The week of Oct 20, IBM held the Enterprise 2013 conference in Orlando. (note this is Power University combined with System Z Enterprise University). It was a great location and the sessions were well attended by IBM customers, partners, and a few IBMers. Power University is always a good spot to get a great overview of coming announcements in the Power Systems arena, as well as some timely training sessions and lab exercises on some of the latest technical developments.
IBM even rented out Universal Studios for the group as one evenings activity. A good time was had by all.
Here are my thoughts on some of the highlights from a Power Systems perspective:
1- Power 8 is coming. It seems to be again a REVOLUTIONARY step from Power 7, just as 7 was to 6. Performance is increased a lot, and cost per MIP will be down. Here is more detail from Computerworld magazine - http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9241920/IBM_s_new_Power8_doubles_performance_of_Watson_chip
One amazing chart they put up. A Power 5 machine of the day took up a whole rack and cost over $1 M dollars. The Power 8 equivalent processing power can fit in 1-4 U size and cost a level of magnitude or more less than the Power 5 machine.
2- Power VC is coming soon. Power VC to me is like VMware for Power servers only. i.e. virtualization tools that will just support power systems, AIX and Linux in December, and IBM i announced as a statement of direction. Interestingly enough the interface will look a lot like V7000 storage console interface. Preliminary views seem to show it is very easy to use. It was well received by the Power users in the room.
3- Virtualization technology is becoming more accepted. Power users see the need for it and benefits from it. Utilization of machines is increasing a lot, therby resulting in more efficiency. As virtualization tools improve, this will just increase.
4- Data use, and the need for storage is increasing rapidly. This is a high growth area. Use of Flash Storage is growing rapidly. On display was one rack of IBM 820 flash storage which could hold over 2 pedabytes of data. Good overview here of the flash technology from IBM - http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/flash/
5- This was the best attended Power University I have seen in some time. A very high percentage of the attendees were customers. I would say 60% customers, 35% partners, 5% IBMers as a guess.
All in all, a well run event by IBM, at a very nice facility right next to Disney World. A worthwhile 5 days for sure, for any IBM Power users.