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Linux on Power > Trends > IBM Announcements

GM Doug Balog Introduces the E850, PurePower and More


Doug Balog IBM Power Systems General Manager — Photo by Craig Washburn

Last month, IBM rolled out a series of Power Systems* announcements, including three new POWER8* systems, more support for the ongoing evolution of Power* in the cloud and big news for SAP HANA customers who can now run on Power Systems technology. To get some insights on what the announcements mean for clients, IBM Systems Magazine talked with Power Systems General Manager Doug Balog to get his thoughts on how the platform is moving forward and what clients can expect.

Q: IBM has made several announcements recently. Can you pick one headliner?
A:
The headline is that we’re executing on a clear strategy. Let me bookend this for you. We started in April of last year when we came out with incredible clarity on the strategy for Power around data and cloud along with the first set of deliverables with POWER8 systems and solutions. That began the transformation of the Power business. Then, as I look back on the progress we’ve made—with now more than 1,000 ISVs on Linux* on Power, well over 300 universities that are now again teaching Power in the curriculum, the number of solutions that we’ve delivered to the marketplace with differentiation such as Redis, the double-digit growth we’ve seen in our POWER* scale-out systems—we ended 2014 with a strong sense of momentum in the marketplace, which we saw again in our first-quarter performance.

“What can clients expect? They can expect continued execution and continued laser focus on delivering open innovation and putting data to work across the enterprise.”
—Doug Balog

Q: Does the announcement of the new POWER8 boxes round out the family?
A:
From a systems perspective, we are making three very important announcements that round out the family of POWER8. The first is that we’re taking our high-end scale-up system and we’re now delivering the capability to scale up to 16 sockets, 192 cores, thousands of threads, 16 terabytes of memory. These Power E880 systems are designed for our largest enterprise accounts that are looking to take full advantage of the capability to bring several virtual machines and different workloads together on a single footprint. Additionally, in this mobile economy, organizations want this incredible scale-up flexibility to deal with their constantly fluctuating transactions.

Second, we’re delivering an offering that sits between our scale-out design point and our scale-up design point with the new Power Systems E850, which has four sockets, 48 cores and more than 380 threads. This is really a sweet spot for midsized customers’ database serving, but it’s also in a lot of small and medium businesses where a four-socket system runs the firm. These clients can go home at night and sleep well knowing their enterprise systems are running all of their workloads on a secure and powerful Power platform.

One of the E850’s scale-up attributes that is a defining moment for four-socket servers in the marketplace is capacity on demand. I’m proud to say that we’re the first to deliver it. Capacity on demand means clients buying a four-socket Power system can turn on capacity and turn off capacity to meet the fluctuations they see because of a Black Friday, or a mobile event, a promotion they’ve run or whatever they’re doing that’s driving fluctuations. Whether those fluctuations are daily, hourly, weekly, monthly, quarterly or whatever, the high-end capacity on demand resiliency feature that we brought to this four-socket space is really unique in the marketplace.

The third one is IBM’s next-generation converged infrastructure server, PurePower. This takes the full capabilities of Power, Linux on Power, AIX* on Power, and in the future IBM i on Power and combines them with networking and storage virtualization. Then it wraps that in rich operational management tools and even IBM PureApp Patterns to deliver a fast to deploy, easy to program, integrated infrastructure for clients to get rapid business value.

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



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