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The E850 Headlines Several IBM Announcements

IBM has made a rash of announcements, headlined by today’s release of a Power Systems Enterprise 850 server at IBM EDGE in Las Vegas. But the new server, which fills the midrange hole in the POWER8 family, isn’t the only stunner. The announcements over the last two weeks are a virtual buffet of tasty options.

The E850

The Power Systems E850 is the most business-agile four-socket system in the marketplace. With up to 4 TB of memory, the E850 offers flexible capacity, guaranteed utilization and superior scale, enabling medium and large enterprises running AIX and Linux applications to optimize infrastructure to the peaks and valleys of their business, reducing costs for data-intensive cloud and analytics workloads. It also supports both little endian and big endian.

PurePower System

Also announced at EDGE, the IBM PurePower System is a secure, quick-to-deploy converged infrastructure for cloud with open choice. It is managed with OpenStack and adaptable to changing needs as well as securely delivering insights in the cloud. PurePower with AIX and PowerVM virtualization offers rapid implementation and ROI with 12X greater workload density than competitors, a virtualization hypervisor with zero documented vulnerabilities and much faster insights than Intel Xeon, according to IBM.

E870 and E880 Enhancements

The E870 and E880 have been enhanced to drive waitless insights with the most scalable in-memory analytics platforms in the industry, according to IBM. The E870 doubled it memory to 8 TB. The E880 can now be expanded to up to 192 cores and offers near-linear scaling so businesses can create new opportunities from in-memory databases like DB2 BLU securely and confidently with more processing power and more memory—up to 16 TB memory. You can read more about these enhancements in Rob McNelly’s AIXchange blog.

Scale-Out Enhancements

Scale-out Power Systems also received enhanced options, including a new a new 16-core 4.1 GHz configuration for the IBM Power S822L server, and new 8-core and 16-core 4.1 GHz configurations for the IBM Power S822 server. The IBM Power S814 and Power S824L servers also doubled their memory capacity.

Power Systems Solutions Editions for SAP HANA

At SAP Sapphire Now, which took place last week in Orlando, IBM delivered on the infrastructure that SAP HANA clients deserve with Power Systems Solution Editions for SAP HANA built with POWER8 and designed for big data. The Power Systems Solution Editions for SAP HANA are planned to be made available initially in two configurations, designed to manage different sizes of data warehouses. The first, based on the IBM Power Systems S824 with 24 POWER8 processor cores and up to 1 TB of memory, is anticipated to be ideally suited for the SAP Business Warehouse application running on SAP HANA, with databases up to 512 GB in size. The second, based on the IBM Power Systems E870 with 40 POWER8 cores and up to 2 TB of memory, is expected to be ideal for databases up to 1 TB in size. While SAP HANA is supported across all POWER8 servers from IBM, the new IBM Solution Editions will combine flexible infrastructure with rapid time to value for tailored support of SAP Business Warehouse version 7.31 or higher powered by SAP HANA on Power Systems.

Technology Refreshes for IBM i

At COMMON in Anaheim, California, two weeks ago, IBM announced Technology Refresh 2 for IBM i 7.2 and Technology Refresh 10 for IBM i 7.1. Both get a rash of DB2 for i enhancements for database management, performance and availability, as well as hardware and firmware related enhancements. Read more in Steve Will’s You and i blog.

Pay-As-You-Go IBM i Access

Also announced at COMMON was pay-as-you-go access for IBM i. Service providers can now gain access to IBM i with flat-rate monthly pricing per core.

Software Enhancements

PowerVM, PowerVC and PowerHA software get enhancements as well. Building on the most open server platform in the industry, innovation and ease of migration for scale-out comes to scale-up servers with PowerVM. With little endian across the full Power Systems portfolio, clients can deploy applications regardless of their data access preference. PowerVM virtualization now supports little endian and big endian and, with key ISV and IBM software offerings—such as 6Wind, Cognos, SPSS, GreenHat, DB2 and more—broadening application choice and simplifying migration. IBM also announced PowerVC enhancements to contain costs with automation of workload management. Clients can now get more powerful policy-based VM placement. PowerHA availability features were also improved.


IBM also announced the withdrawal of support for POWER7+ hardware and IBM i 5.4.

Handful of Other Announcements

  • IBM is remaking IT for the era of cloud with superior economics for the enterprise and for Internet data centers with POWER8 and SoftLayer hybrid cloud solutions. POWER8 and OpenPOWER Foundation solutions in SoftLayer offer a more efficient and reliable platform compared to Intel with new choices for Power Systems and OpenPOWER-based systems
  • Now available via Ubuntu, Open Source Docker containers with orchestration automation from Chef enable clients to maximize the simplicity and efficiency of application deployment. Clients can ensure portability between private and public clouds with lightweight and flexible Open Source Docker containers, as well as automate the creation, launching, monitoring and analysis for Docker containers with Chef Server and recipes.
  • IBM revealed a prototype in IBM’s OpenPOWER-based technical computing roadmap that will deliver systems predicted to be 5-10x faster than today’s leading supercomputers. Jointly developed with Wistron and leveraging innovations from NVIDIA and Mellanox, IBM’s first OpenPOWER high performance computing server is leading the path to exascale computing.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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