IBM Begins Shipping POWER8 Power System Servers

June 10, 2014

ARMONK, N.Y., June 10 — IBM today began shipping its next generation of Power Systems servers incorporating IBM’s POWER8 processor which is available for license and open for development through the OpenPOWER Foundation.

The new POWER8-based Power Systems result from a $2.4 billion, three-plus year development effort and exploit the innovation of hundreds of IBM patents — underscoring IBM’s commitment to providing higher-value, open technologies to clients. IBM designed the new servers specifically for a new era of Big Data, allowing organizations to manage staggering data requirements. According to IBM test results, the IBM Power Systems running BLU Acceleration on Power are capable of analyzing data 82 times faster than a comparably configured x86-based system.

Designed for scale-out computing environments, three out of four of the new Power Systems servers shipping today can run various combinations of Linux, IBM AIX or IBM i operating systems. The fourth model, the Power S822L, runs Linux exclusively.

“Big Data workloads require systems that scale to manage massive amounts of data,” said Doug Balog, General Manager, Power Systems, IBM. “Clients are choosing to run Linux on Power Systems because they are seeking a higher value, open server solution to help them better handle and leverage growing volumes of data.”

Recognizing Linux as a driving force for innovation, IBM last year committed $1 billion (USD) in new Linux and other open source technologies for IBM’s Power Systems servers. Major investments include new products, a growing network of five Power Systems Linux Centers around the world, and the Power Development Platform, a no-charge development cloud for developers to test and port x86-based applications to the Power platform.

At the same time the new Power Systems were introduced in April, IBM also revealed a new collaboration with Linux distributor Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu with more than 20 million users worldwide.  With general availability today, IBM is offering the latest release of Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu OpenStack, and Canonical’s Juju cloud orchestration tools on the new Power Systems servers. Ubuntu on Power Systems provides an easy migration path for existing Linux applications to Power for cloud deployments, delivering Big Data and mobile software applications and boosting the performance of existing applications across cloud platforms.  The availability of Ubuntu on Power Systems complements the existing availability of Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating system distributions, already supported on the complete lineup of Power Systems.

Another Linux enhancement now available is PowerKVM, a Power Systems-compatible version of the popular Linux-based virtualization platform KVM, on all POWER8 systems that run Linux exclusively.  PowerKVM complements the full open stack of software available to development, run and manage Linux on Power.  Further, PowerVC, announced in October, 2013 based on OpenStack, now provides support for the new Power Systems including those running PowerKVM and Linux.

With industry-leading server quality and utilization levels, the new Power Systems line-up redefines today’s data center economics – by helping to reduce floor space, power and cooling costs. IBM has designed these systems to operate at industry-leading levels of efficiency, guaranteeing the system will perform as warranted while at a sustained 65 percent utilization — a rate higher than common x86 utilization levels. With twice the data throughput compared to an x86-based server, the new Power Systems can help cut data center footprints in half.

Source: IBM

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