Digital transformation

Power Systems: the open innovation platform

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CEOs know that business technology is in a state of perpetual motion, and trendsetting innovation is often a collaborative effort that will engage multiple business partners. Achieving digital transformation success in today’s hypercompetitive environment also requires an open ecosystem — one that includes flexible capabilities that adapt to specific IT needs.

CIOs and CTOs crave the hybrid IT flexibility to combine data center and cloud services while achieving new insights faster through acceleration. OpenPOWER servers are different by design — engineered at every level to be more powerful and open than other distributed systems.

You don’t have to rip and replace your existing infrastructure to transform your business. Just put your most data-intensive workloads on the servers designed to run them. Moreover, the cognitive era is here. Are you ready to seize the cognitive advantage for your organization?

Empowering open innovation

Digital transformation is an approach that enables organizations to drive innovative changes within their business models and operational processes by leveraging digital competencies. From an IT perspective, there are current data analytics and emerging cognitive applications that can create new opportunities. But it’s critical to carefully choose the IT infrastructure foundation that will most effectively empower this approach.

Most of the new applications will directly benefit from a high-performing one or two-socket server infrastructure. For many IT leaders, it’s essential to find a sustainable one or two-socket server strategy that will support their ongoing digital transformation journey. There are lots of variables to consider, both for near-term and long-term workload expectations.

That said, IDC believes that evolving the digital capabilities of an organization requires the purposeful adoption of the right applications running on the right IT infrastructure, supported by an open ecosystem. The following is a summary of an IDC white paper, sponsored by IBM, on this hot topic.

Harness a new breed of servers

For IT to traverse the one or two-socket server roadmap effectively, all the way from stateless web applications to cognitive and predictive workloads, the server hardware that the infrastructure is designed with needs to meet a variety of requirements. As these workloads evolve, they cannot be successfully deployed on low-end commodity hardware. Clearly, the demands on the infrastructure will be too great.

The servers need to be easy to configure and support rapid deployment. They must also support the next-gen applications that will be the engines of the organization’s digital transformation. They must perform extremely well with data-intense workloads. They should ideally support various open and standardized acceleration technologies. They need to be secure. And, they should provide high availability across the whole stack.

Furthermore, one or two-socket server infrastructure for these workloads must also be manageable without requiring an unusual skill set. It is important that they support a broad software ecosystem and are fully cloud-enabled. The servers must run on a widely-adopted OS for digital transformation and should run the full breadth of open source software solutions.

Many business leaders looking to implement digital transformation applications who do not want to run them on their scale-up environment are investigating one or two-socket infrastructure. However, what many are not doing is comparing the one or two-socket offerings on x86 with one or two-socket IBM Power Systems, the only alternative to x86 — which can objectively be considered a price and performance leader.

The IBM POWER architecture is designed to adapt to new forms of data, whether it is structured data, measured in petabytes, blobs of unstructured data, or streams. The system has very high ingest rates for data, and its caches have been designed to keep the processor busy.

With Power Systems, there is a new breed of low-capex and low-opex one or two-socket offerings on the market with little endian Linux as the OS that seems very well suited for the data-intensive applications required to support digital transformation. Buyers would benefit from comparing these solutions with the x86 products they are already considering.

Finally, one major advantage of POWER in the cloud is that the architecture is completely open and licensable — from the hardware to the code, essentially like the ARM model. Hyperscale cloud providers such as Google and Rackspace have stated that they are developing and manufacturing POWER architecture components for their data centers, which they’ve licensed from IBM via the OpenPOWER Foundation.

Open innovation in action

To learn more about the most powerful, cost-efficient scale-out infrastructure for your digital transformation journey, download the IDC white paper titled “A New Breed of Servers for Digital Transformation,” then reach out to an IBM representative or Business Partner.

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