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A Different Way to Look at Systems

April 18, 2017

Sure, I enjoy reading about new systems. I've also done my share of writing about them. But for me, there's nothing better than being able to actually visualize hardware. Of course speeds and feeds are helpful, but I want to see where the different cables plug in, or how a server or expansion drawer fits in the rack. It's just easier to understand how things go together when you can give it the eye test.

The IBM Interactive Product Tour Catalog is a helpful tool for visualizing servers, storage and related solutions. Viewing options are divided into four main categories: Systems and Servers, System Storage, Storage Networking, and Solutions.

For example, from Systems and Storage, you can drill down into IBM LinuxONE, IBM Power Systems, IBM System z, or the IBM zEnterprise BC12. Drill down into Power Systems, and you'll find Enterprise, Scale Out, Scale Out/Linux, Converged Infrastructure, and I/O Drawer. There are many different models to choose from, including POWER7 and POWER8 options.

Once you choose the product that interests you, you can access product animations that offer views from the front, rear, and even with the cover removed. Here's the front view of an S822. By hovering your mouse over different parts of the system, you can see where the disks are located, where the SSDs would go, and where the operating panel, USB port and DVD slot are. And again, you can view it without the cover, which allows you to see the location of the fans, processor, memory, power supply and SAS cards.

The Overview option provides server specifications. Here's the description of the S822:

Power S822 is a 2-socket 2U system which can be ordered with the flexibility of either one or two processor sockets populated provides growth capacity for customers who need it. It provides the benefits of greater performance per core as well as per socket with POWER8 processors, new I/O capabilities, higher internal storage and PCIe capacities and performance, the capability to support CAPI accelerator devices, and greater RAS including hot-plug PCIe capability.

As I noted, you can also view enterprise models. For instance with the 880, you can view the system control unit, the Power I/O drawer, or the E880 CEC. There's an overview and lists of highlights and specifications for this system as well. And don't forget to check out the storage subsystems and related solutions.

This is a nice way to get more familiar with the form factors and how the systems are actually laid out. Basically, it's the next best thing to actually being in the same room as the hardware.

Posted April 18, 2017 | Permalink

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