IBM Power Systems Review

I can now buy one 4U box with 16 cores and put a terabyte of memory in it

What is most valuable?

Flexibility and reliability are the two features that are probably the most important to us.

How has it helped my organization?

We get better performance out of our applications, out of our databases running on Power, than we would on anything else that we have looked at.

What needs improvement?

I think they could use a little more work in the upgrading of the OS, how that could happen as non-interrupting, but I think they are working on that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is awesome because we can move from POWER8 to POWER9 when the new servers come out. It allows us to scale out, add new servers underneath it, buy new equipment and add it into the datacenter.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. The partition mobility helps a lot.

What was our ROI?

We do see a return on that investment, especially on the software licensing, when we are licensing DB2 or we are licensing WebSphere. We have seen that we have had to license fewer cores on the POWER8 than we had on the POWER7.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We've been using more of the mid-range systems than some of the bigger models, and we like that price point. We like where we are at there. It allows us to scale out the datacenter faster. It also allows us to react to a company or an application that's growing faster than someone else.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No. We were an HPE shop and we converted over to Power at POWER5. We thought the Power roadmap was just better, better suited for us.

What other advice do I have?

Using the Power system gives us a leg up. It helps us keep up with the competition.

What we like the best about the POWER8 is that it scaled down in size and power usage. When we were buying POWER5, we had to buy a 16U rack to get 16 cores and maybe a half terabyte of memory. Now I can buy one 4U box with 16 cores and put a terabyte of memory in it, and I'm in business.

We have now started thinking about moving to Linux on Power. We are just starting to scratch that surface.

The ongoing work that is being done behind the scenes, that keep improving the product, logical partition mobility, PowerVM, PowerAIX. I think that all of those help contribute to the way Power is running.

I do consider IBM to be a market leader and in order to remain a market leader they just need to keep improving. Keep improving the product, keep pushing the product. I think it looks great.

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