October 10, 2022 By Joe Cropper 6 min read

10 of the most important benefits of modernizing your applications with IBM Power10.

Application modernization comes in many shapes and sizes, and it’s not always easy to know where to start. In this post, we’ll showcase the strengths and benefits that IBM Power™ brings to your modernization efforts. There are many more benefits than we’ll cover here. For more in-depth analysis tips and recommendations to help you determine the complexity of your applications and a modernization path forward, you can check out our Field Guide to Application Modernization on IBM Power Systems.

IBM Power is built for core enterprise applications and the next wave of digital transformation fueled by application modernization. Here are 10 major benefits of modernizing with IBM Power10.

1. Pervasive security and resiliency

To meet today’s security challenges, it’s essential that every layer of your company’s IT hardware and software stack remains secured. IBM Power customers utilize the most reliable mainstream server platform to innovate and get to market faster without compromising security.

IBM Power’s multi-layered approach to security gives you full visibility of your hardware and software. With IBM Power10’s hardware-accelerated transparent memory encryption, quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption, it protects your data with comprehensive end-to-end security at every layer of the stack — for both today’s and tomorrow’s threats.

2. More performance from software with fewer servers

You can buy fewer IBM Power servers to run an equivalent set of applications at comparable throughput levels than on competing platforms. That’s because it provides 55% lower 3-year total cost of ownership (TCO) to run modern cloud-native applications, achieve 4.4X better per-core throughput [1-5] and collocate cloud-native apps with AIX, IBM i and Linux® virtual machine-based apps and enterprise data to exploit low-latency API connections to business-critical data. Plus, you can leverage sub-capacity licensing to greatly reduce containerized software license costs (IBM Cloud Paks, for example) using PowerVM shared processor pools, allowing CPU cores to be autonomously shared across Red Hat OpenShift worker nodes without sacrificing application performance.

3. Superior performance for your enterprise data

Running Red Hat OpenShift in a virtual machine adjacent to your AIX, IBM i or Linux virtual machines provides low-latency reliable communication to your enterprise data with PowerVM Virtual I/O Server. This provides improved performance due to fewer network hops. It also allows for highly security-enhanced communication between your new cloud-native apps and your enterprise data stores because network traffic never has to leave the physical server.

Read: A multilayered approach to security with IBM Power

4. Flexible, efficient utilization

You can manage spikes in demand and support more cloud workloads per server with IBM PowerVM® hypervisor on-demand CPU capacity for IBM Power compute and memory. It manages demand by sharing pools of CPU cores across nodes. These differentiating hypervisor and consumption constructs — such as uncapped processors and shared processor pools — provide the ability to guarantee performance SLAs while donating unused processor cycles to worker nodes in need of additional capacity. Additionally, on-prem pay-as-you-go consumption is available for Red Hat OpenShift running on IBM Power.

5. Trusted and proven foundation

Kubernetes provides the core foundation for modernizing your enterprise applications. As the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat OpenShift provides a consistent foundation for application development and containerized workloads to support hybrid cloud, multicloud and edge deployments, benefiting both developers and IT administrators. Your developers have access to the latest software innovations within Red Hat OpenShift to build solutions faster while your IT administrators can easily observe, operate and manage the platform and infrastructure. This helps you deliver high-value, high-quality software faster to end users. All of this is enabled through Red Hat OpenShift.

6. Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

Red Hat OpenShift is the industry’s leading enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform that can run anywhere — either on-prem in your data center or on third-party cloud providers like AWS, Azure or Google.

Red Hat OpenShift is optimized to improve developer productivity and promote innovation; it is fully supported on all IBM Power servers (IBM POWER9® processors or later). And when (optionally) paired with Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (also available on IBM Power), teams have a flexible software-defined storage solution available to fuel their transformation projects.

7. Incremental application modernization

With IBM Power10, teams can incrementally modernize their existing AIX, IBM i and Linux applications by extending them with new cloud-native services in a safe and methodical manner. This means you can capitalize on existing investments in applications and skills and drive incremental transformation — saving money, expediting time-to-value and minimizing risk.

For our IBM i clients, we’ve made this even easier with Merlin (IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration). Merlin is a set of tools that run in Red Hat OpenShift containers that guide and assist developers in the modernization of IBM i apps. We’ve got you covered with all your modernization needs.

8. IBM Cloud Paks and Red Hat software

IBM Power provides superior performance and economics for containerized workloads like IBM Cloud Paks and an extensive set of Red Hat open-source software solutions for modernizing existing applications and developing new cloud-native apps that run on Red Hat OpenShift.

