IBM Goes Deep for Big Data Market with POWER8 Open Server Innovation

Today IBM debuted new Power Systems servers built on an “open server” platform. According to Big Blue, the new scale-out Power servers culminate a $2.4 billion investment and are built from the ground up to harness Big Data with the new IBM POWER8 processor.

To me, the most remarkable part of the event was the unveiling of a POWER8 rack of (20) 2U servers with an aggregate capacity for 100 Terabytes of in-memory analytics.

This is the first truly disruptive advancement in high-end server technology in decades, with radical technology changes and the full support of an open server ecosystem that will seamlessly lead our clients into this world of massive data volumes and complexity,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “There no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach to scale out a data center. With our membership in the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM’s POWER8 processor will become a catalyst for emerging applications and an open innovation platform.”

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IBM’s POWER architecture is the cornerstone of innovation for the OpenPOWER Foundation, creating a computing platform available to all. The Foundation – representing 25 global technology providers and growing – was founded by IBM, Google, NVIDIA, Mellanox, and Tyan. The group also announced today an innovation roadmap detailing planned contributions from several of its members, with IBM’s Power Systems as the first servers to exploit OpenPOWER technology.

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According to industry benchmark results, the IBM Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems.[2] Some companies have reported analytics queries running more than 1,000 times faster, reducing run times from several hours to just seconds.

The first POWER8-based systems to debut are five Power Systems S-Class servers designed for large, scale-out computing environments. With industry-leading server quality and utilization levels, the new 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 higher than average server utilization rates, guaranteeing a sustained system utilization for a broad range of demanding workloads. With twice the data throughput compared to the latest commodity x86-based servers, the new Power Systems can help cut data center footprints in half.

With availability beginning June 10, the new scale-out 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, provide clients the choice of running multiple operating systems including Linux, AIX and IBM i. Available in 1 and 2 socket and 2U and 4U configurations, the starting price of the new servers is $7973.

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