IBM Power Systems Review

The most efficient hardware I've ever worked with and the easiest to scale

What is our primary use case?

What is there not to like about it? It works every time. You hardly ever have any real issues. It's fast, the most efficient hardware I've ever worked with. I like Power because I think it just works the best.

What needs improvement?

You absolutely have to get that better performance all the time. The managers are always saying, "Well, let's make it faster, faster, faster."

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Power since the birth of Power. I've been in it for 24 years. When I first started it was all Micro Channel and I've been along through the evolution right up through to the POWER8s and new, coming POWER9s. I've ever only been interested in working with IBM products.

We're using it for AIX and we also are setting up some SAP HANA on some 870s. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Everyone has an issue at some point, but over the 24 years I've been in this, I have seen very few issues, which is why I really like their product over everyone else.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has always been kind of a key factor. There's no good product if it's not scalable, and Power is the easiest-to-scale product I've ever worked with.

How is customer service and technical support?

Depends on which technical support you get. With all the different places I've been you really get the Advocate Program or you don't. If you're in the Advocate Program you get the top help right away. Their tech support with the Advocate Program is awesome.

If you're not in the Advocate Program you have to go through the series of the lower-level tech support, and usually they're not really helpful. In most cases I've ended up figuring out what the problem was before they had an answer. 

How was the initial setup?

Regarding upgrades they're generally pretty straightforward. We use NIM to do our upgrades. All you do is create your new lpp_source SPOT and, if you're going from version to version, use nimadm and alt disk - you've got it covered.

We have a Linux team does all the Linux, but we're working with them to help them install the Linux.

What was our ROI?

In terms of a return on investment from upgrading from a previous version of AIX to the current version, from a financial standpoint I don't really see a difference.

But for performance, it's not so much just the performance, it's the new features that come in the code that makes it appealing to me.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding their being a market leader, I think they've always been in front of all their competitors. Maybe if they made some of their web components a little easier to utilize, that would make me happier.

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