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IBM PowerVM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM PowerVM is #10 ranked solution in best Server Virtualization Software. IT Central Station users give IBM PowerVM an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM PowerVM is most commonly compared to VMware vSphere:IBM PowerVM vs VMware vSphere. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is IBM PowerVM?
Power is server virtualization without limits. Businesses are turning to PowerVM server virtualization to consolidate multiple workloads onto fewer systems, increasing server utilization and reducing cost. PowerVM provides a secure and scalable server virtualization environment for AIX, IBM i and Linux applications built upon the advanced RAS features and leading performance of the Power Systems platform.

IBM PowerVM is also known as PowerVM.

IBM PowerVM Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM PowerVM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM PowerVM Customers
Sto, Soitec, SNO, Bundesrechenzentrum GmbH, Al Mansour Holding, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida, Huhtamaki, ELK Group, IT-Informatik, Arkansas Tech University, Pneuhage
IBM PowerVM Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM PowerVM pricing:
  • "The license cost is bundled with IBM Power Systems as it is limited to RISC-based IBM systems only."
  • "The price varies from case to case and you have to negotiate it for every project."

IBM PowerVM Software Reviews

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MN
IT Manager at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Secure with excellent stability and very good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is great."
  • "The licensing could be better."

What is most valuable?

The solution is comprised of robust technology and is RISC architecture. The hardware is excellent. We never have any issues with it.

The stability is excellent. It's 99% stable. It offers amazing uptime.

The solution is very secure. It does a good job of protecting against cybersecurity threats. We feel safe in this environment.

IBM, as a principle itself, is available here in Pakistan, which is quite helpful. Technical support is great. The parts availability and their engineers, and even their support level at the backend, including a proper research team that can cater to any sort of the issues, are all available here.

They do have the high availability models, they have the HACMP, and they have the GPFS, and they have the Live Partition Mobility. The technology is advancing fast. 

If one can afford commercial offering with respect to the licensing cost and things, their research is going in the right direction in order to hopefully make it more affordable down the line. 

What needs improvement?

Whenever you go to the virtualization, you may experience performance issues. They need to better cater to virtualization with respect to performance. I'm not saying I'm facing any performance issue, however. It's more of a theoretical concern, as people say you have to compromise with respect to the performance whenever you move to virtualization.

The licensing could be better. The pricing and the licensing fees are very high with respect to the number of core licenses. So price factor on the Intel-based architecture is much less compared to IBM, for example. 

We have not confirmed their roadmap with respect to the cloud. Since IBM has acquired Red Hat, they may promote Red Hat for the cloud version. We don't know whether they are introducing AIX for their cloud platform as well or not. That we would love. Otherwise, we need to move to the Linux environment. In any case, they need to be more transparent with their plans for the cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for a very long time. It's been more than a decade at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability really is quite good. We never seem to have any issues whatsoever. The uptime is excellent. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been excellent. I would rate them at a ten out of ten. They are extremely helpful and responsive, and they have a presence in our company, which makes it easy to not only get help but to get replacement parts as needed. They are excellent and we are extremely satisfied with the level of service they offer to customers. 

They have a very good Call Home feature. It's more proactive support. Sometimes if a system has some issue and they know beforehand, they will inform you that your system might face issues. They really try to be more proactive in their approach to support rather than the typical reactive support you might get.

How was the initial setup?

When there wasn't any virtualization, there were a number of boxes that were pretty much the same at IBM. As the technology grew, with machines offering 24 GB memory or 64 GB, or 512GB, the processor limitation became smaller. Virtualization came in around 2005 and onwards, and things were now become less complex now in terms of setup. 

In terms of the number of boxes, they have reduced everything to only one or two boxes. You only have to cater to the maintenance of one box, or you have to manage many SLA contracts. And with respect to the data center, the power consumption is much less. 

Basically, previously, everything was much more complex. However, there has been a paradigm shift within the technology, and the complexity level is not as high as it once was.

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

The pricing is too high. there are other options on the market that are priced at less of a cost. IBM needs to begin to compete with them a bit more.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and an end-user. We don't have a business relationship with IBM.

We are using the latest version of the solution, although I cannot speak to the exact version number.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten due to its very proactive support and robust hardware. They are excellent and we are very happy with them overall.

