IBM POWER7 systems for data-intensive services

Unprecedented scale for emerging industry business models, from smart electrical grids to real-time analytics

February 10, 2010

Unprecedented scale for emerging industry business models, from smart electrical grids to real-time analytics

IBM today announced new POWER7 systems designed to manage the most demanding emerging applications, ranging from smart electrical grids to real-time analytics for financial markets.  The new systems incorporate a number of industry-unique technologies for the specialised demands of new applications and services that rely on processing an enormous number of concurrent transactions and data while analysing that information in real time.

In addition, the new systems enable clients to manage current applications and services at less cost with technology breakthroughs in virtualisation, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price performance.

IBM’s new POWER7 systems, which build on the company’s 12-point revenue share gains since 2004 in the $14 billion UNIX market, can manage millions of transactions in real time and analyse the associated volumes of data typical of emerging applications. A smart electrical grid requires per-the-minute data to deliver electricity where it is needed most, in real time, while helping customers monitor their energy consumption in real time to avoid or reduce usage during the most expensive peaks each day.  A major U.S. utility moving to a smart grid pilot is moving from processing less than one million meter reads per day in a traditional grid, to more than 85 million reads per day in a smart grid.  The utility needs to collect, analyse, and present all that information to its nearly five million customers in real time versus the overnight batch processing of a traditional electrical grid which delivers monthly billing statements.

POWER7 systems can also offer industry-leading return on investment though dramatic improvements in price/performance, energy savings and virtualisation for server consolidation. The new systems can deliver four times the performance and four times the virtualisation capability for the same price — and are three to four times more energy efficient. Additionally, the total cost of acquisition and ownership can be better than competitive systems.

IBM has vastly increased the parallel processing capabilities of POWER7 systems — integrated across hardware and software — a key requirement for managing millions of concurrent transactions. As expected, the new Power Systems continue the history of IBM industry-leading transaction processing speed, optimised for database workloads, and also deliver a leap forward to “throughput” computing, optimised for running massive Internet workloads.