Power S1022s Tweaked To Do Native IBM i With More I/O
October 31, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Our apologies, but we did not see an important new configuration of the Power S1022s entry server that IBM offered to IBM i customers in announcement letter 122-084 on October 11.
Buried down at the bottom of this announcement, which was mostly about some peripheral enhancements that we did cover in the issue of The Four Hundred following the announcements, was the following statement:
“IBM Power now offers a Power S1022s (MTM 9105-22B) configuration with two sockets populated with 4-core processors (#EPGR) with a maximum of eight cores active. This configuration is available at a P10 IBM i software tier and will support IBM natively, virtualized, or as a combination of both. Limitation: Feature EPGR cannot be upgraded to any other processor feature. Note: This does not change that IBM i is not supported on the Power S1022s (MTM 9105-22B) configuration with one 4-core processor.”
There are a couple of interesting things about this new Power S1022s configuration. First of all, it can run IBM i natively, meaning that it does not require the AIX-based kernel known as the Virtual I/O Server, or VIOS, to virtualize the I/O drivers for the IBM i operating system. And second of all, because it is a pair of Power10 dual-chip modules that uses a second core-less Power10 chip just as an I/O controller, it has twice as much I/O as a Power S1014 machine that only has one of these Power10 DCMs installed.
“We have got some customers that said the Power S1014 is great, but it only has five PCI slots,” Dan Sundt, one of the three IBM i product managers at Big Blue, tells The Four Hundred. “We got quite a bit of feedback that maybe customers don’t need as many cores, but they really would like a lot more PCI slots. So we took the Power S1022s, which is a two-socket system, and we made two by 4-core to create an 8-core option. It is the P10 IBM i software tier, but it has native support. With the Power S1022s, if you picked the 8-core or 8/16-core, you had to have it run with VIOS, and you also had to be under 4 cores per partition with IBM i. But with this this Power S1022s two by 4-core, it is just like the Power S1014 8-core, essentially. It has up to 8 cores and it supports AIX, IBM i, Linux, VIOS. But the IBM i can be native on it. So we think a lot of customers who need more slots and maybe already are looking at the 2U form factor, will like this new footprint.”
There are some constraints on this Power S1022s setup. The machine is based on the 3 GHz Power10 DCM, and all eight cores across the pair of DCMs have to be activated. The machine either has to be running the PowerVM hypervisor or have Live Partition Mobility (LPM) deactivated, and it has to have at least 64 GB of IBM’s Differential DIMM (DDIMM) variant of DDR4 main memory chips and a pair of 800 GB NVM-Express U.2 flash SSDs. The tweaked machine will be available on December 9.
In announcement letter 122-124, IBM also made some tweaks to the IBM i System Subscription offering for the Power S1014. This includes a wider variety of Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and SAS adapters as well as flash SSDs and RDX media backup devices.