IBM Cloud Docs
IBM Power Systems Infrastructure environment introduction

IBM Power Systems Infrastructure environment introduction

This is a complementary offering from IBM Power Systems, with low latency access to IBM Cloud services

An Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment consists of many components - primarily compute, storage, and network from a specified region (such as the US) and a designated site location (also referred to as zone, which is a data center site).

Deployment and management

IBM Power Virtual Server is an IBM Power Systems enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering.

These IBM Power Virtual Servers are physically located with low-latency connectivity to the IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure or VPC Infrastructure. In the data centers, the Power Virtual Servers are separated from the rest of the IBM Cloud servers with separate networks and direct-attached storage. This infrastructure design enables Power Virtual Servers to maintain key enterprise software certification and support as its architecture is identical to certified on-premises infrastructure. The internal networks are fenced but have connectivity options to the rest of environments and services on IBM Cloud.

IBM Power Systems Infrastructure offerings (such as IBM Power Virtual Server) are deployed using the IBM Power Infrastructure console available through IBM Cloud.

Alternatively, you can create and manage deployments with any of the following methods:

  • IBM Power Infrastructure plug-in for IBM Cloud CLI
  • IBM Power Infrastructure API calls with an IBM Cloud API key
  • Terraform Provider for IBM Cloud with an IBM Cloud API key

For more information, see Managing IBM Power Virtual Servers (IAM).

Locations - Data centers

With data centers across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, you can provision IBM Power Infrastructure resources where (and when) you need them.

You can choose from multiple data centers globally.

Each data center with IBM Power Infrastructure uses a separate enterprise-grade network which is connected using IBM Cloud Direct Link to the IBM Cloud global private network, making data transfers faster and more efficient anywhere in the world.

For more information about IBM Cloud availability zones / data centers and points of presence (PoPs) where IBM Power Infrastructure can be connected to, see the global regions and availability zones / data centers map.

Networking

The IBM Power Systems Infrastructure network, is built upon IBM Power's enterprise-grade secure networking hardware and connectivity; it can be bridged to the separate IBM Cloud networks (either Classic Infrastructure network or VPC Infrastructure network).

Table 1. Networking component layers overview
IBM Power Virtual Server Group network on IBM Cloud
Global
Resource Group
Region
Datacenter
Datacenter colocation Room
VLAN (Public and Private) used internally, effectively transparent to the administrator
Subnet (Public and Private)

Connectivity is available to the IBM Power Systems Infrastructure network leveraging connectivity options available from leading global network providers and TelCo providers in addition to the connectivity options available using the IBM Cloud global footprint of more than 60 IBM Cloud data centers and 28 points of presence (PoPs).

Networking VLANs and Subnets

The following information is a summary of Configuring connectivity to Power Systems Virtual Server and Configuring and adding a private network subnet.

The Virtual LAN (VLAN) on the IBM Power Systems Infrastructure network, provides an enterprise-grade private network with full isolation and security. Each VLAN is Public or Private, and is assigned to a specific data center for a specific IBM Cloud Account.

Each VLAN is associated with a single Subnet, for example:

  • Public VLAN (only one per region)
    • Public Subnet
  • Private VLAN
    • Private Subnet

A Public Subnet is the quickest and simplest way to connect to a IBM Power Virtual Server instance. The public network is protected by a firewall and only the following network protocols are allowed:

  • SSH (port 22)
  • HTTPS (port 443)
  • Ping (ICMP)
  • IBM i 5250 console emulation with SSL (port 992)

For the public network, other ports are blocked and can be routed through SSH.

A Private Subnet is required for the connection of your virtual instances with systems outside of the IBM data centers and for communication between multiple instances in an SAP three-tier system. This subnet is an internal network that can be used to connect individual IBM Power Virtual Servers with each other.

If you want to separate different types of network traffic in your landscape, you can order more subnets (and their respective VLANs).

Keep in mind that the additional VLANs and subnets lead to traffic segregation, not increased performance; the increased performance is gained when additional VLANs and Subnets are associated to a host. When multiple network interfaces are used, two performance increases are possible depending on the use case:

  • Bonding of the network interfaces, creating a network path with the network throughput of both interfaces
  • Traffic segregation using two networks, then isolating high volumes of traffic to a specific network which avoids a single network becoming a bottleneck. For example, a network for storage I/O only

With IBM Power Virtual Server as an example, a single threaded Linux network interface may reach 100% CPU Thread utilization even though the performance limits of the network path itself are still not reached. Additional network interfaces attached to another VLAN and Subnet will therefore increase performance

By default, your server has a Private IP address. If you use public subnets, a public IP address is assigned in addition.

Networking connectivity

Issues with network connectivity can cause delays for your project if you do not plan properly, regardless of how you plan to use your system.

If you need to connect to your virtual server through the public internet, in other words, inbound to a virtual server, you can order Public IPs and attach them to the virtual server per vNIC.

Various interconnectivity options available, for example:

  • IBM Power Systems Infrastructure bridged to IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure
  • IBM Power Systems Infrastructure bridged to IBM Cloud VPC Infrastructure
  • IBM Power Systems Infrastructure bridged to on-premises data centers by using IBM Direct Link

IBM Cloud Direct Link on Classic must be used to connect your IBM Power Virtual Servers with your IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure and VPC Infrastructure resources.

After you configure Direct Link on Classic, you must configure routing on your virtual server instance.

Direct Link on Classic is also used for closer integration into your backbone infrastructure, for more information, see Connectivity to your SAP system landscape.

For more explanation information about IBM Power Systems Infrastructure, see IBM Power Virtual Servers.

Have your networking department contact the IBM Power Virtual Servers Support Team, handled by using IBM Cloud Support after you determine the layout of your landscape and the connectivity that is required on the SAP application layer.

Storage

Within IBM Power Systems Infrastructure, there are two types of storage available:

  • Block Storage Tier 1 (storage for mission critical application with best characteristics, e.g. NVMe flash storage)
  • Block Storage Tier 3 (default storage type with optimized price/performance, e.g. SSD flash storage)

Do not mix storage types on a IBM Power Virtual Server.

Block Storage is provided with your IBM Power Virtual Servers and storage requirements are defined using input/output operations per second (IOPS) and the capacity (GB). High performance block storage is ideal for storage-intensive applications with high I/O needs, such as an OS, and database and application software. For SAP HANA workloads, Tier 1 of block storage is supported only.

All Block Storage is selected based on capacity (GB), currently the performance (IOPS) measurement cannot be fine-tuned.

Block Storage for IBM Power Virtual Servers is powered underneath by IBM FlashSystem family connected through the Fibre Channel protocol.

For further information, see hardware specifications for IBM Power Virtual Servers.

Contact IBM Cloud Support for extension options if the attached storage is insufficient for your workload.

Compute

There is only one type of IaaS available within the IBM Power Systems Infrastructure environment:

  1. IBM Power Virtual Servers

The IBM Power Virtual Servers are SAP-certified.

Currently following IBM Power Systems hardware are utilised by IBM Power Virtual Servers:

  • S922 – optimized for SAP NetWeaver application server
  • E980 – optimized for SAP HANA database server

For more information, see Infrastructure certified for SAP.