Feeds

Big Blue's big iron: The Biggening. Screening 2010

'This enormous mainframe will devour us all'

Security for virtualized datacentres

IBM, like other server makers, has rolled out a bunch of new iron this spring, but still has a ways to go to completely revamp its product lineup in 2010, as it plans to do.

The company rolled out its first machines to make use of the eight-core Power7 processors in February, the midrange Power 750 (with up to four processor sockets) and the bigger midrange Power 770/780, which is essentially a version of the Power 750 that adds in NUMA clustering to scale up to four chassis and 64 cores. In April, IBM put out a single-socket, eight-core blade server called the Power Systems 701. The company also added a double-wide unit that uses the same NUMA-oid SMP clustering to create a two-socket blade, called the Power Systems 702 with double the oomph. The PS700 blade is a single-socket blade with a half-dud Power7 chip (only four cores) and half as many memory slots.

IBM has said that the next high-end machine, due in the second half of this year, would support 256 cores (that means 1,024 threads) in the same thermal envelope as the current 64-core, 128-thread Power 595 server that has been the top of the line for several years in the IBM AIX/i lineup. It looks like IBM is using a similar 32-socket architecture to make this future big bad box, presumably to be called the Power Systems 795, and it will probably sport as much as 8 TB of main memory. The important thing is that it will have four times the cores in the same thermal envelope, and right now, each Power7 core is delivering more grunt (on online transaction processing work, at least) than the Power6 and Power6+ cores.

IBM has been pretty vague about what to expect at the low-end, but then company has said that it will offer a kicker to the entry Power 520 server, which comes in rack and tower flavors, that offers an upgrade path into a Power7-based machine - presumably to be called the Power 720. There were hints that IBM was working on two entry Power machines from calls for techies to help work on the documentation; it is reasonable to guess these machines were to be called the Power 710 and Power 720, and it is also reasonable to guess that the Power 720 should be about half of a Power 750 - meaning two sockets - and that the Power 710 should be a single-socket box. This would be roughly analogous to the PS701 and PS702 blades.

That also suggests that there will be a Power 700, a single-socket machine with only four-cores activated and crimped memory capacity. But Ross Mauri, who is general manager of IBM's Power Systems division, told attendees of the COMMON midrange systems user conference two weeks ago that Big Blue was working on four entry Power Systems machines. One might assume one of them is a kicker to the Smart Cube appliances that IBM has been selling in India and the US. Mauri did not provide specifics on these entry Power machines.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.