On Wednesday I attended the IBM POWER8 Enterprise announcement held in the very attractive London St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the staircase of which we were informed featured in the first Spice Girls video. No, I didn't perform some sort of bad re-enactment of the video, but it is a fantastic looking building and hard to believe it was almost demolished. But back to the announcement, IBM used this day to show off their new Enterprise POWER8 servers, replacing the P770 and P780 models supporting the current line up of POWER8 systems. So I'm going to cover some of the details from the day, but I will note as I haven't received the slides yet some of this information will need to be double checked as its just take from the notes I made. I will update and correct as I can.
IBM POWER8 Enterprise Platform:
Current specifications of the systems are: up to 192 cores per system, supporting 1024 threads, 16TB of RAM: supporting 1000 Virtual Machines.*
These new E870 and E880 are effectively replacements for the POWER7 P770 and P780 model servers.
Enterprise model chip specs: 22nm, single chip config, starting at 4Ghz clock speed, with 8/10/12 cores per socket, featuring 8 threads per core (SMT8), eDRAM, L3/L4 cache, Dual Memory controllers, PCIe Gen 3.
The Enterprise model servers showcase larger systems supporting larger virtual machines with more VMs per system supported. This will help bring down the cost of ownership for customers by allowing them to have fewer systems. This intern will give you smaller footprints and improved energy consumption, even the cost of ownership of the servers themselves has been reduced to make this even further effective.
The new IBM POWER8 Enterprise system will be comprised of a rack featuring up to 4 nodes of 5U each in height, currently you can only obtain 2 nodes in a system the full 4 node support will be ready in the 2Q of 2015. These nodes feature high performance characteristics, so up to 48 cores and 4TB of RAM per node, which in third party testing has show each node is capable of supporting 1000 SAP users.*
The new flexible racking systems feature a redundant system control unit of 2U, this will include such hardware as the DVD drive, HMC connections and other support hardware. This flexible chassis then allows you to utilise up to 4 nodes in a effective space configuration similar to which we have seen with Flex.
As previous enterprise model systems Capacity on Demand (CoD) and Integrated Facilities for Linux (IFL) are an included feature allowing you to grow and expand your system with your needs.
The Power8 Enterprise systems features integrated PCIe Gen 3 on chip processing, shown to improve bus speed for PCIe devices by up to 25%*
Licensing: Changes to this now mean that PowerVM Enterprise Edition is included with the cost of the E870 and E880 servers, its no longer an add on. Active Memory Mirroring for Hypervisor is standard on these models** The software tier for these models has also been lower to the medium level, meaning cheaper more competitive software licensing.
Performance: IBM PowerVP is now included in with IBM PowerVM Enterprise Edition, enabling you to get more details about what your systems, applications and software is doing in relation to the performance and consumption of resources.
Racks will be layed out as follows:***
- I/O disk draw.
- PCI expansion draw.
- CEC 1.
- CEC 2.
- System control unit.
- CEC 3.
- CEC 4.
Energy Saving: Compared to P7+ you are getting 2x performance per watt of power:
- P7+: 100 rPerfs per 4800 watts.
- P8: 206 rPerfs per 4150 watts.
This is a 80% energy cost reduction on old P6 595 systems compared to the new P8 E870 systems. Its been calculated that the energy saving from replacing your old P6 595 could fund the replacement of the new system.
CoD: fixed price for your Capacity on Demand features, $16 dollars a day for a 4Ghz core and 8Gb RAM.
IFL: Flat price for Linux systems with the Enterprise models, featuring a 4 core 32 GB per IFL bundle.
Upgrade path: The Power7+ P770 and P780 D models support options to upgrade to Power8.
*This needs to be double checked to confirm numbers.
** Confirm the validity of this.
*** Image to be added.