IBM Upgrades Power Systems Servers’ Cloud, Analytics Capabilities

The Power7+ processor offers expanded 2.5x L3 cache memory and boosted encryption.

IBM has announced a fresh round of upgrades to the security, cloud and analytics capabilities of its Power Systems servers. For businesses, that could translate into gaining faster and better insights from their data. For IBM, the improvements are another step in the company’s attempt to offer those businesses a holistic set of solutions with broad capabilities—the better to fend off competition from SAP, Oracle, and other competitors in the space.

IBM Power 770 and Power 780 servers now integrate the new Power7+ processor, which the company claims can give application workloads a performance boost of 30 to 40 percent over previous processor iterations. Power7+ includes memory compression, speedier file encryption for the IBM AIX operating system, and expanded 2.5x L3 cache memory. IBM’s Power 795 server also boasts upgrades, including 64GB Dual In-Line Memory Modules (DIMM).

New capabilities for Power Systems servers include Elastic Capacity on Demand for Power Systems Pools, which allow sharing resources across multiple servers, and updated IBM PowerSC security and compliance software.

IBM’s latest storage enhancements include IBM System Storage DS8870, upgraded with Power7 processors, full self-encrypting drives and up to 1TB of system cache. The updated IBM Virtualization Engine TS7700 Release 3 assists IT administrators and CIOs in virtualizing any in-house magnetic tape storage systems, complete with end-to-end encryption.

There’s also a new Technical Computing for Big Data system, which combines IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS) with IBM Platform Symphony scheduler and application platform and IBM Intelligent Cluster—all of which combine together to help organizations collect and analyze data at massive scale. IBM is also introducing new mainframe software for accelerating analytics, as well as a Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller it calls the IBM Programmable Network Controller.

“The sheer improvements in system performance (up to 40 percent more) without any increase in energy usage means the new Power7+ systems should deliver a literally bigger bang for little if any increase in long term TCO [Total Cost of Ownership] bucks,” Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT, wrote in an Oct. 3 research note.

He added that the new systems’ boosted performance and memory, combined with IBM’s other virtualization and security software, “will positively impact a variety of cloud, analytics and security-sensitive workloads.”

King framed IBM’s latest releases as playing to three distinct trends in IT: cloud computing, analytics and security. IBM views those IT categories not as distinct silos but interconnected into enterprise-wide platforms—the philosophical underpinnings of its Smarter Computing and Smarter Planet initiatives.


Image: IBM