Various Power Systems Software Tweaks Besides The TR Updates
October 12, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is fall IBM i software stack refresh week. As we report about elsewhere in this issue, IBM i 7.5 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 7 came out today, and as is Big Blue’s custom in recent years, other parts of the IBM i software stack also got some nips and tucks and tweaks, too.
In announcement letter 222-279, we find the usual agglomeration of updates to the PowerVM server virtualization hypervisor, the PowerVC implementation of the OpenStack cloud controller, the virtual Hardware Management Console, and the Cloud Management Console.
With PowerVM, IBM wanted to announce that the Power E980 and Power E1080 servers had been certified at the Common Criteria’s EAL2+ security level, which is a reasonable level of security, but considering there are 7 levels, having the 2+ level is not something to brag much about even if it is sufficient to be able to win some government contracts where security is paramount. You can find the details of the certification at this link. It appears that the testing on PowerVM 188.8.131.52 and its related Virtual I/O Server were done back in August.
IBM also updated PowerVM Enterprise Edition 3.1.4 (including the IBM i and AIX version as well as the Linux version, which is distinct for marketing reasons but probably not for technical ones), with tweaks to Live Partition Migration, including labeling and preferences for LPM and preservation of relationships based on labels or groups such as VIOS, Fibre Channel ports, and single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV). The companion VIOS 3.1.4 runs on Power9 and Power10 systems and allows for NVM-Express flash over N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) ports with Virtual Fibre Channel and also allows for the booting of VIOS from iSCSI disks. VIOS now has drivers for FlashSystem FS5000, FS7000, and FS9000 all-flash arrays.
The Power vHMC, which is an implementation of the Hardware Management Console appliance that runs in a Power-based logical partition, has been updated to release 10.2.1030 and now has support for all Power10 servers launched to date and various I/O adapters that have come out recently. IBM is also now allowing VIOS updates from the vHMC – it is odd that this was not already the case, if you think about it. The vHMC can run in secure boot mode on VMware ESXi and Red Hat KVM hypervisors now, too, which are supported on X86 machinery and the latter of which is also supported on Power (although IBM doesn’t talk about KVM on Power much these days).
PowerVC 2.1 has been upgraded to the OpenStack “Yoga” release, which the OpenStack community put out back in March of this year. This batch of updates to PowerVC also includes an upgrade to Python 3.10 because so much of OpenStack is written in Python. PowerVC has a new metering service that replaces the Gnocchi and Panko telemetry service previously used in the OpenStack cloud controller.
The big change with Cloud Management Console 1.1.18 is the ability to track elastic capacity on demand (Elastic CoD) capacity on Power Systems, including trend projections and capacity planning analysis. The tool has been expanded to cover new IBM cloud regions and now supports Microsoft’s Edge Web browser, too and has updates for cloud connectors and hybrid cloud monitoring.
This software is all supported on Power8, Power9, and Power10 systems except where noted otherwise above. The Cloud Management Console update comes on November 18; the rest comes on December 2.