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CoD Remains an Under-Utilized Option

May 23, 2017

Although Capacity on Demand has been around for years, I still encounter customers who are unaware of this option. So here's a primer/reminder:

Certainly if you run enterprise servers, you should know about CoD. The idea behind it is that you know you will need more memory or cores in the future, but you don't know precisely when. Or maybe it's only needed temporarily. (Think of any seasonal business.) Rather than add new servers or hardware, which can require planning and possible downtime, IBM will ship these enterprise class systems that have the hardware physically installed, but it's activated and paid for only when you are ready to use it. You can choose to be charged only for the resources you consume, or you can simply have the hardware activated permanently.

Here's more about the CoD offering:

Capacity on Demand allows you to easily activate processors and memory without disruption to your operations, paying for the increased capacity as your needs grow. The following programs are available:

Capacity Upgrade on Demand (static)
Capacity Upgrade on Demand provides the ability to bring new capacity on-line quickly and easily. Processors and memory can be activated dynamically without interrupting system or partition operations. Processors can be activated in increments of 1 processor, while memory can be activated in increments of 1 GB. As your workload demands require more processing power, you can activate inactive processors or memory simply by placing an order for an activation feature. You can retrieve, over the Internet an electronically encrypted activation code that unlocks the desired amount of capacity. There is no hardware to ship and install, and no additional contract is required.

Elastic Capacity on Demand (temporary)
Elastic CoD (formally known as On/Off Capacity on Demand) provides short-term processor and memory activation capability for fluctuating peak processing requirements such as seasonal activity, period-end or special promotions. When you order an Elastic CoD feature, you receive an enablement code that allows a system operator to make requests for additional processor and memory capacity in increments of 1 processor day or 1 GB memory day. The system monitors the amount and duration of the activations. Both prepay and post-pay options are available.

Utility Capacity on Demand
Utility CoD provides automated use of on demand processors from the shared processor pool for short-term workloads on IBM POWER6, POWER7 and POWER8 processor-based systems. Utility CoD is for customers with unpredictable, short workload spikes who need an automated and affordable way to help assure adequate server performance is available as needed. Usage is measured in processor minute increments.

Trial Capacity on Demand
Trial Capacity on Demand provides the flexibility to evaluate how additional resources will affect system workloads. A standard request is easily made for a set number of processor core activations and/or a set amount of memory activations. The standard requests can be made after system installation and again after each purchase of permanent processor activation. POWER5 and POWER6 servers except the POWER6 595 can activate up to 2 processor cores and/or up to 4 GB of memory. The POWER6 595, Power 770, 780 795, E870 and E880 can activated up to 8 processor cores and/or up to 64 GB of memory.

An exception request can be made one time, over the life of the machine and enables all available processor cores or memory.

Both standard and exception requests are available at no additional charge....

Trial Active Memory Expansion
Active Memory Expansion can allow a POWER7 and POWER8 server to expand beyond the physical memory limits of the server for an AIX 6.1 partition. Thus a previously memory constrained server can do more work. The degree of expansion depends on how compressible is the partition's data and on having additional CPU resource for the compression/decompression. A one-time, no-charge 60-day trial allows the specific expansion and CPU usage to be evaluated.

Power Enterprise Pools
Power Enterprise Pools establishes a new level of flexibility and value for systems that operate together as a pool of resources. Mobile activations are available for use on Power 770, 780, 795, E870 and E880 systems and can be assigned to any system in a predefined pool by the user with simple HMC commands. IBM does not need to be notified when these resources are reassigned within a pool. The simplicity of operations provides new flexibility when managing large workloads in a pool of systems. This new feature is especially appealing to aid in providing continuous application availability during maintenance windows. Not only can workloads easily move to alternate systems but now the activations can move as well.

The process of activating resources is explained here. Basically, you get the appropriate code from IBM and enter it into the HMC. Power Enterprise Pools require a little more work, as there are actual legal documents to sign, etc., but it's a great option for moving activations among a pool of multiple physical servers.

Finally, here's a list of planning guides, user guides, presentations and other technical information.

Posted May 23, 2017 | Permalink

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