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IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

timothy posted about a month ago | from the more-power-to-'em dept.

IBM 113

darthcamaro (735685) writes "Now that IBM has sold off its x86 server business to Lenovo, it's full steam ahead for IBM's Power business. While Intel is ramping up its next generation of server silicon for a September launch, IBM has its next lineup of Power 8 servers set to be announced in October. "There is a larger than 4U, 2 socket system coming out," Doug Balog, General Manager of Power Systems within IBM's System and Technology Group said. Can IBM Power 8 actually take on x86? Or has that ship already sailed?" At last weekend's Linux Con in Chicago, IBM talked up the availability of the Power systems, and that they are working with several Linux vendors, including recently-added Ubuntu; watch for a video interview with Balog on how he's helping spend the billion dollars that IBM pledged last year on open source development.

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Are they available in the cloud? (1)

bunyip (17018) | about a month ago | (#47757327)

IBM touts the virtualization capabilities of Power, but I can't find any IaaS providers where I can rent a slice of one. I looked at the Softlayer site, they're and IBM company, and I couldn't find it there either. So, it leaves me to wonder...

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a month ago | (#47757547)

The fact that IBM tried to give away their fab to GloFlo should say all that needs saying, as IBM obviously doesn't have enough confidence in POWER to modernize the fab. I have a feeling all IBM has left when it comes to PPC is legacy customers and they are probably already looking at exit strategies.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757649)

Their semiconductor manufacturing business is not the same as their POWER business.

They make a profit on their POWER business, and they also have the profitable mainframe line which needs to be fabricated. If they did not make their own, they would contract foundries to manufacture their profitable chips.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757735)

Yes, Power systems available in the cloud but they are targeted for specific verticals, mostly related to banking.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month ago | (#47758247)

The only company I know of who has announced they would be offering it as cloud is Ubuntu cloud. IBM's hosting solution has it but so far nothing in the cloud space.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | about a month ago | (#47758365)

Siteox.com has Power8 systems
http://www.siteox.com/ [siteox.com]

It's likely only a matter of time before SoftLayer does.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758857)

Check out PowerVC, IBM's Power Cloud computing solution.

http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/software/virtualization-management/

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (4, Informative)

bored (40072) | about a month ago | (#47760487)

If you go to IBM conferences you will find a fair amount of talk on this very topic by 3rd party vendors. There are probably a dozen vendors that want to provide AS400/iSeries cloud instances, but IBM won't let them because it violates the terms of the IBM i license which is tied to a hardware instance.

Plus, the whole software ecosystem piggybacks on the same idea, (often based on machine capabilities). This means that even if you can rent an iSeries for an hour its likely your software vendor won't license you their application.

So, while it is entirely possible, IBM seems to be dragging their feet on the license issues, and the vendors seems to be in a chicken/egg situation.

Re:Are they available in the cloud? (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a month ago | (#47761157)

I can vouch for this one - the whole LPAR/IVM set is licensed in such a way that makes it effing impossible to be a 3rd-party VAR for the things.

Then again, I'd hate to be the sorry mofo that either a) had to manage the things, or b) had to write a web-based wrapper to track and tie together individual iSeries/i5/AS400-based IVM interfaces (*shudder*).

(no, seriously, I'd much prefer to do that with Solaris/Sparc Logical Domains, if only because LDOMS can be way more easily handled from the command prompt, and thus scriptable...)

Are they available in the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47761591)

Historically Power has been a mess of IBM technology. Recently they're been supporting KVM and OpenStack, which is like a million times better than HMC etc. But it's still pretty bleeding edge, and I wouldn't expect paid clouds just yet. And depending on the pricing, it's probably never going to be as cheap as commodity x86, or ARM.

That ship has already sailed. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757351)

Good luck taking on x86 dirt-cheap, "good enough" servers with exorbitantly costly, closed POWER systems which people cannot buy cheaply enough to play at home with and learn on. Where is the system administration and development user base going to come from? All such attempts by other companies have failed in the past.

Also, good luck getting POWER re-adopted by the system administration cand development community, when AIX and the compilers remain closed and the barrier to entry is really high (they are not easily available).

You priced yourself out of the market, IBM. Old school guys like me have all but retired, and when they do, they want nothing to do with AIX or POWER or IBM.

Who is going to bother jumping through the hoops to learn AIX on old POWER systems bought on ebay when they can get a fully loaded x86 server or put together a PC bucket at home and slap Linux or Joyent's SmartOS and just start learning? Who?

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

jerpyro (926071) | about a month ago | (#47757459)

Why wouldn't they just support Linux on the new hardware? It makes no sense to try to keep AIX alive outside of a VM for some legacy apps (unless they're going to do a native AIX/DB2 optimized solution similar to Oracle's Linux/DB optimized hardware).

My bet is that they market it as a Linux box with more cores and a better storage subsystem than you can get out of commodity hardware -- there are a fair number of places that would pay for that assuming that they didn't have a predatory licensing model (like the one they use for Websphere and DB2).

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757531)

non-predatory licensing model?! hahahaha! you don't work with IBM much do you?

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757623)

Of course not - and that is one of the reasons why.

Until any of these companies start making dirt cheap hardware to compete on price AND features with x86 servers, and offer at least gratis OS and compilers, they will all fail.

If they do not realize it soon and mend their ways, it is only a matter of time before the market takes care of it.

Tick-tack, tick-tack, tick-tack... the clock is ticking...

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757565)

Why would one buy exorbitantly priced POWER servers to run GNU/Linux on, when one can easily do that on any x86 "good enough", dirt-cheap server?

For example:
for $1,800, I configured a 32GB, intel E3 octocore system with 4TB of storage to run SmartOS on. It is more than adequate to run fully virtualized Solaris 10 instances (which it does), and SmartOS zones. Why would I spend anywhere from 3x to 5x the amount of money to buy Snoracle server?

