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Power Systems Tackles Clients’ Infrastructure Challenges

Illustration by Jacey

For most corporate enterprises, it’s a question of when, not if, they’ll virtualize their servers and desktops, move to the cloud, increase storage capacity and deploy applications like big data analytics to give their businesses a competitive edge.

The corporate network has moved far beyond the confines of the data center. Organizations use the cloud, social media and mobile devices daily to communicate and perform work-related and personal tasks. These transformative technologies are compute-intensive and complex. They require a powerful, scalable, reliable, secure and manageable infrastructure to adequately process, maintain, manage and sift through large data volumes.

“Power Systems servers are a dream to administer. Over the past 15 years, the Power platform has been extremely solid and capable of handling very large workloads and delivering robust security.”
—Andrew Baker, security manager, at Send Word Now

Server hardware is the bedrock upon which the entire infrastructure rests. Inadequate infrastructure with insufficient server hardware can undermine overall network performance, reliability and security. It can also adversely impact end-user productivity and disrupt network operations and businesses transactions with customers, partners and suppliers. This, in turn, creates a domino effect that can negatively affect revenue, raise the risk of litigation and potentially result in lost business.

The IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics surveyed 750 IT executives on the role infrastructure plays in delivering business value. (See “Let's Talk Infrastructure” put link here.) The study found nearly 90 percent of enterprises believe infrastructure enables business strategy and drives business results.

Businesses need a robust infrastructure to keep pace with the rapid advance of technology and to accommodate the increasing demands of unstructured data, big data analytic applications and the need for fast, immediate data transfers.

Rock-Solid Infrastructure

IBM Power Systems* servers with POWER8* technology began shipping in June. They are specifically architected to address the issues cited by the IBM Infrastructure Matters survey respondents as pivotal to delivering business value in a diverse cloud infrastructure built on open technologies. This includes high reliability because there’s no room for failure. Servers must also be powerful and flexible to continually innovate so clients can derive the highest value in analyzing the massive volumes of both structured and unstructured data in their networks. Finally, organizations require a powerful server infrastructure that integrates front-end and back-end systems to seamlessly allow customers and business partners to interact and adapt as needed.

Power Systems servers with POWER8 technology are fine-tuned to deliver a reliable, scalable, secure and manageable infrastructure. The latest Power Systems servers address the four crucial elements needed to effectively handle big data and cloud environments:

  1. Data is the central component and differentiation point for clients, and IBM believes an organization’s capability to store, manage and glean insight from the massive volumes of data drives operational efficiencies. POWER8 servers are designed from the chip level with increased memory bandwidth to drive more queries and searches simultaneously and to more efficiently extract information, run reports and perform analysis—especially processes like location-based analytics found on mobile devices.
  2. Agility in the infrastructure enables businesses to rapidly provision and deploy new applications and large workloads, and systems resources to address the business demands of virtualized and cloud environments.
  3. Innovation via the OpenPOWER Foundation includes dozens of companies such as Fusion-IO, Google, Hitachi, NVIDIA, Mellanox and Samsung.
  4. Security features are built in to IBM’s offerings with capabilities such as PowerHA*, failover and disaster recovery that deliver higher reliability and strengthen security by minimizing the number of vulnerabilities from the hypervisor to the OS.

Laura DiDio is principal analyst at ITIC, a Boston-based research and consulting firm.

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