"The p5 servers have already delivered benchmark performance more than double that of HP Itanium II-based servers and as much as three times the performance of HP PA-RISC and Sun UltraSparc-based systems." Oh yeah!
In addition to the performance we have virtualization. For anyone who doesn't know about virtualization - it allows you to run multiple operating systems per processor. This will enable you to replace several smaller servers (even running differant OS) on one more powerful, higher performing server. Efficiencies that benefit you as an IT manager, that's a novel concept, huh?
Now, about Linux....yes that is my focus. So now we have systems for many workloads. We have Linux based systems to support your infrastructure with workload solutions for file and print, web serving and more. We have application based Linux servers for DB2, Websphere and even Sybase. High performance computing on Linux is a growing focus with solutions in Bioinformatics, Proteomics and Computational Chemistry. Check out these solutions: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/linux/power/solutions/index.html
Yahoo - more products supporting Linux to meet your growing demand!
Highlights for Linux on POWER
lopblogger 270000WWDS 469 Visits
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Did you see that Novell made a great step forward by offering a license and single price for all the Blades in an IBM BladeCenter chasis. This is a tremendous possible saving for customers with bladecenters. Regardless of blade type, POWER, intell, etc, a single license charge supports the full population. Not to try and sell you on anything...but check it out if you have a bladecenter..you might save up to $17,000 for your company.
lopblogger 270000WWDS 415 Visits
Did you happen to catch the latest interview with Linus Torvalds? Very interesting....talks about enforceing trademarks of Linux which he owns. He says this is nothing new from his standpoint. Also comments (although he ducks saying he will leave this to the lawyers) on a possible re-write of the GPL...
Go take a look.[Read More]
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Hey! Just wanted to do a quick introduction and encourage you to comment on our blogs. We encourage the input!
If you are a Linux enthusiast I would like to suggest that you visit OpenPowerproject.com. This site allows Linux users and developers to test and port applications through remote access to OpenPower servers. Have some fun!
Talk to you soon![Read More]
As you are probably aware, IBM spends a lot of time and money on working with our commerical software partners. What many people do not realize is there is a lot of energy put into finding ways to better support and foster a self-sustaining Open Source developer community for Linux on POWER.
BTW - "Linux on POWER" is an umbrella marketing term used w/in IBM to cover Linux running on a number of PowerPC and POWER-based systems, spanning embedded to the largest POWER5-based servers. I tend to think of Linux across the broader range processors from IBM and our competitors as LinuxPPC or LinuxPPC64. That seems to be more broadly understood in the community.
Some of the ongoing community programs include...
As mentioned in an earlier post, we are working w/ Universities world-wide to enable them to contribute and engage more with the development community by hosting POWER5-based servers available to anyone that wants to use them for Open Source Projects that meet the Universities acceptable use policy. The Open Source Development Lab also has 3 OpenPOower 720, so be sure to ask to be able to use those when working there.
We have run a couple of contests now. These have generated a lot of interest and provided a resaon for developers to get hands on experience w/ LinuxPPC. For those interested enough to successfully port specific applications, they have been awarded w/ PowerPC-based workstations and other prizes with which they can continue to exlore LinuxPPC. And yes, the contests have had some warts, but we try to make them as interesting as possible.
A number of the more popular community distributions are now providing support for POWER5 including Gentoo and Debian with others to follow through collaberative work IBM has done with them. Gentoo is now hosting their entire CVS tree on an OpenPower system.
IBM has worked closely w/ internal and external technical content providers to supply high quality and and easy access to the kinds of information developers need. there is a lot of good quality information on developerWorks and another one of my favorite sites is PenguinPPC.org.
These are a few of the programs focusing IBMs attention on the LinuxPPC development community. As the strategist trying to develop these programs, I am always listening for and trying to generate new ideas/ways for us to get involved. If you have any, I'd love to hear them.[Read More]
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If you look at the Novell site http://www.novell.com/products/linuxenterpriseserver/powerpromo.html
it tries to tell you that SUSE is better the RH for Linux on POWER...why? Price and licensing. That is kind of true for sure, but is not why it is better for POWER..unless you think Price is the main driver. Also on the site is a paper by an analyst that is also kind of high level and content free.
