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back to article IBM juices Power7 chips for midrange workhorse server

Almost precisely a year ago, IBM began the rollout of its Power7-based blade servers in the wake of Intel's Xeon 5600 and 7500 processor launches. And Big Blue is counterpunching Intel on blades and midrange machines again, with an expanded Power Systems blade server lineup and a speed bump for its workhorse Power 750 box. The …

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Not impressive

The list price of a PS703 with two 2.4GHz processors (16 cores) and 32GB of RAM is $13k. That isn't impressive, given that you can already get a PS702 (yes, slightly lower density) with two 3GHz processors and 64GB for $16k list.

I wonder how steep the discounts on these are.

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The IBM blades chassis needs another redesign.

Whilst the rack servers are fine, the IBM blade chassis still seems to be a poor performer. Previous versions have always been a weak point in the IBM server range, offering the choice of performance OR redundancy, and suffering from continual PSU upgrades. It seems the problems are still there if IBM can power and cool the top-end Pee 7 chips in the rack servers but not the blades. They just don't compare with the hp c7000 range or even the Dell PowerEdge blades, and the IBM clip-together twinned-blade offering pales in comparison to hp's ability to clip up to four full-power blades together. Tragic that you can have more cores but only if you drop the clock and the memory scale. Come on, Armonk, sort the blades out!

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re: The IBM blades chassis needs another redesign.

"Come on, Armonk, sort the blades out!"

Yeah Armonk! Matt's been told he has to move off of HP sooner than later, and he wants to move to a real chip!

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RE: re: The IBM blades chassis needs another redesign.

Well, it would be nice to have some options, but at the moment the Integrity blades just walk all over the IBM Power blades. Seeing as we've really bought into the blades idea for x64 (the only non-blade IBM or hp x64 we buy now are the 8-socket rack servers), it is easy to slide hp Integrity blades into an existing chassis. The IBM rack servers are much more competitive, so why can't IBM sort out their chassis so it can handle the power and cooling required for some real Power blades? Our Snoreacle rep may be running the FUD mill at warp 10 when he says IBM have given up on Power in blades (really ironic given Sun's dire history in blades!), but a lot of our smaller UNIX requirements just go straight to Integrity because the Power blades are weak.

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HP four wide walks all over power?

No Matt,

We looked at the HP four wide Itanium blades with 8 chips and found the two wide Power7 blade with two chips had more performance. The Power7 cores have about 2.3X the performance of Tukwila cores (just look a the TPC-H benchmark one of one two benchmarks HP has released...where is SAP 2tier!) and having twice the cores per chip.

The dual socket 16 cores blades and four socket 32 cores blades are perfect for our HPC work and since we have an ELA for websphere the denser footprint is attractive.

Oh and don't forget the Itanium four wide 8 socket offering does not have the SX3000 chipset so the 5 QPI links on Tukwila does not scale past 5 sockets directly. Woops...come on HP and Intel get your act together.

Oh and don't forget the Stuperdoom2 which has the SX3000 chipset only uses 3 of the 5 QPI links. Does Intel and HP actually collaborate on the chip?

Matt..please stop peeing in public....you are such a punter

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Happy

RE: HP four wide walks all over power?

Aw, Allipoos is getting all uposet again!

".....We looked at the HP four wide Itanium blades with 8 chips and found the two wide Power7 blade with two chips had more performance...." Doing what? Heating the room? Running xclock? Howabout running SAP, where our hp blades walked all over the IBM blades, because we did real tests with real production data in a real environment, and not make-believe benchmark sessions where the real work was beeing done by $5m of flash storage.

".......The dual socket 16 cores blades and four socket 32 cores blades are perfect for our HPC work ...." Just groovie, but I'm not doing HPC, I'm running real enterprise applications as used by real companies.

"....we have an ELA for websphere...." So what? Not everyone is running Websphere. Regardless of the fact that more IBM software is sold on hp Integrity than Power (yes, as admitted by IBM's own software salesgrunts!), that is especially funny as not so many comments ago you were insisting that not having future Oracle software development meant Itanium was dead, so by your logic the Websphere point is moot! Please try and make your mind up, darling, as I know it's a woman's perogative to change her mind without reason as often as she likes, but a little consistency would be nice.

And then you wander off into bashing Superdome2, which is funny as IBM don't have a blades-based solution that can scale to the same heights. At least you're always good for a laugh, Allipoos.

/SP&L

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The 750 vs 770/780

The 750 is a key player in our datacenter because of its performance with our non-relational database application. Its 32 cores-on-a-board design (vs. 770/780 with 16-cores on each-of up-to 4 bridged boards) is optimal for customers needing 16-28 cores.

The vendor keeps testing Intel x64 configurations to see if-when x64 can outperform these servers without resorting to multi-image database-configurations where software cost/complexity well-exceed the server purchase issues. Sun and HP configs in this size range always need the multi-image database configurations. Even though HP is the dominant supplier of servers for our datacenter, it was never close for this application.

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