IBM has been in design partnerships with its Power Systems server line throughout the history of the product. With the new Power Systems S812LC and S822LC server line, IBM is shifting gears and entering partnerships to create products for much more specific markets and these servers represent the first models in the new Power Systems LC server family. Here are 5 Things to Know that hopefully will help you keep clear which model does what. By the end of this blog, you should be able to know what LC model is pictured in the diagram below.
- The product family - This can be a little confusing since the S812LC (8348) is currently a single model (21C), and the S822LC (8335) has two models (GCA and GTA) and all the models require 2U of rack space.
- Virtualization - Since the service processor (BMC) and hardware abstraction layer (OpenPower Abstraction Layer) is unique to these models, the HMC cannot communicate with them. Management is done through a management interface that communicates with PowerKVM and PowerVC. Just keep in mind that the 8335-GTA only runs bare metal, which means a single OS, while the others can run multiple client operating systems per server.
- GTA Uniqueness - The NVIDIA GPUs. This is the spot to watch as more and more traditional types of computing are including compression, encryption, and parallel processing work loads that run more effectively when offloaded to an accelerator. There is room for two of them under the cover.
- Main features for each model - Let's not worry that the 8348 is a numerically greater number than the 8335. The S812LC is the little brother to the S822LC with only a single processor module and two of its PCIe Gen3 8x I/O card slots driven by a controller that handles other I/O chores. The other two slots are a PCIe Gen3 x 8x and a PCIe Gen3 x 16x slots that support CAPI. In the big brother S822LC, there are four CAPI enabled slots, one 8x and three 16x, and a fifth PCIe Gen3 8x slot that is driven by the PCI controller that shares other I/O chores.
- OS Support - Currently supported operating systems are SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition 12 (Certification in January 2016 as a VM under PowerKVM on the S812LC only), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 bare metal and PowerKVM (Certification in December 2015) and Ubuntu Server 14.04.03 LTS LE and BE bare metal and PowerKVM. Note the exception in number 2 above regarding PowerKVM.
Find out more in two recently published IBM Redbooks: