A Closer Look at the PureFlex System

Key Drivers

So what’s it all mean? Does it really work? Are blades and servers now defunct? The short answer is the PureFlex Systems are clearly aimed at environments in the two to 32-core range, especially where both Intel and Power nodes need to communicate with minimal latency. Additionally, simplified management and pre-delivery integration are key drivers as they reduce the complexity of setup. It’s much easier to set up a 10-node p260 (each 16 cores) solution than to set up a similar p740 complex (including rack, stack, cabling, etc.). Individual servers still have a role, especially the p770 and higher, depending on whether horizontal or vertical scaling is the target.

With respect to whether it really works, I had access to a system just before announcement, and, even though it was not the production version of the Flex Manager, I was still able to test many of the capabilities and navigate around the system without needing a training session. It was far more intuitive than Systems Director and performed very well. Is it perfect? No, but IBM has done a great job publicizing the elements that will come later. I’m waiting on my lab system now so I can work on more testing, especially as it relates to latency. In the meantime, it’s worth exploring the PureFlex System as an option in your data center.

Jaqui Lynch is an independent consultant, focusing on enterprise architecture, performance and delivery on Power Systems with AIX and Linux.

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