Informing the IBM Community

New E850 packs AIX and Linux-only punch


E850Big Blue has broadened its Power Systems range with the introduction of a new E850 model.

But while other recently introduced models like the E880 and E870 can run AIX, IBM i and Linux, the E850 will run AIX and Linux only, causing eyebrows to be raised. The peerless Timothy Prickett Morgan makes some very valid points about the matter here on IT Jungle.

Whether or not IBM has a rethink on this remains to be seen. It may be that it considers the S824 and E870 (and upwards) as the only upgrade paths most Power i users will need.

However, while some Power Systems are obviously suited to scale out Unix-flavoured setups, this new four-socket 4U box would normally have fitted the midrange bracket.

Either way, the new E850 (pictured above) can have up to 48 Power8 cores, up to 2 TB of DDR3 memory and up to 51 Gen3 PCIe slots. It has integrated SAS controllers for integrated disk/SSD/DVD bays, and up to 1,500 SAS bays for disk/SSD with EXP24S I/O drawers.

It also features elastic capacity on demand for both cores and memory, Active Memory Expansion and Active Memory Mirroring for Hypervisor. It uses 1600 MHz DDR3 memory packaged as CDIMMs with L4 cache and you can read the full EMEA announcement letter here.

Big Blue unveiled its new server at the IBM Edge Power System and mainframe conference in Las Vegas last week. At the same time, it also announced details of the next generation of its coverged small-form PureSystems line.

With new Power8-class PureSystems, users can configure between two and 12 dual socket S822 or S822Ls. There’s a choice of management options: PowerVC, a Linux KVM with Nagios management software, or the HMC/upcoming Virtual HMC. Again, the choice of operating system is AIX or Linux-only, although Power8 IBM i-flavoured PureSystems are apparently in the pipeline.

IBM says that after new versions of PowerVC, HMC and VIOS have emerged over the next few months, it will release a PureApplication version which it describes as a true “cloud in a box”.

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