IBM Announces Power Systems Enterprise 980 Server for Mission-Critical Workloads

August 16th, 2018

Ron Gordon
Director – Power Systems

Director Power Systems

IBM Power Systems has announced the highest capacity, highest performing, and most reliable server in their POWER9 technology family, the IBM Power System E980. Announced on August 7, 2018, along with the E950, this high-end enterprise server provides support for extremely high-vertical scaling applications and has the capability to support over 1,500 threads per virtual machine using IBM’s PowerVM (which is included in the system for no charge). With the fastest POWER9 processors in the IBM Power Systems portfolio, the Power E980 delivers extraordinary performance and availability for data centers with demanding Linux, AIX, and IBM i applications.

Inside the E980

The features that allow the tremendous functionality of the E980 are built around the IBM Power Systems POWER9 processor with 8, 10, 11 or 12 cores per socket, with options ranging from 3.55 to 3.9 GHz in nominal mode and up to 4.0 GHz when running in the default performance mode. The IBM Power E980 is a multi-node design similar to the prior Power System 880C. The E980 can be configured with 1 to 4 5U nodes and must have the 2U Integrated System Control Unit (ISU) for connectivity and management. Each node can have 1 to 4 sockets, and each socket can support up to 4TB of Centaur-buffered DDR4 memory, for a total of up to 192 POWER9 cores and 64TB of memory.

The IBM Power Systems E980 does not contain any internal storage bays, but it does contain up to 4 NVMe integrated modules per node Each individual NVMe “drive” contains two 800GB capacity high-performance storage devices that can be used for boot purposes of VIOS or partitions and can be managed by PowerVM. For connectivity of network and storage, each E980 node can support up to 4 expansion drawers or utilize the 8 PCIe Gen4 blindswap low-profile slots in each node.

Mission-Critical Apps

The capacity of the E980 supports massive application needs of mission-critical applications like SAP HANA and Epic, with single-image support and integrated development, test and staging all in a single server. Since the mission-critical and highly-scaled applications need high reliability, RAS features, such as redundant clocks in each node, redundant VRMs , memory and core sparing, redundant FSPs in each node and 32 other RAS features, the IBM Power Systems E980 provides a 99.9996 availability factor. These features, as well as new solutions called IBM Cloud Private, PowerVC, and PowerVM, provide both private and hybrid cloud capabilities, where hybrid cloud is becoming the most prevalent “cloud’ implementation in most industries

Hardware and Software Support

Additional points of interest for the IBM Power Systems E980… it comes with 1 year of 24x7 support and is in the medium software tier. The system’s features and functions are fully supported by AIX 7.2, IBM i 7.3, RedHat 7.5 LE and SLES 12. Additional operating system support is provided by AIX 6.1 and 7.1, as well as IBM i 7.2, all of which must be at the latest TL and TR levels. The IBM E980 can participate in Enterprise Pools with POWER8 870, 8790C, 880 and 880C systems. The IBM Power Systems E980 comes with 10,000 Power Rewards Points and 3 years of Cloud Management Console support.

Contact Mainline for Additional Information

This is a short overview of the new IBM POWER9-based E980 and, in my opinion, this system is well engineered to meet critical computing needs. It is the industry- leading platform for highly-virtualized consolidations, high-capacity system requirements, and private clouds. Contact your Mainline Account Executive for an architectural design of a system to meet your needs or click here to contact us with any questions..

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