Before you make the argument that the enterprise needs, wants, bla bla bla... financial institutions and few government organizations are the only customers left which are like that; for the rest of the world, dirt cheap intel servers running "Web 2.0" have put all these vendors on thin ice. Why else has IBM decided to sell off its x86 business? Where are HP-UX servers now, how much market share do they have? Snoracle? Which Snoracle?

One cannot compete in the market charging exorbitant prices "because it's Snoracle" or "nobody ever got fired for selectin IBM" or "this HP Itanic server has top-of-the-line clock crystal, pay up!" - that does not fly any more.

What that does is prevents the bringing up of the next generation of system administrators and developers; people tend to pick that which they know, and they know it because the barrier to entry decides who lives and who dies in the computer market.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (4, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about a month ago | (#47757769)

I think you're either a) mistaking me for someone who is invested in seeing these companies succeed, or b) trying to pick a fight. So I will answer this without addressing the manner in which you made your comments and just cut right to your message.

One cannot compete in the market charging exorbitant prices "because it's Snoracle" or "nobody ever got fired for selectin IBM" or "this HP Itanic server has top-of-the-line clock crystal, pay up!" - that does not fly any more.

Unfortunately it does in a lot of places, and here's why:

When your $1800 box goes down, and you've long left the company, where do I go to get enterprise support for it? How do I google for "How to fix Jeff's SmartOS whitebox"? When the CEO is coming at me like a steam roller because our online order entry system is down, where do I point the finger? THAT'S what your $1800 box doesn't provide.

The other scenario is what happens when I want something that has a supported (as in see paragraph above) set of hardware that needs to push tens of millions of iops over infiniband to a dedicated storage array for that box? If I'm spending 50k for a storage array and 20k for switching hardware, you'd better believe I'm going to throw an extra 2k at a server that Oracle or IBM says is certified to work with that equipment and they release-test the drivers. Not everyone is cool with a few commodity hard drives in a RAID 6 because it won't keep up with the database volumes. Yes, for 90% of the worlds buzzfeeds out there serving up dumb top10 lists or sites that survive on crosslinking other things that's fine, but there will always be specialty needs and high volume customers, and that's where these places will find their niche.

I'm not saying that dirt cheap intel boxes aren't the way to go for most cases [and that's exactly why IBM and Oracle struggle to stay competitive], but CEOs think their business is the most important thing in the world. Jeff in IT isn't nearly as good at convincing them that he's got their back as the smooth talking guy with the Oracle polo that rolls up in the Mercedes to golf with him.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758575)

"When your $1800 box goes down, and you've long left the company, where do I go to get enterprise support for it?"

The question of a lone box in the corner is non sequitur, because most of the industry has switched to running a lot of such generic boxes either in some form of clustering or failover.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (4, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about a month ago | (#47758839)

1: "The vendor says we needed a DB2 box. Their requirements mandate a certain level of IO performance that doesn't fit within our clustering/standardization scheme. IBM has an off-the-shelf solution for $25k plus 5k/year support, or we can get Jeff to slap something together for $15k."
2: "What's our business case?"
1: "A $300,000 piece of software that runs our ERP system."
2: "What if it goes down?"
1: "If it goes down, we lose $1m a day in revenue."
2: "The IBM thing sounds good to me. I'll have the approvals to you tomorrow."

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759067)

Again you too are proving my point: financial industry.

Yes, they run (less and less) AIX on POWER, replaced by Snoracle and more and more replaced by RHEL on DELL or hp.

But most places are decidedly not in the financial industry or the military or the government, which are all niche markets. I have argued this point vehemently with people inside of Sun Microsystems; they dismissed it and I caused a scandal. Where is Sun now? Oooohhh, I know! It was peddled around until uncle Larry bought it.

Most of the market is not financial industry. That is a niche market. (Disclaimer: I work in the financial industry. Prior to that, I worked for a major information technloogy equipment vendor in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to that, I worked in the software industry, and prior to that, I worked in the financial industry.)

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765663)

...or aviation, logistics, manufacturing, mining, maritime or any other industry requiring nice and tight HA but I guess those sectors only add up to trillions upon trillions of dollars so it's fairly niche...

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759373)

1: "The vendor says we needed a DB2 box. Their requirements mandate a certain level of IO performance that doesn't fit within our clustering/standardization scheme. IBM has an off-the-shelf solution for $25k plus 5k/year support, or we can get Jeff to slap something together for $2k."
2: "What's our business case?"
1: "A $30,000 piece of software that runs our ERP system."
2: "What if it goes down?"
1: "If it goes down, Jane in HR writes notes by hand until we power up the spare we can afford for another $2k."
2: "The IBM thing sounds too pricey to me. I'll have the approvals to you tomorrow."

Hint: Most companies fall in my example, not yours.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

jerpyro (926071) | about a month ago | (#47759505)

Yes, for 90% of the worlds buzzfeeds out there serving up dumb top10 lists or sites that survive on crosslinking other things that's fine, but there will always be specialty needs and high volume customers, and that's where these places will find their niche.

RTFC. You still seem to have a problem that I mention it's only 10% of the cases where Oracle/IBM add value.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759905)

Hint: Most companies fall in my example, not yours.

Truth be told, there is really no way to prove where most companies fall; that is precisely why people debate matters - any time there is no clear evidence of one or the other, there will be a debate.

We are however without any doubt observing the effects. Now, you might argue with me that the effect is not stemming from this but from that - however that does not make the state of affairs magically go away.

Get one's head bashed into a concrete wall enough times, unless one is mentally ill, one will eventually learn that when one sees a concrete wall, one should not have one's head bashed into it; I did.

Same thing with this POWER8 nonsense here. Either the price goes down to compete with x86, or they fail, like everyone else who did the exact same thing before them failed. In order not to fail, they have to drop the price into oblivion. It really is that simple.

History determines the winner.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760655)

IBM has an off-the-shelf solution for $25k plus 5k/year support..."

