many such requests and added several key storage enhancements. I will highlight a few of them in this blog with a quick summary. For full details, visit the PowerVC Knowledge Center

PowerVC 1.4.0 KnowledgeCenter Link
PowerVC 1.4.1 KnowledgeCenter Link

Software defined storage:
On 1.4.0 or later systems managed by PowerVM NovaLink, you can use software-defined storage (SDS). SDS requires the software-defined networking (SDN) capability. Together, these two technologies allow administrators to have a predefined node type that has network, storage, and compute all within the server. Then as you increase the number of servers in your environment, the infrastructure elastically and automatically grows.

With software-defined networking and storage, the storage and network virtualization is integrated directly into PowerVC.

Dual Initiator Target Zoning:
Previous to release 1.4.0, PowerVC supported two types of zoning modes: Initiator-target zoning, which creates one zone with one initiator and one target, and Initiator zoning, which creates one zone with one initiator and multiple targets for the storage provider.
There was request from our customer for further optimization on the number of zones that PowerVC creates. To cater this requirement, PowerVC added a new zoning policy in 1.4.1 – initiator-vfc zoning, which puts both the active and migration initiators in a single zone along with the targets from the storage provider.

Flexible SAN zone names:
Many customers have their own naming policy for SAN zones, and they wanted flexibility in the zone names created by PowerVC. PowerVC 1.4.0 added a feature that allows you to use a template to customize SAN zone names.
To set up this template, use the powervc-config storage fc-zone zone-name-template command.

Storage template assignment for “on boarded” volumes:
When existing volumes are brought under PowerVC management, they do not have storage templates associated with them. This can cause problems with things like consistency groups that require a storage template. Starting in PowerVC 1.4.1, you can use the powervc-config command to assign a storage template to the onboarded volumes.

powervc-config storage set-template –volume id [–storage-template id] -quiet

Set the storage template associated with a volume. Care should be taken to specify a storage template that matches the volume on the storage provider.

Create a Volume naming template:
In PowerVC 1.4.1 release, we have added the flexibility to create a template for naming volumes. You can view or configure the naming pattern that will be used to create volumes on the storage provider. The volume name template will have two options to use in any way you chose: display_name and id.
Use below command to set the Volume naming template
powervc-config storage vol-name-format

Create or attach multiple volumes:
You can create more than one new volume of the same size and under the same storage template on the Create Volume page. You can also attach multiple volumes in a single operation.

Those are just a few of our innovations, and more are on the horizon. Don’t see your favorite storage function (or other function) in our recent release? Be sure to request it here https://developer.ibm.com/powervc/request-for-enhancement/ . Not using PowerVC yet? Now’s the time to join the ever-growing list of customers who enjoy the benefits and flexibility of IBM Power Systems with IBM PowerVC!

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