IBM Power Systems Review

PowerHA helps in delivering mission critical applications with very high reliability


What is most valuable?

PowerHA, the high availability software. That is something that we like.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a partner to IBM, we do product development for IBM. We're not a customer of Power Systems. We are developing only on AIX and for all versions of Power, 6, 7, 8.

It helps in delivering mission critical applications, very high reliability. It doesn't fail, it's a very stable platform, very reliable, and the user interface is good. The administrative cost and expenses are also low. It's good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable, absolutely. POWER9 is expected in the market and that's going to be, I would say, revolutionary. It is going to turn around the market in terms of the market share, in favor of Power Systems. I would say that if the price point is right, and the execution is good, this can really be a very successful platform for mission critical applications in future.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Based on the architecture I do believe that it is very scalable. And with the POWER9 processor coming up I think scalability will be even better, because the processor speed will be much faster. I'm assuming you will not need so many cores to activate, to scale up. 

Power Systems have always been very, very scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

My engineering team closely works with the IBM team in some of this areas. I do believe that things are very smooth, in terms of the support and whatever we have to deliver.

What was our ROI?

I believe that the Power platform has a very high return on the initial investment because of the kind of scalability and the reliability that the system has. It also provides the ability to meet multiple workloads - with such high reliability - because of the PowerHA platform. 

The powerHA product that we are building on it is really making the product very reliable and very cost effective for the customer. So the the TCO, total cost of ownership, is really low when you compare it with x86 platform or any other platform.

The initial investment may be high, but at the end of the day you have to look at it from a three-year or five-year point of view. And that's where Power really scales way above any other computing platform.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of how Power can uniquely position a company within its industry, it can be the most favored system for cognitive error. When I say "cognitive", of course, that is an IBM term. In the digital environment, where artificial intelligence is very important, there is machine learning been done, there are different kinds of applications coming up. Power Systems can be a very reliable platform for workloads which are mission critical, which are futuristic. There's a lot of work done on artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.

In future versions I'm definitely very excited to see the roadmap of the Power PC, and the ability to connect with other GPUs like NVIDIA. NVLink is a very exciting development that happened in POWER8. I do believe, going forward, the ability to meet different workloads and multiple workloads, which are more intensive in terms of CPU and compute, is going to be the key and that's what I like about Power.

The OpenPOWER initiative is something, which is really great. It's embracing other Open Source, Linux as well as other platforms, so that you can give a total solution to the customer. You don't just have the applications, which are based only on AIX, you are making the platform more open for different kind of workloads to be done.

IBM has been the market leader for decades now, in this space. I do believe there is competition, but I think embracing OpenPOWER is an area which is going to really help IBM with the ability to meet the price performance that the market demands today. If that can happen, I do believe IBM is not only going to maintain its leadership position, it can even grow its position in terms of the market share for its systems and platforms.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Development Partner.
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