Get real.

If it's as critical as that strawman (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47762035)

If it goes down you have another $15k box or a cheaper on that can get by, just like you would with the $25k box when you don't want to wait a day for the IBM guy to turn up, three hours to teach the IBM guy about the IBM system and another day for parts to be flown in.

There are plenty of good reasons but it's not as cut and dried as the post above. The biggest reason is capability - if the cheap box does not handle the job adequately or the architecture/platform is what you need to run your stuff then the expensive option can be more viable in the long run.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759337)

The fact that you criticize his $1800 example with a $70k one is ludicrous. If you bring the $70k "solution" to 90% of business when an $1800 box might do the job for six months, you have failed.

For a slashdot car analogy, you are shouting at a Honda Fit owner using his car for grocery runs when everyone knows a Mac truck and dual tractor trailor hitch is better at hauling produce.

Also, Raid6? All the downside of Raid5, but with the latency hit of an additional parity check, which will also likely fail during the rebuild. People who care about data have backups. People who care about downtime have Raid10 and/or ZFS like systems.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (2)

jerpyro (926071) | about a month ago | (#47759475)

There was no criticism. That's what you (and he) fail to understand. What I'm saying is there's a niche market for these guys and they shouldn't be written off as all bad. Because I pointed out a use case for the hardware for ~10-20% of the cases out there.

For a slashdot car analogy, you are shouting at a Honda Fit owner using his car for grocery runs when everyone knows a Mac truck and dual tractor trailor hitch is better at hauling produce.

For a slashdot car analogy, I'm saying "Stop trying to make multiple runs to home depot packing 30 yards of mulch in the trunk of your Honda Fit when you can just rent a dump truck and save on gas and effort." You don't go to home depot every week, you go three times a year. The Honda Fit is fine for the groceries. Stop a) putting words in my mouth and b) assuming that I'm saying everyone needs a dump truck.

Regarding the RAID6 thing -- I have seen plenty of shops that try to run databases on RAID5/6 and yes it isn't pretty, but that's how they do.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

SJ (13711) | about 2 months ago | (#47763189)

Regarding the RAID6 thing -- I have seen plenty of shops that try to run databases on RAID5/6 and yes it isn't pretty, but that's how they do.

GAH!

This annoys me greatly. There is nothing inherently wrong with RAID5/6 as long as your use is within certain bounds. This sort of thinking gets us stuck with a glorified address book that requires a MySQL Cluster instead of a simple Sqlite DB.

Set your requirements and your budget, and then find a system that works within those two limits.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 months ago | (#47764475)

if they're running databases on RAID5/6, they're idiots and shouldn't be near any keyboard..

Re:That ship has already sailed. (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47763123)

Unfortunately, while it's true that CEOs may think that they're getting something special from IBM, those days are long gone.

I worked at a Fortune company in the 1990s with 2 IBM mainframes, but getting OS/2 support was a lost cause. Even when IBM managed to dig up someone competent, they'd leave IBM within months.

I've been working on a project for 2 years that's supposed to work on an iSeries machine, but for some reason the database is really crawling for network clients. IBM finally put someone on the case back in March, but has only half-heartedly helped. Still nothing usable.

The sale rep may roll up in a Mercedes, but the sad truth is that the actual work has been handed off to the cheapest people they could hire. It was really frustrating back in 1996 when I could easily find help for Linux, which had no major corporate supporter at the time, than I could get help for OS/2, with allegedly the support of one of the largest computer companies in the world.

I believe in paying for quality, but where's the quality?

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757947)

for $1,800, I configured a 32GB, intel E3 octocore system with 4TB of storage to run SmartOS on.

Considering there's never been a 8-core E3 and they're single socket, I highly doubt that.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758815)

Do not get blindsided and let the big picture pass you by. SmartOS reports eight processors, whether they are on one or two chips is really irrelevant here. What is relevant is that unless POWER (and any other such non-mass product) does not become dirt cheap and compete not only on features but on price with x86, it will fail. Again.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Junta (36770) | about a month ago | (#47759461)

SmartOS reports eight processors

So you have a quad-core with hyperthreading.

But in general I agree with the sentiment. I do think comparing random whitebox with the big POWER boxes fails to capture the whole reality, but it's easy enough to note that alongside that random whitebox there are enterprise grade suppliers using the common architecture. A person able to slap together a whitebox x86 may not be as useful for business continuity on his own left to those decisions, but those same skillsets can be employed toward an enterprise solution while staying in the x86 family. POWER does not scale down yet, and that is one of IBM's missions. I'm skeptical they will succeed, but at least they acknowledge ecosystem as a key need.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758477)

The problem is that POWER8 machines are "neither fish nor fowl."

They are not priced anywhere near x86 servers, so that a company wanting POWER's security [1] would have to justify the cost of not just the hardware, but the licensing and support. AIX costs per LPAR on a machine, even the VIO servers.

On the other hand, they don't have the abilities like the zSeries for executing the same instructions in lock-step, Parallel Sysplex, and other items. These features are what banks pay the big dollars for.

Would I say that POWER8 sucks? I'd say it is better than x86 (or technically amd64) in a lot of ways. However, for the past decade, the trend has been to move away from AIX/POWER, Solaris/SPARC, and other vendors to x86 operating systems for the economy of scale they provide. I also like the fact that POWER7 and newer have "turbo core" mode, which disables half the cores on each chip, but allows the remaining cores to use the cache of its neighbor, and be clocked faster. This is an important feature when it comes to licensing under Sybase, Oracle, or other vendors. Of course, AIX is not flashy, but it runs, runs well, and easily locked down (trustchk comes to mind.)

I don't like the fact that x86 is the only choice (well except for ARM), but the market has moved to "cheap and good enough", which x86 provides.

I would point a finger at IBM right now. They have jettisoned everything but zSeries and POWER boxes. Just 10 years ago, you could buy a complete solution from them, stem to stern, routers, switching, everything. Now, that is difficult.

