IBM Power Systems Reviews

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Tom Huntington
Real User
EVP Technical Solutions at Helpsystems
Oct 18 2017

What is most valuable?

Help Systems is a provider of IBM i and AIX systems management software. We use the server in our infrastructure to develop technology to solve customers' problems in automation. We're using POWER7 and POWER8 servers, highly partitioned, virtualized; using SAN storage to help us build up our… more»

How has it helped my organization?

I think the main thing that POWER8 is doing for the industry in general is it's leap frogging all the other technologies that exist out in the market from a performance capacity and total cost of ownership point of view. You can scale these servers up or scale out and replace a lot of footprint for… more»

What needs improvement?

With POWER it has everything that we need from a scale up and scale out capacity, capability to stick lots of work and footprint on it. For IBM, the challenge that everybody has in the industry, and in the processor world, is that we've kind of hit the "knee" of the curve with Moore's law… more»

What other advice do I have?

Today's world is more about the applications that we have. So, the challenge for the IBM i customer is staying up with time. We have to modernize. We've been talking about it for years - modernizing the applications - so that when my daughter or my son comes and works for you, they're working on a… more»
Michael Goralski
Real User
Senior unix engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Nov 08 2017

What is most valuable?

The virtualization. Power was the first solution to have it. Now everybody does virtualization, like VMware, etc. But Power was there a long time before everybody else. We virtualize everything, we're… more»

How has it helped my organization?

I think the biggest driving factor for the bank is the cost, the cost-performance profile, it's better than anything else. If you virtualize, Power hardware allows you to oversubscribe CPUs, and we… more»

What needs improvement?

Regarding new features, we like where it's going. I really can't think of something newer that they are not currently working on. Except for Power on Linux. The licensing for software products… more»

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

The cost model is great. There is so much built in to the technology, that if you know how to use it you can save yourself a lot of money. Again I'll go back to what I said earlier: We're saving… more»

What other advice do I have?

We're on all versions of Power. We just retired a POWER4 box, but we have POWER5, 6, 7, and 8. We have all these versions primarily because we're a bank, and we have a lot of old applications. It's… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

To start out, I actually put the first Power systems in the bank. The first applications we were using, they only ran on Power. There's one application, that we call "wire transfer" - banks use that… more»
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Real User
Sys architect at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 09 2017

What is most valuable?

The Power hardware is rock-solid and reliable. You can't really ask for better hardware support, software support and reliability of the equipment. It is very powerful for what it does.

How has it helped my organization?

From a reliability standpoint it has provided us with excellent performance. We are in retail and we can't send technical people out to retail locations. We have to have a system that is very… more»

What needs improvement?

We are a special case, because what we want is the cheapest Power box we can get in all of our locations. That is not the way the industry is moving. Cloud would be a great option, if you didn't get… more»

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

Power certainly isn't a great value proposition. A lot of that has to do with the fact that everybody else in our industry, from a software or maintenance standpoint, is moving away from it. Because… more»

What other advice do I have?

Ten or 15 years ago, software would have been written. There would have been Linux and Power, and maybe Windows, but nowadays it's Linux or it's the Cloud. You can run Linux on Power, but not for what… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I consider other options all of the time but it's simpler to just keep going with what we have. We also like what Power does. It's very reliable and very powerful. And because of the code… more»
Billy Fowler
Real User
Admin at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 09 2017

What is most valuable?

* HMC * PowerVM

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to share the resources with multiple lines of businesses. That's one issue we had with one line of business, purchasing a physical server then it would be dedicated to that line of… more»

What needs improvement?

I think IBM needs a little more work on managing the overall environment with eliminating Systems Director. They need something that you can use to manage the entire environment; it's kind of where… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We were a large Solaris shop, so we had a lot of Sun and we outsourced to IGS. When IGS came in we started replacing a lot of the Sun with Power.

What other advice do I have?

IBM is moving faster with their improvements than we can implement. Coming here, to the Power User Conference, to learn the new features means I then go home and try to implement this feature and see… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We use competitors, Intel-based Linux.
Real User
Infrastructure manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 08 2017

What is most valuable?

