Power S812 Gets Another Reprieve, And Other Power Systems Stuff
December 2, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
For whatever reason, Big Blue did not create a cut-down version of the Power9 entry server aimed at the smallest of the small businesses that run themselves on the IBM i platform. Meaning there was no Power S912 or Power S912 Mini replacement for the Power S812 and its specially priced Power S812 Mini. (The former is based on the Power9 chip, while the latter is based on the older Power8 chip, which has a lot less oomph per core.)
Back in March, IBM extended the life of the Power S812 and its Mini variant until November 29 of this year to help better plug the hole at the bottom of the product line. These machines were supposed to be removed from the product catalog on May 31. Now, after careful consideration, we see in announcement letter 119-076, dated November 12, that IBM is once again extending the life of the Power S812 and its Mini variant, all the way out to June 2020. Features for the Power S812 machines that were previously withdrawn have also been given a stay of product catalog execution, too.
As we have said before, without a low-end Power S912 or Power S912 Mini alternative, there is no reason at all to cancel the Power S812 and IBM should sell it as long as customers want it. Big Blue should just make a bunch of these put the processors and motherboards and put them in a warehouse somewhere. We think IBM should be aggressive on pricing with these machines to get customers on older Power5, Power6, and Power7 iron to move ahead, and the 64 memory cap should only be put in place for IBM i workloads and not Linux so customers could add a bunch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux partitions to the machine and consolidate Windows Server and Linux workloads on X86 iron onto logical partitions on the Power S812 system.
In announcement 119-083, IBM was uncharacteristically brief and said that the Power Enterprise Pools 2.0 software running on machines with Power Systems firmware level 940 or later can now span up to 1,000 virtual machines across a cluster of Power iron and up to 32 systems in a pool managed by a single cloud management console and up to 500 virtual machines per Hardware Management Console. IBM has been promising this larger pooling of capacity since April, and is now delivering it.
In announcement letter 219-242, IBM is adding Proactive Support for Power Systems to its Power Systems configurator tools for AIX, IBM i, Linux, and SAP HANA stacks. Proactive Support takes Software Maintenance for either AIX or IBM i and takes it to the next level, adding in dedicated managed support personnel from IBM as well as a bunch of proactive tools to monitor and help manage the systems and enhanced problem resolution capabilities to deal with problems fast when and if they crop up. Proactive Support for Power Systems debuted back in September 2018, which we told you about here.
Finally, in announcement letter 919-189, some older 1.6 TB and 3.2 TB NVM-Express flash cards and an older 16 GB DDR4 memory card used in selected Power Systems machines have been withdrawn.