What they really need to do is start getting back in server rooms. Make TSM and Oracle a lot cheaper so people adopt/re-adopt. Get TSM to be a lot less of a pain to work with than NetBackup, and get that so even SMB and even SOHO places use it. This is how BRU got its niche in the world (as it was distributed for years with IRIX and on a commercial disk with RedHat.)

[1]: IBM's PowerVM is decently secure, provided your HMCs/SDMCs are on a separate network segment as well as physically secured, so you can leave the hscroot account the default password (abcd1234).

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1, Interesting)

armanox (826486) | about a month ago | (#47757621)

They probably will, much to my (any many others) dismay. The supported Linux options will not go over well with a lot of people I'm willing to bet. I'm seeing enterprises shying away from the abomination that is RHEL 7 because of systemd.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757681)

RHEL6 runs on POWER7, POWER7+ and POWER8.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a month ago | (#47757849)

Abomination is right. All the new kids and their systemd, reinventing that which was not broken (and was still portable!)

Try doing an non-kickstart installation to see the abomination in all of its glory. Whoever does the UI at redhat should be shot out of a cannon, sufficiently that they land somewhere around the Canonical offices. I've never seen a more disjointed, confusing clusterfuck in my life, and I've used Solaris 7, Windows 8, and Suse 9

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757647)

My bet is that they market it as a Linux box with more cores and a better storage subsystem than you can get out of commodity hardware -- there are a fair number of places that would pay for that assuming that they didn't have a predatory licensing model (like the one they use for Websphere and DB2).

That is *exactly* how they've been marketing POWER servers for a while now.

AIX is an option if you need it, but lots of their customers run Linux on POWER, and IBM isn't oblivious to this.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757669)

They do support Linux on the hardware. They have since about POWER4 or 5.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | about a month ago | (#47757989)

You've been able to run Linux on Power/ppc64 for over 10 years now.
Even Ubuntu runs on Power now.

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/group/tpl [ibm.com]

Only valid for POWER4/+ for the most part. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 months ago | (#47762019)

If you've not followed things, they've tried to drop anything below POWER4 for support. Perfectly fine POWER3-II's get arbitrary cuts.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

WolfWalker545 (960367) | about a month ago | (#47760541)

IBM sells Power servers that are only licensed to run Linux for cheaper than the same basic hardware with AIX licenses. I currently administer Power6 and 7 servers, I've got a terabyte of physical RAM in each of the Power7 770's, although not all of it is turned on right now, with over forty logical partitions on each server, primarily running Oracle databases. The biggest barrier against more Linux on Power for my main client is that Oracle won't support Oracle on Linux on Power, otherwise this client would be buying some of the dedicated Linux Power servers. Thirty cores licensed per server, six more available for capacity on demand activation. Some partitions have dedicated ethernet and fibre channel cards, the smaller ones use logical host ethernet adapters and virtual fibre channel adapters (Power8 eliminates the LHEA's, so will have to use virtual ethernet adapters). Many hardware repair operations can be conducted with the main chassis online, especially if there is sufficient capacity to redistribute load to additional enclosures, and if you license the full spectrum for PowerVM, you can migrate partitions between Power systems fairly seamlessly, much like VMWare. Quite honestly, AIX is expensive, but it's easier to administer than Linux in an enterprise environment, there are some areas where Linux still needs some improvement (growing the root volume, for example, with root on SAN, I can grow my root volume group simply by expanding the storage on the array side and running "chvg -g rootvg" and the new storage is recognized, growing a filesystem is simply "chfs -a size=+newstorage /filesystem").

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a month ago | (#47761165)

Why wouldn't they just support Linux on the new hardware?

They do - well, if you put it in an LPAR ;)

Re:That ship has already sailed. (4, Interesting)

TellarHK (159748) | about a month ago | (#47757619)

As of last night, I actually have a license from IBM to run V5R2 on an older AS/400 system I purchased through Craigslist. I prodded the giant, it woke up just a little tiny bit and managed to decide that giving a hobbyist a license for an obsolete version of the OS/400 platform wasn't going to kill anyone.

It's my hope that I'll be able to help prove that there are more people like me, and indeed, far more talented and curious than me, to show IBM that there's some value to be had for them in opening up access to at least older platforms to enthusiastic hobbyists. The AS/400 platform is an incredibly neat system, and it shows that IBM really does have a niche that nobody else can touch. I've never used AIX, but would love to check that out as well. I hope that some time in the future, I'm not a one-off case when it comes to hobbyists getting an actual license.

But your comment was well timed for me, because I wonder if IBM might be coming around as an institution and realizing that the mindshare gap they have is a problem that it's worth investing a little bit of time and effort in fixing.

Gah, I really wish this article had come up after I had been awake for a while at least. Time for coffee and letting the page refresh in case I can organize my thoughts just a little tiny bit more coherently.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

dwywit (1109409) | about a month ago | (#47760999)

Neat! I wish there were more second-hand AS400 boxes in Oz. It's a small market with limited vendors, so prices are out of my reach. Would you mind sharing the cost of the hardware and the licence? Ballpark figures are fine.

I'd buy an entry-level machine just for the chance to play with OS400 again.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47761383)

The 400 is the most thoroughly thought out, well-specified system I've ever used. Once you understand the architecture you also start to understand that there is a powerful culture at work there too. Some of the rules of that culture include:

1). The customers look to IBM to provide leadership. And with certain notable exceptions, IBM has supplied it;
2). The 400 culture values conformity in the technical sense. Going around system provided services or standard facilities is definitely off-side and discouraged;
3). Maintenance contracts, tech groups, professional networks are all standard parts of the scene. The 400 is marketed at businesses and the personnel running these boxes are often old-school IT types, attitudinally speaking;
4). Successful 400 analysts quickly learn that fitting in to the culture offers a lot of support and is the standard route to success. Rebels will quit in frustration.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

armanox (826486) | about a month ago | (#47757655)

Actually, GCC runs just fine on these systems.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month ago | (#47758059)

I've seen pricing on Power8 systems they are in line with someone like Dell for rack mounted servers. No they aren't priced out of the market. And BTW the Linux on Power is where they are mentioning the advantages of their virtualization.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758939)

Please provide links with pricing.

