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IBM debuts its POWER7 servers

Posted on Wednesday, August 18 2010 @ 17:50:17 CEST by

IBM send out word that it's ready to deliver the first POWER7 systems:
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new POWER7® systems designed to manage the most demanding workloads and emerging applications, including a high-end system that offers markedly better energy efficiency than competitive systems from HP and Oracle.

IBM also announced a pair of developments that illustrate the company's continued momentum for Power in the $13 billion UNIX market, in which IBM has experienced a 14-point revenue share gain since 2005.

* IBM has achieved the industry's highest ever TPC-C (transaction processing) benchmark using a Power Systems configuration with DB2, hitting 10,366,254 transactions per minute(1), which beat HP's best result by more than 2.5 times(2) and Oracle's best by more than 35%(3). The IBM result represents 2.7 times better performance per core than the Oracle result, 41% better price performance, and 35% better energy efficiency per transaction. HP's best result is over twice as expensive per transaction as the IBM result.

* A record 285 customers moved critical business workloads to IBM systems and storage from the competition in the second quarter of 2010, including 171 from Oracle and 86 from HP. More than 2,600 companies have switched from the competition to IBM Power Systems since IBM established its Migration Factory program four years ago. Of particular note, IBM's business helping customers reduce x86 server sprawl by consolidating to Power increased four-fold over the first quarter.

The new systems – servers, software and IBM's industry-leading PowerVM virtualization capabilities – allow customers to better manage ever-increasing amounts of data in an interconnected world and to conserve energy and floor space in burdened data centers. They are part of a year-long rollout by IBM of workload-optimized systems for the demands of emerging business models such as smart electrical grids, real-time analytics in financial markets and healthcare, mobile telecommunications, and smarter traffic systems.

New technology from IBM announced today includes the new high-end IBM Power® 795 system; four entry-level POWER7 processor-based servers designed specifically for mid-market clients; and a POWER7 processor-based workload-optimized Smart Analytics System that helps businesses draw real-time information from massive amounts of data.

The new 256-core IBM Power® 795 offers more than five times better energy efficiency compared to servers from Oracle and HP(4). It uses IBM's leading-edge EnergyScale™ technology that varies frequencies depending upon workloads. This new system supports up to 8 terabytes of memory and provides over four times the performance in the same energy envelope as the fastest Power 595 IBM POWER6 processor-based high-end system.

The new POWER7 technology supports four times as many processor cores as prior systems and uses the latest PowerVM™ virtualization software to allow customers to run over 1,000 virtual servers on a single physical system, enabling a substantial improvement in operating efficiency. For the many customers nearing capacity limits for energy, space and cooling in data centers, consolidating older systems to the new high-end Power 795 could result in more headroom – with energy reductions of up to 75% for equivalent performance capacity – allowing for workload growth in existing data centers and helping companies to potentially avoid or reduce the cost of expanding or building new data centers.(5)

IBM also announced Power Flex, a new environment composed of two or more Power 795 systems, PowerVM Live Partition Mobility and a Flex Capacity Upgrade on Demand option. This solution enables clients to shift running applications from one system to another to perform system maintenance without downtime, helping to balance workloads and more easily handle peaks in demand.

IBM also announced a new version of IBM's UNIX® operating system, AIX® 7.

Express Servers
The four Express servers announced today – IBM Power 710, 720, 730 and 740 Express – offer mid-market clients the outstanding performance, energy efficiency and other benefits of POWER7 technology in compact rack-mount or tower packages. These high-density, cost efficient servers minimize complexity and provide the memory capacity, internal storage options, I/O expandability and RAS features needed for demanding workloads in today's high-growth midsize business.

Attractively priced starting at $6,385 (6) and available from IBM and IBM Business Partners, these easy-to-order IBM Express models allow clients to choose the configuration that satisfies their requirements and receive half the processor core activations at no additional charge. The new Express servers run over 15,000 applications based on AIX, IBM i and Linux operating systems. PowerVM software is also optionally available on the four new Express models, allowing clients to consolidate multiple workloads on one or more servers.