I'd likely recommend the solution, however, it depends. If I've been using IBM for a long time and needed to move to, for example, Linux, it would be a difficult task. There are certain skillsets needed. You'd need some sort of support model. IBM, however, supports SAP HANA very well. You just need to be clear on future plans. That said, I give full marks to IBM as it really is a great system. So long as you don't need the cloud just yet, it's great. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AN
Chief Information Officer and Program Lead at Gatron Industries Ltd
Real User
Top 5
One of the most stable and versatile Virtualization Platform for Tier1 Workloads

Pros and Cons

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

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
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about IBM PowerVM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
KH
Data Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable with flexible licensing and great technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "It's scalable. Whenever we buy another product other than hardware, it's easily integrated into the virtualization software that we download."
  • "If it could actually virtualize the entire platform it might be better. If you're having more than one virtualization technology, maybe there's a way to actually have less - one technology to run the data center and maybe one special virtualization for power. If it integrated with other platforms more effectively it might be better."

What is our primary use case?

We're using the solution primarily on power machines and the default specialization software, IVM Power. Our power machines are specifically used to run Oracle databases.

What is most valuable?

It's flexible to license virtual machines and power them with Oracle. If Oracle can not be virtualized in neutral, they actually say you pay a license for the whole box even if you want just one feature from Oracle. Our machine has got 60 CPUs, and that's just through a virtual machine. If I have an entire box and I put on VMware virtualization, Oracle makes me license the whole box even if my Oracle VM it was maybe just two CPUs out of maybe a box with 16 CPUs. Therefore, power machines seem to be more flexible, which is why we use the power machines for Oracle or Oracle databases.

What needs improvement?

Currently, it's working fine. It's not really lacking too much in the way of features.

If it could actually virtualize the entire platform it might be better. If you're having more than one virtualization technology, maybe there's a way to actually have less - one technology to run the data center and maybe one special virtualization for power. If it integrated with other platforms more effectively it might be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a decade. It's been ten years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's easy to actually manage all the hardware for Power VM.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. Whenever we buy another product other than hardware, it's easily integrated into the virtualization software that we download. 

We have about 50-75 internal users on the solution currently that handle reports, etc. However, we have a subscriber base of 10 million.

We do plan to increase the usage in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. They read all of our messages or SMS. We're very satisfied with their level of support and find them knowledgeable and responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've been using this solution for quite some time now. It's been ten years. 

We've been actually using IBM side by side with Intel machines which are Lenovo and HP. 

How was the initial setup?

For the power machine, the setup is not that complex. We have got 100 percent vendor support. We find that if you buy a new machine, the item vendor actually gives us 100 percent support in setting it up and also in showing us how it is run.

Deployment times depend on when the deployment is done. We're looking at deploying the hardware and then the software. In most cases, it takes about a week or two. It is a maximum of two weeks to set up everything.

The solution is being maintained by a team of 850.

What about the implementation team?

We have support from our vendor that assists us. 

The current Power VM that we have, has an upgrade from a previous solution. The integration was within Power VM itself.

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

I don't know what the licensing costs are. It's not part of my department.

What other advice do I have?

We're IBM customers. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

I'd recommend this solution. It's a great product and they offer great support.

Overall, I would rate it eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AS
IT Specialist at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good performance with no degradation, helpful support, and scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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PrimozBergant
System Engineer at Unistar
Real User
Top 20
A stable solution that offers good control over hardware resources

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the flexibility in terms of managing the hardware resources such as RAM, CPU, and the network."
  • "The interface is not user-friendly in places, so it could use some improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and IBM PowerVM is one of the solutions that we implement for our clients. I am not a solution architect, but I provide assistance with PowerVM.

It is primarily used for business-critical operations like SAP or Oracle databases.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the flexibility in terms of managing the hardware resources such as RAM, CPU, and the network. 

What needs improvement?

The interface is not user-friendly in places, so it could use some improvement.

If PowerVM were cheaper then it would better compete with VMware vCenter.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five or six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not seen any issues and I think that stability-wise, this is quite a good solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution architect in our team has not complained about the scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have involved technical support in the past when we have had issues and I think that they are good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are also supporting VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Customers generally choose IBM PowerVM when they have a great demand for stability. However, they sometimes choose VMware because it is cheaper.

