With an outstanding family of products in IBM’s POWER8 portfolio, it seemed impossible for IBM to deliver a successor with more features, increased performance, greater value, while at a lower price point. On February 13th, IBM announced the POWER9 Scale-out products supporting AIX, IBM i and Linux while 1st POWER9 announcement occurred December 5, 2017 with the AC922, a HPC & AI beast.
These newly announced PowerVM-based systems consist of 1 & 2 sockets systems supporting up to 4 TB of DDR4 memory. Starting with the robust 1-socket S914 then accelerating to the 2RU 2-socket S922 and the 4RU 2-socket S924 system. IBM announced sister systems to the S-models purpose-built for SAP HANA. These systems are the H822 & H824 systems, identical to the S822 & S824. The H-models might also be considered hybrid systems as they come bundled with key software used with HANA while allowing a smaller AIX and IBM i footprint – sort of a hybrid between a S & L model system. There is also a Linux only model, just as there was with POWER8. Called the L922, it is a 2-socket though available in a 1-socket configuration. Each of these systems support up to 4 TB of memory except the S914 which supports up to 1 TB.
Why should businesses consider upgrading to POWER9? If they are running on POWER7 and older systems, Clients will save significant cost by lowering hardware and software maintenance cost. Moreover, with the increased performance, clients will be able to consolidate more VM’s than ever and reduce enterprise software product licensing as well as its exorbinant maintenance cost.
While Intel cancels Knights Landing and struggles to deliver innovation and performance on their 10nm and 7nm platforms, remaining in a perpetual state of treading water at 14nm, what they are delivering seems to most benefit ISV’s and not businesses.
The traditional workloads such as Oracle, DB2, Websphere, SAP (ECC & HANA), Oracle EBS, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Infor, EPIC and more all benefit. For businesses looking to develop and deploy technologies developed in the 21st Century, these purpose built products deliver new innovations ideally suited for workloads geared toward Cognitive (analytics) and the web. NoSQL products, such as Redis Labs, Cassandra, neo4j or Scylla to open source relational databases products like PostgreSQL or MariaDB.
With the increased performance and higher efficiencies, all software boats will rise running on POWER9.
My team of Architects and Engineers at Ciber Global are prepared to help migrate workloads from your POWER5, POWER6, POWER7 and even POWER8 systems running AIX 5.3, 6.1, 7.1 and 7.1 as well as IBM i v6.1, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 to POWER9.
POWER9 supports AIX 6.1, 7.1 and 7.2. For IBM i, it supports 7.2 & 7.3. Client systems not at these levels will have our consultants available to guide them on the requirements and their upgrade options. Whether using Live Partition Mobility, aka the Easy Button to move workloads from POWER6, POWER7 or POWER8 systems to POWER9 or using more traditional methods such as AIX NIM or IBM i Full System Save/Restore, there is likely an approach meeting the businesses needs.
Rest assured, if you have doubts or concerns reach out to my team at Ciber to discuss. And if you don’t already have the Easy Button, IBM is offering a 60-day trial key for clients to upgrade the PowerVM Standard Edition licenses to Enterprise Edition on their P6, P7 or P8 systems making the upgrade to POWER9 not only financially easy but also technically easy.