Sundry Summer Power Systems Announcements
July 18, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It’s July and that generally means some sort of Power Systems I/O enhancements or tweaks, and IBM kept to its pattern even if the announcements were not monumental in nature.
Back in April, as The Four Hundred previously reported, the high-end Power 795 servers and feature 5803 12X PCI-Express I/O drawer that plugs into it was given a new 177 GB enterprise multi-level cell (eMLC) solid state drive in a small form factor SAS package. In announcement letter 111-132, IBM says this SSD unit, which crams 2.5 times the capacity into a 2.5-inch SAS bay as the 69 GB drives it replaces, can now be used in Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 755, 770, and 780 servers as well as in the Power 520, 550, 560, 570, and 595. The latter batch of machines are based on IBM’s Power6 and Power6+ processors while the former is based on the Power7 chips.
IBM says that the new 177 GB SSDs are good for at least a five-year duty cycle in a write-heavy environment. Features 1775 and 1787 plus into SAS-I bays, while features 1793 and 1794 slide into SAS-II bays. The embedded SAS controllers on all Power 710 through 780 machines as well as the PCI-X 1.5 GB cache adapter and PCI-Express 380 GB cache adapters can drive these new SSDs, which cost $4,700 a pop.
In announcement letter 311-089, IBM cut the price of the feature 1135 integrated storage controller for the Smart Analytics System 7700 data analytics clusters and the free-standing Power 740 servers upon which they are based were cut. The disk array (that is what it really is) has two dozen 300GB SAS drives and a RAID disk controller inside a 2U rack form factor, including redundant hot-swap power supplies and fans. The old price for the enclosure was $32,441; it now costs 9.9 percent less, at $29,243. This storage controller had a price chop of 13.3 percent back in December 2010, by the way.
The last of the Power6 machines, the JS12 blade server for the BladeCenter chassis, which IBM has kept in the product catalog to have a very low-cost hardware entry point for blade machines, also got the axe in announcement letter 911-130. January 6, 2012 is the last day you will be able to get this two-core, single-socket Power6 blade server. Various memory and feature cards associated with the JS12 are also going to be withdrawn then, too.
Back in April, IBM said it would be killing off the 7402-CR6 rack-mounted Hardware Management Controller (HMC) on July 29 this year, but last week in announcement letter 111-154, Big Blue gave it a stay of execution until July 13, 2012.