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Why Upgrading to POWER8 Meets Today’s Business Needs

Better Technology
Illustration by Tobias Hall

Business demands over the past several years have put more emphasis on 24-7 system availability, deriving real-time insights from data and trimming costs. Meanwhile, technology innovations have helped businesses surmount these challenges and create new opportunities. Recognizing this changing landscape, IBM developed the POWER8* processor to meet the business needs of today and tomorrow.

Clients who have upgraded already see reduced costs and improved performance. Plus, the POWER8 processor’s capability to run open-source software gives them several business application choices. Any business reluctant to upgrade, fearing a lengthy and painful migration, should note that IBM has made it as easy as possible.

Key Benefits

Moving to POWER8 systems provides three overall benefits for clients:

1. Better technology. IBM’s improvements to the processor provide increased performance and throughput. You can take advantage of the latest systems software whether you run IBM i, or AIX* or Linux* OSes. Advantages include “unprecedented performance and scalability, new capabilities that enable even higher availability and resiliency, built-in virtualization, and OpenStack-based management to make handling private and public clouds easier,” says Steve Sibley, vice president, IBM Power Systems* offering management.

2. Financial benefits. Whether you’re migrating from a scale-out or an enterprise system, financial benefits include a substantial increase in system capacity, lower data center costs and a reduction in overall software and maintenance costs. “We work with clients to help them understand what that financial case looks like, whether it is TCO (total cost of ownership) or TCA (total cost of acquisition),” says Bo Gebbie, vice president, IBM North America server solution sales. “You’re getting more benefit for each dollar you spend.”

3. Open-source access. IBM’s commitment to open innovation positions POWER* technology as a cornerstone of future systems development. IBM’s commitment to the Linux OS, open-source software, OpenStack management, the OpenPOWER Foundation and open standards has become the foundation of the POWER architecture.

POWER8 clients can take full advantage of open-source innovations, such as acceleration. The OpenPOWER Foundation, Open Source Initiative and Linux OS provide new ways to use the system. However, you must upgrade to access these new capabilities, Sibley notes.

Broad Impact

Upgrading to POWER8 can have broad impact, most notably in performance improvement. Whether a client wants faster response time for transactions and data analysis applications or wants to lower cost through more performance in fewer systems, IBM’s POWER8 design delivers. With 4x the threads and 4x the memory bandwidth per core, POWER8 technology processes more data than other processors, Sibley says.

IBM designs each generation of POWER technology to deliver more performance per core as well as overall system throughput. Because clients often pay for their software by the core, by boosting performance per core, they can reduce the cost of their software licensing and infrastructure.

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at



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