IBM PowerVM Review

One of the most stable and versatile Virtualization Platform for Tier1 Workloads


What is our primary use case?

Gatron Industries is rolling out one of the largest Digital Transformation program of the Country and require a platform that can provide industry leading Reliability, Availability and Scalability to host the Critical Tier 1 workloads. A no compromise approach was to be taken to ensure that the platform on which our SAP Landscape is hosted performs consistently. It was also required that the Virtualization technology should perform equally well for both OLTP and OLAP workloads. The platform also required to be flexible and must adapt to the changing workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

With IBM PowerVM, both planned and unplanned downtime have reduced drastically. The platform provides peace of mind in terms of performance, reliability and availability. The administrators can spend less time on firefighting and more time of providing other services to improve overall value delivered to the organization

What is most valuable?

Shared Processer pools and active memory sharing are the features that are the hallmark of PowerVM

Shared Processer Pools allows PowerVM to automatically allocate processing power from a shared pool of processors based on the workload requirement. This enables better throughput and balancing of processing power as well as cost savings for processor-based licenses. An lpar can be provided an upper limit restricting lpar not to exceed the configured limit in case additional processing power is required from the shared processing pool. This also helps in restricting lpars from exceeding a certain processor count, especially where the application or workload license is based on processing power also ensuring compliance at all times.

Active Memory Sharing dynamically reallocates memory of running partitions based on changing workload demands. The memory for the pool is carved out from Physical memory and is made logical memory.  The said memory is not available to be assigned to partitions as dedicated memory. A min, max and desired as well as weight is assigned to the memory of each lpar to help hypervisor make a decision in case a condition where priority is to be given to a certain lapr to use the memory form shared pool.

What needs improvement?

A GUI version of VIOS would be a great plus for people moving from Intel-based hypervisors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using PowerVM for more than a decade now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

PowerVM is one of the most stable platform in the market. It is the virtualization platform of choice of high performance critical workloads.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the main reasons to procure PowerVM is scalability. These systems can scale up as well as scale out depending upon the model you choose. The performance that these systems deliver actually allows you to run much more demanding workloads than on any other intel based platform. We have about 824 users at the moment. We will probably increase usage over the next two years.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM technical support is top-notch. I'm very satisfied with them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a bit complex and takes much longer to implement when compared to VMware and other hypervisors.

What about the implementation team?

IBM smooth start services provides the complete initial setup for PowerVM. The Engineers deputed to implement the solution have very good understanding of the solution and guides the customer in every step of the way.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The license cost is bundled with IBM Power Systems as it is limited to RISC-based IBM systems only.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated VMware, AHV, and Hyper-V, but we chose IBM PowerVM.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give IBM PowerVM an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Latest Version
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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