IBM Power Systems Review

Convergence means all of our storage, processing, database in one platform

What is most valuable?

I would say the converged feature. You can have all of your storage, your processing, your database, everything in the one platform, and all under IBM. That's the best part of it. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped them improve in a lot of ways. It has improved their efficiency as well as their scalability, from a growth perspective. They want to add more servers, more processing power, things like that. They can be much more easily done now.

What needs improvement?

I would say that in general we would prefer it if the software was more transparent, in terms of how you are using it. 

Right now it depends on the level of the system and how much more you might have to pay for the same software. And being a cloud provider, we get into a lot of situations where our customers might need just a fraction of a processor, but they still have to pay for a bigger portion of the software costs.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been providing this for the last 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Upgrading from POWER7 to POWER8 was not a big deal. It was pretty straightforward, I would say. Going from version 5.4 to a 6, that was more of a challenge, but now it is pretty stable. We have some partitions running 7.3, some running 7.2 version. All over the map.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. With the VIOS, the Power and the Power platform, we can virtualize. We can create many more LPARs.

It is definitely a more flexible solution, compared to earlier versions. You want to be able to cater to multiple customers on one particular system. We have dozens of systems running in our environment right now.

Back in the day, it used to be more hardware-centric. Now, with the software version, it is much easier for us to create multiple partitions. We may run a POWER8 system with 20 cores, and we could have, maybe, 30 customers on that one box by slicing and dicing it. So it is pretty good, from that perspective.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are the service provider and so we have the IBM i at every level in the cloud. This is pretty much due to the demand from the customers. It's not us, it's really our customers asking for it.

We also work with other solutions. We do everything; we do Windows, Linux, AIX, as well as IBM i. All different platforms. 

Compared to Intel, Power is a much more stable solution. Security is also much better. Compared to the other platforms, Power definitely has more capabilities.

What other advice do I have?

There are not many companies in the US who can provide the IBM i platform in the cloud so we are uniquely positioned in being able to cater to that particular requirement of our customers.

I would consider IBM to be a market leader from the Power side, but not in other areas. I think they were getting there but they made a big mistake by selling the PureFlex to Lenovo.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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