IBM Virtual I/O Server V1.2 helps maximize physical resources on IBM eServer pSeries POWER5 systems that support dynamic LPAR

IBM United States Software Announcement 205-250
October 4, 2005


 ENUS205-250.PDF (39KB)

Table of contents   Document options  
TOC link At a glance TOC link Reference information
TOC link Overview TOC link Technical information
TOC link Key prerequisites TOC link Ordering information
TOC link Planned availability date TOC link Prices
TOC link Description TOC link Order now
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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 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: RE001).
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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
  • VIOS V1.2.0
    • 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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Key prerequisites

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)

Virtual SCSI

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.

Virtual networking

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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Reference information

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).

BP Attachment for Announcement Letter 205-250


System p5, OpenPower, POWER, POWER5, Redbooks, and AIX 5L are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
The e-business logo, eServer, AIX, and pSeries are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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Technical information

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.

IVM limitations:

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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Ordering information

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: 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.

All features in the Ordering information section have been previously announced and priced.
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Order now

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)
 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.


AIX is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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