IBM takes on commodity x86 servers with Linux-based Power Systems LC family

IBM Power Systems S812LC

IBM has unveiled a trio of servers based on its Power processor architecture aimed squarely at competing with x86 systems for customers running applications such as data analytics, cloud and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.

Available to order now, the new Power systems are based on technology drawn from IBM’s OpenPower ecosystem partners, such as Nvidia, as well as its own Power processors, a combination that delivers higher performance at lower cost than comparable x86 systems, IBM claimed.

The new Power Systems LC servers comprise the Power Systems S812LC, a single-socket, rack-mount system optimised for workloads such as Spark and Hadoop, plus two versions of the Power Systems S812LC optimised for commercial computing and HPC.

Running versions of Red Hat, Suse and Ubuntu Linux ported to the Power architecture, the systems are capable of processing selected Apache Spark workloads for less than half the cost of a server based on an Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3, IBM said, providing customers with 2.3 times the performance per dollar spent.

“Embracing an open model of innovation has enabled us to build systems that help translate mountains of data into actionable business insight,” said IBM’s general manager for Power Systems, Doug Balog”

“By collaborating with partners from the OpenPower Foundation, our new line of servers provides clients with the performance they need to analyse and act on their data in real time.”

The Power Systems S812LC can be configured with a choice of a 3.32GHz eight-core Power 8 processor or a 2.92GHz 10-core chip, with up to 1TB of memory, and has space for up to 14 drives inside the 2U chassis.

The two Power Systems S812LC versions, meanwhile, can be configured with two 3.62GHz eight-core Power 8 processors or two 3.25GHz 10-core chips, also with up to 1TB of memory, while the S822LC for HPC additionally ships with a pair of Nvidia Tesla K80 GPU accelerators.

These latter models have a modular design optimised to scale from a single rack to hundreds of racks for large-scale clusters and scale-out deployments, IBM said, for workloads including hybrid cloud, big data and business-critical applications.

IBM started the OpenPower Foundation in 2013 as a counterweight to the dominant x86 server ecosystem, attracting partners such as Nvidia, Google, Samsung, Rackspace and Tyan.

The firm maintains that systems based on its Power processors are better suited for handling data centre workloads, and offer better performance per dollar.

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8 October 2015 | 11:30 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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