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PowerVM features in the new POWER9 Servers

By Chet Mehta posted Tue June 09, 2020 11:50 PM



In December, 2017 IBM introduced the AC922 server which uses our next generation IBM Power processor, POWER9. The AC922 system is specifically designed for deep learning and artificial intelligence, high-performance analytics, and high-performance computing.

POWER9 Servers

With yesterday's announcement, IBM introduced six PowerVM based POWER9 enterprise class scale-out servers: POWER9 S924, H924, S914, S922, H922 and L922 systems. As developers, we are looking forward to deliver the next set of PowerVM features with these new systems. This blog will provide a preview of the new features & capabilities you can expect with PowerVM, some of which are specific to the new models.

Support for new System Models

PowerVM adds support for the above POWER9 servers which differ from their predecessors in the following key areas,

  • PCIe Gen4 slots - industry first implementation PCIe Gen4 in a processor delivering up to 2X the bandwidth of PCIe Gen3 slots
  • 4TB memory - up to twice the memory footprint of POWER8 servers, making it an ideal platform for in-memory and data-centric applications
  • NVMe flash internal boot devices - for fast start with reduced latency & higher input/output operations per second (IOPS)

Security Enhancements

Secure Boot

Secure Boot implements a processor based chain of trust based on POWER9 servers to prevent unauthorized access to customer data either through unauthorized firmware running on a host processor or by access through security vulnerabilities in authorized service processor firmware or its hardware service interfaces.

Trusted Remote Attestation

Remote attestation support to enable a remote system to determine the level of trust in the integrity of the platform. Additionally detect changes to the user's computer by authorized parties leveraging the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) implemented on each POWER9 server.

SR-IOV Enhancements

Support for next generation SR-IOV Ethernet adapters that will provide,

  • Faster ports – 10Gb, 25Gb, 40Gb, 100Gb
  • More VFs per port – target 60 VFs per port (120 VFs per adapter) for 100Gb adapters
  • vNIC & vNIC failover support for Linux

New with HMC V9R1.910

HMC V9R1.910 enhances functions in the UI like allowing one step add of multiple physical volumes, creating a bridged network from an existing internal network, persisting specific user settings in the dashboard views, etc. Most of the enhancements are based on the feedback we received from our customers and via RFE’s. Additional changes include,

  • Performance Improvements focused on Dashboard views
  • Remote Restart Enhancements to support use of reduced/minimum resources and choice of a different vSwitch on target system
  • LPM enhancements to collect VIOS log info as part of LPM First Failure Data Capture (FFDC) collection and to maintain resource roles post LPM
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) support for HMC

Look for our future blogs where we will expand on each of these exciting new capabilities.

Contacting the PowerVM Team

Have questions for the PowerVM team or want to learn more?  Follow our discussion group on LinkedIn IBM PowerVM or IBM Community Discussions