Isn;t it about time that someone just points out that the base kernel is the same but there are differences like RAS support, default performance setting (for those who never bother to change the defaults and run slower than they can), admin tools, maintenacne techniques, switching costs,and support! These should be explained in a table with RH and SUSE as the columns..then we would have something.
.....and I might just do that..but the lawyers would go nutz and RH and SUSE would claim foul...wonder what we should do to get a valid comparison??
at least that is my opinion.[Read More]
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I am currently at the pSeries Tech University in Florida..with no hurricanes in site. I find it quite interesting that the number of sessions on Linux on POWER is now in the majority. But even more so, it the attendance. We have some great speakers and great topics, but the attendance in these sessions if very high..all of them.
The people are no longer asking "what is Linux", but they are asking more "how do I do ....." kinds of questions and my company is doing Linux on POWER and what else can we look forward to in the future.
This trend is encouraging that the message and value of Linux on POWER is being understood. One question today was when should I use POWER when "good enough" is what I want? I said it all depends on the application. If you need to run a Firewall or DNS server, POWER is great but well beyond good enough. However if you are running a mission critical DB or Web app server, good enough servers may not be what you want..get a real server, get POWER.
at least that's my opinion..[Read More]
There's a lot of interesting projects going on with the Linux on POWER and OpenPower initiatives this year and into next year. But first, a brief introduction of myself..
My name is David A. Desrosiers (no, not THAT David Desrosiers, make sure you use the "A." in the middle if you Google me), and I've been working with Linux and Open Source since 1992/1993 and AIX before that. Several years ago, I used to work for Linuxcare in their Research group with some brilliant and very well-known Open Source developers. Now, several years later, I work for IBM with the title of "Linux on POWER Developer Program Manager".
I'm also the maintainer of a few embedded projects you might know about. pilot-link is probably the most well-known out there. Its the glue between your PalmOS handheld and your PIM data. Lots of projects rely upon the code in pilot-link to function.
Plucker is another one I contribute to heavily (as well as hosting and designing the website, cvs and other facilities). There are 9 of us in the core team, distributed worldwide.
Developing in very constrained environments such as handhelds and PDAs is a stark contrast to developing on something as vast and "virtual" as POWER.
My focus within IBM is to help bridge the gap between the Open Source development community and the IBM development process. Some of my tasks include helping to provide remote access to POWER-based hardware for developers (and budding developers) to use to learn, test, debug and develop new or existing applications on the POWER platform. There are some subtle differences and having access to real hardware is important. I'll go into some detail on that a bit later...
If you're interested in checking out what the POWER systems actually feel like under the hood, you can log in remotely to one of the University systems we've set up at the University of Augsburg and Peking University. Create an account, pull over some source code from your favorite projects and try building and testing it under the POWER architecture. Each server offers its own configuration and options with your remote (non-root) shell account.
University of Augsburg, in Augsburg Germany (Debian Testing/Unstable)
Peking University, Peking China (SuSE 9.1)
There's quite a few other things going on that I'll elaborate on later. I'm doing my best to learn as much as I can about the POWER architecture (its new to me too!), and splitting my duties between being an interpretor for the Open Source community and for IBM as well. Its all great fun
Feel free to comment or ask me any questions you might have about how you can get involved, and I'll do what I can to get you the answer, or point you to the right people who can get you the answer.
Interesting times are ahead..!
lopblogger 270000WWDS 457 Visits
Just last week we (IBM) enabled the ordering of RHEL AS4 (update 1 level) with any new pSeries server or OpenPower server. Previously, the order was only good for delivery of RHEL AS3. With this ordering we (IBM) has also expanded the orderable options to include 1-3 year and support.[Read More]
Linux on POWER is fully supported by the IBM Advanced Power Virtualization capabilities….depending on a few things.
