Kubernetes & OpenShift on Power

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Introducing OpenShift IPI for IBM Power Virtual Servers

By Christy Norman posted Mon March 13, 2023 02:57 PM

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Did you know that you can run Red Hat OpenShift clusters on IBM Power servers? Maybe you did, but you didn’t have any spare Power hardware to try it out on, or you didn’t have the time to put in to learning about OpenShift using the User-Provisioned method of installation. Let me introduce you to the Installer-Provisioned Installation method for OpenShift clusters, also called “an IPI install” on Power Virtual Servers. IPI installs are much simpler than UPI installs, because, as you may have already guessed, the installer itself has built-in logic that can provision each and every component your cluster needs. For Power Virtual Servers IPI, those components include:

  • Power compute nodes (aka LPARs, or VMs)

  • Networking

  • Load Balancers

  • Access Policies and Service IDs

  • DNS records

Power Virtual Servers IPI is able to utilize IBM Cloud services, such as VPC load balancers, by creating a Direct Link connection into an IBM Cloud VPC with negligible overhead. Additionally, since Power Virtual Servers uses IBM Cloud credentials and authorization mechanisms, the OpenShift installer provider for Power VS can create DNS records in IBM Cloud’s Internet Services DNS (CIS DNS).

Some of the benefits of the IPI installation method go beyond installation and into the cluster lifecycle. For one, scaling up and down your cluster worker nodes is as simple as the click of a button in the OpenShift console. Since the installed cluster operators know the Power Virtual Server API calls they need to make and have stored IBM Cloud access credentials as cluster secrets, the cluster will create a new node, add a new DNS record, and add the new node’s IP to the load balancer. This is just one example of how an IPI-installed cluster simplifies the cluster lifecycle.

If you’re reading this and wondering what Power Virtual Servers is, here is our homepage: https://www.ibm.com/products/power-virtual-server. If you want to try OpenShift on Power, you can sign up for a $1000 (USD) credit on that page. Power Virtual Server cost is billed by the second, so you can try out a cluster for a little or as long as you like. The OpenShift free trial from Red Hat is a 60-day trial period. Visit https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/cloud-computing/openshift/ocp-self-managed-trial, then this documentation page https://docs.openshift.com/container-platform/4.13/installing/installing_ibm_powervs/preparing-to-install-on-ibm-power-vs.html to get started.

Currently IPI For Power Virtual Servers is in Tech Preview. This means customers are free to try it and use it, but production support is not yet offered. We would love for you to try it out and let us know about your experience. We will offer best-effort support through our Power Developer eXchange Community: Kubernetes and OpenShift on Power



Tue August 22, 2023 10:00 AM

@Deepak C Shetty -- the docs differentiate between Power Virtual Servers as an offering, and Baremetal or standalone IBM Power LPARS. We only have IPI for Power VS. If look at all the sections in the doc on the left it may be a little more clear.

Tue August 22, 2023 04:34 AM

In the below URL, table 1 that lists the IPI support across diff HW arch. for OCP 4.13 - there isn't a tickmark/supported against IBM Power, why ?


@Christy Norman ^^