IBM System Triples Performance of HP in Critical Benchmark
Power Systems Drive Customer Savings in Energy, Software and Floor Space
IBM's POWER6TMprocessor-based Power 595 enterprise server running the AIX® operating system, with DB2® 9.5 data server and DS4800 storage, delivered a performance record of 6,085,166 tpmC at $2.81/tpmC.1
The performance of the Power 595 enables customers to replace three 128 core HP Superdomes (384 cores spanning six computer racks) with two 64 core Power 595 servers (128 cores spanning just two computer racks), reducing the number of processor cores by 66 percent, saving 20 percent on energy costs2 and 55 percent on software licensing purchased by the core,3 and reducing floor space by 59 percent.4
Per core performance matters to customers as most major UNIX software vendors charge per core for software licenses. DB2 9.5 offers a range of technology advances, including pure XML data management capabilities and row-based data storage compression technology, which yields significant disk, I/O and memory savings.
According to Gartner, "more than 70 percent of the world's Global 1000 organizations will have to modify their data center facilities significantly during the next five years."5 IBM Power Systems offerings are a key element in this transformation, delivering dramatic improvements in virtualization capabilities to help customers consolidate server capacity, save energy and more effectively manage their IT costs.
Clients worldwide are leveraging IBM Power Systems to dramatically reduce bottom-line operating costs. For instance, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a nearly $7 billion integrated health care enterprise and one of the most renowned academic medical centers in the United States, replaced HP and Sun servers with IBM Power systems and initiated a server consolidation and virtualization project designed to curb steadily rising data center costs and improve operational efficiencies.
"Our four-year experience with IBM Power Systems has provided us with unprecedented levels of performance and reliability," said Paul Sikora, UPMC's vice president of IT transformation. "Initially, IDC estimated that UPMC could avoid almost $20 million in technical infrastructure costs over the first three years of our project, but most recently tells us that number has improved to $30 million. Our early testing with the POWER6-based IBM Power 595 can only lead us to believe that we will be even more successful in delivering high performance, low cost computing power that will help power the many health care solutions used by our doctors, nurses, clinicians, and patients."
The European Patent Office (EPO), based in The Netherlands, adopted IBM Power Systems for increased energy efficiencies. The EPO provides a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection in up to 38 European countries.
"The energy-saving capabilities of the Power 595 were pivotal in our buying decision," said Michel Fombellida Lopez, director of system engineering, EPO. "With the new system and PowerVM virtualization, we'll be able to save on energy costs and reduce floor space."
Kubus IT is the newly founded IT service provider for the AOK Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia, health insurance providers for more than seven million people in Germany.
"Due to the very good experiences we have had with our two IBM System p5 595 servers in terms of reliability and virtualization capabilities, we are sure the recently installed two Power 595 systems also will provide high-performance capabilities, reliability and cost-efficiency. The flexibility that IBM's virtualization provides is key to running our SAP applications more efficiently," said Andre Rentsch, general manager of kubus IT.
AIX 6 Security Certification
In other news, IBM has achieved significant security certifications that are closely watched by government agencies and commercial accounts around the world, often as a bid prerequisite requirement. IBM AIX V6.1 with Workload Partitions and the POWER6 processor-based IBM Power 570 system have been certified compliant under the Controlled Access Protection Profile under the Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CC), at the Evaluation Assurance Level 4 Augmented (commonly referred to as CAPP/EAL4+). Under Common Criteria, products are evaluated against strict standards that validate the product's design process, development environment, functionality, vulnerability handling, testing and documentation. This is the first set of security certifications for AIX 6 and for systems based on the POWER6 processor.
Power Systems Availability
The Power 595, which began shipping in May in 32-core configurations with support for AIX, is now available in full 64-core configurations and is the high-end server in IBM's Power Systems family. Support for the i operating environment is planned for September with Linux® support scheduled for October.
In the second quarter, IBM has been right on target in meeting customer availability dates for all Power Systems models, including the Power 570 mid-range server, entry-level Power 520 and 550 models, the Power 575 water-cooled "Hydro-Cluster" supercomputer, BladeCenter® JS12 and i Edition for BladeCenter S.
Dramatic Increase in Virtualization
Initial orders and shipments suggest a dramatic increase in the use of virtualization on the new Power Systems. PowerVM virtualization orders with the Power 570 are up 40 percent over previous POWER5-based models and have more than tripled on the new Power 550 UNIX system from 20 percent to 70 percent, signifying a major expansion in the use of virtualization beyond the enterprise to mid-market clients. The new Power 595 penetration of PowerVM virtualization is even higher, estimated at more than 90 percent.
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Sources: www.tpc.org. All results current as of 6/10/08.
(1) IBM Power 595 (5 GHz, 32 chips, 64 cores, 128 threads) with IBM DB2 9.5 TPC-C result of 6,085,166 tpmC ($2.81/tpmC, configuration available 12/10/08) vs. HP Superdome (1.6 GHz, 64 chips, 128 cores, 256 threads) with Oracle 10g TPC-C result of 4,092,799 tpmC ($2.93/tpmC, configuration available 08/06/07).
(2) Energy comparison is maximum energy usage in WATTS. HP usage from HP Integrity Superdome Quickspecs at www.hp.com as of June 6, 2008
(3) SW Licensing savings based on IBM PVU pricing. Itanium processors have a PVU of 100 per core and POWER6 has a PVU of 120 per core. Therefore with 66% less cores, but pricing that is 20% higher per core, the licensing cost is 66% / 1.2 = 55% less. More information about PVU pricing is available at http://www-306.ibm.com/....
(4) Floor space comparison is in square feet. HP data is from HP Integrity Superdome Quickspecs at www.hp.com as of June 6, 2008
(5) Gartner, Inc. "U.S. Data Centers: The Calm Before the Storm" by Rakesh Kumar, September 25, 2007