PowerLinux: One Year Later


A year ago, we outlined a strategy to help businesses that were keenly focused on using IT in transformative ways, while maximizing IT efficiency at every opportunity.  Continuing that strategy, we made big moves last week that I’d like to update you on.

Last April, we launched PowerLinux servers designed specifically to run Linux (Red Hat or SUSE).  A week ago, we refreshed these systems (and many others) to run with faster, more efficient POWER7+ processors.  In addition to faster computations, the systems come with double the memory and virtual machine capability, which means higher utilization rates by hosting more applications, data, and users on fewer machines.

One thing on these machines we haven’t changed is the cost – the pricing is still very competitive with what you’d expect to pay for a comparable x86 machine running VMware.  And because of the added performance and higher utilization you get out of the new POWER7+ machines, you can buy fewer of them (often, just two dual-socket PowerLinux 7R2s can replace three current gen dual-socket Intel Xeon boxes).  This yields a cost of acquisition advantage of over 40%.

Of course, it’s not just about performance or dollars (or euros, or yuan, or …)  Business needs are changing, and IT must transform to deliver the right solutions.  PowerLinux has always been about providing an ideal platform to run workloads that are becoming critical for business … like big data, or web infrastructure.  Last week, we introduced a new solution for mobile and web application development that uses a lightweight, reconfigurable environment to accelerate app development, testing, and deployment.

We also continue to iterate on our big data portfolio, updating solutions with Hadoop and InfoSphere software.  If big data interests you, you should check out two papers by Gabriel Consulting on the topic.  The first discusses how big data can start small, providing critical value to business without blowing up budgets.  The second looks at the characteristics of big data workloads and how choosing the right platform to run them becomes critical for discovering insights in a timely way. Ziff Davis is hosting a webcast next week with Dan Olds (the author of these papers) and myself as speakers, so sign up for that if you’d like to hear a discussion on these topics.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the results our clients have been seeing with PowerLinux.  Take Kwik Fit, an auto servicing and repair company (PDF), who tripled the performance of their online reservation system, supporting business growth for the next four years.  Or IT Informatik, an online services consulting company (PDF), who cut operating costs by half and dramatically reduced the amount of time their staff spent on managing infrastructure.  You should also check out the report by IDC, who researched PowerLinux deployments with numerous customers and found that many enjoyed benefits similar to what Kwik Fit and IT Informatik saw.

In 2013, we’re poised to help even more IT shops boost their efficiency and grow their businesses by deploying transformative workloads easily on PowerLinux.  If you’re one of them, reach out and share your story!

Anirban Chatterjee is a nomad within IBM, wandering from place to place while yelling incoherently and planting trees. In his current role, he is a market manager for IBM’s PowerLinux offerings. You can reach him on Twitter: @anirbahn.

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