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Run AIX PowerPC in intel based virtual machine

Posted on 2012-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-04-03
I have a client running some old legacy software which runs on an old IBM server running AIX 4.x. Their server is starting to fail, and they want to purchase a new server which can run their other servers as virtual machines.

So, my question is, Is it possible to run the POWERPC based AIX in a virtual machine on an intel based Host? If so what virtual server suite supports doing this? Ive looked at KVM and Xen but couldnt find any details about running a powerpc based guest.
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Question by:JaseCara
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Kerem ERSOY earned 400 total points
ID: 37783967
Hi,

AIX runs on the PowerPC CPU with custom IBM Architecture. It is not possible to run AIX in any Intel based virtualizers. Because they basically emulate PC hardware. Another reason is they don't emulate CPU. It would be a very hard task to emulate both CPU and HArdware over anither architecture and ther would be aperformance impact on both Virtualizer and Guest.

KVM does not support them too.. So there's no way you can use any known emulator to Emulate AIX and PowerPC.

The best option is to find a preowned hardware and migrate the applications there. BTW I don't support AIX 4.x anymore.

Cheers,
K.
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LVL 120
ID: 37783974
Unfortunaltely not, VMware, Microsoft, KVM, and Xen are Intel based Virtualisation, and provides no mechanism to "emulate" virtualise PowerPC for AIX usage.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 100 total points
ID: 37783985
AIX only runs on RISC and ITANIUM architecture,  VMware products are developed for the Intel platform only.  So it is not possible to virtualize an AIX server onto PC/Intel platform.

AIX and HPUX is not compatible with VMware, and is Hardware.

If you want virtualization for your AIX server then your only alternative is to go and buy IBM p-Series server only from IBM and run IBM's own virtulaization support on it.

There is no "physical to virtual" converter for AIX/PowerVM as exists e.g. for VMWare.

Depending on your present environment you have these options:

1) If your rootvg disks are SAN attached make these disks accessible to the new LPAR (directly or via Virtual I/O Server, this depends on how you're going to set up your virtual environment), take down the physical machine, then boot the virtual partition from these disks.

2) If your physical box has local rootvg disks you'll have to take an mksysb image of them (to external media like DVD/tape, or to a NIM server via network) to then restore this image to the  disks of the new LPAR (again via physical media or network/NIM).

This is an introductory Redbook on Power Virtualization:

http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247940.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:woolmilkporc
ID: 37784095
Good quote, hanccocka, alas without indication of the source:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Miscellaneous/Q_27593695.html
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LVL 120
ID: 37784586
@woolmilkporc: Apologies, if was lifted from local service desk knowledgebase, and I had no reference to source url, I usually do post references to EE Answers. But did not have the url to hand.

@JaseCara: please exclude me from any points for this question.
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