More Machines Get Cut From The Power Systems Catalog
October 13, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Another set of announcements related to the Power Systems platform have come, and IBM is sunsetting a bunch of Power-based iron.
In announcement letter 914-199, IBM said that it was pulling the plug on the original Power7-based Power 770 enterprise-class server (product number 9117-MMC if you want to look on the back of your system). The Power 770+ machine (number 9117-MMD) based on the Power7+ and the just-announced Power E870 (9117-MME) based on the Power8 chips are the replacement products. The machine will be withdrawn from marketing on January 6, 2015.
On that same date, IBM will be withdrawing its BladeCenter S (7779-BCS) and BladeCenter H (7889-BCH) blade server enclosures from marketing, and this is no surprise given the fact that IBM has been perfectly blunt since the advent of the Flex System modular machines, which are sold under the PureSystems brand, that the BladeCenter blade servers were at the end of the line. What remains of the BladeCenter line is now at Lenovo Group anyway, and this withdrawal has more to do with the removal of the Power7-based blade servers (PS700, PS701, PS702, and PS704) from April 2010 and the earlier JS21, JS22, JS23, and JS43 blades based on the Power6 processors than anything else. The IBM i Edition Express for the BladeCenter S special bundles will also be removed from the catalog on January 6, as will the HS22 Xeon-based blade server. A whole bunch of other features for the Power 770 and BladeCenter machines are also getting the ax.
Interestingly, IBM is also going to cease selling its BlueGene/Q massively parallel machines, the third and final machine in the PowerPC-based systems that were the flagship product for IBM’s supercomputing efforts for nearly a decade and a half. I have said it before and I will say it again: The BlueGene family of products could have been optimized to be a giant cloud computing platform had IBM only decided to do this from the get-go. Many of the ideas that went into the BlueGene/L, BlueGene/P, and BlueGene/Q systems could have been more widely commercialized and it is a shame that they were not. It is never too late, of course, but for now IBM seems content to sell Power8-based nodes with various kinds of accelerators using normal interconnects based on Ethernet and InfiniBand networking rather than try to create a successor to BlueGene based on heftier Power nodes. That could change, of course. There is no reason that the torus interconnect used in BlueGene can’t be commercialized if it provides substantial benefits over InfiniBand and Ethernet.