This month, the PowerLinux team is announcing the biggest technology change in PowerLinux servers since we launched, with the availability of our POWER7+ chips on the platform.
POWER7+ is more than just a speed bump on our POWER7
processors. Our hardware teams have
worked hard to increase the flexibility of the platform, bringing
balanced performance increases while keeping other factors like energy
consumption at bay. Some examples:
doubled the memory capacity in servers like the 7R1 and 7R2. We’ve also doubled the number of virtual
machines you can allocate to a single processor core. This means we’ve dramatically increased
the system’s flexibility when it comes to deploying virtualized workloads
… in many cases, this will eliminate memory as the gating factor, allowing
users to drive utilization rates even higher and boost system efficiency.
reduced the feature size in the chips from 45 nm to 32 nm. This not just a simple die shrink,
though … with every shrink, the chip team has to work even harder to
ensure the computational and thermal stability of the chip while driving
higher clock speeds. In PowerLinux
servers like the 7R2, the new chips now top out at 4.2 GHz.
- Because we have more available chip real estate now that we’ve shrunk the die
size, we’ve bumped up the L3 cache from 4 MB to 10 MB. This significantly boosts performance in
workloads that are memory dependent, like Java and big data applications.
- Other feature additions to POWER7+ allow us to improve chip reliability and boost energy savings. We’ve added self-healing capabilities and automatic processor reinitialization to increase system robustness, and we’ve introduced a new energy saving mode that saves 45% more energy than before when the processor is idle.
The new performance capabilities afforded by POWER7+ enable some pretty interesting possibilities when it comes to reducing costs. For example, we’ve found that people typically need just two dual-socket (16 core) PowerLinux 7R2s to do what it would take three dual-socket (16 core) Xeon servers to do. Given the already competitive pricing on the 7R2s, this means that you can potentially save north of 40% on your costs of acquisition by choosing PowerLinux.
These changes make PowerLinux an ideal platform for the most critical workloads your business runs today, like your customer facing web applications, or your ERP system. Customers like Kwik Fit (PDF) and IT Informatik (PDF) are already realizing the benefits. Click the links to read the case studies on these customers.
But PowerLinux is also a great platform for today’s growth workloads, like development and deployment of mobile and web applications. To make it easier for businesses to create and launch these types of client experiences, we’re introducing a new solution for WebSphere mobile and web applications that leverages the lightweight WebSphere Liberty Profile software. This is a light, easily reconfigured web app environment that makes it simple for developers to test and deploy applications.