A Hodge Podge Of Power Systems Stuff
February 20, 2023 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Sometimes Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday and ends up being a kind of lightweight Power Systems announcement day. That happened last week as IBM’s top brass in the Power Systems division discussed the priorities for the Power Systems line in 2023, which we covered in the top story in last Wednesday’s issue, and the subscription-based pricing for IBM i on all Power9 and Power10 machines, which we covered in this week’s top story.
There is always some other stuff that IBM does on Power Systems announcement day, and February 14, 2023, is no exception.
Announcement letter 120-017 has most of the good stuff. First, IBM is now offering a 24-core dual-chip module (DCM) for the entry Power S1014 server. This chip, which has a base clock speed of 2.7 GHz, is feature #EPH8 and it has a 12 of the 16 cores on the Power10 die activated, which is 3X the number of cores in the existing Power S014 servers. This server is one of several aimed at running Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE2) databases and its applications, which we discussed in theory back in December 2022 when we caught wind of it. Pricing for this processor option was not announced publicly, which means we have no idea what it costs. (We hate this, as you know well. All prices for all systems and components regardless of vendor should be public.)
This announcement also included new configurations of the Power L1022 and Power L1024 servers that are tuned up to run the SAP HANA in-memory database. The Power L1022 has a minimum configuration of 2 TB and tops out at 4 TB, while the Power L1024 has a minimum of 2 TB and expands up to 6 TB. IBM requires that at least 75 percent of the cores on these machines be allocated to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SAP HANA, but up to 25 percent of the cores can run IBM i or AIX workloads. (This is like the H series models in the prior Power8 and Power9 Power Systems lines.) Once again, pricing was not announced, but we strongly suspect that there are discounts built into these configurations that make them cheaper than plain vanilla, Linux-only Power L1022 and Power L1024 machines or their Power S1022 and Power S1024 equivalents, which can run AIX or IBM i.
IBM is also rolling out a new lineup of 800 GB, 1.6 TB, 3.2 TB, and 6.4 TB NVM-Express U.2 form factor flash drives for the entry Power10-based Power Systems lineup. Very little information was released on these new drives, including their prices.
All of these new features will be available on March 3.
In announcement letter 120-014, IBM is boosting the side of the Power E1080 Solution Edition for Healthcare from a maximum of two nodes with up to 120 total cores and 8 TB of main memory to now have up to four nodes spanning 16 TB of main memory.
And in announcement letter 223-045, IBM sales that it is now offering subscription licenses for the IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Engine, or Merlin, development environment. The subscription terms range from one to five years, but once again, the actual pricing was not revealed in the announcement letters.
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