April 11, 2023 By Steve Sibley 4 min read

Exciting updates from IBM Power.

As we noted last quarter when we announced this year’s strategic direction for IBM Power, one of the most common questions we hear from our clients is how they can trim their IT spending without compromising performance and data protection. A short time later, these concerns are even more prevalent as the global economic market continues to fluctuate and perpetuate uncertainty amidst rising interest rates and inflation.

As the demand on IT services continues to accelerate, the importance of delivering cost-effective compute environments becomes more critical. Today, IBM Power is unveiling several updates designed to help clients move forward with their digital transformations in these turbulent times to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) to drive increased profitability, improve infrastructure performance with more efficient energy consumption and modernize operations to support growth and innovation.

Optimizing performance and energy efficiency

IBM is extending its I/O capabilities with IBM’s first known PCIe direct-attached 24-bay NVMe storage drawer in the industry. This new storage is engineered to replace current SAS-storage JBOD and RAID solutions, reducing latency and increasing enterprise-class storage capacity and performance, while simplifying storage management.

New IBM Power I/O drawer capabilities include the following: 

  • Reducing the cost of storage (in $/TB) for direct-attached IBM Storage by 62% compared to its current SAS-based Enterprise SSD solutions. [1]  
  • Nearly 10X more I/O bandwidth (GB/s) and up to 3.7X more I/O operations/sec (IO/s) than current IBM SAS-based Enterprise SSD solutions. [2]
  • The ability to directly attach up to 1.2 PB of storage (153 TB in a single drawer with support for up to 8 drawers) on a single E1080, while addressing energy consumption by delivering over 85% more capacity/Watt than current IBM SAS-based Enterprise SSD solutions. [3]
  • Extending the capacity of Flash Cache solutions required for large critical database applications. ​
  • Native boot capability for up to 24 partitions.

These enhancements are designed to deliver more storage capacity than our current SAS-based storage solutions, which can lead to a reduction in the amount of infrastructure needed to run workloads and can result in lowering energy consumption and expenses for clients.

Simplifying the management and data protection of IBM i environments

In May, IBM will ship the latest Technology Refreshes for IBM i: the IBM i 7.5 TR2 and IBM i 7.4 TR8. There are many enhancements across the IBM i Portfolio, including improvements in IBM Navigator for i, allowing both end users and system administrators to access, manage and monitor their IBM i environments with more ease and usability. The enhancement is engineered so that clients running complex plan data inquiries can realize performance improvements because of the SQL engine’s ability to exploit the underlying Power10 capabilities.

IBM is now delivering tape backup solutions for IBM i environments running on Power10. These solutions include a new 4-port 12Gbps SAS adapter with dedicated support for IBM i that is at least 2X faster than its current SAS adapters [4], new support to directly connect to 8Gbps fibre channel tape libraries or standalone tape devices, and support for new LTO9 tape technology that is designed to deliver improved capacity and performance capabilities. Together, these solutions provide the simplicity and security of direct attach tape while leveraging the latest I/O technology advancements. 

IBM has also collaborated with FalconStor Software to bring enterprise-class data protection, disaster recovery, ransomware protection and cloud migration to IBM Power workloads. The Virtual Tape Library solution is designed to enable hybrid backup to the cloud and on-premises so that clients can migrate, backup and restore IBM Power Systems workloads to IBM Power Virtual Server. The solution works with leading backup software to reduce capacity requirements and minimizes replication time by removing redundant copies of data with its integrated deduplication technology.

Minimizing TCO for SAP HANA

IBM Power is introducing new configurations to provide clients options to lower the cost of moving to SAP HANA on a compute platform with best-in-class reliability [5] designed for SAP HANA. In Q1, IBM introduced new, cost-effective options for 2 to 6 TB SAP HANA environments starting at k$17.8/TB on IBM L1024 and L1022.

For 6 to 12 TB SAP HANA landscapes, we are increasing the flexibility by allowing multiple DIMM capacities on the E1050 (versus configurations with only a single DIMM capacity) for clients to optimize their memory configurations and better align to their needs, which can provide up to 30% memory cost savings for 12 TB configurations. [6]

With these enhancements that can increase profitability and simplify management, clients can save on their infrastructure IT spend and reallocate those savings to other key areas of innovation that will better position their organizations to drive sustained business outcomes.

Learn more

Learn more about the four key areas driving growth and innovation for IBM Power clients:

  • Key capabilities for core business workloads: See here.
  • Growth with SAP HANA: See here.
  • Banking and industry modernization: See here.
  • Greater flexibility of IT consumption with subscription services and Power-as-a-Service: See here.

[1] Based on current IBM list pricing and capacity for the largest enterprise-class storage drives in the current FC #ESLS (1.55 TB) compared to the new FC #ESR0 (6.4 TB).

[2] Based on IBM internal measurements of new FC #ESR0 attached to an E1080 compared to the current FC #ESLS attached to an E980 running 100% read operations (256KB for GB/s and 4KB or IO/s) in an IBM i environment.

[3] Based on maximum capacity and energy consumption of 153.6TB and 1000 Watts for FC #ESR0 utilizing U.2 Enterprise NVMe drives compared to 37.2TB and 450 Watts for FC #ESLS utilizing enterprise-class SSD drives .

[4] Based on the new 12Gbps SAS adapter compared to the current 3Gps and 6Gbps versions.

[5] Based on the 2022 ITIC Global Server Hardware Reliability Report.

[6] Based on IBM Pricing for a mixed configuration of 8x1TB+8x512GB features versus the current 16x1TB features.

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