IBM Announces Big Data and Cloud-Ready Power and Storage Systems

IBM has introduced entry-level and midrange Power Systems based on its recently introduced POWER7+ processors. The new systems are optimized for IBM’s analytics software including Cognos and SPSS, and use underlying technologies from the Watson system including POWER processors and big data analytics.

According to IBM, small and medium-sized companies have had difficulty taking advantage of big data and cloud computing and its goal with the new offerings is to provide an approach that is affordable, doesn’t require specialized skills, and offers the latest advances in virtualization and automation. In the past, the POWER7+ technology was available only on select enterprise IBM Power Systems.

IBM says POWER processors can be a better platform for big data and cloud than commodity x86 hardware because embedded memory and virtualization are built into the processor.

Bringing the POWER7+ Chip to SMBs

IBM introduced the POWER7+ latest generation chip last October in its enterprise servers in the Power systems product range, and now with this announcement, the company is bringing the POWER7+ chip to its small and midsize business products starting at the 710 and going through the 760,  says Ian Jarman, IBM Enterprise Systems product manager.

There are eight new Power Systems targeted at SMBs and growth market companies. New systems include the Power Express 710, 720, 730 and 740 family of products. “For the first time we have a price point starting at under $6,000 for our entry server (the 710),” says Jarman.  PowerSystems is typically compared against other UNIX vendors, but with the new price of under $6,000 for a UNIX server, the systems are right in line with x86 servers in the 2-socket space, he notes.

IBM also introduced POWER7+ on its PowerLinux line, says Jarman.  The 7R1 and 7R2 are now optimized for IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and Streams big data analytics software, and customers can select an optional IBM Solution for WebSphere Mobile and Web Applications on PowerLinux to improve application development for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices.

Additionally, two new Power Systems, the 750 and 760 have been added. Many people would use them for virtualized, consolidated workloads, says Jarman, pointing out that they would do very well for example for SAP Sales and Distribution, running the database on the same machine.

New IBM Storage Software

IBM also added new Storage Systems and SmartCloud storage software - IBM SmartCloud Storage Access, which enables companies to set up secure private storage clouds so users store information on the company’s internal cloud;  IBM XIV Storage System, which has a new system design for big data that supports up to 12 10GB Ethernet Ports (or 22 1GB Ethernet ports), and up to 6TB of solid state cache, to improve the performance of database-like workloads; and a new Real-Time Compression Appliance Model STN7800, v4.1, which is aimed at reducing infrastructure costs for large and complex environments.

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