My view on Power Systems in 2017

February 10th, 2017

Ron Gordon
Director – Power Systems

As we close out 2016 and reflect back on Power Systems, we saw many technological and systems advancements. Among the many that stand out in my mind are the “C” models of the Enterprise models, the new “LC” models with NVLink to an integrated Nvidia P100 GPU, SAP Hana on Power for outstanding performance, IBM i and temporal data, AIX with many performance enhancements, continued performance advances in PowerVM, and adoption of Open Source as critical to rapid development in such offerings as PowerVC and Chef. There are more that could be listed but then I would never get to my “crystal ball”.

I believe 2017 will continue the evolution and technological advancements that Power Systems have brought to use over the past 25 years. Of major impact will be POWER9 being implemented in new systems with focus on data, mean speed of access, speed of processing, and reliability. This is becoming more and more of a data world and Power will lead the way in data processing. (Remember that old phrase??) I suspect we will see both the Scale out models and then Enterprise models in 2018. I foresee new faster storage, higher bandwidths, and technology integration of accelerators, improved CAPI connectivity and CAPI tools kits, and large systems memory that will provide unrivaled support for in-memory data bases.

To compliment the systems I believe there will be advancements in AIX, IBM i , and Linux. More integration of Open Source into the IBM operating system, higher security features, and more efficient management layers will only add to their industry leading capabilities. For Linux, I foresee that certain distributions like Red Hat will provide higher levels of support and consistency with the x86 distributions. This will enable customers to choose the platform best suited to the application need(s) and have more consistency across a cluster of both Power and x86. In Linux, I also foresee more applications being enabled for Little Endian so there can be easier data interchange between Power and x86.

I believe there will increased Power Systems in the cloud to support customers with a desire to move to the cloud but the movement to x86 is too daunting a task. And we may even see some new Power8 models to support targeted workloads and migration from past Power Systems.

It will be an exciting year for sure and the announcements and deliveries will give us all confidence to continue to invest in Power Systems as the mission critical data server. I will write as these new announcements unfold with both facts and opinions.

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