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IBM Power9’s Monster Server

IBM has said they will continue to roll out servers based on the Power9 processors throughout 2019.

What has been released so far?

The latest Power9 beast of a server was the E980 released in August of this year. This mega machine clocks in at 192 cores, with 16-sockets, a memory capacity of up to 64 TB, and is a 5U form factor. The E950 came out at the same time and is a bit smaller with up to 48 cores, a 4U form factor, 4 sockets, and 16 TB memory capacity.

What did IBM hope to accomplish with these systems?

Certain applications within a business operation still require high levels of compute performance and memory bandwidth. The family of E900 servers were built to handle these demanding workloads. The Power9 server models also underwent software improvements in order to make them more dependable and secure for integration with cloud environments. A criticism of past IBM server models has been their inability to achieve high levels of uptime for critical business procedures running in the cloud. IBM has met these challenges with the E900 line.

The E980 and the E950 run Linux and IBM’s AIX. The systems work well for big data and AI workloads as mentioned in our article from earlier this year, Gain unfair advantage IBM POWER9-based Power Systems Servers. IBM Power9 servers also reduce the cost of maintenance. According to IBM, maintenance cost savings can reach up to $600,000 over 3 years on the E980, and up to $200,000 on the E950.

This pair of systems marked a major advancement in the history of IBM Power. We’re excited to see what kind of improvements on future server models IBM has in store for next year. And we’re even more excited for systems with the Power10 chip rumored to drop in 2020.

About the Author

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