Let’s Understand how to manage IBM POWER8 Compute Nodes, using OpenStack

Recently IBM released the scale-out family of servers supporting Linux only workloads. These servers are built on POWER8 processors, and supports KVM hypervisor.

One can use these servers as compute nodes in an OpenStack cloud. Power architecture support is available from OpenStack Icehouse release onwards.

A typical OpenStack compute and management server stack looks like the following –

OpenStack Enablement for POWER8 Compute Nodes

IBM Cloud Manager and Ubuntu Cloud are officially supported for PowerKVM. However one can use their own OpenStack distributions as well.

As can be seen from the figure above, the software stack for Intel and Power compute nodes are the same. Power compute nodes running KVM uses nova-libvirt driver just like Intel/KVM.

The cloud administrator needs to ensure the following for integrating Power compute nodes in an OpenStack environment:

1. Glance images for Power should have the architecture property set to ppc64 glance image-update img-uuid –property architecture=ppc64

2.Nova-scheduler should have ImagePropertiesFilter, as one of the filters. This is usually enabled by default in OpenStack installations.

</etc/nova/nova.conf snippet in the controller enabling ImagePropertiesFilter>

##### SCHEDULER #####

compute_scheduler_driver=nova.scheduler.filter_scheduler.FilterScheduler

scheduler_available_filters=nova.scheduler.filters.all_filters

# which filter class names to use for filtering hosts when not specified in the request.            scheduler_default_filters=RetryFilter,AvailabilityZoneFilter,RamFilter,ComputeFilter,ComputeCapabilitiesFilter,ImagePropertiesFilter

Setting image architecture property to ppc64 ensures, that the nova-scheduler filters compute nodes with ppc64 architecture, which is also the architecture for Power compute nodes.

The ImagePropertiesFilter, filters hosts based on image properties. The filter checks for architecture, hypervisor_type, among other things.

More details on nova-scheduler is available here – http://docs.openstack.org/trunk/config-reference/content/section_compute-scheduler.html

There are no other Power specific configuration required. Rest of the configurations are as per requirement, and common across architectures.

More details on managing PowerKVM with OpenStack is available here:

  1. Managing PowerKVM using DevStack
  2. Managing PowerKVM using IBM Cloud Manager

Pradipta Kumar Banerjee

I'm a Cloud and Linux/ OpenSource enthusiast, with 16 years of industry experience at IBM. You can find more details about me here - Linkedin

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