Answering the call for a new generation of systems

The only constant in life is change, as the saying goes. We’ve seen this vividly in the technology industry in recent years with not one, but two major shifts: big data and cloud. The first drives a new set of workloads with challenging demands placed on the servers, and the second, a new consumption model for how to utilize those servers. Combined, these shifts place a broad set of new requirements on IT infrastructures.

What has become clear in this time of change is that choosing the right infrastructure has never been more important. As the needs of the data center are changing, clients require advanced technology that represents significant progress compared to aging PC-era technology. Systems must be built from the ground up with big data and cloud in mind to handle the new workloads. The right technology innovation can help companies succeed in ways never thought possible and let them discover new business opportunities.

That’s why we’ve brought IBM’s new generation of Power Systems to market. These systems are tuned for Linux, designed for data and optimized for cloud. The new POWER8 processor is at the very core of these systems and stands at the heart of the OpenPOWER Foundation, enabling unique, community-created innovation.

The new Power Systems are the first since September when IBM announced plans to invest $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for Power. IBM said at the time that the investment aims to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing—and that’s exactly what Power Systems do.

Designed for data

What’s really important when designing systems for data is compute, memory and I/O network. Since the inception of Power Systems, they have been designed to deliver a balanced system that is clearly differentiated for big data workloads. This new generation of Power Systems, built with POWER8 technology, continues this tradition and takes it to a whole new level. The result can be insights up to 50 times faster than with x86 systems.

  1. Compute—these systems process big data quickly and efficiently. They run more queries concurrently and faster, across multiple cores with more threads per core.
  2. Memory—we provide a highly responsive and massive workspace that’s close to the processor. We have twice the memory bandwidth versus x86 to access up to 1 TB.
  3. I/O—we’ve implemented a network that brings big data to compute resources in real-time. These new systems are four times faster than the previous generation in their capability to ingest, move and access data in motion.

Scale-out cloud economics

Businesses with the capability to respond quickly, nimbly and securely to changing business needs are in a better position to thrive than their competitors. Today’s Power Systems servers target the scale-out Linux market with one- and two-socket offerings that provide three essentials for the cloud:

  1. Speed and agility—these are red-hot fast. They deliver tremendous value to analytics, mobile and social workloads, with up to twice the performance of commodity hardware.
  2. Economics—these systems scale to meet business needs, are easy to manage and have less hardware, lower energy and cooling costs and open cloud management tools. We’re confident enough to guarantee 65 percent sustained system utilization versus the industry standard of about 35-40 percent.
  3. Security—our enterprise-level security protects client data and applications. Confidently move more workloads to the cloud with Linux on Power.

In addition, our recently announced integration with SoftLayer enables Power Systems to connect traditional and new workloads with hybrid cloud, delivering a level and breadth of services beyond what has traditionally been available over the cloud.

Open innovation for collaboration

These Power Systems offerings are optimized around open-source technologies, leveraging Linux (Ubuntu, RedHat and SUSE will now all have distributions for Power Systems), KVM and OpenStack. Essential to building an open-server platform is a collaborative and innovative ecosystem.

Linux and POWER8 are foundational elements to the OpenPOWER Foundation, a rapidly growing community, which is creating a pipeline of new innovation, as well as bringing Power technology to new clients and new markets.

Data, cloud and openness are key differentiators in this launch of the new generation of Power Systems. They address the demands put on today’s IT and are designed from the processor on up to deliver optimized performance for big data workloads.

This scale-out family of servers is built for all Linux applications and has a complete open stack of software. In addition it brings security, simplified management and virtualization capabilities to public, private and dynamic hybrid cloud. And all of this is made open to a community which is invited to innovate on POWER.

Power Systems deliver infrastructure that matters for the new era of computing. For more information on these new offerings please read our press release or register for the “Open Innovation to Put Data to Work” webcast. Join Power Systems on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to start a conversation.

Douglas (Doug) Balog, General Manager, Power Systems, is responsible for IBM’s worldwide Power server business and the IBM Power System franchise. Doug is also a member of IBM’s Performance Team (PT) and Strategy Team (ST), which focus respectively on tactical execution and the strategic direction for the IBM enterprise. Doug has been part of IBM’s Systems and Technology group for 30 years with product development leadership and brand leadership roles across System z, System x, BladeCenter, System Storage and now Power Systems. During that time, he has led major portfolio transformations across all of these brands to better align with clients’ needs and the market shifts.

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