Linux on Power: Delivering on the Promise

Delivering on the Power of IBM’s Promise to Fuel Linux and Open Source Innovation

Less than a year ago, IBM announced a commitment to invest $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for Power Systems. In June, we delivered on that promise when we began shipping the next-generation Power Systems servers incorporating IBM's POWER8 processor which is available for license and open for development through the OpenPOWER Foundation.

Linux Support in New Power Systems

The first POWER8-based systems to come to market are five Power Systems S Class servers designed for large scale-out environments. The new S Class servers include two systems that run Linux exclusively – the Power Systems S812L and S822L servers. The three additional offerings, the Power Systems S814, S822 and S824 servers, offer a choice of running multiple operating systems including AIX and IBM i and, of course, Linux and are available in 1 and 2 socket and 2U and 4U configurations.

In addition to continuing the tradition of having Linux-only systems that are offered at a lower price, for the first time, the Linux-only systems support PowerKVM, based on the open source KVM virtualization (PDF, 788KB) technology, in addition to PowerVM support. And, in the new Linux-only system, we are complementing our longstanding Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server support, with new Canonical Ubuntu support.

We also continue to support Linux on our enterprise servers as well which run POWER7+ processors today, and the enterprise servers also offer IFL (Integrated Facility for Linux) support, which means you can activate capacity at lower cost if it is being run specifically for Linux workloads.

Cloud, Big Data, and Open Standards are Driving Forces

There are three powerful forces having a dramatic effect on IT today: cloud, data, and open standards and the new Power Systems servers address all three.

Putting Data to Work

At IBM we say that the new Power Systems are designed to put data to work because they are designed for big data, designed to move data around very efficiently, and designed to enable customers to do operations with data cost effectively. The primary feature that enables this is the POWER8 processor, which is the next generation of POWER. The new scale-out systems that include that processor can combine with solutions like Cognos business intelligence software, IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, and even SAP or Java workloads to provide tremendous advantage to clients compared to x86 servers.

New Workloads on Power

These systems will allow clients to deploy new applications for big data and analytics workloads that may not exist today. For example, many of our customers are starting to look into deploying analytics workloads for existing business data and pursuing ways to leverage all the unstructured data that their business collects. These new POWER8 systems will enable our existing customers who are trying to tackle new challenges to use the Power platform to do so in a cost-effective and real-time manner, enabling greater efficiency.

And, for organizations that may not be Power customers today who are seeking an alternative to their existing x86 infrastructure and looking for a more powerful and cost-efficient platform to run their data-intensive and cloud workloads, the new systems will provide a compelling opportunity.

Power to Address Emerging Data Challenges

At IBM we know that the challenges facing our clients are not getting smaller. The amount of data in the world continues to increase. Eighty percent of the data that exists in the world was created in the last 2 years.

Research shows that CEOs around the world believe that technology factors are the top issues facing their business today in terms of driving their business growth. They are looking for ways to take advantage of the latest IT innovations. With this next-generation of Power Systems leveraging POWER8 processors, we are helping them put their data to work.

By Anirban Chatterjee, Power Systems Product Marketing, IBM

Anirban Chatterjee,
Power Systems Product Marketing, IBM

Follow me on Twitter: @anirbahn

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