AIX Tip of the Week

Subject: How to Set Up the Power5 Virtual I/O Server

Audience: All

Date: July 5, 2005

The Virtual I/O server allows sharing of disk and network hardware among multiple AIX 5.3 and Linux clients on Power5/6 servers. The following article by Nigel Griffith show's how to set up and maintain a Virtual I/O server.

Update May 27, 2008. New URL for PowerVM wiki home page.

My comments/recommendations:

I recommend Network Installation Manager (NIM) for installing and maintaining multiple AIX servers. NIM, which is part of the base operating system, does more than just installing AIX. It also updates, migrates, clones, and backup/restore mksysb's from a central NIM server. NIM has a learning curve, but is definitely worth the effort for maintaining multiple AIX servers. For more information, see

For "higher" availability configurations, I recommend two redundant VIO servers. (This would be in contrast to having one VIO server with redundant disks and network adapters.) Each client partition would have a virtual disk and ethernet on each VIO server. The client would be responsible for mirroring it's virtual disk and network adapters. The benefit of two VIO servers is that you can update/reboot one without disrupting client partitions.

Bruce Spencer,

July 5, 2005