Specifically about System i, it's simple, it's secure, it has a lot of resiliency. As far as I know, we've never been attacked by a virus. I've been supporting core banking for the past 15 to 20 years directly in Power, and before I was… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Security is one. But it's a total, comprehensive solution. It's really good for banking. As a matter of fact, I know many banks that are using AS400s as their back end on Power. It scales a lot, you can just keep on adding frames, you can… more»

What needs improvement?

IBM could perhaps be a bit more aggressive in terms of marketing, and let customers really know that they're out there and can offer a helping hand to move them along, to implement all these great features. Because, in attending the classes… more»

What other advice do I have?

Recently there have been a lot of changes, and a lot of good things that we are planning to use. What we've been seeing is that within the Power system itself, there are more and more capabilities and features. You do not have to go outside… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Really mostly IBM for the workload that we run. IBM and the System i is very well suited for it, for the core banking systems.
Cris Parker
Real User
Solution engineer with 51-200 employees
Nov 08 2017

What is most valuable?

I can get more work done with less hardware. The SMT that they've improved has really helped open up boundaries for other applications that can use it. The ones that can't, they're still single-threaded, still waiting on the CPU cycle.

How has it helped my organization?

When using it with the virtualization, we've finally gotten to the point of being able to do what VMware VirtualCenter does, but we do it more robustly, a lot faster and probably easier.

What needs improvement?

I don't know yet. We have got scalability, resiliency. We can move it from one system to another. Licensing is always going to be a problem, because it used to be based on, "This is a CPU, this is the memory, this is your footprint." Now… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Intel was the previous solution. The performance wasn't there. Linux on Power, I believe they're one of the first implementers on it. I think that was under POWER4, when no one knew anything about it. But it worked, worked beautifully. The… more»

What other advice do I have?

I mostly use AIX along with some Linux, POWER8 and POWER7. It's hard to say how the Power system uniquely positions our company in the industry because we try to do everything. But we usually try to push the Power first. Our company mainly… more»
Kip Gilmore
Real User
Aix lead at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Nov 08 2017

What is most valuable?

I like the processor speed. I don't think that there's a match for it out there. I like the use of the Hypervisor and the VIO functions that you can utilize. I just don't think that there's anything out that matches it, and it's easy to… more»

How has it helped my organization?

The flexibility of it, being able to run multiple OS's on it. I can run Linux on it, I can run i on it, I can run AIX on it, and it's all on the same physical hardware. Being able to do that, it just gives us a lot of flexibility in that… more»

What needs improvement?

I know that they are doing a lot with Linux, so maybe a more direct way of converting to Linux on some applications; some way to actually sell it a little bit better. Because you still get into the expense of going to the Power hardware… more»

What other advice do I have?

We're running on POWER7s and POWER8. We started with POWER4, and moved up. In fact, we started with 7028s and 7013s at one time. We've been in the business a good while. We're using it for AIX and now we're using it for i as well. I think… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We do have a lot of Wintel as well, so it's more of a mix and match. Yes, other things have been considered. We went with IBM because we have been with IBM hosting, and one of our main apps is running on AIX. We would have to do a lot to… more»
Chris Norville
Consultant
Senior systems admin at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Nov 09 2017

What is most valuable?

Power runs our resilient data systems, our high-end databases, stuff that can't go down. I enjoy the isolation factor, that it's not Linux, but then again it can be challenging to keep up. The Linux and VMware stuff, the administration… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Right now we use Power for high-end AIX systems. We're always looking to leverage what we're using. We have some high-end customers on our P8s. The one thing that makes life easier is it's very dependable.

What needs improvement?

Licensing has always been an issue, but with IBM machines a serial number is licensed with support. If you don't pay for it, you don't get it. I would like to see firmware available to all of the systems. We have some older systems that… more»

What other advice do I have?

In terms of how Power uniquely positions us in the healtcare industry, it is an industry that has very little downtime. Nobody likes to take any downtime at all. The Power systems, they're very dependable. We can normally depend on them not… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're an IBM/VMware shop, so all of our AIX runs on Power, and everything else is going to run on VMware. We're a composite type shop.
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IBM Power Systems are built to crush the most advanced data applications - from the mission-critical workloads you run today to the next generation of AI.
Also known as
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