Also, having something comparable to DELL in pricing is not saying much these days - DELL has become expensive as well. For the price of one DELL server one can easily put together two or three blackbox servers, from motherboard to chassis, made 100% by intel.

By the way, the old information technology adage goes:

"when one buys DELL, one goes to hell."

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month ago | (#47759051)

Please provide links with pricing.

IBM doesn't do that. They should be more transparent but they aren't. They want you ordering through a partner or for larger customers through the sales channel. There is some pricing on the website but the real prices are 20-30% lower.

DELL has become expensive as well. For the price of one DELL server one can easily put together two or three blackbox servers, from motherboard to chassis, made 100% by intel.

Not really relevant. The question was Power vs. x86 not generic vs. name brand.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759265)

Again drives my point home: barrier to entry is really high. Welcome to the "Web 2.0" world, which is where the volume is these days, and consequently most of the money.

If one cannot order it cheaply and easily on the web ala Amazon shopping experience, who is going to bother to go through a reseller? That was the model 40 years ago! Kids today do not bother, I am an old fart who dealt with both resellers and vendors directly and I would not bother either, I completely get where they are coming from.

Why would I order from a reseller who, by his inherent nature, will charge me markup and thereby drive the already overpriced cost even higher? What benefit does a reseller offer me, especially when I still have to go through the vendor for OS and hardware support?

Why would I pay the vendor or the reseller higher prices when I can automate hundreds of thousands of servers on x86, in a lights out management datacenters across the globe, to the point of throwaway systems?

One system dies, they are so dirt cheap just take it out and put another one in; do not even bother repairing it - straight into a trash container, plug the cable in, have the server PXE boot himself, install and configure himself, rejoin the cluster and plough on.

Why would I want to pay exorbitant costs and jump through hoops to do that?

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month ago | (#47759649)

Welcome to the "Web 2.0" world, which is where the volume is these days, and consequently most of the money.

IBM makes 85% of their money from fortune 100. From there it falls off fast. The money and especially the margin is at the top.

If one cannot order it cheaply and easily on the web ala Amazon shopping experience, who is going to bother to go through a reseller? That was the model 40 years ago! Kids today do not bother

What kid gets to pick the hardware infrastructure for his company of any size?

Why would I pay the vendor or the reseller higher prices when I can automate hundreds of thousands of servers on x86, in a lights out management datacenters across the globe, to the point of throwaway systems?

The prices aren't higher and the system outperforms thus lowering total cost. This is the whole "why quality saves money" issue that comes up in every industry.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a month ago | (#47761221)

If one cannot order it cheaply and easily on the web ala Amazon shopping experience, who is going to bother to go through a reseller? That was the model 40 years ago!

Unless you meant AWS or similar, err, WTF?

If you buy any actual server iron at most companies, you get to play with an RFQ/RFP, untangle the resulting bids, and deal with the PO process, courtesy of Accounts Payable (and Lord help you if you try and circumvent that!)

Seriously - a VAR is usually the only way to make comprehensible sense out of such a purchase, because usually you're not only buying the metal, but you're buying VMWare/Oracle/Whatever licenses to go along with it as well (and if you're dumb enough to do Windows and don't have an SA/EA, you get to buy that too).

Shit, man - the time saved by having a VAR bundle that mess and bid against each other is *way* more than worth the hassle sometimes...

Re:That ship has already sailed. (1)

bored (40072) | about a month ago | (#47760651)

The pricing I saw a couple months ago didn't even approach what we are paying for our machines. Sure the machines in question _may_ have been ~30% faster but they cost literally 4x as much.

For customers buying larger Intel platform machines (4 sockets or more) the power8's are possibly competitive, but compared with the mid-range dual socket machines its wasn't even close.

Maybe IBM has adjusted the pricing since then, they keep telling me its going to be better than x86, but I have yet to see that for our use cases. Plus, I suspect that Intel will adjust their pricing in a few months if POWER is actually competitive. They have a habit of doing that. Just taking back the 4 socket "tax" they added a few years ago when AMD stopped being competitive will probably blow a hole in IBM's model.

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758681)

We're running jboss servers on both AIX and RHEL on Power7. We've just recently moved one app-server from RHEL on a 30 core x86 machine, because it didn't pack enough punch to reliably serve all users, to AIX. It's running smoothly in an LPAR never reaching it's entitled capacity of 32 Vcores. I think 4 Vcores ~= physical core of the quad CPU at the current settings.

All of our deployments and service scripts written in Perl and bash needed little adaption; mostly for the transition to ksh. Admitetly, had we taken it to RHEL on Power, the transition would have been even smoother, but who'd let a support subscription go to waste?

Long story short, everything you learn on linux even on a platform like a Raspberry pi can be put to use on AIX. The differences are easy to learn and are usually just a man page away from knowing them. Even if you rely on the GNU stack of shell tools, like let's say gawk, you can get them from repos like this one [perzl.org]

In other words, ignorance is not a bliss, when it comes to UNIX-worlds

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760095)

Debian uses a POWER8 machine as a Debian build host for their ppc64el port and from what I've heard the people who work with it, love it. Debian on PowerPC was always fun to use, and running it on monstrous server gear instead of buggy, outdated Macintoshes should only improve the experience.

If it takes you more than a week or two to pick up the hardware side of server maintenance, you're doing it wrong. "Drives go here, rails work like this, PSU goes here, RAM goes there, CPUs go over here and attach like that, and here's a couple of expansion slots. You connect this cable and press these buttons to enter the firmware setup mode."

