The most cost-effective server platform is one designed just for your workload
In a perfect world, you would never need a general purpose server platform. Every system you buy would be special purpose, engineered from the ground up for each application's exact workload. In the real world, of course, multiple applications with multiple workloads and even multiple types of workloads must run on the same server. Intelligent threading is IBM's answer to this dichotomy. It allows customers to tailor system hardware for high throughput in different application environments.
“ Intelligent threads empower organizations to easily and effectively tune their workload organization to the task. ”
Suchitra Joshi, Director of Smarter Computing Solutions
A thread is a sequence of instructions, the smallest that can be managed by an operating system scheduler. Multithreading allows multiple threads to coexist within the context of a single process, which can dramatically increase system throughput. Intelligent threading is a unique IBM approach that enables customers to tailor the number of simultaneous threads supported to each exact workload. Basically, the more workloads you need to run simultaneously, the more simultaneous threads you want to support as well. However, if you're running just a few workloads, or only one, you would reduce the number of threads to allocate additional computing power to the workload, accelerating performance. This is intelligent threading, and it gives system managers a granular degree of workload control that they have never had before.
At a high level, leveraging Intelligent Threads is one way to tune the hardware based on the workload requirements – by adjusting the number of threads that can process a set of instructions. Intelligence can be introduced in other aspects of the hardware, too – by tuning the number of cores, processor speed, etc.
You can get Suchitra Joshi's expert opinion on Intelligent Threads by reading this post on the Smarter Computing Blog.
With Intelligent Threads, system managers can modify processor architecture to maximize throughput for business-critical applications. Time-sensitive database queries, for example, will benefit from allocating more resources per thread, whereas an application with high transaction volume and low processing requirements, such as an application that polls meters to monitor demand in a smart energy grid, will benefit from increasing the available number of simultaneous threads. It's simply a better way to ensure user satisfaction.
IBM is an industry leader in multithreading technology. Now through intelligent threading, IBM gives system managers performance options they've never had before. IBM POWER 7 systems have eight cores, and each core can support up to four simultaneous processing threads. This enables as many as 32 independent threads per processor. You can also add processors to increase the number of simultaneous multiprocessing threads available. More broadly, IBM has introduced intelligence at multiple levels within Power Systems to enable Smarter Computing. For example, the number of cores can be tuned based on the workload requirements by choosing MaxCore or TurboCore mode. Another example is the tuning of the processor speed based on thermal conditions and system utilization to intelligently manage energy use. In all, this gives system managers unprecedented options to easily and effectively tune workload execution to the task.
Learn more about IBM Power systems at this page.
Meet the expert on Intelligent Threads
Director of Smarter Computing Solutions
Suchitra Joshi is the worldwide Director for Smarter Computing Solutions in IBM's Systems and Technology Group. Suchitra has held various management and technical lead positions at IBM for over 20 years, beginning her career at the T. J. Watson Research center. Suchitra is a certified Lotus Domino programmer and Project Manager. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from Boston University and a Masters in Management Information Systems from Pace University. She has won several Research Division and Outstanding Technical Achievement awards, including a recent Corporate Technical award for her work on Middleware with Power Systems.
On the Smarter Computing Blog: Intelligent Threads
In this post, systems design expert Suchitra Joshi describes how IBM's unique approach to simultaneous multithreading helps assure high workload throughput.
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