GHY International, a family-owned business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which has been operating for more than a century, is using Power Systems running three operating environments – AIX, IBM i and Linux -- in concert with other IBM hardware and software to manage a growing international trade services and consulting business. Dedicated to helping clients buy and sell goods internationally, GHY is using POWER7 systems to help customers manage the staples of worldwide trade, such as compliance and risk management, in real time, saving businesses time and money by expediting the production of customs forms.

"This is critically important in a time when we have smarter applications and the horsepower to drive them," said Nigel Fortlage, vice president of information technology for GHY International. "IBM Power Systems have allowed us to use a cross platform server consolidation and virtualization strategy to effectively manage these new, emerging customs workloads. The ability of IBM Power servers to run multiple operating systems simultaneously is an enormous benefit to GHY, and the impact of virtualization on productivity has been astounding."

Smart Analytics System
The IBM Smart Analytics System 7700 with POWER7 technology delivers a single, optimized system with the right balance of software, systems and storage capabilities for workloads generating unprecedented amounts of data at extreme speeds - providing a powerful analytics platform that can be deployed and customized for clients in a matter of days. This solution helps clients quickly draw insights from vast amounts of data to anticipate emerging business trends, capture new opportunities and avoid risks.

The Smart Analytics System, which features several pretested Power Systems 740 Express server configurations, IBM DB2® powered and InfoSphere™ Warehouse software and AIX, analyzes data where it resides. This is important as clients seek to shorten the cycle time between processing and results, and seek to avoid the costs of migrating data from one system to another.

Roanoke, VA-based, Advance Auto Parts, a leader in the automotive aftermarket, has more than 3,500 stores with more than 51,000 employees. Recently, the chain deployed the Smart Analytics System to more efficiently analyze national sales and inventory data up to 10 times faster than before.

"IBM's level of optimization addresses the growing demands of data-intensive workloads versus other competitive offerings while also helping to reduce IT costs. The system makes it easier to analyze data integrated from multiple databases; turning that data into actionable insight quickly," said Bill Robinette, Director of Business Intelligence, Advance Auto Parts. "That insight allows us to understand what our customers are buying at specific store locations. Data on the make and model of the cars they own can help us more effectively manage inventory to ensure the right auto parts such as batteries, headlights, and brakes are in stock."

Additional Power Announcements
For IBM i clients, IBM is offering four new IBM i Solution Editions, integrated and optimized for rapid ERP deployment. These packages feature software from SAP, JD Edwards, Infor and Lawson and offer significant savings for customers running older versions of the i operating system who are looking to upgrade.

"Infor and IBM have partnered to deliver the IBM i Solution Edition for Infor System i Solutions. This is an important step in bringing a combination of Infor System i ERP and POWER7 processor-based systems to a set of customers that want simple, integrated solutions at a lower price," said Joe Marino, Vice President of System I Development and Support, Infor. "We believe that this solution will be valuable to a large set of customers and will be a great success in the market."

IBM also announced IBM Rational Power Appliance, a family of software appliances comprised of Power Express servers that are pre-loaded and pre-configured with IBM Rational® software for AIX development. Available in a range of sizes and programming languages to suit specific user requirements, these ready-to-use systems provide customers a fully-enabled software development environment that can be put to use in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks.

As part of today's news, existing IBM Power System customers can benefit from expanded exchange/upgrade opportunities. IBM Global Financing will offer side-by-side migrations of a customer's existing IBM POWER high end system to the newer IBM POWER7 technology. This will minimize downtimes during the upgrade process. IBM Global Financing will also provide competitive financing rates for customers acquiring or upgrading to the new technology. For more information please visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/financing/us/lifecycle/manage/migration/index.html

Systems announced today will be generally available on September 17, 2010.

For more information on IBM workload optimized systems, please visit http://www.ibm.com/systems/smarter.



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