PowerVC Release Content


What’s coming next?

We will continue to enhance PowerVC in 2019, guided by feedback from our thousands of global customers. To do this, the PowerVC team monitors Requests for Enhancements (RFEs) that are posted by customers, and we prioritize work based on the number of votes each RFE receives. Major areas of improvement in 2019 are likely to include broader storage integration, expanded software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities and multi-cloud manager integration.

All statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.


Lifecycle

For details about release life spans refer to the Support lifecycle page and search for PowerVC. For a complete discussion of the PowerVC lifecycle and maintenance strategy see the white paper.



PowerVC 1.4.3 (Released June 2019)


New support


OpenStack release

PowerVC version 1.4.3.0 is built on OpenStack Stein release.



PowerVC supports all Dell EMC PowerMax storage

If you are using “Dell EMC PowerMax” (formerly VMAX) with PowerVC, you must use REST based storage provider. PowerVC also provides tools that help you to migrate from the earlier SMI-S based Cinder driver to the new REST based driver.


Hitachi Global-active device (GAD) technical preview

This technical preview enables PowerVC users to register their Hitachi Global-Active Device (GAD) in PowerVC. If your environment has the Hitachi storage, you can configure the Hitachi GAD to create and maintain synchronous, remote copies of data volumes.


Increased reliability of long running migration

Migrating a machine with large memory could fail in PowerVC due to insufficient timeout. PowerVC has an adaptive timeout logic to prevent such failures. Timeout value is incremented by 45 min per TB of RAM. If the timeout value is insufficient for your workloads, and you still see errors while migrating virtual machines with large memory, you can increase the timeout value. For details on setting timeout value, see Moving a host to maintenance mode.


Support for hosts using active memory sharing

You can manage an HMC host that has a shared memory pool. However, PowerVC does not support deploying or importing a virtual machine that uses shared memory.


Support for hosts using Power Enterprise Pool 2.0

You can manage a host that is part of Power Enterprise Pool 2.0. PowerVC does not support deploying, migrating, resizing, or remote restart operations for virtual machines with dedicated processors on these hosts. However, you can perform rest of the virtual machine life-cycle operations. Later when you manage the host through a different HMC, the host continues to have the Power Enterprise Pool 2.0 property enabled.


Support for additional metrics for a virtual machine

You can now capture storage and network related metrics for a virtual machine. You can enable these settings via powervc-config CLI for PowerVC to collect the metrics.


Redundant mover server partition support for live partition migration

For multiple VIOS environments, you can list MSP IP’s of all VIOSes and two will randomly be chosen for redundant MSP during the live partition migration operation.


Add a new I/O group to the storage template for Storwize®

You can add new I/O groups to the existing storage templates for Storwize. The new I/O groups are used only for newly created volumes. However, you cannot remove I/O groups that are already assigned to the template.


Storwize data reduction pool support

You can add data reduction pool for thin-provisioned and compressed volumes while using the Storwize Cinder driver.


Cross HMC remote restart

PowerVC now supports remote restart of virtual machines on the hosts that are managed by different HMCs.


Storage specific zoning

For “initiator” and “intitiator-vfc” modes of zoning, the targets across multiple storage were combined in a single entity. Now, the powervc-config option zone_by_stg_provider creates separate zones when volumes from multiple storage providers are mapped to a virtual machine.


Handle rename of SVC volume on the backend

Earlier, when a Storwize volume was renamed outside of PowerVC in the backend, PowerVC marked the volume as deleted. Now, PowerVC handles the rename and shows appropriate messages.


Edit Storage connectivity group of a virtual machine

When you manage or deploy a virtual machine using PowerVC, you can edit the Storage connectivity group (SCG) associated with a virtual machine using the powervc-edit-scg command.


VMAX2 storage providers are no longer supported

Only REST-based storage providers are supported. The VMAX2 driver is SMI-S based and is therefore no longer supported.


PowerVC 1.4.2 (Released December 2018)


New support


SR-IOV support via HMC

SR-IOV is now supported on HMC managed systems, as well as NovaLink managed systems.


