IBM has recently announced a new version of the POWER9 scale out servers, these are the entry level servers that make up the P05, P10 and P20 Process Group ranges.
If you’ve been paying attention to the past server announcements, you would be excused for assuming this was a POWER9+ as IBM did with the POWER5, 6 & 7 range but this is not the case with this new POWER 9 G model.
In fact, the processor within the server is exactly the same, as is the memory, storage and even the form factor. The only thing that has really changed is the motherboard. So, at first glance you would also be forgiven for thinking “that’s a bit of a let down” but just hang on in there, there is good news coming…..
What’s new about the new P9’s ?
These new server models have PCI Gen4 across the board, the previous models having just a couple of Gen4 slots with the majority being Gen3.
Now before you roll your eyes, yawn and say “so what’s so good about that” let me point out that the P9 is the first server out there to offer the pure Gen 4 backplane. As such it has the fastest stock mother board on the planet.
These PCIe Gen4 slots enable super fast interconnectivity, it’s literally twice as fast as the Gen3 slot. This improved bandwidth can be used to communicate faster within a single system, between LPARs or even between systems.
Moving to Gen4 means that the rest of the server is finally starting to catch up with the screamingly fast POWER9 chip itself.
Will my workload run faster on the new P9?
I doubt it will surprise you when I say the answer is “it depends” but as a general rule of thumb, if you need your system to communicate with something faster in order to speed up your workload and yes this includes communicating faster with your storage, then yes the new P9 models should be just what you are looking for.
What about the entry level systems?
IBM has not forgotten about the entry level systems either, for a few years now the smallest server that you could buy was the POWER8 based S812. This P05, single core, single LPAR, 25 user system came a super price but it was a still a POWER8.
As part of this new announcement, IBM has announced the new POWER9 S922 replacement for the S812. The new 1 core S922 is still a P05, single LPAR 25 user system but now it too is twice as fast as the P812.
i-UG Virtual conference success
Just a quick update on the fundraising from the i-UG iPower 2020 virtual conference. The last time I updated you, I was delighted to report that we had raised £15,000 (150% times our target) for the NHS Together charity.
Well, the IBM i community was not satisfied with that and when all was said and done, together we raised just over £20,000, thank you all for your help, this is a fantastic result!
Our next User Group Meeting will be in November for more details check out www.i-ug.com
Hope to see you there.