BLOG: IBM Announces Power10 based Power System Enterprise 1080

September 8th, 2021 BLOG: IBM Announces Power10 based Power System Enterprise 1080

Ron Gordon
Director » Power Systems

IBM provides leadership in scale-up systems and hybrid cloud.

In August 2019 IBM announced the Power10 technology at Hot Chips and it was viewed as a technology breakthrough. Today, September 8, 2021, IBM announced the Power System Enterprise class 1080, based on the Power10 technology, meeting demands of the current IT marketplace. With the Power10 technology and the E1080 IBM has provided leadership in areas including security, performance, reduction in energy consumption, high capacity, and new usage terms to support the private cloud and hybrid cloud environment. For mission critical ISV applications such as SAP HANA and Epic, the new E1080 offers the muscle – the capacity and performance – to meet their resource intensive demands.

Let’s look at the enhancements made to each of these technology areas:

  • Security: The E1080 now incorporates memory encryption as a standard always-on feature. This feature combined with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) capability of hardware Secure Boot advances “system with hardware built-in security” to a new level.
  • Performance: POWER technology has consistently improved performance from generation to generation. The Power10 15 core processor now supports up to 1 TB/s of intersocket and internode connection, a new memory interface that supports 410 GB/s memory to cache transfers, larger caches, a new buffered serially accessed DDIMM, PCIe Gen5 capability, and improved RAS over POWER9. The overall performance is seen to be increased by approximately 30% over POWER9 while maintaining the binary compatibility for which Power Systems are famous. When the performance is combined with the high capacity, new cost savings and capabilities become available. The IBM Power Systems 1080 provide industry leadership in Enterprise Class Computing including:
  • Running application code with fewer cores to lower the license and support costs generally based on per core usage of most ISV’s
  • The ability to support higher demands on a single server to support growth, mergers and acquisitions, and systems consolidations
  • In-memory data bases (e.g. SAP HANA) can be implemented on a single frame and support the transactional needs and growth requirements

Overall, these capabilities lower the cost of IT infrastructure and reduce administration.

Improved Energy Efficiency: One might expect the required energy to increase in order to support higher performance cores, PCIe Gen5, DDIMMs, and 18 billion electronic components on a single processor. However, based on advanced IBM Power10 technology and focus on energy reduction, the actual energy footprint is 30% less than POWER9-based systems.

High Capacity: The Power10-based Enterprise 1080 offers systems with up to 64 TB of high-speed buffered memory that is critical to performance needs. The “building block” design remains similar to the IBM Power Systems 980, with up to four 5U Nodes (other words used here are CEC, Drawer, or Building Block) where customers can start with one Node and grow to four as demands increase. The Power10 15 core processor allows a four-node system to have 240 cores of Power10 processing capability. There are also 10 core variant (3.75 GHz) and 12 core variant (4.15 GHz) processors to provide lower costs or higher GHz performance while the 15 core (4.0 GHz) processor provides the maximum scale. Coupled with IBM PowerVM and its highly efficient scaling of VMs, consolidations and single system workloads can be achieved such that complete application requirements (e.g., dev/test, security tools, databases, web interfaces, etc.) can be implemented on a single frame.

Private and Hybrid Cloud Support: With the advent and tremendous growth of Cloud Computing due to corporate directions of “go to the cloud”, it quickly became apparent that the enterprise mission critical workloads could not always be supported totally in the cloud. Costs were higher than expected, performance needs and SLAs could not always be met, scale-up/scale-down as needed to save costs did not always happen, and many industry standards and regulations for security and back-ups could not be met. The Cloud trend today is that of a hybrid cloud approach which architects an on-premises cloud-like environment network connected to a cloud environment and the placement and interactions of workload components are based on performance, SLA, and security needs. Based on recent survey data, IDC forecasts that 50% of applications will remain on premises and 90% of organizations will undertake a multi-cloud environment utilizing several cloud providers and on premises resources.1 Applications that are mission critical, require secure data management and retention, necessitate frequent updates, and/or need high availability may not be best suited for the cloud. But areas like dev/test, DR, data archive, and smaller or non-mission critical workloads can be satisfied in the cloud. So today, the hybrid cloud combination of on-premises workloads with connections and synergy with the Cloud is becoming the optimal choice.

With the Power System 1080, IBM has created the best of cloud and private cloud to provide the hybrid cloud solution. The Power Systems in the IBM Cloud, aka IBM Power VS, offers the ability to do DR, dev/test, selected production workloads, data archive, etc. running on AIX, IBMi and Linux in a Cloud environment. Through a capability called Enterprise Pools 2.0, the on prem environment creates a private cloud landscape that supports dynamic scaling up and down (almost transparently) for mission critical applications while providing access to the Power VS capabilities in the IBM Cloud that are public cloud centric. This optimizes costs while ensuring the security and performance of an on premises controlled and managed environment of both compute and data.



With this new announcement of the Power10-based IBM Power System 1080, IBM has created the perfect enterprise class system to support mission critical workloads and is providing the Hybrid Cloud direction that corporations require to keep their business responsive and differentiated in these competitive times.


Looking ahead – Scale-Out Server Roadmap

Historically, IBM offers a range of servers to support scale-out and scale-up needs. The IBM Power System 1080 demonstrates IBM’s commitment and leadership in scale-up systems. I look forward to the IBM Power announcement of the mid-range and scale-out servers to support additional market segments and customer needs. I foresee that these systems will also utilize the same Power10 technology and that all the features I discussed above, but on a possibly reduced scale, will be available to support the cost and clustering needs of many IBM and Mainline customers.


More Information

It has taken IBM 4 years since inception and most likely over 300 people to develop the IBM Power System 1080. That equates to approximately 7.5 million person hours. Obviously, this 30 minute blog has left out a few details. To learn more about the IBM Power System 1080 please contact your Mainline representative directly or click here to contact us with any questions.


1 IDC Expects 2021 to Be the Year of Multi-Cloud as Global COVID-19 Pandemic Reaffirms Critical Need for Business Agility; IDC Cloud Pulse 1Q20: Survey Findings


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