Automated storage port load balancing

You can specify port groups on storage templates to ensure port load balancing. NPIV-attached volumes that are associated with the storage template will be zoned using iterated port groups to achieve load balancing on ports, modules, and controllers. Port groups can be created and set through the user interface for IBM Storwize, System Storage DS8000, and IBM XIV Storage System storage templates. For pluggable storage, you can use APIs.


Create a copy of a storage template

You can’t change a storage template that is already being used. However, you can make a copy, update the copy, and start using the updated storage template. To create a copy, on the Storage Templates page, select the template, and cbrck Create copy.


AIX Secure Boot

Secure boot is supported on POWER9 systems running AIX 7.2 TL3. When secure boot is enabled, the system stack layers (firmware, operating system, and appbrcations) are given signed certificates that are verified on startup. If verification fails, the system is not started. Secure boot is enabled by using a compute template.


Fibre Channel tape pluggable driver

With PowerVC 1.4.2, you can register a special zoning Tape volume provider. Attaching a “placeholder” tape volume using this provider will zone pre-defined storage ports with the virtual machine, allowing it to access any tape volumes mapped to the virtual machine outside of PowerVC.


Nova Availabibrty Zones

Similar to host aggregates (which PowerVC calls host groups), availabibrty zones are logical groupings of hosts. Cloud orchestration products brke IBM Cloud Private and vReabrze Automation need a construct for defining availabibrty zones.  This feature is enabled in PowerVC via APIs.


    VMAX REST storage driver technical preview

    This technical preview supports the Dell EMC VMAX storage driver that is managed through REST/Unisphere instead of an SMI-S Provider. The SMI-S based driver is still supported, but will be removed in a future release. This function is available with every PowerVC install.


    Usability Improvements 

    You can now customize the columns that you see and the order that you see them in on the main Virtual Machines, Volumes, and Images pages.

    If you have authority to multiple projects, you can select the project you want to work with when you first log in.


    PowerVC 1.4.1 (Released June 2018)


    New support


    IBM Cloud Private integration

    IBM Cloud Private is an application platform for developing and managing on-premises, containerized applications. IBM Cloud Private already supports the Power architecture. Now, you can use the FlexVolume driver to specify PowerVC managed volumes for your cloud environment.


    Automatically configure candidate port groups for EMC VMAX storage devices

    For new VMAX storage registrations, the brst of port groups that PowerVC is allowed to choose from is automatically configured by default, if any fabrics are registered.


    Dual-initiator target zoning

    PowerVC now supports
    initiator-vfc zoning, which puts both the active and migration initiators in a single zone, along with the targets from the storage provider.


    Support for asynchronous copies on IBM System Storage DS8000 storage devices

    Asynchronous flash copies are now supported on all DS8000 hardware and firmware. This can save a lot of time when deploying virtual machines, especially if you are using spinning disks.


    Affinity score checking

    After deployment, the virtual machine is assigned an affinity score based on processor and memory resource placement within the host. If affinity score checking is on, the virtual machine can only be migrated to a host if the resulting affinity score will be at least as high as the current score. Affinity score checking can be enabled for POWER9 hosts and is particularly useful for SAP HANA users.


    Add or remove data and metadata disks from the IBM Spectrum Scale cluster

    When using software-defined storage, you can add and remove data and metadata disks from the cluster.


    Quality of Service (QoS) technical preview

    When working with software-defined networking, you can specify Quality of Service (QoS) rules. These rules allow you to define how fast a virtual machine can send data without any special hardware required. The abibrty to use QoS rules is included with every PowerVC install, but is a technical preview function.


    Security groups

    When working with software-defined networking, you can create security groups. A security group is a group of inclusion and exclusion rules for network traffic. Security groups are associated with one or more ports and let you control which virtual machines can communicate with each other.


    SQL based authentication for service users

    The SQL driver is now Keystone’s default identity driver for internal service users. Passwords for these service users are not set at the operating system level. Instead, service users and passwords are created in the Keystone database using the SQL driver. These credentials are used in the respective service configuration files as before. You can change passwords for these service users by using CLI command.

    PowerVC 1.4.0 (Released December 2017)


    New support

    Database as a Service technical preview (Cloud edition only)

    Database as a Service (DBaaS) refers to database instances that are deployed in a cloud, where the user does not need to configure or maintain the database instance or its environment, and can access and use the database just like any other service. PowerVC uses the OpenStack Trove component to deliver these capabilities.

