5 Things to Know about the technology behind IBM's latest Power Systems servers
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IBM Distinguished Engineer and Academy of Technology member Brad Brech on POWER8.
POWER8 represents a new approach by IBM to meet the needs of an expanded set of clients. The following is a list of how Power Systems and POWER8 development are meeting those needs.
During the development of POWER8, the development team went beyond looking at traditional applications and asked itself what applications will there be in the future. Then it included aspects of the design to meet the key requirements of those applications. Be it memory bandwidth, feeding the data to the I/O, or to make the POWER8 platform more open. CAPI and GPUs are one aspect of this.
2. The POWER8 Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) is a key to extending the capabilities of Power
The Data Engine for NoSQL is a technology solution created working with our OpenPower partners. It allowed IBM to understand how the large memory requirements of NoSQL interact in a multi-node topology, and provided us with a solution that helped us to extend the memory address space outside the physical memory to one that consisted of Terabytes by using the CAPI interface. The bigger address space meant that the processors could do real work, not have to manage memory affinity between processor nodes, and it also reduces networking overhead. The Redis Labs team was able to offer this as a solution for clients with NoSQL workloads.
3. There are many ways we have made POWER8 more open
One way we did this was to add more threads. Analytics, for example, has applications that love being parallelized in order to get real time results. Another way was to ensure we could meet our competition on cost with superior economics. New designs include smaller footprint machines in our scale-out servers as well as large enterprise servers to run core business. The last way is to form the OpenPower Consortium with over 100 partners working together to do everything from making their own POWER8 processors off our design to supplying components we use to offer solutions outside our current Power Systems offerings.
4. Linux on Power goes beyond the core business applications we associate with Power
5. There is a growing list of solutions that are outside of the traditional Power Systems offerings
There are several new offerings - PurePower is an example of a solution that uses scale-out servers, a storage array, switches, and a management console to provide an integrated platform solution. IBM has announced an upcoming IBM Softlayer bare metal server using motherboards from Tyan and InfiniBand and networking gear from Mellanox. Both companies are part of the OpenPower foundation. We are all familiar with Watson, so no more information is needed there. The Data Engine for NoSQL partnered with Altera, Nallatech, and Umbuntu and provided technology to the Redis Labs team to a runs on Power solution. Lastly the Nvidia Testa Accelerated Computing Platform combined with our S824L system provides GPU acceleration to bring supercomputing to Big Data through DB2 Blu on Linux.
For more information, check out the following series of videos brought to you by Brad Brech, a Distinguished Engineer at IBM, Academy of Technology member, and the CTO of Solutions on Power Systems:
Also be sure to check out the following related IBM Redbooks publications:
For full IBM Redbooks POWER8 coverage, please visi