This has been a great week for Power Systems, especially if you’re fan of the 1-2 socket (scale-out) side of the portfolio and innovative technology that leverages Linux.
I just returned from our annual Enterprise conference, an event we do every fall to bring together clients and partners with our SMEs to explore the latest developments in infrastructure. Major announcements were made by System z, Storage, and Power Systems. I also had a couple of sessions at the conference, and was excited to talk about some of these new announcements directly with clients and partners.
Many people who watch IBM expected us to unveil our POWER8 enterprise systems at this conference, and Doug Balog didn’t disappoint, unveiling the new Power E880 with dramatic flair. But we had several developments on the scale-out side that received significant attention, and show the trajectory we’re on as we bring new, innovative, and differentiated solutions to market that leverage Linux and open source software.
The first big idea is the IBM Data Engine for Analytics (IDEA … get it??) It’s a solution for big data infrastructure that pulls together multiple elements from the IBM portfolio including our Elastic Storage Server on Power, our POWER8 scale-out servers, Red Hat Linux, our hardware-accelerated GZIP data compression, our grid infrastructure services, and our data analytics software portfolio of products from Cognos and InfoSphere. The great thing about it is that all these elements combine to provide a 3X reduction in storage requirements as well as a 2X reduction in time to results.
This second is a solution that combines the Power S822L scale-out Linux server, CAPI acceleration, the FlashSystem 840, Ubuntu Linux, and software from Redis Labs to dramatically reduce the amount of infrastructure required to build an in-memory NoSQL database. These types of databases, commonly used to deliver real time analytics, social media infrastructure, and search, use scale-out systems primarily because of the memory required to hold all the data being used. This solution replaces most of the server infrastructure with flash memory, and attaches it to the system via CAPI in order to deliver access bandwidth and latency similar to what traditional system memory would provide. A single NoSQL server with attached CAPI flash could potentially replace 24 NoSQL nodes built with commodity technology.
Third, still in development but showing very promising initial results, turbocharges the traditional LAMP stack that is commonly used to deliver web-based applications. By combining Mellanox networking technology, Ubuntu Linux and Apache, MariaDB (formerly SkySQL) database, and Zend PHP infrastructure, POWER8 can be leveraged to deliver significant performance gains to LAMP.
A fourth solution features a new server, the Power S824L, which features GPU acceleration technology from NVIDIA. Using NVIDIA K40 GPU accelerator cards, clients can get faster results from big data, technical computing, and Java based workloads. In fact, our results in the lab have shown an 8X improvement with data analytics workloads.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention SUSE, who announced at Enterprise this week that SLES 12 would support little endian applications on POWER8 before the end of the month. SUSE Linux, which saw YtY gains of over 60% in the portion of their business that runs on Power, is doing great work with ISVs like MariaDB to deliver differentiated value on our platform. They are also investing heavily in our academic initiative, which provides hardware, software, and skills training to technical programs around the world that want to leverage Linux on a world class platform.
When we promised a new generation of solutions built with Linux on Power, a lot of people wondered what we meant. I’m excited that the first set of projects we’ve been working hard on are making their way into the world, and I can’t wait to share some of the things that are coming next.
WATCH NOW - Video featuring key Linux on Power ecosystem members, including Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation
READ NOW - More details on the recent Power Systems announcements
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