    Integrated software-defined storage

    Software-defined storage (converged infrastructure) was previously a technical preview. This support is now included in the official product release. On 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.

    Support of OpenPOWER and other systems running KVM on Power

    PowerVC now supports KVM on Power running Ubuntu 16.04. KVM based systems, such as OpenPOWER, can be managed from the same installation of PowerVC that is managing existing PowerVM infrastructure. This support builds on the software-defined networking and the new software-defined storage features.

    Import and export images

    You can export and import the deployable images between managed storage providers and between data centers from the PowerVC user interface. Use the powervc-image command to import images into PowerVC from outside the managed SAN and export images to a local path in the OVA packaged format.

    Create and attach multiple volumes

    You can now create or attach multiple volumes at the same time.

    Capture a live virtual machine

    You can now capture running workloads to avoid disruptions in your environment.

    PowerVC 1.3.3 (Released June 2017)


    New support

    Integration of software-defined networking

    With SDN, you can deploy networks and change your network layout without making physical changes to your network environment. PowerVC supports SDN on PowerVM NovaLink managed systems.

    Host memory rebalancing for CoD mobile memory

    Dynamic Resource Optimizer (DRO) now supports host memory rebalancing for Capacity on Demand (CoD) mobile memory on NovaLink managed systems. With this support, PowerVC can migrate virtual machines or activate mobile memory to correct memory imbalances.

    Send email

    On Cloud PowerVC Manager systems, you can configure PowerVC to send emails when certain events happen. Emails are sent via an SMTP server and use addresses retrieved from the specified LDAP server.

    Perform more tasks from the user interface

    You can now perform the following tasks from the user interface: Set project policies, View usage meters (Cloud PowerVC Manager), Work with projects, Work with roles, and Delete multiple volumes.

    Set project quotas

    From the user interface, administrators can set quotas for resource usage within a project.

    New and changed roles

    The deprecated “deployer” role is no longer supported, the deployer_restricted role is renamed to “deployer”, and there is a new project_manager role (Cloud PowerVC Manager only).

    Manage an existing virtual machine into a different project

    You can manage a virtual machine into one project, unmanage the virtual machine, and then manage it into a different project when using shared networks.

    Register multiple Cisco VSANs

    You can register multiple Cisco virtual storage area networks (VSANs) from a Fibre Channel switch.

    Register multiple Brocade virtual fabrics

    You can register multiple Brocade virtual fabrics from the fabric registration page.

    Reference architecture for PowerVC high availability and disaster recovery solutions

    PowerVC documentation provides a reference architecture for high availability and disaster recovery solutions.

    Rename a virtual machine

    Virtual machines can be renamed within PowerVC.

    Micro-partitioning support

    When deploying or resizing a virtual machine, you can now set a partition that uses shared processors to use as little as 1/20th of a processing unit.

    PowerVC 1.3.2 (Announced October 2016)


    New support

    Additional LDAP servers

    IBM Tivoli Directory Server 6.3 and its replacements: IBM Security Directory Server and IBM Security Directory Suite, are now supported.

    Virtual machines with vSCSI connections to Hitachi volumes

    Existing virtual machines with virtual SCSI (vSCSI) volume connections to the Hitachi array are now supported for management in PowerVC.

    Activation engine deprecation

    Activation engine on IBM i is deprecated and will be withdrawn from support in the next release. It is strongly recommended that new IBM i images are constructed with cloud-init. Cloud-init is the strategic image activation technology of IBM. It offers a rich set of system initialization features and a high degree of interoperability.

    Functional enhancements

    Software-defined networking (technical preview)

    Software-defined networking (SDN) virtualizes your network in a similar way that compute resources are virtualized. It allows you to change virtual machine communication without changing your physical network. PowerVC supports SDN on PowerVM® NovaLink managed systems when PowerVC is installed in Technical Preview mode. For details, see Technical preview: Planning for software-defined networking.

    Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) support

    PowerVC supports SR-IOV network interface connectivity for virtual machines with NovaLink managed hosts. This support includes the ability to set the Virtual NIC capacity, which is the first Quality of Service setting available for PowerVC. This support does not include live partition mobility (LPM) and remote restart functions for SR-IOV backed networks. For details about SR-IOV, see SR-IOV backed networks.

    Virtual console

    PowerVC supports access to a virtual console for NovaLink-managed virtual machines. To access a virtual console for your virtual machine, go to the Virtual Machine Details page and select the Console tab to launch a VNC session.

    Consistency group API support on additional storage devices

    The Cinder consistency group and consistency group snapshot APIs are supported on EMC VMAX, EMC VNX, Hitachi Data Systems, and IBM DS8000 storage devices. For details, see Planning for storage and Supported OpenStack Block storage (Cinder) APIs. Note: The create_from_src API is not supported on EMC VMAX storage devices.

    Snapshot support on additional storage devices

    The Cinder snapshot APIs are supported on EMC VMAX, EMC VNX, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM DS8000, and IBM XIV storage devices. For details, see Planning for storage and Supported OpenStack Block storage (Cinder) APIs.

    Host memory rebalancing

    IBM PowerVC Dynamic Resource Optimizer can now migrate virtual machines from overburdened NovaLink hosts based host memory utilization. For details, see Dynamic Resource Optimizer.

    Automated remote restart

    Automated remote restart monitors hosts for failure by using the PRS (Platform Resource Scheduler) HA service. If a host fails, PowerVC automatically remote restarts the virtual machines from the failed host to another host within a host group. For details, see Automated remote restart.

    Shared storage pool provider support on NovaLink

    PowerVC can use the NovaLink shared storage pool management capability in these new ways: to automatically discover and use shared storage pool storage providers through NovaLink cluster members, and to support volume connectivity from shared storage pools to virtual machines hosted by NovaLink partitions. For details, see Planning for shared storage pools.

    Initiator zoning

    Initiator zoning is a mode of Fibre Channel zoning. With initiator zoning, a zone is created for each initiator and includes all of the controller targets that are supplied by the volume driver in the initiator target map. This results in fewer zones being created. You can choose whether to use initiator target zoning or initiator zoning when registering a fabric via the user interface or the Register a SAN fabric or switch API.

    User and group filtering

    You now control which users and groups will be visible to PowerVC when using the local operating system as the identity repository. Previously, user and group filtering was only available when using LDAP. For details, see Configuring operating system users and groups.

    Inject an SSH key

    When deploying a virtual machine from PowerVC, you can inject an SSH public key into the deployed virtual machine. Users can then use the corresponding private key to connect to the deployed virtual machine. For details, see Injecting an SSH key.

    Principle Brocade switch is no longer required

    The requirement that you register a principle Brocade switch has been removed.

    Replace messaging certificates

    You can now replace the certificates used to secure AMQP messaging if you believe a certificate has been compromised or if you need to change a property. For instructions, see Providing new certificates for messaging.

    Dependency prerequisite check

    The prerequisite checks have been enhanced to check for any packages that are not installed or available via any yum repositories. Running the install with the -t option displays any missing packages along with any other failed prerequisite checks.

    API and CLI command updates

    New APIs

    These APIs have been added:

    host-sriov

    Configures SR-IOV adapters during deployment. See Configure SR-IOV adapters for details.

    SDN technical preview

    PowerVC supports the additional OpenStack networks (neutron) APIs for SDN technical preview. See Supported OpenStack Networks (Neutron) APIs for details.

    CLI updates

    New and changed CLI commands are listed. For instructions to use the command, open a command line and enter the command name followed by –help.

    powervc-services

    This command also allows you to control services for NovaLink managed hosts.

    PowerVC 1.3.1 (Announced April 2016)


    IBM Cloud PowerVC Manager

    Cloud PowerVC Manager works with PowerVC Standard to provide an end-to-end cloud solution. Cloud PowerVC Manager allows you to provision workloads and manage virtual images, in addition to all PowerVC Standard functionality.

    With Cloud PowerVC Manager, administrators can create deploy templates that include an image, its attached volumes, and all necessary deployment settings. Users can then create a virtual machine from that deploy template with just a few clicks. Administrators can also set policies in projects to control what user actions require administrator approval.