First you have to be running Novell SUSE SLES 9 or RedHat AS 4 to be enabled for all the virtualization capabilities on POWER. This includes LPARs, DLPARs, V I/O, VLAN, and micro partitioning and shared pools. What does not work, and this is not a limitation of Linux on POWER, but rather a limitation of LINUX 2.6 kernel: Dynamic memory (you can re assign memory to a partition, but it must be rebooted before the memory change is recognized) and Partition Load Manager (this requires hooks in Linux which do not exist yet…..) Other than that, the 2.6 kernel is fully enabled to support the full virtualization..and you can also be running AIX (or on selected models, iOS also).
Now if you choose to run the 2.4 kernel of Linux, it has less functional support of Advanced POWER Virtualization since it is missing the pre-emptive capabilies of 2.6. This means you loose the ability to run dynamic device add/delete (as in disk adapters) and you also loose DLPAR since these obviously need a stop/restart capability in the kernel. Other items of the 2.4 kernel are supported such as LPAR, VLAN, micro partitioning, shared pools…and although not related, also SMT (but that is a different story).
Remember that on the POWER5 systems you can only boot SLES 9 (hence the 2.6 kernel) and RH AS 3 (with limitations above since it is not a preemptive kernel but even though it is 2.4, certain functionality of 2.6 was back ported..such as SMT support), and RH AS 4. Cool…
Now Xen…well it is currently not under development nor test nor porting for POWER. So it appears to be an x86 only application at this time. It is fully capable of being POWER enabled, but the plan does not exist yet for the possible code changes, testing, and etc. Some argue that this is not needed since we have Advanced POWER Virtualization which will have far greater capabilities than Xen for quite a while. But Xen is free, but limited, and APV costs a little. Interesting…less filling costs less, versus, more filling costs more. What do you think we should do with Xen on POWER? Push for availability since it will drive up virtualization of Linux on POWER or continue with the APV plan (which we will do anyway..)?
We all know that Linux is a cool operating system, open, sometimes free (yea right!) and is rapidly growing acceptance. With the 2.6 kernel, the ability Linux to support workload with higher requirements (performance, reliability, security, etc) is now a reality. There are several Linux Distributors "shipping" the 2.6 kernel such as RedHat, Novell SUSE, Debian, etc. One might think that these distributions are all the same but upon closer inspection we can see the kernel is made up of architectual specific code to exploit certain server families. The API of the OS is the same so the ability for applications to run on the various architectures is preserved (as long as you compile the application to the proper instruction set and have the proper run time library support and device drivers). So is it all the same then? I think the answer is a resounding NO. It seems these architectual specific nuances can lead to very dramatic differences in application performance and reliability and sometimes even the ability to run at all.
When the Linux Distributors create a distribution, the major ones today tend to implement a common build process. This is good and if I were them I would do the same. However this may lead to differences and non-optimal execution of programs if you wish to run the application on different architectures. Consider one point only: I/O buffer sizes. If there were a popular architecture that shared memory and I/O over a single bus, I would choose a buffer size that would allow the minimal I/O "interference" with memory access. This usually would mean a relatively small size. If I were then to compile the Linux Kernel for a differnet architecture using the same "defaults", but where the "other" architecture had a separate I/O "bus" and memory "bus", it would not be optimized to the architecture. At least with either a recompile of the kernel or a change to the run time environment, I could move the "standard distribution" to a higher performing version by simply changing the I/O buffer size default. Upon inspection there are several instances where the default build parameters for one architecture will not be optimal on another architecture.
This is just one of several examples of where Linux is Linux is Linux, but it is not the same. In future discussions I will go into more details on these and the relative impact of them....and if you want to get a little more performane out of your Linux Kernel, take a look and see how many print daemons exist for printers you do you run....if you turn them off, you will get a little more performance. I wonder why all these print daemons are really in there anyway?[Read More]