IBM announces Nutanix/Power System Hyperconverged Offering

July 31st, 2017

Ron Gordon
Director – Power Systems

IBM Power Systems IBM Champion 2017

Hyperconverged systems may be a new concept for some, so let me start with a definition of hyperconverged systems. The term is relatively new, and is a type of infrastructure which is a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networks, and virtualized resources (and other technologies) into a single platform supported normally by a single vendor. A hyperconverged system allows the integrated technologies to be managed as a single system through a common toolset and interface. Hyperconverged systems can be expanded through the addition of more nodes to the base system, hence easy and simple expandability.

In the hyperconverged market space, simplicity, ease of use and management is the focus since you do not need to integrate compute, storage, and network individually, as this is done for you by the hyperconverged system software. Historically, hyperconverged systems were exclusively on x86 architecture and existed both in the cloud and on the customer’s premise for security and control reasons. Hyperconverged on x86 systems was good, but as application innovation and needs grew, in many cases higher performing and higher capacity compute and storage systems were required. This is why the POWER-based hyperconverged system, which was just announced, is significant… the same hyperconverged simplicity, but with higher performance and capacity nodes over what x86 provides for the new and emerging workloads.

The announcement: IBM Power Systems has joined with Nutanix to offer two hyperconverged systems. The Nutanix Acropolis Pro or Ultimate licenses including Prism Central are the underlying management and control of the new systems, called CS821 and CS822, which will ship as appliances beginning in August 2017.

The server compute node CS821 appliance is equivalent to the S812LC, is Linux based, 1U form factor, and has two 10-core POWER8 processors at 2.09 GHz, up to 7.68 TB of internal storage, and either 128GB or 256GB memory. The server compute node CS822 appliance is equivalent to the S822LC, is also Linux based, 2U form factor, and has two POWER8 10-core processors at 2.89 GHz, up to 15.36 TB of storage, and either 256GB or 512GB memory. KVM is the virtualization engine. The planned Linux support is Ubuntu, Redhat, and CentOS. IBM will provide L1 and L2 support, with L3 support from Nutanix.

You cannot run Windows applications, nor move VMs from the POWER8-based Nutanix offering to x86 Nutanix offerings. Power Systems, as the compute and storage nodes, provides much higher capacity and lower price/performance than x86 nodes, and is very well suited for OSDBs like Mongo, MariaDB, EDB Postgres, Splunk, big data, and HDS, as well as development/test environments.

As Nutanix Prism Central will manage both the Power and x86 hyperconverged systems, having higher performance systems for new workloads, while maintaining the x86 environment, seems to provide a new path without compromise for the Nutanix hyperconverged environment.

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