IBM Virtual I/O Server V1.2 helps maximize physical resources on IBM pSeries POWER5 systems that support dynamic LPARIBM United States Software Announcement 205-250
October 4, 2005
|Table of contents||Document options|
|At a glance|
Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) facilitates the sharing of physical resources between partitions on an IBM System p5, eServer p5, or OpenPower POWER5 system.
- Allows creation of partitions without requiring additional physical I/O resources.
- Enables creation of more partitions than I/O slots or physical devices; partitions may have dedicated I/O, virtual I/O, or both.
- Provides virtual SCSI and shared Ethernet adapter function to client partitions.
- Helps maximize the utilization of physical resources.
For ordering, contact:
Your IBM representative, an IBM Business Partner, or IBM Americas Call Centers at
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Using the new Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) included with Virtual I/O Server V1.2, companies can more cost-effectively consolidate multiple partitions onto a single server. With its intuitive browser-based interface, the IVM is easy to use and significantly reduces the time and effort required to manage virtual devices and partitions. IVM is available on these IBM systems:
- System p5 505, 520, and 550
- eServer® p5 510, 520, and 550
- OpenPower 710 and 720
VIOS is part of the Advanced POWER Virtualization hardware feature on System p5 and eServer p5 systems and part of the POWER Hypervisor and VIOS feature (#1965) on OpenPower systems. It is a single-function appliance that resides in an IBM POWER5 partition and facilitates the sharing of physical I/O resources between client partitions (AIX® or Linux) within the server. VIOS provides virtual SCSI target and shared Ethernet adapter (SEA) virtual I/O function to client LPARs.
The Advanced POWER Virtualization hardware feature includes:
- Micropartitioning support for a single processor being shared by up to 10 logical partitions
- Virtual SCSI (VSCSI): VSCSI enables the sharing of physical storage adapters (SCSI and Fibre Channel) and storage devices (disk and optical) between logical partitions.
- Virtual networking: A shared Ethernet adapter provides connectivity between internal and external virtual LANs (VLANs); virtual Ethernet provides high-speed connections between partitions.
- Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM): IVM is a browser-based system management interface that you can use to manage a single managed system without a Hardware Management Console (HMC). The VIOS in a managed system can use IVM to create logical partitions on a single managed system, manage the virtual storage and virtual Ethernet on the managed system, and view service information related to the managed system.
- Automated CPU and memory reconfiguration
- Real-time partition configuration and load statistics
- Support for dedicated and shared processor LPAR groups
- Support for manual provisioning of resources
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Any System p5, eServer p5, or OpenPower POWER5 system with supporting operating system
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|Planned availability date|
October 7, 2005
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Integrated Virtualization Manager
IVM lowers the cost of entry into POWER5 virtualization by allowing the user to virtualize a single server. IVM is not a replacement for the Hardware Management Console.
IVM may be used to complete the following tasks:
- Create and manage logical partitions on your managed system
- Configure the virtual Ethernet networks on your managed system
- Manage the storage resources on your managed system
- Create and manage user accounts on your management partition
- Create and manage serviceable events on your managed system through the Service Focal Point
- Download and install updates to device microcode and to VIOS software on your managed system
- Back up and restore partition configuration information from your managed system
- View application logs and the device inventory on your managed system
VIOS is a single-function appliance that resides in a POWER5 partition and facilitates the sharing of physical I/O resources between client partitions (AIX or Linux) within the server. VIOS provides virtual SCSI target and shared Ethernet adapter (SEA) virtual I/O function to client LPARs.
The VIOS Web site provides:
- Supported VIOS configurations/datasheet
- VIOS fixes and updates
- Links to documentation, Redbooks, and VIOS FAQs
For additional VIOS information, visit
The VIOS value proposition includes:
- LPARs that can be created without requiring additional physical I/O resources
- Economical I/O model for efficient utilization of physical resources through sharing
- Facilities for server consolidation by enabling more LPARs
- A reduction of SAN infrastructure (HBAs, cables, switch ports, and so on)
In terms of disk storage, VIOS is a standard storage subsystem that provides standard SCSI-compliant LUNs. VIOS can take a pool of heterogeneous physical storage attached to its back end and export it as a homogeneous pool of block storage in the form of SCSI disks. VIOS is a localized storage subsystem. Unlike typical storage subsystems that are physically located in the SAN, the SCSI devices exported by VIOS are limited to the domain within the server (or chassis). Although the SCSI LUNs are SCSI-compliant, they may not meet the needs of all applications, particularly those that exist in a distributed environment.
VIOS virtual SCSI features include:
- SCSI peripheral device types supported: disk backed by logical volume; disk backed by physical volume; and optical (DVD-RAM and DVD-ROM)
- Support for adapter and device sharing
- Client boot from VSCSI devices
- AIX multipath I/O support for VSCSI devices
Additional VIOS items:
VIOS supports the following operating systems as virtual I/O clients:
- AIX 5L V5.3, or later
- SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 for POWER
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3 for POWER (update 2 or later)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 4 for POWER
- Advanced POWER Virtualization-enabled POWER5 systems managed by an HMC can support multiple I/O servers per system.
- VIOS partition is not intended to run applications or for general user logins.
