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POWER7 Unveiled

Power your planet with the latest technology and four new servers

Power your planet with the latest technology and four new servers
Illustration by Nick Rotondo

The 700 Family

IBM complements the POWER7 announcement with four new Power Systems servers. For quick overviews of the systems, keep reading. For the feeds and speeds, see “Meet the 700s” (www.ibmsystemsmag.com/ibmi/webexclusive/31314p1.aspx).

r Power 750 Express IBM expects the Power 750 Express to boast world-record performance and be No. 1 in four-socket performance for major workloads. This multicore POWER7 system offers up to 32 cores and 320 partitions—much larger than the Power 550. It replaces the 550 and the Power 560. New intelligent threading technology optimizes thread use to give you either the highest per-thread performance or maximum throughput, depending on workload requirements. The Power 750 also offers Active Memory Expansion*, which lets you expand physical memory up to 100 percent, to drive significantly more throughput for applications like SAP. The Power 750 is Energy Star certified and helps reduce energy cost with EnergyScale technology. It also has a call-home capability and Light Path diagnostics.

r Power 755 The Power 755 is a specially packaged POWER7 server optimized as a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster node. Designed to be used in a multiserver node cluster, the Power 755 is a fixed-configuration package with 32 POWER7 cores with a feature set designed for HPC deployment. The Power 755 is optimized for companies and universities to run the most challenging research and commercial analytic workloads. Because of the leading-edge nature and rapidly growing performance demands of these workloads, Power 755 users are expected to be among the earliest adopters of POWER7 technology.

r Power 770 The Power 770 can be compared to the Power 570 with its modular, stackable design. On the surface, the Power 770’s 3.5 GHz in systems up to 48 cores and 3.1 GHz for systems up to 64 cores seem lower than the 5 GHz on the Power 570. But the 770 offers more cores and more performance per core, extending IBM’s performance leadership, according to Howard. In fact, it delivers two to five times the total systems aggregate throughput and up to 40 percent more performance per core. The Power 770 also offers a three- to four-times improvement in energy efficiency. Live Partition Mobility on this system provides a smooth migration from POWER6* systems to POWER7 systems without taking down any applications. The Power 770 also offers intelligent threading and Active Memory Expansion technologies.

r Power 780 The all-new high-end Power 780 is positioned between the 770 and the Power 595, the largest POWER6 technology-based system. It doesn’t replace the 595. A major new feature of the 780 is TurboCore* technology, which lets you select to run the system with fewer cores to exploit increased cache from other cores on the chip. The Power 780 offers the highest clock speed of any POWER7 system at 4.1 GHz running in TurboCore mode. TurboCore’s key advantage is that it optimizes the system to workloads such as large databases that can exploit the combination of high GHz and expanded cache for the highest per-core performance available in a POWER7 system. The 780 offers intelligent threading and Active Memory Expansion technologies and can take advantage of Live Partition Mobility as well. For more on these new technologies, see “TurboCore, Intelligent Threading and More.”

All four new systems will support AIX* 5.3 and 6.1, IBM i 6.1 and the existing versions of Linux*. “We have full binary compatibility with AIX and IBM i moving into POWER7,” Howard says. “It’s a nondisruptive move.” That means no recompilation and no program conversion.

“One of the reasons for the IBM i 6.1.1 release last October was to be ready at the microcode level for POWER7,” Howard says. “So the software that you need to support POWER7 processors is already out there and running, and supported by thousands of ISVs.”

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.

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