OpenStack Compute supports the PowerVM hypervisor through NovaLink. In the NovaLink architecture, a thin NovaLink virtual machine running on the Power system manages virtualization for that system. The nova-compute service can be installed on the NovaLink virtual machine and configured to use the PowerVM compute driver. No external management element (e.g. Hardware Management Console) is needed.


In order to function properly, the nova-compute service must be executed by a member of the pvm_admin group. Use the usermod command to add the user. For example, to add the stacker user to the pvm_admin group, execute:

sudo usermod -a -G pvm_admin stacker

The user must re-login for the change to take effect.

To enable the PowerVM compute driver, set the following configuration option in the /etc/nova/nova.conf file:

compute_driver = powervm.PowerVMDriver

The PowerVM driver supports two types of storage for ephemeral disks: localdisk or ssp. If localdisk is selected, you must specify which volume group should be used. E.g.:

disk_driver = localdisk
volume_group_name = openstackvg


Using the rootvg volume group is strongly discouraged since rootvg is used by the management partition and filling this will cause failures.

The PowerVM driver also supports configuring the default amount of physical processor compute power (known as “proc units”) which will be given to each vCPU. This value will be used if the requested flavor does not specify the powervm:proc_units extra-spec. A factor value of 1.0 means a whole physical processor, whereas 0.05 means 1/20th of a physical processor. E.g.:

proc_units_factor = 0.1

Volume Support

Volume support is provided for the PowerVM virt driver via Cinder. Currently, the only supported volume protocol is vSCSI Fibre Channel. Attach, detach, and extend are the operations supported by the PowerVM vSCSI FC volume adapter. Boot from volume is not yet supported.