IBM PowerVM Review

Good performance with no degradation, helpful support, and scales well

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for virtualization to consolidate workloads efficiently.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features in this solution are you do not get degradation in the performance like you could get in other solutions. There is a physical adapter that is better than a virtual one and you can assign adapters to a VM. The IBM Live Partition Mobility (LPM) feature lets you keep partitions running during data moves between the source and clusters. When using this solution with VMware you have the option in the vMotion not to share anything, such as storage or servers and you can have them on different platforms. 

What needs improvement?

This solution is lacking the ability to have servers act as a cluster, such as in VMware. IBM has come out with a feature similar to VMware's vCenter but it is not as mature. They need to add LPM shared-nothing feature, such as in vMotion.

IBM is a hardware company. They have always had the view of, why implement something in software that I can implement in hardware. The virtualized hardware can do many things whereas these other vendors are software vendors that can only work on hardware. However, this sometimes makes IBM less advanced in terms of software because they rely more on the hardware. That is why they need to look at VMware as a model for advancing their PowerVC offering to match VMware's vCenter. Similar to what Red Hat did. Red Hat Manager is very close to vCenter, they are trying to mimic the options.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for approximately 17 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution's stability is good. 

There are issues with VMware when it comes to scalability. For example, when using SAP HANA with Power or VMware you are going to have a lot of restrictions. In IBM PowerVM, the design and memory are different, and the latency is much more. It is even beyond the maximum latency accepted by SAP, they do not have such restrictions. We have found in VMware and SAP HANA used to use four terabytes but now have six terabytes. This solution supports up to 28 terabytes.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is easier than VMware. In VMware, you have to restore the vSAN tool, install the ESXi, register your ESXi, and install the license. With IMB PowerVM you do not need to do all of that. You are able to create your VM from the beginning, you do not need to do the full infrastructure set up first and then create your VM.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated many other solutions, such as VMware vSphere and SAP HANA and I have found IBM PowerVM is better than VMware. For example, if you compare SAP HANA with IBM PowerVM versus SAP HANA with VMware, according to SAP HANA themselves you lose 10% of performance if you work on VMware. With IBM PowerVM all the workload is done in the hardware, it is not a software layer like in VMware.

What other advice do I have?

I rate IBM PowerVM ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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