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Private cloud or public cloud? New server technology offers more choice

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In September, we launched the new IBM Power E1080 high-end server, for corporate use based on the  new Power10 architecture, the Power E1080. The server can – among many other things – handle a large number of applications and workloads securely, at scale and with highest availability. Going into the spring of 2022, we will launch a range of Power10 servers targeted at SMEs.

“But how is that of interest?” some might ask, adding: “We can just go to the cloud!” And it’s true. You can. But in some cases, it’s not the whole answer to the company’s challenge. Let me give you an example.

For a number of years I have been in dialogue with a Nordic corporation and have monitored their efforts to put an increasing part of their infrastructure online. The initial effort went well, and the first workloads were quickly put online by a major cloud provider. It was easy, it was cheap, and they quickly worked up an appetite for more.

But as the projects became more complex, so did the challenges. Developers needed more processing power, more memory and more development and test environments – and eventually these environments had to transform into production. It all cost money, and from the CIO’s chair, the bill was not only growing organically from month to month, but almost exponentially. And it got out completely out of hand when the cloud provider quadrupled the price per terabyte. In short, the cloud turned out to be a bottomless pit.

In the end, the company opted for a private cloud to modernize its complex processes that are critical to the business. Here they can plan, scale and do exactly what they want – without fearing that the bill will be open ended. A number of other companies have made the same decision in recent years, and that’s exactly why we developed the Power10 chip.

Power10 is the first IBM Power chip (indeed, the first commercially available chip ever) built on 7 nanometer technology. It has almost twice the computing power of Power9, providing ample capacity to handle even demanding AI and ML projects. But it still only has the same power consumption and cooling requirements as its predecessor.

At the same time, the Power10 is characterized by full support for the OpenShift container platform and built-in hardware virtualization.

It gives you considerable freedom to scale your processes and consolidate workloads on a single server, virtually regardless of which platform you need to work with. In the past, it has been good practice to run SAP Hana on one piece of dedicated hardware and Oracle on another. But with Power10, these two – or other demanding workloads – can co-exist without interfering with each other, as long as they each get their own container to work in.

Another advantage is that the Power Platform protects containers just as well as fully dedicated partitions. And the platform now has Quantum Safe Cryptography and Fully Homomorphic Encryption built in. It provides the basis to protect your critical development data effectively now, but also to give you access to future-proof protection.

As we know, most expect quantum computers to become widely available in the foreseeable future, challenging much of the existing security infrastructure. That’s why it makes sense to protect your data effectively today, so it can’t be easily decrypted at a later date.

All this makes the new Power E1080 and – in time – its slightly smaller siblings particularly interesting to look into for businesses needing to modernize their business-critical applications and workloads. Especially if they lack a secure, fast and scalable alternative to public cloud. Or, for that matter, for servers with comparatively much more computing power and more capabilities to run demanding workloads simultaneously than devices based on the more widely used x86 platform.

Get the IDC view on how the Power E1080 helps solve your critical IT considerations

Customer Success Manager for AI Applications

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