    Enhancements to PowerVC Standard Edition:

    PowerVM® NovaLink enhanced support

    • NovaLink supports Capacity on Demand operations when using DRO.
    • Virtual machines can use any shared processor pool.
    • Remote restart is supported on NovaLink hosts.

    Deprecated support

    • VSAE has been withdrawn from support.
    • Activation engine on IBM i is deprecated.

    Functional enhancements

    Projects

    Projects allows you to group resources together. Only users who have authority to a project can view or use the resources in that project.

    Schedule Dynamic Resource Optimizer

    On each host group, you can set up a weekly schedule that specifies when Dynamic Resource Optimizer (DRO) operations are enabled on the host group.

    Select which volumes to delete

    When deleting a virtual machine, you can select which volumes should be deleted. You can choose to delete only the boot volumes, all attached volumes, or specify a custom list. However, shared volumes will never be deleted.


    PowerVC 1.3.0 (Announced October 2015)


    Support for IBM PowerVM® NovaLink

    PowerVC can manage systems that are being managed by Hardware Management Console (HMC) or NovaLink. Your environment can be comprised of systems that are managed by both types of management systems.

    IBM System Storage® DS8000®

    For requirements and restrictions, such as firmware and license requirements, refer to IBM XIV® and DS8000 volume driver.

    Deprecated support

    • VSAE deprecation
    • RHEL 5.x deprecation

    Functional enhancements

    New security roles

    With PowerVC Version 1.3 Fixpack 2, new roles were added to allow you to manage your user capabilities with more granularity.

    Change between NovaLink and HMC management

    With PowerVC Version 1.3 Fixpack 2, if you have a host that was added to PowerVC as HMC managed, you can change it to be NovaLink managed. However, you must ensure that PowerVC recognizes the change and can continue communicating with it.

    With PowerVC Version 1.3 Fixpack 2, if you have a host that is NovaLink managed, you can change it to be HMC managed. However, you must ensure that PowerVCrecognizes the change and can continue communicating with it.

    Migrate virtual machines regardless of management type

    With PowerVC Version 1.3 Fixpack 2, virtual machines can be migrated from hosts that are HMC managed to hosts that are NovaLink managed and the reverse. The normal rules surrounding migration still apply.

    Dynamic Resource Optimizer

    IBM PowerVC Dynamic Resource Optimizer (DRO) continuously monitors the resource utilization of physical hosts and virtual machines in a cloud environment. When usage imbalances are detected, the PowerVC DRO optimizes the cloud, making adjustments for workloads whose characteristics change over time. Capacity on Demand (CoD) fromIBM Power Systems is a powerful tool that allows you to activate unused cores for a host, giving it more computing power instantly. On eligible systems, the PowerVC DRO works with CoD to relieve overburdened systems. For systems that are not enterprise pool members, the DRO migrates virtual machines to ease the burden on overused hosts.

    Add up to 25 fabrics

    PowerVC supports adding up to 25 fabrics. They can be redundant, but they do not have to be.

    New storage connectivity group settings

    New settings have been added to help you control how much fabric redundancy is required in your environment.

    AME support

    PowerVC Version 1.3 Fixpack 2 supports deploying virtual machines that use Active Memory Expansion (AME).


    PowerVC Content Themes

    These themes influence the overall functional content for PowerVC:

    Simplified Virtualization Management

    • Simplified and intuitive Web based graphical user interface
    • Visibility to resource, health, status and allocations
    • Rapid image based provisioning
    • Virtual machine capture and catalog
    • Virtual machine management
    • Storage volume management
    • Policy based virtual machine placement

    Time to Value

    • Rapid time to value, install and configure in less than an hour, little to no training required
    • Improve resource utilization
    • Reduce burden on IT staff
    • Increase user productivity

    Support for Open Ecosystem

    • Support for OpenStack REST API
    • Maintain currency with the OpenStack releases

    Notices: References in this material to IBM products, programs, or services do not imply that they will be available in all countries in which IBM operates. This material, including any plans contained in the material, may change at any time at IBM’s sole discretion, based on market opportunities or other factors, and are not intended to be a commitment to future content, including product or feature availability, in any way. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction or intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. Please refer to Terms of Use for more information.

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