IBM targets x86 server territory with new Power servers

IBM's new Power E870C and E880C servers are made for the cloud

IBM sold off its x86 server business two years ago to Lenovo, thinking it was exiting a cut-throat, low-margin business. But the cloud has only intensified x86 server chip sales, and IBM is paying attention.

The company is adapting a new range of Power servers -- which typically run powerful systems -- for the cloud. The Power E870C and E880C servers, announced Monday, are flexible in handling many tasks and can scale for distributed computing and cloud integration.

The new servers, which support Ubuntu Linux and Unix, sound similar to x86 servers powering internal and external clouds at companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. But IBM is packing in an extra set of features to make these systems reliable and flexible for public and private clouds.

As more data moves from PCs and mobile devices to the cloud, the designs of servers -- which store and process the data -- are changing. There's a growing emphasis on distributed computing and virtualization, which requires servers to be flexible when assigning computing resources to specific tasks. That flexibility helps scale performance while saving power in data centers.

IBM's new servers are built with the cloud in mind and have beefed up features for the OpenStack cloud computing software, which is highly scalable and handles large data sets. The servers also have features like IBM Cloud PowerVC Manager, which can set policies and manage compute resources for cloud-related tasks. PowerVM virtualization features are hardwired into the system to improve efficiency.

Linux vendor Canonical announced on Monday that Ubuntu OpenStack will be supported across all Power servers. With PowerVC Manager and hardware-based virtualization, the new systems will be better equipped to handle OpenStack than other Power servers.

A new feature called HMC Apps as a Service will help push more static data sitting in servers, including cloud, analytics, inventory, and performance data, to the cloud.

Mixing databases, enterprise resource planning, and cloud services in a single box is something x86 servers can't do easily. Cloud servers are usually separated from other systems that do analytics and databases, but there are some exceptions, like Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Superdome servers.

The new IBM servers will be linked to IBM's Bluemix cloud service, which is used for analytics, data collection, artificial intelligence, and other services.

The servers support AIX, IBM i, and Ubuntu Linux operating systems. The systems have Power8 chips and support up to 32TB of memory. IBM said customers would need to contact the company for pricing, which will vary depending on the configuration.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IBM

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?