Introduction to AIX logical partition (LPAR) virtualization technology

The Veritas Storage Foundation and High Availability (SFHA) solutions can be used in LPAR-based virtualization environments to provide advanced storage management, mission-critical clustering, and fail-over capabilities.

AIX logical partition virtual machine technology is released by IBM with AIX as a full virtualization solution. LPAR differs from other popular alternatives like Xen and VMware in terms of operation, performance and flexibility. LPAR comes as a kernel module, with a set of user space utilities to create and manage logical partitions (LPARs).

IBM LPAR virtualization technology includes the following:

IBM LPAR virtualization technology


IBM LPARs with dedicated I/O

The baseline configuration is a traditional AIX deployment with dedicated HBAs and NICs. The deployment may include partitions with virtual CPUs or partitions that support DLPAR events.

IBM LPARs with Virtual I/O Servers

With Virtual I/O Servers LPARs can share physical resources. The VIOS provides virtual SCSI, virtual fibre channel, and virtual networking for sharing. Sharing of resources between LPARs enables more efficient utilization of physical resources and facilitates consolidation.

Workload Partitions (WPARs)

Workload Partitions enable administrators to virtualize the AIX operating system, by partitioning an AIX operating system instance into multiple environments. Each environment within the AIX operating system instance is called a workload partition (WPAR). One WPAR can host applications and isolate the applications from applications executing in other WPARs. WPAR is a pure software solution and has no dependencies on hardware features.

Live Partition Mobility

Live Partition Mobility enables greater control over the usage of resources in the data center by enabling the migration of a logical partition from one physical system to another. This feature enables the transfer of a configuration from source to destination without disrupting the hosted applications or the setup of the operating system and applications.

Live Application Mobility

Live Application Mobility enables the planned migration of workloads from one system to another without interrupting the application and can be used to perform a planned firmware installation on a server.

Active Memory Sharing

Active Memory Sharing is a virtualization technology that enables multiple partitions to share a pool of physical memory. AMS increases system memory utilization and reduces the amount of physical memory that the system requires.

The Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability stack supports VIO clients that use memory from the Active Memory Sharing (AMS) pool. Symantec recommends that the ratio of the physical memory in the AMS pool should comply with the AIX guidelines.

Active Memory Expansion

Active Memory Expansion relies on compression of in-memory data to increase the amount of data that can be placed into memory. This feature expands the effective memory capacity of a POWER7 system. The operating system manages the in-memory data compression, which is transparent to applications and users.

Active Memory Expansion is configurable per logical partition (LPAR) . Active Memory Expansion can be selectively enabled for one or more LPARs on a system. When Active Memory Expansion is enabled for a LPAR, the operating system compresses a portion of the LPAR's memory and leave the remaining portion of memory uncompressed. The memory is effectively broken up into two pools - a compressed pool and an uncompressed pool. The operating system dynamically varies the amount of memory that is compressed, based on the workload and the configuration of the LPAR.

This guide illustrates some reference configurations for the use of Storage Foundation and High Availability (SFHA) Solutions 6.0.1 with IBM Power virtualization. These reference configurations can be customized to fit most implementations. An assumption is made that the reader understands the AIX operating system, including its architecture, as well as how to configure and manage LPARs using the management software already provided by AIX. There is also an expectation that the user is familiar with the basic Veritas Storage Foundation and High Availability Solutions software and is well versed with its administration and management utilities. Additional details regarding IBM AIX, LPARs and Veritas Storage Foundation and High Availability Solutions software are available in the Additional documentation section.