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PowerVM is IBM's umbrella term for the collection of virtualization technologies that are available with its Power Systems family. The most important of these technologies is logical partitioning, or LPAR, which lets one physical system run multiple operating systems concurrently, including one or more copies of IBM i, AIX, and/or Linux.

The course begins with an overview of logical partitioning concepts and applications. You will learn the basic terminology and see how LPAR has evolved.

The course then goes into greater detail on how specific resources are shared among partitions, including processors, memory, and I/O devices. Ways in which partitions can communicate with each other are also discussed.

Special considerations for sharing resource among partitions are covered next. In particular, partitions can use both direct I/O, in which physical devices are owned by the partition, and virtual I/O, in which resources are supplied by a host partition. Virtual I/O is particularly useful in allocating storage to a partition from DASD owned by another partition.

The last session of the course covers the techniques that are used to create and manage partitions. Two separate approaches are used by Power Systems. On smaller systems, partition management tasks are performed using the Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM). Larger systems use a separate Hardware Management Console (HMC).

Approximate Study Time: 4 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the advantages of using logical partitioning rather than independent systems or a single system image
  • Distinguish between physical and logical partitioning
  • Define logical partitioning terms
  • Describe the major tasks performed by the Power Systems hypervisor
  • Identify the operating systems that can run in host and client partitions
  • Describe the purpose of the Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) and Hardware Management Console (HMC)
  • Describe how the resources of a shared processor pool are allocated among partitions
  • Describe the difference between using capped and uncapped processors in a partition
  • Describe the benefit of using multiple shared processor pools
  • Given the performance rating of a system and its partition definitions, compute the performance to be expected for a given partition
  • Specify whether a proposed dynamic memory change is valid
  • Describe how the resources of a shared memory pool are allocated among partitions
  • Distinguish between logically over committed and physically over committed shared memory
  • Describe the relationship between an IOP and an IOA
  • Describe the restrictions concerning the movement of I/O resources between partitions
  • Identify the ways in which a partition can be provided with a console
  • Describe the purpose of virtual I/O, virtual LAN, virtual Fibre Channel, and virtual OptiConnect in an LPARed system
  • Given a description of which partitions need to communicate, determine the number of virtual LANs and virtual adaptors that need to be created
  • Distinguish between dedicated I/O and virtual I/O devices
  • Describe how a host partition can provide virtual disks, a virtual console, a virtual optical device, and/or a virtual tape drive to a client partition
  • Identify ways in which IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Windows can share files and printers across a network
  • Describe the purpose of a partition profile on a Power System
  • Describe how fixes to the hypervisor code are distributed
  • Describe how system administration and operations personnel create and change partition definitions
  • Identify the security authority needed to perform specified LPAR operations
  • Describe how power-related IBM i system values are handled in an LPAR environment
  • Describe how software and hardware errors are reported to IBM in an LPAR environment

Topic Outline

LPAR Applications

Partitioning Processor Resources

Active Memory Sharing

Partitioning I/O Resources

InterPartition Communications

VIOS and Client Partitions

Partition Management


This course is intended for IT personnel who will operate, administer, or plan for the installation of an IBM Power System that will use logical partitioning.


This course assumes that you are familiar with basic computer concepts and terminology. Some familiarity with IBM i, AIX, and Linux is desired, but not absolutely required. In particular, if your installation uses AIX and/or Linux but not IBM i (or vice versa), you may skip sections that do not apply to your environment.