Understanding The Power Of Power10
October 25, 2023 Laurie LeBlanc
The Power10 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance, reliability, availability, and security. But that’s not all it provides. With support for hybrid cloud, poised to support AI, and unmatched scalability, the Power10 will help you move into the future.
We all know one of the best things about IBM Power running IBM i is that it is stable and reliable – so reliable that some companies keep their hardware for 10 years or more. While this could be viewed as a good thing for the business, there are many reasons to upgrade your hardware. Legacy hardware increases your risk of failure, raises your maintenance costs, and could result in costly downtime.
End Of Support For Power8 And IBM i 7.3
If you are running a Power8, the end of support for most models is 5/31/2024. The end of support doesn’t mean that you can’t get IBM maintenance. Instead, it means you’ll be paying a premium. For Power8, IBM has stated that they plan to offer support for 12 months and may consider extending some contracts for six months. After that, you’ll need to consider third-party options or cross your fingers and hope for the best.
As of October 1, IBM i 7.3 is no longer supported. Like the hardware, you can pay for extended support, which doubles your software maintenance costs. You won’t get new updates, but you can get technical support. This means you should get to 7.4 or 7.5 as soon as possible. If you’re on a Power8, then 7.4 is your only option. It could be worth looking at a Power10 and getting up to 7.5. Then, you are current and have a longer lifespan for both hardware and software.
Power10 Scale-Out Servers
The Power10 is the world’s first one and two-socket system with built-in transparent encryption, AI acceleration, full PCIe concurrent maintenance, and support for PCIe Gen5. These powerful systems are available in six models with 1 and 2 sockets with up to 48 cores and 8 TB of memory. Many companies fit into the 1014, which comes in a 4 or 8-core model and can have up to 1 TB of memory. This model has five PCIe FHHL slots, which are all concurrently maintainable.
Other companies require the S1024, which is in the P20 processor group and comes in 12, 24, 32, or 48 cores and can support up to 8 TB of memory. The 1024 has ten PCIe FHHL slots available. The Power10 reduced the number of PCI-Express slots on the systems, and as a result, we are finding more companies that fit into the 2U model, the S1022.
The S1022 comes in a 12, 24, 32, or 40-core option with up to 4 TB of memory. With 10 PCIe HHHL slots, there is more room for adapters to support multiple LPARs, making this model an attractive option for IBM i customers. Being in the P10 group, the S1022 doesn’t require an expensive software tier upgrade and saves from purchasing expansion, which requires more rack space, cooling, and maintenance.
Moore’s Law states that the number of processors on a chip will double every two years. The same holds for Power10. The Power9 has roughly 13,000 CPW per core, and the Power10 has 25,000 CPW per core. If you’re upgrading from a Power8, you have an even higher increase in processing. For companies considering additional core licenses, upgrading to Power10 could be more economical in the long run. Not only do you have to pay for the license, but you also have to pay for software maintenance each year. If you no longer need a license, you can drop it. Upgrading your processor could save you money.
The Power8 had buffered DDR3 memory DIMMs. These DIMMS were much faster than the Power7 memory. IBM embedded its chip directly in the DIMMs, making them proprietary and more expensive than industry-standard DIMMs. IBM shifted its strategy with the Power9 to support industry standard DIMMs. These were a little slower than the buffered DDR3 memory, but the cost of industry-standard DIMMs meant you could add more memory for a lower price and buy your way out of the problem. With the Power10, we are back to IBM memory; however, this memory provides additional reliability, availability, and security benefits worth the change.
The IBM OMI DDIMMS offers two times the reliability and 2.4 times higher bandwidth than X86 processors. With speeds of 3200 Mbps and data rates of 409 GB/s per memory bandwidth, this memory will help improve your processing, protect your system, and increase availability and reliability.
With the increase in cyber-attacks, improved cyber resiliency is a must. Transparent memory encryption adds additional security to your data with no performance overhead. The data is encrypted between the processor and memory storage while in transit. There is no setup required as this is built-in to the hardware. IBM also included four times the crypto engines in every core, providing faster processing of encryption algorithms like AES, SHA2, and SHA3, allowing AIX customers to utilize Logical Volume Encryption with low-performance impact.
Increased Availability And Reliability
Increased availability is another benefit of Power10 OMI DDIMMs. Active memory mirroring (AMM) reduces downtime due to memory failure. By mirroring the hypervisor memory, the Power10 is resilient to memory errors. If one DIMM fails, the data is available in a second location.
Chipkill with advanced error checking and correcting helps protect the memory from failure. The chances of lost data are reduced by spreading the data across multiple chips. If a chip fails, the memory is automatically rebuilt, providing more reliability.
Poised For AI
Cloud has been the buzzword for IT leaders for the past decade. Now, AI is starting to become more popular. With the release of ChatGPT, it’s only a matter of time before your CIO asks how you can leverage AI to improve business productivity and increase profitability. Power10 was designed to reduce costs and simplify the solution stack required to support AI. Each core has four Matrix Math Accelerators, delivering faster machine learning and inferencing at the hardware level. The Power10 is poised to support your AI needs in the future.
Speaking of being poised for AI, the same Power10 that runs your IBM i applications can run Linux workloads. When companies consider moving off the IBM i, they should consider leveraging their existing knowledge and hardware. Moving to applications that run on Windows servers requires a higher cost, more resources, and increased downtime. Linux running on Power is more secure, reliable, and available. You can scale your application’s needs using more of your Power system.
Hybrid Cloud Support
Companies have been shifting towards the cloud for years; however, many industries still feel more comfortable with their data on-premise. Power10 and IBM i make it easy to migrate workloads between systems, whether on-premise or in the cloud.
Upgrade To Power10
The benefits of upgrading to the Power10 are significant, especially if you have a Power8 or older system. Significant improvements in performance, tighter security, increased availability, and reliability are all excellent reasons to upgrade to Power10. Partnering these reasons with being poised for AI, with hardware acceleration, scalability to add Linux workloads, and hybrid cloud support, the Power10 can help your business to have a bright future.
Upgrading can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Selecting the right business partner can help make this experience much less stressful. Your partner should help you assess your current environment, identify what you need for your future, and develop a migration plan that fits within your maintenance windows.
Are you on Power8? Let’s talk about your path forward. Join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, November 8 at 10 a.m. ET as Steve Pitcher speaks on Power8 EOSL, what it means, and what options you have. Register here.
This content is sponsored by Service Express.
Laurie LeBlanc is an infrastructure sales consultant at Service Express. Laurie has over 20 years of experience in the IBM i market, first as a Systems Administrator who learned RPG III and later in sales roles for software companies that focus on IBM i. With a unique blend of technical and business skills, Laurie can build trust with technology teams and communicate the business advantages to the C-Level. She focuses on building lasting relationships with her accounts, learning about their business challenges and helping to find ways to solve the issues. Laurie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Franklin Pierce University. She enjoys spending free time with her husband and grown children. She is the New Hampshire Ambassador for The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation.