Sundry IBM Announcements For Power Systems
April 30, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is a quiet time in the Power Systems line, with the “ZZ” entry Power9 machines just announced in February and shipping in March and other machines not expected until the third quarter. But there are always some little things happening here and there, and you keep us around so we catch wind of them and report them to you.
First up, in announcement letter 118-036, IBM is offering new processor features and memory sticks for the Power H922 and Power H924 systems that are designed primarily to run the SAP HANA in-memory database on Linux atop Power, but to allow AIX and IBM i workloads to run in partitions beside it. This is a very peculiar announcement, since the feeds and speeds on what IBM is calling new processor features are the same as the existing ones that were announced at the top of the announcement. We don’t get it. Go figure.
In announcement letter 218-175, IBM is announcing PowerVC V1.4.1, its Power Systems implementation of the OpenStack cloud controller, which can be used to control the deployment of cloudy instances of IBM i, AIX, and Linux on Power iron. This new release of PowerVC has support for Power9 machines running the PowerVM hypervisor, and is based on the OpenStack “Queens” release, which you can learn all about here and which was announced back in February by the OpenStack community. The updated PowerVC OpenStack edition can run on Power7, Power7+, Power8, Power8+, and now Power9 machines. The Cloud PowerVC Manager, by the way, a base variant of OpenStack, is included on S and H models of the Power Systems ZZ entry machines announced back in February. This updated PowerVC will be available on June 22.
In the same announcement, IBM says it is updating PowerHA SystemMirror to V7.2.2 for Linux, which now interfaces for SAP running on the special edition of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server tuned for this application stack. This runs on SLES 12 (the little endian version) or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 and 7.3 (also little endian) on Power8, Power8+, or Power9 servers – either bare metal or on the PowerVM hypervisor. In any event, this PowerHA SystemMirror for Linux update will be available on June 15.
In a related development, in announcement letter 218-194, IBM is announcing the ability to apply live patches to the Linux kernel within SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 while it is running and not have to reboot it. (Live patching is available on other Linuxes as well. IBM is also reselling RHEL 7 for Power little ending with a five-year subscription contract, which is longer than the typical one-year or three-year terms.
The PowerSC security and compliance tool for Power Systems was also recently updated, with a V1.2 refresh in announcement letter 218-173. While this software is only available on AIX 7.1 and 7.2, RHEL 7.4, and SLES 12 SP3, it can be used on partitions on Power iron that also have IBM i running next to it. It is not clear why IBM doesn’t allow PowerSC to interface with IBM i either natively or through the PASE AIX runtime environment, but thus far, it is happy to let third party software companies deliver the compliance, auditing, and security tools for IBM i.
And finally, in announcement letter ZAAM7290C, customers buying Storwize V5000 or V7000 storage arrays can get a free flash drive – which ain’t cheap – if they buy two flash drives.