IBM POWER9 scale-out servers deliver more memory, better price performance vs. Intel x86
By Todd Boyd | 4 minute read | March 22, 2018
IBM recently began shipping its next-generation Power Systems servers incorporating its newly-designed POWER9 processor. These POWER9-based scale-out systems, including S914, S922, S924, H922, H924 and L922, provide leadership capabilities in non-accelerated compute spaces such as in-memory databases, advanced analytics and cloud environments.
POWER9 scale-out servers are cloud-ready and include built-in PowerVM virtualization capabilities, enabling you to deploy the cloud environment to meet your organization’s changing business needs. POWER9 scale-out servers for IBM i, AIX and Linux easily integrate into your organization’s cloud and AI strategy, while delivering the performance and RAS needed for your mission-critical workloads like Db2 and Oracle. IBM also offers POWER9 scale-out servers built and optimized for SAP HANA®, boasting a memory footprint of up to 4TB in a 2U form factor for gaining insights faster while delivering superior reliability and performance.
These new systems incorporate our latest I/O technology, including 25 GB/sec high-speed interconnect for CAPI and OpenCAPI along with embedded PCI-Express 4.0 connectivity which doubles the I/O bandwidth versus PCI-Express 3.0 .
POWER9 2-socket systems provide up to 4TB of memory, 33 percent more than compared Intel x86 Xeon systems , delivering additional benefit to in-memory databases such as SAP HANA.
POWER9 continues in the tradition of previous generations by delivering improved per core performance capabilities compared to its predecessor. When compared to similar POWER8 systems, POWER9 delivers 1.25-1.5X per core the performance capability, enabling clients to further reduce software spending on stacks that are licensed per core . This focus on core architecture and capabilities delivers over 2X the per-core performance over compared x86 systems across a wide range of benchmarks .
The focus has not been just on performance, but also delivering value to clients in the form of cost reductions. The L922 delivers 2.4X the price performance over compared Intel x86 systems in database and advanced analytics environments such as Db2 Warehouse .
In cloud environments, these systems take advantage of superior core performance and memory bandwidth to deliver both performance and price-performance advantages; as an example, in the application server space they deliver 3.4 better core performance and 2.4X the price-performance of compared x86 2-socket systems.
With these latest POWER9-based systems based on the latest technologies, IBM Cognitive Systems continues its tradition of delivering value to clients in the form of performance, RAS and solution value.
Visit ibm.com/power/hardware/scale-out to learn more, or call us at 1-866-872-3902 and use priority code: Power.
 PCI Express 3.0 (x16) peak transfer rate is 15.75 GB/sec = 16 lanes X 1GB/sec/lane x 128 bit/130 bit encoding. PCI Express 4.0 (x16) peak transfer rate is 31.5 GB/sec = 16 lanes X 2GB/sec/lane x 128 bit/130 bit encoding.
 1.3X memory capacity is based on H922/H924/S924 4TB per system for POWER9 and 3 TB per system (1.5TB per socket) for x86 Scalable Platform Intel product brief: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/xeon-scalable-platform-brief.pdf?asset=14606
 2X performance per core is based on IBM Internal measurements as of 2/28/18 on various system configuration and workload environments including (1) Enterprise Database (2.22X per core): 20c S922L (2×10-core/2.9 GHz/256 GB memory): 1,039,365 Ops/sec versus 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Gold 6148 (2×20-core/2.4 GHz/256 GB memory): 932,273 Ops/sec. (2) DB2 Warehouse (2.43X per core): 20c S922L (2×10-core/2.9 GHz/512 GB memory): 3242 QpH versus 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Platinum 8168 (2×24-core/2.7 GHz/512 GB memory): 3203 QpH. (3) DayTrader 7 (3.19X per core): 24c S924 (2×12-core/3.4 GHz/512 GB memory): 32221.4 tps versus 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Platinum 8180 (2×28-core/2.5 GHz/512 GB memory): 23497.4 tps.
 Based on IBM internal testing of Db2 Warehouse executing a sample analytic workload of 30 distinct queries of varying complexity (intermediate & complex). Results valid as of 3/14/18 and conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems, individual results can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems & other conditions.
3 nodes of IBM Power L922 (2×10-core/2.9 GHz/512 GB memory) using 2 x 300GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1GbE two-port, 10 GbE two-port, 1 x 16gbps FCA running DB2 Warehouse 2.5 and Spectrum Scale 4.2 with RHEL 7.4
Competitive stack: 3 nodes of 2-socket Intel Xeon SP (Skylak)) Platinum 8168 (2×24-core/2.4 GHz/512 GB memory) using 2 x 300GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1Gb two-port, 10 GbE two-port, 1 x 16gbps FCA , running DB2 Warehouse 2.5 and Spectrum Scale 4.2 with, RHEL 7.4. Pricing is based on Power L922 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html and typical industry standard x86 pricing https://h22174.www2.hpe.com/SimplifiedConfig/Index
Db2 Warehouse pricing based upon US$ regional perpetual license costs where certain discounts can apply.
 Based on IBM internal testing of Daytrader 7 workload running DB2 Standard Edition V188.8.131.52 and WAS Liberty 184.108.40.206. Results valid as of 3/16/18 and conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems, individual result can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems & other conditions. IBM Power S924 (2×12-core/2.9 GHz/1024 GB memory) 2 x 600GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 10 Gb two-port, 1 x 16gbps FCA, DB2 Standard Edition V220.127.116.11, WAS Liberty 18.104.22.168, RHEL 7.4 and PowerVM (60VMs). Competitive stack; 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Platinum 8180 (2×28-core/2.5 GHz/768 GB memory), 2 x 300GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1 Gb two-port, 1 x 16gbps FCA , DB2 Standard Edition V22.214.171.124, WAS Liberty 126.96.36.199, RHEL 7.4 and KVM (60 VMs) with KVM host od SuSE 12SP3
Pricing is based on Power S924 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html, DB2: Pricing Link for SWG; and typical industry standard x86 pricing https://www.synnexcorp.com/us/govsolv/pricing/ and WAS pricing based upon US$ regional license costs where certain discounts can apply and includes 3 years of support.