The Power of 10
September 8th is the date of the official announcement of the new IBM servers with Power10 processors, which will be followed by the announcement of the 7.3 version of AIX, which will be 35 years old in 2021. Considering the technical features available we know that they incorporate DDR5 memory, a PCIe 5.0 interface and that they are designed using 7nm technology from Samsung. The Power10 processors will once again come in two flavors. One with 15 cores in SMT-8 mode (ideal for AIX and IBM i) and others with 30 cores and SMT-4 for Linux-only workloads. The Power10 chips also incorporate major enhancements for Artificial Intelligence (AI), allowing Machine Learning loads to run up to 20 times faster than POWER9.
One million SAPS. Infrastructure matters a lot.
As usual, the first systems to be announced will be scale-up systems designed for highly virtualized environments with resource-intensive applications such as SAP HANA. Published benchmarks indicate that 1 million SAPS are achieved with 120 cores, which is half the number of cores needed in the previous generation of Power9 in E980 servers. Compared to current third-party servers available this year, HPE achieved about 670,000 SAPS (which equates to about 120,000 concurrent users) using 224 cores in its Superdome Flex 280 based on Intel’s most powerful processors (the Xeon Platinum). For those of you that this doesn’t tell you much, the other reading is that the performance per core has continued to improve a lot while the rest of the manufacturers keep it stagnant by adding other complementary hardware (flash memory, more cores, etc).
All the memory you need
The arrival of “Memory Inception” technology allows you to create clusters of systems that share memory between them, being able to reach several Petabytes of RAM available for the same environment divided into several physical servers. This positions IBM as a leader in the development of hardware technologies for application clusters on Red Hat OpenShift. Soon to be announced are the “medium” two and four socket servers where we will be able to continue to deploy mixed IBMi, AIX and Linux environments well.
We cannot end this article without mentioning one of the key features of the IBM Power platform, which is data security. The new processors incorporate four times more AES encryption components to anticipate the needs of cryptographic standards coming in 2022 such as quantum-safe cryptography or fully homomorphic encryption. All of this applies to new container-based workloads where security has become the primary concern of the organizations that use them.
AIX 7.3, UNIX beyond 2030
Although it will give for another article, with the arrival of Power10 will be announced the new version of AIX, which will be the 7.3, which has not happened since 2015. Numbering is a matter of marketing. If IBM had chosen to call this version 8.1 it would have perhaps, generated doubts about whether the new features impacted stability for existing applications, but like any new version it incorporates many interesting new features. Today we continue to deploy new environments on AIX, as well as migrating others from Solaris, HP-UX and even Linux.
In all of our large and medium-sized clients there is a part of their productive environments where the information that keeps their business and internal processes alive is processed. Where do you install Oracle, DB2, SAP, SAS, etc? In AIX. No other UNIX-like operating system offers the same maturity, stability, performance and scalability. It is a modern UNIX, with great compatibility with modern applications such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible and that coexists wonderfully with other environments based on Linux, IBM i or Z/OS which has a lot of life ahead and the new version 7.3 is good proof of this. It also has three big advantages for departments and system administrators: everything works (vs that beta-tester feeling so ingrained in Linux), they run on the most stable and robust servers out there (except for the Mainframe) and you learn only once, instead of every time a new version is released: we all remember that moment where “ifconfig -a” stopped working in Red Hat :)
Time to renew equipment, licenses… and to upgrade
With the arrival of a new processor technology, the “sales” begin at IBM. If you have Power7 or Power8 equipment whose maintenance contracts are about to expire (or are already out of support) and you are considering whether or not to renew them, count on our help. We advise you on how to save a lot of money with our audit services and renewal of licenses, take advantage of 100% of IBM Power equipment that you have and we offer you at cost pricenew Power9 servers and soon Power10.
Need technical support?
At Sixe Ingeniería we offer technical support and preventive maintenance of AIX and Linux on Power Systems directly and without intermediaries. We will be happy to help you.