Armonk, N.Y. – IBM (IBM: NYSE) has unveiled its Power Systems servers, built on an open server platform and POWER8 microprocessor, that allow data centers to manage extremely high data requirements, analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems. Described as a move that contrasts other chip and server manufacturers' proprietary business models, including IBM’s strategy in the past, the company has released the technical specifications for its POWER8 processor through the OpenPOWER Foundation.
Built on IBM’s POWER8 technology and designed for Big Data, IBM has invested $2.4 billion and three-plus years of development to bring the IBM Power Systems to market. The IBM POWER8 processor “measures just one square inch, which is embedded with more than 4 billion microscopic transistors and more than 11 miles of high-speed copper wiring.”
“This is the first truly disruptive advancement in high-end server technology in decades, with radical technology changes and the full support of an open server ecosystem that will seamlessly lead our clients into this world of massive data volumes and complexity," said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group, in a statement. “There no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach to scale out a data center. With our membership in the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM’s POWER8 processor will become a catalyst for emerging applications and an open innovation platform.”
The OpenPOWER Foundation – representing 25 global technology providers – was founded by IBM, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), Mellanox (NASDAQ: MLNX) and Tyan (NYSE: AMD). The group also released an innovation roadmap detailing planned contributions from several of its members, with IBM's Power Systems as the first servers to use the OpenPOWER technology.
IBM is also announcing three new Power Systems solutions optimized for the unique requirements of Big Data and analytics solutions. In addition to the POWER8 processor, the systems leverage IBM’s Big Data and analytics software portfolio, including IBM Solution for BLU Acceleration, IBM Solution for Analytics and IBM Solution for Hadoop. According to IBM test results, the IBM Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems. IBM also said companies have reported analytics queries running more than 1,000 times faster, reducing run times from several hours to just seconds.
The first POWER8-based systems are five Power Systems S-Class servers designed for large, scale-out computing environments. Designed to reduce floor space, power and cooling costs, these systems are said to operate at industry-leading levels of efficiency, guaranteeing the system will perform as warranted while at a sustained 65% utilization -- a rate higher than common x86 utilization levels, said IBM. “With twice the data throughput compared to an x86-based server, the new Power Systems can help cut data center footprints in half.”
The scale-out S Class servers, available June 10, include two systems that run Linux exclusively – the Power Systems S812L and S822L servers. The three additional offerings, the Power Systems S814, S822 and S824 servers, can run multiple operating systems including Linux, AIX and IBM i. The servers are available in 1 and 2 socket and 2U and 4U configurations. Starting price of the new servers is $7973 ($200/month for 36 months). Financing is available through IBM Global Financing.