Re:That ship has already sailed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760129)

You might have missed that they are no longer closed, and they are a lot cheaper than they used to be and in the
"low end" 2U "cloud" configs, actually competitive with Intel.

Workstations ? (5, Insightful)

psergiu (67614) | about a month ago | (#47757391)

Latest Power workstation had Power 5 CPUs. The should make a new workstation.

No workstations => No small computer labs => Weak interest for the OS/Hardware from sudents & hobyists => Future decline of sales in servers.

Look at HP & all the other commercial Unix vendors - decline in server sales is almost directly related with workstation unavailability in the past ~5 years.

Re:Workstations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757467)

Needs. Modded. Up.

Re:Workstations ? (3, Insightful)

ModernGeek (601932) | about a month ago | (#47757617)

Yeah, while the demand may be high right now because of large, existing customers, the ones working out of their homes, working out of small labs, and running small businesses (think of apple's roots) will eventually be the ones moving on to the larger challenges, and start working with medium-sized and then fortune-500 businesses.

Unless IBM thinks that people that come from big money, big data, and big education (think of uber) will be the ones to contend in this area.

This is classic IBM, and it will probably never go anywhere. If it does, it will be replaced by someone with the same vision as them, a tall wall between small and enterprise-grade businesses, people, education, and money. Who can blame them? It's very profitable.

Re:Workstations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760143)

Disclaimer: I work for IBM

Look at the new "cloud" offerings and 2U servers. In their Linux versions, they are open, you can run KVM or run bare metal,
and they are a lot cheaper. Also look at what's coming out of OpenPower, hint: there is a workstation among others.

Re:Workstations ? (1)

armanox (826486) | about a month ago | (#47757625)

Sun's certainly on that list too! I wish there was a current SPARC workstation.

SPARC, Power, MIPS, even Itanium. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757835)

While some might bash that last pick, the more platforms you have to work on, the more assumptions you can help expel from your code, in case future development goes in a direction you weren't expecting.

Just like all the 16/32 bit assumptions that broke during the migration to 32/64 bit systems, having mixed-architecture current generation hardware has innumerable benefits for ensuring cross platform compatibility and minimizing faulty assumptions or bad coding practices during development.

Re:Workstations ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757889)

IBM has licensed the POWER 8 CPU under a program called OpenPOWER. It being touted as being similar to ARM licensing. The last I saw, Tyan was planning to release an single socket POWER 8 ATX motherboard. http://www.enterprisetech.com/2014/04/28/inside-google-tyan-power8-server-boards/

Re:Workstations ? (2)

psergiu (67614) | about a month ago | (#47758877)

Yes, almost surely IBM won't alow AIX to run on those boards.
Linux can run on any old x86 cheapie - there's nothing useful to do with a Power 8 CPU running Linux:

- Are you able to learn something that can be applied to big-iron Enterprise IBM hardare ? No.
- Are you able to run any 3rd party commercial software on that Power8 Linux box ? No - most 3rd party Linux commercial software only provides x86 binaries. Sometimes ARM.
- Are you able to do the exactly same Linuxy things with a cheaper x86 machine ? Yes.

Yes, it's a new and exciting CPU, some hobyists will buy this - but for most of them, after a couple of months, the Tyan power 8 machine will remain unused or will be downgraded to a "seldom used server in the corner" as it's less usefull than a Raspberry Pi.

Re:Workstations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758081)

October shall be the month of the 4U Power server on the desktop! Who needs raised floors on a data center, when you can rest your rack on a high school table?

Re:Workstations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758437)

This. Infinitely this.

You'd think they would learn when even Apple left them for x86 hardware because they fell behind so hard.

You need to get a cheap install-base for your hardware if you ever intend actually getting a more advanced install base for future hardware.
Workstations are the simplest solution here.

Even if the workstation itself is weak as hell and they literally just dumb-terminal it up with a server rack. That can work. It has worked well for decades.
In fact, it can work considerably better these days compared to before due to the high bandwidths we have now.

IBM really need to get hard at it. They have fallen behind, and it hurts. They already let Cell die, which would have been great if they evolved it further. (the versions with the increased double precision and more memory would have been great!)

In the end, you have to think small before you can think big.
Bottom-up. Get smaller business in bed with you to help fund large ventures.
Going big and slowly falling on your ass after a few decades helps nobody.

Re:Workstations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759851)

Sigh, IBM walked away and told Apple where to go not they other way around. Apple has making too many demands for the little revenue they brought in. Learn from Apple? Please.

Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (1)

NReitzel (77941) | about a month ago | (#47757671)

Why go non-X86?

Well, gee, let's see what kind of viruses there are for PowerPC architecture now that Mac has gone Intel.

Uh... None?

If you're building a server farm, who cares about the architecture?

Now, having said that, I do agree with the comment that says there ought to be high-horsepower workstations available. Not all of us are Windoze Gamers. I work at a University and do a lot of SCF chemical simulations. That, my friends, takes guts. If I can't cram in additional CPU/GPU, it kind of leaves me out.

Re:Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (1)

wiggles (30088) | about a month ago | (#47757733)

You're an oddball if you're doing that kind of work.

In most modern IT departments, nobody does custom programming anymore. Solutions are purchased from software vendors, and 90% of those vendors write software for Intel platforms. The long tail uses Sun, IBM, or HP platforms, but those are getting more and more rare as the cost advantages commodity hardware outweigh the performance advantage of proprietary hardware. HP is exiting the business, Sun crashed and burned into an Oracle only platform. The only one left in the space is IBM.

Re:Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a month ago | (#47757911)

I think you underestimate just how much of your world still runs on PowerPC.

Re:Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759151)

Tablets and smartphones will soon or have already outpaced Desktop x86 PCs, which have always outpaced x86 Servers. None of that runs Power. XBox One switch ed over to x86 (hence no backwards compatibility with the 360). Most of the networking equipment I deal with runs Celeron processors. While there are a large number of PowerPC systems in the wild, the "everything else" is so much bigger.

