Informing the IBM Community

OpenPower looking strong for 2015 with 80th member



IBM’s OpenPower Foundation appears to be going from strength to strength as it heads into 2015.

The consortium Big Blue formed around its Power processor technology found its 80th member last week in the form of major cloud vendor Rackspace.

The Texas-based company has data centres around the world and has apparently been investigating Power processors since 2012 with test systems running since May this year.

In what looks like a sign of things to come, Aaron Sullivan, a senior Rackspace director and engineer, told ServerWatch: “Rackspace intends to collaborate with its partners in the community to build an Open Compute-based OpenPower platform. We anticipate the processors will come from IBM, but the rest of the platform will be provided from other parties.”

Sullivan told ServerWatch that IBM Power processors offered big improvements over Rackspace’s current x86-based systems. One particular feature is CAPI (Coherence Attach Processor Interface) which was used by fellow OpenPower member Redis Labs’ to enable a 24-to-1 resource consolidation versus x86-based deployments with the open-source NoSQL database.

Last week, IBM also announced that it was releasing another key piece of infrastructure to the OpenPower community by open-sourcing the firmware that runs on Power’s On Chip Controller (OCC)

The OCC provides access to detailed chip temperature, power and utilisation data, as well as complete control of processor frequency, voltage and memory bandwidth. IBM says that the move enables allows customisation for performance and energy management or for maintaining system reliability/availability. You can see the video announcing the move here.

Earlier in December, another OpenPower member, RedHat, announced its Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta distro which introduced little endian support for Power 8-driven systems. This means all major Linux distros will now support painless migration from x86 to Power.

Meanwhile, the first OpenPower Summit will be held March 17-19, 2015, at the San José Convention Center in California. The three-day event will feature a keynote from Google’s Gordon MacKean who is OpenPower’s chairman (and pictured above holding a Google-produced Power-based motherboard earlier this year), member presentations and an OpenPower exhibitor pavilion.

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