How was the initial setup?

With respect to the initial setup, if you know the terminology then it isn't too complex. It should nonetheless be done by somebody with a technical background.

The deployment takes approximately 14 days.

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

The price varies from case to case and you have to negotiate it for every project. Pricing and licensing policies are not completely transparent.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is researching this type of solution is to choose PowerVM if they want something that is really stable. I think that it is the only answer because the other solutions have perhaps evolved too quickly. We have seen issues with VMware and especially with Hyper-V. Hyper-V is not a mature platform.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
MohamedGaber
Unix Team Lead at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Makes the control environment more flexible, easier, more stable, and easy to recover after issues

Pros and Cons

  • "It's in English, so its exceptional qualities make the control environment more flexible, easier, more stable, and easy to recover after issues."
  • "I would like for IBM to be more focuses on the cloud."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of PowerVM is for our core banking system. We split our servers into multiple partitions, each one has a specific task for the project. 

How has it helped my organization?

It's in English, so its exceptional qualities make the control environment more flexible, easier, more stable, and easy to recover after issues. Overall, it has many advantages over using different servers.

What needs improvement?

IBM now makes provides us with quality GUI tools to make the experience easier and successful.

I don't have an issue with the current configuration or with the GUI. I worked on both with the team. 

I would like for IBM to be more focused on the cloud. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using PowerVM for the last six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. 

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to set up. It has easy protocols to setup. To some extent, it can be difficult. If you follow the guide provided by IBM I think it would be easy to undermine the environment. 

You have to implement it in two phases. You have to implement partitions which carry our loads of our function of our environment. Implementation of this is easy. To adjust administration, according to the requirements of publication of the organization, you have to consider some steps for it to work as storage. If you have the steps you should follow, it will be easy.

It took one week to fully deploy. 

It took two people to deploy the solution. 

What other advice do I have?

I think everybody is going to be migrating to cloud and I think that IBM can make things easier if they also did this. 

I would rate IBM PowerVM nine out of ten. 

In the next release, I hope to see an extension of both the end part with the GUI.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Elvis Lau
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to migrate servers from a standalone server to a VM server

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to migrate the server from a standalone server to a VM server. 

What is most valuable?

The case fileserver on the webserver is the most valuable feature. 

What needs improvement?

The performance should be improved.  They should reduce the cost to purchase the hardware of the physical server.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never contacted customer support. We have a service provider that we contact to help with the implementation and support.  

How was the initial setup?

I didn't have any issues with the deployment. 

What's my

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to migrate the server from a standalone server to a VM server. 

What is most valuable?

The case fileserver on the webserver is the most valuable feature. 

What needs improvement?

The performance should be improved. 

They should reduce the cost to purchase the hardware of the physical server.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never contacted customer support. We have a service provider that we contact to help with the implementation and support.  

How was the initial setup?

I didn't have any issues with the deployment. 

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

My colleagues are the ones who deal with pricing. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. I would recommend IBM PowerVM to someone considering it. 

I wouldn't rate it a ten because it has things it can improve on. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AS
System Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Powerful and stable platform with good scalability

What is our primary use case?

PowerVM is used to virtualize IBM Power Servers. It is for IBM Power Servers. It needs specific experience and needs to be professionally managed. Our customers needed proficiency and practical experience with it and it's not easy to find experienced engineers for it. 

What is most valuable?

The stability is the most valuable aspect of this solution. IBM is the most powerful and stable platform.

What needs improvement?

The price is high.  I would like for them to add more automation features. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We use IBM technical support mainly for critical cases. Their response is very good from their side. 

What other advice do I

What is our primary use case?

PowerVM is used to virtualize IBM Power Servers. It is for IBM Power Servers. It needs specific experience and needs to be professionally managed. Our customers needed proficiency and practical experience with it and it's not easy to find experienced engineers for it. 

What is most valuable?

The stability is the most valuable aspect of this solution. IBM is the most powerful and stable platform.

What needs improvement?

The price is high. 

I would like for them to add more automation features. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We use IBM technical support mainly for critical cases. Their response is very good from their side. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

To make it a ten, I would like for them to add automation and configuration tools in order to help use the manager. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.