IBM's Power Play Aims to Disrupt Server Industry

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-05-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last month IBM formally launched new POWER8-based Power Systems servers—the first generation of Power servers built on an open server platform. IBM's open strategy for its Power Systems lineup does not come as a surprise to those who have followed this space closely over the last year. From the launch of the first Power Systems Linux Center in Beijing in May 2013 to the formal launch of the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM has been active on a number of fronts preparing to introduce its POWER8 systems as the world's first open server platform. IBM's first Power Systems Linux center was followed in short order by others in New York City; Austin, Texas; Montpellier, France; and Tokyo. The centers make it simpler for software developers to build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open technology building blocks using Linux and the latest IBM POWER processor technology. With the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM is bucking the trend of other chip and server manufacturers' proprietary business models and has released detailed technical specifications for its POWER8 processor, inviting collaborators and competitors alike to innovate on the processor and server platform, providing a catalyst for new innovation.

 
 
 
  • IBM's Power Play Aims to Disrupt Server Industry

    By Darryl K. Taft
    IBM's Power Play Aims to Disrupt Server Industry
  • May 2013: IBM Opens Power Systems Linux Center to Aid Developers

    A key move signaling IBM's stepped-up commitment to Linux on Power dates back to May 15, 2013, when IBM announced the opening of the world's first IBM Power Systems Linux Center in Beijing.
    May 2013: IBM Opens Power Systems Linux Center to Aid Developers
  • June 2013: IBM Announces Plans to Support KVM on Power

    During his keynote address at the Red Hat Summit in Boston on June 11, 2013, IBM's General Manager of Development and Manufacturing Arvind Krishna announced IBM's commitment to supporting KVM on Power in 2014. While IBM already supported KVM on its x86 servers, this move would allow clients to have greater choice when they adopt Linux-based systems to drive new workloads such as big data, cloud, mobile and social computing.
    June 2013: IBM Announces Plans to Support KVM on Power
  • July 2013: IBM Launches the PowerLinux 7R4 Server

    IBM accelerated its Linux on Power initiative by introducing a new PowerLinux 7R4 server in July 2013. Geared toward the increasing number of organizations deploying business-critical and data-intensive workloads on Linux, the 7R4 provides users with access to the innate benefits of Power Systems to handle compute-intensive workloads such as big data and analytics, and cloud computing.
    July 2013: IBM Launches the PowerLinux 7R4 Server
  • August 2013: IBM, Google, Others Form OpenPOWER

    In August 2013, IBM, along with Google, Nvidia, Mellanox and Tyan, announced plans to form an open development alliance based on IBM's POWER microprocessor architecture. With this announcement, IBM confirmed that it would for the first time be making its POWER server hardware and firmware available under license to other companies.
    August 2013: IBM, Google, Others Form OpenPOWER
  • September 2013: IBM Pledges $1 Billion for Linux on Power

    On September 17, 2013, at LinuxCon, IBM announced a $1 billion investment exclusively toward funding Linux and open-source innovation projects on Power Systems. This investment is aimed at addressing the problem facing many of today's data centers, which is that many companies are struggling to manage big data and cloud computing workloads using commodity servers based on decades-old, PC-era technology.
    September 2013: IBM Pledges $1 Billion for Linux on Power
  • November 2013: Powering Watson on Linux on Power

    In November 2013, IBM announced that its cognitive computing solution, Watson, would be available to developers over the cloud for the first time. Powered by POWER 7+ technology, Watson's API would be opened to developers in 2014. Watson, a former Jeopardy! winner, is built on the Power platform running Linux. Originally comprising a room with many servers, IBM has since compressed Watson's abilities into a single Power 750 server running Linux, offered from a cloud computing environment.
    November 2013: Powering Watson on Linux on Power
  • December 2013: OpenPOWER Forms, Begins Accepting New Members

    After officially forming in December 2013, the OpenPOWER Foundation began receiving dozens of membership inquires and applications. In January 2014, Chinese company Suzhou PowerCore Technology officially joined, followed one month later by Samsung Electronics. Today, there are 31 contributing members in the foundation and counting.
    December 2013: OpenPOWER Forms, Begins Accepting New Members
  • January 2014: IBM Divests System x

    Lenovo announced its intent to acquire IBM's x86 server business in January 2014. The $2.3 billion deal includes System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and the software, blade networking and maintenance operations associated with them. The divestiture continues IBM's move toward higher value technologies with homegrown innovation, such as its Power Systems and System z lines, and its dedication to pursuing the opportunities inherent with Linux in the cloud.
    January 2014: IBM Divests System x
  • February 2014: IBM Launches Power Development Platform

    At its PartnerWorld Leadership Conference on Feb. 11, 2014, IBM officially launched its Power Development Platform (PDP), a development cloud that gives developers no-charge access to IBM Power Systems technology. The PDP gives users access to the same Linux-based hardware platform that powers Watson and will enable developers to build, port and test their big data applications on it.
    February 2014: IBM Launches Power Development Platform
  • February 2014: IBM Announces Power on SoftLayer

    IBM announced at the Pulse Cloud Computing Conference in February that Power Systems servers will be available for hosting and developing applications on SoftLayer, IBM's cloud infrastructure that's optimized for born-on-the-cloud applications. The first services that organizations will be able to build apps around will be from its Watson analytics engine.
    February 2014: IBM Announces Power on SoftLayer
  • April 2014: IBM Unveils POWER8 Systems at Open Innovation Summit

    At the Open Innovation Summit in San Francisco co-hosted by IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation, Senior Vice President of IBM's Systems and Technology Group Tom Rosamilia (left) and IBM General Manager of Power Systems Doug Balog (right) revealed the company's POWER8 Power Systems, the first servers created with OpenPOWER technology to help companies manage massive amounts of data at record speed.
    April 2014: IBM Unveils POWER8 Systems at Open Innovation Summit
 
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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