IBM Boosts Enterprise Servers, Storage & Software

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A look at IBM’s new enterprise Power Systems and the zEnterprise EC12 mainframe servers. Big Blue this week beefed up its offerings to help enterprises confront cloud computing and Big Data challenges. (Photo: IBM)

IBM unveiled several new technologies to help customers take advantage of cloud computing, and manage and analyze vast amounts of data. The new offerings include the most powerful enterprise Power Systems to date, a new high-end disk storage system and key software updates for IBM’s newest mainframe computer.

Power Systems

As a result of a $1.4 billion research and development investment IBM announced its enterprise Power System, with Power 770 and Power 780 Servers featuring the new POWER7+ microprocessor. The POWER7+ offers an expanded 2.5x L3 cache memory, greater security with faster file encryption for the IBM AIX operating system, and memory compression that results in no increased energy usage over previous generation POWER7 chips. The Power 795 addresses demanding applications, such as business analytics, fast by utilizing up to 16 terabytes of memory with new 64GB Dual In Line Memory Modules (DIMM).

To help customers respond dynamically to changes in application workloads the Power Systems servers added the capability of Elastic Capacity on Demand for Power Systems Pools. This enables the sharing of resources across multiple servers, which can improve the availability and enhace the access to resources during planned and unplanned maintenance activities. IBM PowerVM virtualization software and IBM PowerSC security and compliance software empower the organization to quickly balance resources and enhance data security and regulatory compliance.

Storage and Big Data Updates

IBM announced a new member to its enterprise class storage systems, the IBM System Storage DS8870 – the most powerful member of the DS8000 family of high-density systems. The DS8870 delivers up to three times more performance for transaction processing applications than current models and has POWER7 processors and up to 1TB of system cache. On the tape storage front, IBM updated the IBM Virtualization Engine TS7700 Release 3, a system that melds virtualization with magnetic tape.

A new Technical Computing for Big Data solution includes IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS), an advanced file management platform often used in high performance computing environments for storing and delivering large volumes of data for weather modeling, oil exploration and digital media production.

IBM announced software updates to its latest mainframe model, the zEnterprise EC12. Analytics can run even faster on this new system now, with the addition of a DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3 appliance that speed response times and reduce the need to store data on disk drives in the mainframe by 95 percent. Also on the mainframe front, IBM’s CICS (Customer Information Control System) transaction processor is being enabled for development and delivery in the cloud. The new CICS 5.1 portfolio interactive applications such as ATM systems, bank-teller applications and insurance applications can be made available in the cloud.

SDN Controller

To complement all of the systems and storage updates IBM is making, a new Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller was announced. The new IBM Programmable Network Controller provides intelligent software for IBM RackSwitch and other OpenFlow-enabled switches. Through OpenFlow, people can create virtual networks with the scalability and flexibility required to respond to business changes in cloud and mobile services environments.

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