Power servers

Linux on IBM Power Systems: Support for cognitive computing

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Throughout its more than 100 years of history, IBM has continuously reinvented itself to adapt to an ever-changing world. Likewise, the IBM Power Systems architecture has evolved as enterprise-class systems that are core to our business.

Over the last decade, many organizations have consolidated workloads using Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) technology, and IBM Systems Lab Services – Power Systems has supported numerous clients as they virtualize their environments to support various operating systems, AIX, IBM i and Linux distributions.

As chip speeds have failed to keep up with industry demands, a drastic shift in strategy was needed. Recognizing this, IBM joined forces with industry leaders like Google and NVIDIA in 2013 to form the OpenPOWER Foundation, tasked with stewarding the industry’s first open source CPU architecture. Now, 300+ members help create a more open ecosystem built on Power architecture that drives performance across the system stack.

Modern open systems are designed for newer, Linux-based cognitive workloads—data lakes, Hadoop, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. Open systems are optimized for big data and made to adapt to ever-changing business needs.

Lab Services’ mission is to provide proven IT infrastructure expertise for this new era of computing, and as IBM Power Systems continue to evolve, we keep reinventing our service offerings to support clients’ latest needs. Our Linux on IBM Power Systems engagements increased 300 percent from 2014 through 2016, and this year we’ve introduced several offerings in the cognitive computing space.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the ways we can support your cognitive solutions with Linux on IBM Power Systems:

HPC on IBM Power Systems

High performance computing applications harness many processors in parallel, running in lockstep, oftentimes incorporating advanced accelerator technology like GPUs and FPGAs. Lab Services is available to help organizations migrate, integrate and implement IBM HPC cluster solutions. We offer HPC cluster design workshops, implementation, network integration and verification, configuration and more.

Data analytics with Hortonworks

Analytics and big data are key focus areas for many companies today. IBM, in partnership with Hortonworks now offers clients Hortonworks Data Platform as the preferred open source Apache Hadoop distribution for big data on IBM Power Systems. Lab Services Power Systems can help clients plan and implement Hortonworks on IBM Power Systems solutions; we have experience working on complex analytics implementations for many companies.


For clients looking to incorporate artificial intelligence or deep learning into their IBM Power Systems infrastructure, Lab Services offers PowerAI planning and installation. The goal is to optimize PowerAI deployments and help you learn the skills you need to take advantage of deep learning in your organization.

Open source databases

Open source databases (OSDBs) are quickly growing in popularity, and numerous leading OSDBs are available for Linux on IBM Power Systems—including Mongo DB, RedisLabs, Enterprise DB, PostgreSQL, Cassandra and many more. Lab Services can provide both pre-build and onsite post-installation services to clients who are implementing DBaaS on IBM Power Systems solutions.

Hyper-converged cloud computing with Nutanix

For Power Systems clients looking for a hyper-converged private cloud, or organizations who already have hyper-converged cloud but want to leverage the performance of IBM Power Systems for new workloads, Lab Services supports Nutanix on IBM Power Systems implementations. These systems integrate the Nutanix enterprise cloud platform with Power Systems in a self-contained private cloud.

SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems

We also help clients build their SAP HANA solutions with Linux on Power Systems with a tailored data center infrastructure strategy. We advise clients on design options for flexible virtualization and capacity management to ensure their server, storage and networking resources meet business requirements and SAP KPIs. We also advise clients on best practices for data migration to SAP HANA on Power Systems from a variety of database environments and server platforms.

Careful planning and preparation are key to the success of these complex projects. We’ve seen again and again in our Linux on IBM Power Systems engagements that successful implementations involve:

  • Starting with good information and realistic expectations
  • Awareness of the requirements of the implementation and any gaps in your current environment
  • A carefully designed implementation plan from start to finish

Lab Services can help with all of these steps in the process. We have proven IT experience with Power Systems and with next-generation Linux workloads to support cognitive computing.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Power Analytics Team Leader, IBM Systems Lab Services – Power Systems

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