IBM technician Steve Mallmann performs a quality check on a new IBM Power 740 Express system infused with the latest POWER7+ chip technology. IBM unveiled new Power Systems for SMBs and growth market companies tuned for big data and cloud computing.
IBM has added the POWER7+ processor to each and every Power Systems server, and starting today, customers can get into a full-fledged Power Systems server for as little as $5,497. Wait, what? That's right, IBM is offering a new 4-core, 3.6 GHz Power 710 Express with POWER7+ processors for under $6k. The 8-core 4.2 GHz model is just barely over $8,000. Plus, it's not hobbled like last year's low-cost PowerLinux Linux-only models -- these new servers will run AIX and IBM i, too.
There's so much more to today's IBM announcements.
The Power 730 Express is priced wickedly low, too, and IBM told POWER IT Pro that it's making a very direct and concerted effort to go after the SMB marketplace by competing with x86-based solutions . . . at the cost-of-acquisition price point. Previously, IBM's small business play (and most every other business play, for that matter) focused on a total-cost-of-ownership model that spanned three years.
This, in combination with adding Ingram Micro and Tech Data as distributors
to the IBM Power Systems ecosystem, has the potential to spark entry-level IBM Power Systems sales in ways the Power Systems world hasn't seen in . . . well, ever.
Big Data Play for Small Businesses?
At the heart of IBM's strategy is the notion that SMBs have struggled to adopt big data and cloud computing due to high costs, lack of skills, and inefficient commodity hardware. IBM says it is addressing these issues with new Power Systems that are affordable, don’t require specialized skills, and offer the latest advances in virtualization and automation.
IBM POWER processors can be a better platform for big data and cloud than commodity x86 hardware because embedded memory and virtualization -- key ingredients for analytics and cloud workloads -- are built into the processor, IBM says. These new systems come optimized for IBM’s industry-leading analytics software, including Cognos and SPSS for business and predictive analytics.
“Big data and cloud technologies that were once only affordable to large enterprises are now available to the masses,” says Rod Adkins, senior vice president of the IBM Systems & Technology Group. “With these new systems, IBM is forging an aggressive expansion of its Power and Storage Systems business into SMB and growth markets.”
As an example, IBM is offering up Westside Produce
, a 700-person company in California that contracts with melon growers to harvest, market, and ship fresh melons throughout North America. The company turned to IBM’s Power System to make it easier to forecast how many boxes of melons will come from multiple fields, sorted by size, variety and grade, IBM reports.
“Perishability of produce is a key challenge in our industry, and having the right technology in place to deliver fresh produce on time is critical for the success of our growers and our company,” notes Justin Porter, director of technology for Westside Produce. “All of our mission critical systems run on IBM Power with little to no intervention required. I do spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with issues on less mission critical x86 problems.”
New PowerLinux Systems
IBM also introduced two new PowerLinux Systems
, the 7R1
with POWER7+ processors and the capability to have 20 PowerVM virtual machines per core.
The PowerLinux 7R1 and 7R2 are optimized for IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and Streams big data analytics software. There is also an optional IBM Solution for WebSphere Mobile and Web Applications on PowerLinux, which is designed to speed up application development for the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, IBM says.
New Power 760 Server
For customers who need a little more machine than the Power 750 -- but not quite so much as the Power 770 -- IBM has rolled out a new server for the middle: The Power 760 server
. The 760 is a 1-to-4 socket server that supports up to 48 cores in a 5U package.