IBM to launch cheap 'n' cheerful Power server for i and AIX userbase

Doctor Blue says a little of what you like does you good

IBM's i and AIX customer bases can buy a cheaper box; its latest Power S812 server comes with just one socket and a single or quad-core processor.

It's for relatively light use, in the retail area for example, and as an entry point for non-compute-intense workloads.

The S812 box, separate from the 2014 S812L Linux system, is a 2U, rack-mounted system for small and medium businesses – classic x86 server territory – and its POWER8 CPU ships with either one or four activated 3.026 GHz cores. It has a single core for IBM i use and four for AIX system use.

IBM i is the development of Big Blue's old AS/400 server system, and System/38 before that, running a proprietary operating system.

The IBM i S812 version has up to 64GB of DRAM and a maximum of 25 user entitlements. The software requirement is 7.3 TR2, 7.2 TR6, or later. The AIX version comes with up to 128GB of memory and needs 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, or later.

IBM S812L

IBM S812L box – similar to S812.

Both systems have six low-profile, hot-swap PCIe Gen3 slots, an integrated service processor, hot-swap and redundant cooling, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, and an RJ45-connected system port.

They can have one of:

  • Eight SFF-3 (Small Form Factor) disk/SSD bays, DVD bay, and dual SAS controller with write cache
  • Twelve SFF-3 bays, DVD bay, and single SAS controller
  • Twelve SFF-3 bays, DVD bay, and split backplane two SAS controllers

IBM emphasises the system's stability and reliability, saying that it's for core workloads in small footprints at a very competitive price point. It adds that it has usable energy controls to make it energy efficient. We might imagine that here is a cheap IBM i or AIX box for Big Blue channel partners to punt into their customer bases and help slow the incessant x86 tide.

The S812 will be available from March 17. Get the formal European announcement doc here and the US one here [PDFs]. ®

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