- VIOS DVD installation media ships with the POWER5 systems and supports network install (from both AIX or Linux) or DVD installation.
A VIOS can have a shared Ethernet adapter (SEA) that allows LPARs on the virtual Ethernet (VLAN) to share the access to a physical Ethernet adapter and communicate with systems outside the server. This function enables LPARs on the internal VLAN to share the VLAN with stand-alone servers on the outside VLAN.
VIOS virtual networking features include:
- Shared Ethernet adapter
- SEA failover
- TCP/IP acceleration
Virtual I/O glossary:
- Virtual I/O Sharing of physical resources between partitions on pSeries® POWER5 systems
- Virtual SCSI client SCSI initiator, client partition's VSCSI support
- Virtual SCSI server SCSI target, VIOS VSCSI support
- Virtual Ethernet Memory-based interpartition LAN, communicates between partitions
- Shared Ethernet adapter Connects internal and external VLAN (level 2 bridge)
- VLAN Method to logically segment a physical network
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Refer to Software Announcement 204-161 , dated July 13, 2004.
Business Partner information
If you are a Direct Reseller - System Reseller acquiring products from IBM, you may link directly to Business Partner information for this announcement. A PartnerWorld ID and password are required (use IBM ID).
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Hardware requirements: In order to take full advantage of the new function available with VIOS V1.2 (and in order to use Integrated Virtualization Manager), it is necessary to update the firmware to level SF235 or later.
HMC considerations when using IVM:
IVM and HMC management are mutually exclusive. Connecting an HMC to an IVM-managed system will automatically disable IVM, thus requiring users to re-create their logical partition configuration either manually or from backups.
The IVM contains a number of restrictions and limitations that do not exist in an HMC-managed environment. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- All I/O for client partitions is virtualized; the client partition cannot own any physical I/O.
- DLPAR is not supported on client partitions.
- There is no support for Virtual I/O Servers.
For more information, refer to the Virtual I/O Server documentation Web site
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For Virtual I/O Server V1.2, VIOS is being added as a preinstall option. If you choose to preinstall VIOS on the new machine, AIX® will not be preinstalled.
New licenses: All features have been previously announced.
Program Processor Feature Description number group number Virtual I/O Server V1.2 Per Processor 5765-G34 D5 0007 Per Processor Day OOCOD 5765-G34 D5 0008 Per Processor 5765-G34 E5 0001 Per Processor Day OOCOD 5765-G34 E5 0004 Per Processor 5765-G34 F5 0002 Per Processor Day OOCOD 5765-G34 F5 0005 Per Processor 5765-G34 G5 0009 Per Processor Day OOCOD 5765-G34 G5 0010 Per Processor 5765-G34 H5 0003 Per Processor Day OOCOD 5765-G34 H5 0006
Software Maintenance (SWMA)
For each VIOS V1.2 (5765-G34) license ordered, an order for either the one-year (5771-VIO) or three-year (5773-VIO) SWMA must also be submitted. SWMA for VIOS is priced based on per processor, by processor group.
A separate after-license-charge (ALC) (5771-VAL) will be applied to the orders of customers who have allowed their SWMA agreements to expire.
Customers should select from the following table for their SWMA coverage:
SWMA for Virtual I/O Server
SWMA renewals for VIOS are handled with ITS through the CHIS system. For more information, refer to Software withdrawal 904-139 , dated July 13, 2004.
Processor Program Feature Description group number number SWMA for Virtual I/O Server, 1 Yr 5771-VIO Per Processor Registration D5 0846 24 x 7 Support 0847 Per Processor Registration E5 0615 24 x 7 Support 0616 Per Processor Registration F5 0617 24 x 7 Support 0618 Per Processor Registration G5 0874 24 x 7 Support 0875 Per Processor Registration H5 0619 24 x 7 Support 0620 SWMA for Virtual I/O Server, 3 Yr 5773-VIO Per Processor Registration D5 0821 24 x 7 Support 0822 Per Processor Registration E5 0571 24 x 7 Support 0572 Per Processor Registration F5 0573 24 x 7 Support 0574 SWMA for Virtual I/O Server, 3 Yr 5773-VI3 Per Processor Registration G5 0862 24 x 7 Support 0863 Per Processor Registration H5 0781 24 x 7 Support 0782
SWMA for Virtual I/O Server
Feature withdrawal: The following features are withdrawn effective October 31, 2005. All renewals in the U.S. will be handled with ITS directly through the CHIS system.
Processor Program Feature Description group number number SWMA for Virtual I/O Server 5771-VAL Per Processor E5 0621 Per Processor F5 0622
Upgrades are done through an existing SWMA contract. Customers who have SWMA and want to get
an upgrade should place an SPO order (#0999) for delivery of media and hardcopy entitled
publications for VIOS V1.2 (5765-G34).
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For local charges, contact your IBM representative.
To order, contact the Americas Call Centers, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner.
To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968).
Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255) Fax: 800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329) Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: IBM Americas Call Centers Dept: IBM CALL, 11th Floor 105 Moatfield Drive North York, Ontario Canada M3B 3R1 Reference: RE001
The Americas Call Centers, our national direct marketing organization, can add your name to the mailing list for catalogs of IBM products.
Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.
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