There are three main benefits of IBM Cloud Paks:

  • They are comprehensive and easy to use.
  • They are supported by IBM.
  • They run anywhere Red Hat OpenShift runs.

IBM Cloud Paks take a bundled approach that allows you to accelerate your modernization journey by packaging everything you need to get started. The IBM Cloud Paks available on IBM Power include IBM WebSphere Hybrid Edition (formerly IBM Cloud Pak for Applications), IBM Cloud Pak for Data, IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps (Infrastructure Automation), IBM Cloud Pak for Integration and IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation.

From a Red Hat software perspective, there is also a comprehensive set of software solutions to accelerate your modernization efforts, including Red Hat Runtimes, Red Hat 3scale API Management, Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat AMQ.

9. Innovate with an extensive container software ecosystem

At the heart of any application modernization effort is a strong software ecosystem that allows teams to innovate using the latest technologies. Now, more than ever, open-source communities are playing a significant role in organizations’ modernization journeys.

IBM Power not only runs your core business applications, but also a wide range of popular open-source and commercial container software running on Red Hat OpenShift. When you choose IBM Power to modernize, you choose industry-leading reliability, performance and security, as well as superior compute performance for data-intensive and mission-critical applications. It is a foundation for modern container-based applications.

10. Comprehensive hybrid cloud management and automation

As teams increasingly shift to a hybrid cloud IT model, the need for consistent management, observability and automation approaches is paramount. Consistency across hardware platforms, clouds and operating systems is crucial for IT administrators and developers.

IBM and Red Hat check these boxes with IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps (Infrastructure Automation), IBM Instana Observability, IBM Turbonomic Application Resource Management, Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform — all of which extend the value of the IBM Power platform. Operating and automating your hybrid cloud with IBM Power10 couldn’t be easier.

Learn more

See all the ways IBM Power Systems can help you push your modernization efforts forward with our Field Guide to Application Modernization on IBM Power Systems.


[1] Based on IBM internal testing of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.8.2 worker nodes running 80 pods each with 10 user using the Daytrader7 workload accessing AIX Db2 databases. Average CPU utilization for the OCP worker nodes is >95%. Comparison: E1080 with collocated OCP and AIX Db2 nodes versus OCP node on Cascade Lake accessing AIX Db2 node on E1080. Valid as of 9/1/2021 and conducted under laboratory conditions. Individual result can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems and other conditions.

[2] TCO is defined as hardware, software and maintenance costs over a period of three years.

[3] IBM Power E1080 (40 cores/3.8 GHz/2 TB memory) in maximum performance mode, 25 Gb Ethernet adapter (SRIOV), 1 x 16Gbps FC adapter with PowerVM. IBM Power E1080 worker nodes run CoreOS Linux 4.18.0-305.10.2.el8_4. RHEL 8.4 UBI based DayTrader7 containers with IBM JDK-Java (TM) SE Runtime Environment (build FP36)) WebSphere Liberty E1080 co-location configuration consists of 5 LPARs: 2 OCP worker nodes each with 10 cores running SMT8 and 256GB of memory; 2 AIX LPARs each with 8 cores running SMT8 and 256GB of memory, one VIOS LPAR with 4 cores and 8GB of memory. PowerVM LPARs were also affinitized on their respect sockets/NUMA nodes.

[4] Competitive system: Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6248 CPU (Cascade Lake) in performance mode, 40 cores/3.9GHz/512GB memory), 25Gb Ethernet adapter (SRIOV), 1 x 16Gbps FCA. Cascade Lake worker nodes run CoreOS Linux 4.18.0-305.10.2.el8_4. RHEL 8.4 UBI based DayTrader7 containers with IBM JDK-Java (TM) SE Runtime Environment (build8.0.6.36-pxl6480sr6fp36-20210824_02(SR6 FP36)) WebSphere Liberty Cascade Lake competitive configuration of 2 KVM guests as OCP worker nodes each with 20 cores running hyperthreading (HT) and 256GB of memory. Cascade Lake worker nodes access E1080 system’s 2 AIX LPARs each with 8 cores running SMT8 and 256GB of memory, and a single VIOS server with 4 cores and 8GB of memory. SRIOV device passthrough from host to KVM guest. The KVM guest’s CPU & memory are pinned to host’s CPU with respect to their associated NUMA node.

[5] Pricing is based on Power E1080. Typical industry standard x86 pricing software pricing for Red Hat OpenShift and IBM WebSphere Hybrid Edition Monthly Subscription.

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