With these new offerings, IBM is taking Power’s well-known strengths in scalability, flexibility, and security and making them available to customers that might not previously have thought of Power as an option. Now, quite simply, IBM is taking pricing off the table.
The PowerLinux servers are smaller, entry-level servers that are ideally suited for scale-out type workloads which are very popular in the Linux space, and are focused on three main areas:
- The new servers offer particular advantages for big data environments like financial services that have large amounts of data coming off countless of transactions. Big data benefits from technical advancements learned from IBM Watson and the POWER architecture’s ability to do many things in parallel.
- In addition, industry-specific companies that provide applications to small and mid-market companies are looking for alternatives to the typical x86 platform that can give them high performance and robustness, as well as built-in virtualization. Within this area, there are OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) such as GE Healthcare that need to attach an intelligent server to an X-ray machine, or another company based in Japan that needs to put that same kind of intelligence next to a scanner or digital copier. For these types of scenarios, companies can OEM our new Power Linux servers which are smaller and affordable, and build new innovative solutions that are pre-integrated using PowerLinux as a base.
- And a third key area for PowerLinux servers is around Linux-based services for email, networking, file, print, and web-based applications. With the new PowerLinux line, we offer a very affordable server that includes ironclad server virtualization, so that companies can put many workloads on to a small number of servers and build a very efficient Linux infrastructure.
What makes PowerLinux ideal for these uses is that multiple workloads can be placed on a single server in a virtual environment, effectively avoiding server sprawl. Also, the POWER7 architecture with its multithreading capabilities is ideal for workloads that need to do many things at the same time.
Linux has really changed the economics of IT, and in these tough times many customers are turning the open source operating system in order to control costs. It also provides rich functionality as a result of its vibrant developer community. IBM continues to contribute and participate in the development of Linux, both financially and with a global team of software developers who are dedicated to its continued growth.
Though Linux and Power Systems were born at different times for different reasons, both have transformed the markets they serve over time. And despite their different starting points, they are now meeting in the middle, building the right combination of technologies for mid-market companies. Linux now offers affordability and a rich set of capabilities to make it “enterprise ready” and Power, which inherently exploits virtualization, has also become more ubiquitous and more affordable.
As a result, this new Linux-only offering from IBM can enable mid-market customers to gain the superior capabilities of IBM Power for about the same investment they would make for an Intel- or AMD-based solution, if not significantly less. In addition to costing less, PowerLinux solutions can perform faster, scale better, and stay up longer than competitive x86 products. When you think about the expertise and capabilities that IBM brings to bear by combining the widely used open source Linux operating system and the very affordable new Power product line, this is a very compelling value.
It’s time to have a conversation about what PowerLinux provides.
Vice President, PowerLinux Strategy and Business Development
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