IBM announces a set of new systems running the company's Power7 processors, including new blades and upgraded servers, such as the Power 750-the server used in IBM's Watson computer.
IBM recently announced new
workload-optimized Power7 systems, including delivering increased performance
to the Power 750-the same server used in Watson, IBM's Jeopardy!-winning
Unveiled on April 12, the new Power
blades and upgraded Power servers are built to manage some of the world's most
demanding emerging applications, used in health care management, financial
services, scientific research and more, IBM officials said. The specialized
demands of these new applications rely on processing an enormous number of
concurrent transactions and data while analyzing that information in real time.
New and enhanced Power Systems products
The new 16-core, single-wide
IBM BladeCenter PS703 and 32-core, double-wide IBM BladeCenter PS704 blade
servers, which give clients an alternative to sprawling racks. The PS704
delivers 60 percent faster performance with twice the number of cores
while using the same amount and space and energy as previous Power7
blades. The new Power7 blades support massive server consolidation
with energy-efficient economics.
The enhanced IBM Power 750
Express, the same system that powers Watson, now further optimized for the
most challenging analytics workloads. The Power 750 has been upgraded with
several options, including a faster Power7 processor that offers more than
three times the performance of comparable 32-core servers, such as
Oracle's SPARC T3-2 server, and more than twice the performance of HP's
Integrity BL890c i2, IBM said.
The enhanced IBM Power 755, a
high-performance computing cluster node with 32 Power7 cores and a faster
Citing use cases, IBM said the
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth is using two IBM Power7 blades to study
the effect of disturbances, called gravitational waves, on black holes in
space. Increased knowledge of gravitational waves will help physicists and
astronomers understand some of the most fundamental laws of physics, IBM said.
They will provide new information about the dynamics of large-scale events in
the universe, like the death of stars and the birth of black holes.
"We are running billions of
intense calculations based on Einstein's theory of relativity on the Power7
blades," said Gaurav Khanna, professor of physics at UMass-Dartmouth, in a
statement. "Running Power7, I'm able to get results as much as eight times
faster than running the same calculations on an Intel Xeon processor.
Calculations that used to take a month to run are now finished in less than a
week. This means that I can do eight times more science in the same timeframe
than I could do before."
In addition, the new Power7 systems can
provide clients with very high levels of server virtualization and
consolidation, which can lead to improved price/performance, improved energy
efficiency and reduced footprint size in the data center.
RPM Technologies provides enterprise-class
wealth management software to some of the largest banks and financial services
companies in Canada.
"RPM has always been an early adapter of IBM technology, and the Power7
chips along with AIX 6.1 provided a big boost to the batch and threading speed
of our products," said Allan Grossman, chief architect at RPM
Technologies, in a statement. "With Power7 chips, batch jobs runtimes
improved by upward of 35 percent and less resources were used. As part of our
upgrade, RPM also moved to a full virtualized environment across two Power7
16-core P750 machines. This change reduced the time and effort to manage the
Market research studies show that more
and more clients are choosing to run their businesses on IBM Power Systems.
According to IDC, IBM extended its lead in Unix servers in the fourth quarter
of 2010 by capturing 53.9 percent revenue share of that segment, gaining 5.9
points of share over competitors and leading the second-place vendor by more
than 30 percent.
"Our strategy appears to be paying
off as more and more customers choose Power Systems," said Tom Rosamilia,
general manager of IBM Power and z Systems. "Today's Power announcements
demonstrate IBM's ongoing investment in workload-optimized servers. Just two
short months after publically demonstrating the future of computing with Watson
and its advanced analytical and learning capabilities, IBM is upping the ante
with a performance bump in the underlying system."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.