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HomeWhat's OnIBM Pushes Open Power8 with Scale-Out Servers

IBM Pushes Open Power8 with Scale-Out Servers

If you need to handle massive amounts of computational data faster than you are now, IBM has rolled out new systems just for you. Big Blue’s Power8 portfolio now offers systems that claim to deal with data at nearly 20 percent better price for performance metrics than comparable Intel Xeon v3 processor-based systems.

To be sure, IBM is pushing toward the big data computational brink in response to rising market demand. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day, there’s a clear challenge to build technology infrastructures powerful enough to gain actionable insights.

IBM pointed out that the servers most enterprises use today are built on proprietary processor technology and are being stretched to their limits in the face of cloud, mobile and big data demands. IBM is designing what it calls a data-centric approach to systems that takes advantage of the OpenPower Foundation’s building blocks. The foundation has 59 members working to leverage IBM Power processor’s open architecture.

Doug Balog, General Manager of Power Systems at IBM Systems & Technology Group, is convinced the company’s business model and approach to OpenPower “will disrupt technology providers that offer closed, proprietary solutions produced within the walls of one company.”

An Open Approach

The new IBM Power S824L servers are built on IBM’s Power8 processor and the OpenPower stack so they can run data-intensive tasks while offloading other compute-intensive big data workloads to GPU accelerators that can run millions of data computations in parallel.

According to IBM, the new Power E870 and Power E880 systems are the highest performance 8-socket systems in the industry with support for up to 1,000 virtual machines per system. Enterprises can choose 32-, 40- or 48-processor cores and up to 4 TB per compute node. The systems will grow to 192 cores with more than 1,500 threads of compute power and 16 TB of memory and can run AIX, IBM i, and Linux operating systems. General availability is October 31. Pricing was not announced but financing is available.

One of IBM’s goals is to speed up compute-intensive applications. Another is to work well with partners. The new systems integrate with other OpenPower-member technologies, such as Nvidia’s GUP accelerator technology. IBM also plans to optimize its big data enterprise apps, including the IBM DB2 database software with BLU Acceleration, as well as Power versions of other common GPU-accelerated apps for bioinformatics, defense, finance, molecular dynamics, weather modeling. The list includes SOAP3, GROMACS, FFTW library, NAMD, and Quantum Espresso. (continued…)

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