Re:Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a month ago | (#47759713)

>While there are a large number of PowerPC systems in the wild, the "everything else" is so much bigger.

Bigger in numbers, but probably not criticality.

Re:Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757955)

In 2014 people still say "Windoze" unironically?

I guess it's expected for academics to be behind the times.

Performance of Power 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47757875)

I work in HPC and have had access to some Power 8 machines, both in pre-production and release. The CPUs are amazing beasts, but it is just not enough to make them competitive over cheap and good enough (Intel/AMD) CPUs. On top of that, for highly FP dependent calculations, the SMT8 mode of the chip doesn't give any performance over SMT4 because there's only 4 floating point units per core. Still core per core, it's much faster than the Power7, sure.

"2-socket system" (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a month ago | (#47757963)

Seeing the headline I almost skipped this one since IBM has such a tendency to build expectation and then under-deliver.

But since x86 is gone to Lenovo, I figured this one might be interesting. They might finally put out something I might need to know about - they might leverage their non-IBM-PC-encumbered mainboard designs to make something really compelling for disposable cloud computing and hire a few guys to make sure, say CentOS 7, is easy to deploy on it. I was reminded of the talk c. 1999 when IBM was going to setup Linux as an 'LPAR' (IIRC) and you could run 256 instances on one of their big-iron machines (this was when nobody was virtualizing anything and VMWare was still at Cornell).

I thought, "they might actually be coming out with a 4-U box with sixteen processors in it that a cloud provider could cost-justify vs. whitebox x86 pizza boxes and offer management advantages, or maybe a blade system that would make it easy to deploy a compute cluster with 96 processors on a shelf and a tuned-assembly library for HPC." IBM has the means to do all of those things and there's a tremendous market for them. Finally, without the x86 albatross, it's POWER's time to shine.

"2-socket system".

IBM POWER - disappointing the industry since 1989.

Re:"2-socket system" (1)

trampel (464001) | about a month ago | (#47758497)

I'm not sure about what they mean by "socket", but I think the smallest Power-8 system has 8 cores, going up to 24.

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758819)

Additionally, with SMT8, the 24way POWER8 server can run 192 simultaneous threads.

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759235)

Yes and a higher end Intel E7 server can run 240 threads (but on 120 real cores).

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759275)

Yes and a higher end Intel E7 server can run 240 threads (but on 120 real cores).

And a higher end POWER7 can run 1024 threads (SMT4) with 256 real cores.

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759829)

POWER7 is about 10-20% more powerfull than E7 but is not competitive against E7 v2, it isn't relevant the number of cores or multithreading, maybe POWER8 can go ahead again but right now Intel is fighting in the performance per watt against ARM not in the raw performace, right now an 8 socket E7 v2 with 12TB of memory is enough for 99% of workloads.

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758869)

Finally, without the x86 albatross, it's POWER's time to shine.

That's not how it was working. The POWER systems could do whatever they wanted with impunity. The x86 group actually was forced to back off certain capabilities that were perceived as 'too close' to POWER high end capability. Similarly on price, there was the pressure that if they sold too low a price, it would detract too much from POWER. There was an ongoing illiusion that IBM x86 offerings being kept on a leash was meaningful in curtailing the erosion of the POWER market, even as HP, Dell, et all went to town. POWER suffered and made IBM x86 suffer alongside them.

Of this particular split, expect the x86 products to ultimately come out better on the whole. Recent POWER initiatives are born out of desperation rather than a sense of no longer needing to preserve the x86 segment (IBM would have been all too happy for x86 segment to be destroyed at any time). There is a whole lot of pricing headroom in the scheme of things Lenovo can cut into before even renegotiating a single supplier relationship or laying off a single employee (though I'm sure rather large layoffs will come too).

Re:"2-socket system" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759001)

"2-socket system".

IBM POWER - disappointing the industry since 1989.

Their IBM Power 795 servers have 32 sockets. What makes you think they won't eventually release similar hardware for Power 8?

Re:"2-socket system" (2)

Junta (36770) | about a month ago | (#47759657)

a 4-U box with sixteen processors in it that a cloud provider could cost-justify

As virtualization became 'cool', people said 'look how many instances you can cram on these gigantic boxes'. This quickly became 'how many instances am I going to lose if this goes down' or 'how many do I have to live migrate to service this thing?'. The cost advantages of scale with a larger box are quickly offset by practical issues. As such, if you need that much memory in a single system, those sort of boxes are still very valued (in-memory databases and some particular sorts of modeling for example). If the workload naturally fits into more nodes of smaller size, it frequently makes sense to opt for the higher node count. There is of course different break points depending on judgement calls, but most places seem to think of two sockets as about the sweet spot.

Re:"2-socket system" (1)

bored (40072) | about a month ago | (#47760901)

If the workload naturally fits into more nodes of smaller size, it frequently makes sense to opt for the higher node count. There is of course different break points depending on judgement calls, but most places seem to think of two sockets as about the sweet spot.

That describes the problem I work on, the throughput scales pretty nice as the machine size grows, but the costs of the larger machines grow much faster than their performance. So, it is far more cost effective to ship a few 2 socket machine with higher clocked processors than try to cram it all into one or two large machines.

But! While the throughput of the larger machines scales, their latency does not. In fact for the latency sensitive portions of our application we are far better off with smaller machines with faster ram, faster clocked CPU's , and closer IO busses. There are points where its actually impossible to buy better latency than we get for just a couple grand in our mid-range machine.

2 sockets, but more threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47761697)

That 2 socket system is 12 cores per socket. Each core has 8 SMT threads so it looks like 96 logical processors to an OS. It's bigger than you think, but how those 96 threads compete with the latest 2 or 4 socket, 15 core Intel sockets that have 2 way hyperthreading remains to be seen in real world applications.

