IBM takes wraps off E1080 Power 10 server for hybrid cloud

Big Blue boasts that the Power 10 server can thump its predecessor in inference and security.

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Image: IBM

A year after it unveiled the Power 10 chip, IBM has taken the wraps off its first server to use the processor, the E1080.

Thanks to the 7-nanometre Samsung-manufactured chip, IBM is boasting the server can deliver 30% better performance per core, 50% higher total capacity at socket and system level, and overall, 33% less energy consumed compared to its 980 predecessor. Thanks to dedicated hardware, the new chip can do AI inferencing up to 5 times faster, and is 2.5 times faster on workloads involving AES encryption when compared to the E980.

"For implementing AI in business applications, you do not need to make of separate GPU-accelerated systems," IBM CTO of Power Satya Sharma said.

It is planned that the server will support metering by the minute for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift, and is touted to have a four-fold containerised throughput per core when compared to x86 systems. When used alongside Power Virtual Server in hybrid mode, workloads can be shifted into the cloud without needing to be refactored.

"The architecture that we have selected in the Power Virtual Server, from the server's storage I/O point of view, is entirely consistent between the on-prem side and the Power Virtual Server capability," Sharma said.

The company is claiming one of its customers could reduce a database running on 126 x86-based servers down to a pair of E1080, seeing an 80% drop in energy, and 70% reduction in per-core software licences.

Power 10 systems are capable of running in Power 9 or Power 8 compatibility modes, to support live partition mobility that allows running workloads to be shifted from one physical machine to another without shutting down.

"The workload doesn't even stop -- even the network connectivity stays up the whole time," Sharma told ZDNet.

"There is no performance penalty in the Power 8 and Power 9 mode."

IBM says the E1080 now holds a benchmark record for an 8-socket system running SAP, besting an HPE Superdome Flex by 40%.

Big Blue is taking orders now, with shipping expected before the end of September.

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