As for deployment, you can buy Linux only versions of these systems that run IPMI (rather than IBM's proprietary HMC protocol) and a custom Linux KVM install. So, it should be a mostly transparent drop-in for cloud providers, other than the need to boot / install Power linux images rather than x86.

Jobs law of tech headlines. In short, maybe. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a month ago | (#47758315)

"We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose."

This is more universally true than a lot of people are willing to let on.

Can IBM Power 8 actually take on x86? Or has that ship already sailed?

They don't need to take on Intel and x86. They just need to make a profit on each system sold.

I seriously don't understand why the tech common wisdom doesn't understand this very basic concept of business logic.

Re:Jobs law of tech headlines. In short, maybe. (1)

wannabgeek (323414) | about a month ago | (#47758743)

They don't need to take on Intel and x86. They just need to make a profit on each system sold.

You do realize that these things are not like a boutique where each unit is independent, right? They have to sell x million to break even and more millions to make decent profits out of that.

And, even then they still have to compete with Intel & x86, to keep those sales from drying up, so they can keep the business alive for the next year and the year after...

Re:Jobs law of tech headlines. In short, maybe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47758991)

The development expense associated with these things is absolutely massive. Without a large market to hold it up, it's useless.

This is why IBM absolutely needs an obscene gross margin to play at all in the business. Their net margin on this front is pretty modest in spite of their huge gross margin due to their need to pay to even have a single box available.

So yes, they have to take on x86 because the only way for them to grow to a market suitable to sustain that cost is at the expense of x86 market share. Their niche market is simply getting too small to support the cost. They are emboldened by ARM's success in the mobile market and think just repeating the play is going to suffice. They also have identified some logical partners who are estranged by Intel locking in more and more of the platform (GPU, networking, etc) as viable ways to make their platform work. The challenge being that ARM caught Intel with their pants down in a market Intel wasn't really paying attention to and was never a big player in. Intel has a large focus on the datacenter and an established foothold. Regardless of hype around datacenter transformation, the market is actually pretty change averse on the whole. POWER's only realistic in is undercutting on price, which means pitiful margins and Intel able to respond pretty much immediately given their fantastically better manufacturing situation before customers figure out how to port their applications.

Re:Jobs law of tech headlines. In short, maybe. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 months ago | (#47761953)

But the subtext to "taking on Intel" is the idea that IBM can't carve out a niche for itself and that *any* market is a zero sum game where someone has to lose out.

I say that's goddamned hogwash.

Re:Jobs law of tech headlines. In short, maybe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759565)

They just need to make a profit on each system sold.

I seriously don't understand why the tech common wisdom doesn't understand this very basic concept of business logic.

There is almost nobody left familiar with the technology. Kids pick Linux on x86 because that is what they learned on their PC-bucket at home and so that is what they feel most comfortable with. There are very few masters to teach them, and even then, the hardware and other UNIX operating systems to teach them on are very few and far between these days.

All these vendors priced themselves out of the market. Actually vendors do not exist; "managers" and "pricing committees" priced UNIX and the hardware UNIX ran on out of the market.

One thing I realized is that high social intelligence is not the same as regular intelligence needed to develop insights and solve problems. This is why "managers" will never be managers; this is why they cause such things to happen.

It's probably like the new SPARCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47759329)

...mostly useful if you want many TBs of shared coherent memory, or have legacy needs.

x86 scales pretty high now (you can get 3 TB, 60 cores, SSDs from a commodity vendor), and when you scale out you have better interconnect options (Infiniband), and of course distributed systems software's come a ways, so bless you if you really need it.

But the cloudy cloudy cloudy cloud (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a month ago | (#47760207)

Roll out a machine with 128 of these and tell prospective customers they can implement 20,000 virtual instances IN THE CLOUD.

ibm ?? Hello?? Anyone there ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760395)

Man I'd love to know if anyone from ibm POWER is reading this thread !!!

Re:ibm ?? Hello?? Anyone there ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760587)

Actually, yes. But while some good points are made here and there, most is the same recycled speech that I've heard since POWER5 from people who think that their raspberry pi are the future of cluster computing and that do not have an idea regarding POWER pricing (especially in the entry-level systems) and capabilities.

Surely there are challenges, and POWER is the only one left in the high-end, server processor market for a reason. I believe that they can be overcome and that giving up on POWER is not only bad for IBM, it's bad for the computing industry as a whole.

They are gonna need it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47760617)

because the SPARC M7 looks great. It has lots of acceleration in silicon to speed up database queries and encryption.
Oracle are claiming that companies are switched back from Intel boxes to large engineered SPARC systems.

Ubuntu is a Linux vendor !!? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a month ago | (#47760727)

Bounty hunt for IBM: try to find the word 'Linux' on the Ubuntu web pages.

Re:Ubuntu is a Linux vendor !!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47761357)

"About Ubuntu"
Wow, that was hard.

Will ISV's fill er up? Hard/firmware is ready! (1)

See Attached (1269764) | about 2 months ago | (#47761949)

This has huge legs if enterprise level software vendors complie everything for PPC (ahh like Oracle!?!?!). The hardware is great in that its monitored to the deepest levels. Low level checks confirm that the platform is stable for the OS.. Who has had to try to debug a low level Whitebox issue with a memory error, or even main-stream box with a spurious power supply issue? The Benefit of the SMT 2-4-8 will be interesting to head of when coupled with a low latency storage like SSD or flash arrays. Anyway, its great to have options! The cost value will be interesting when you skip the VMWare layer, and bundle in the OS. Should be a great platform if the ISV's pick it up. Can anyone comment on the completeness of PPC vs x86 OS distributions?

IBM's back to no-mortal-can-afford-it platforms. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 months ago | (#47761999)

Now that IBM's let Lenovo bastardize their x86 platforms, that only leaves the stuff that no normal person could hope to afford - POWER.

Perhaps they could come up with some entry point that doesn't have EOL written all over it.

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