IBM Power Systems announce POWER9 based LC (Linux Cluster) servers for high performance commercial applications

June 7th, 2018

Ron Gordon
Director – Power Systems

IBM Power Systems has announced the POWER9-based LC models to follow the previous IBM POWER8-based LC models. LC stands for Linux clouds and clusters, and these new servers were built in collaboration with NVIDIA and Mellanox. The new POWER9 models became available May 25, and they are supported only by Linux and by the RedHat 7.5 alt and Ubuntu 18.04 distributions. They can be virtualized with KVM or execute in a bare metal mode. These LC-based Power systems provide very high-performance, at a very low cost. They are based on the IBM POWER9 processor chip, with support for SMT4, and provide large cache memory, high memory bandwidth, PCIe Gen4, very low latency with respect to NUMA, CAPI 2.0, and the 25G bus.

The new Power Systems are developed by IBM, along with the participating OpenPower Consortium members, and they come with IBM support. There will be two models with different capabilities in support of big data and high density computational needs, based on your requirements.

  • The LC921 (model 9006-12P) is a 1U server for high density requirements. This Power System will have a choice of a 16-core 2.2 Ghz POWER9 processor or a 20- core 2.1 Ghz POWER9 processor. The server will support either a single socket or 2 sockets. The LC921 will support from 128GB to 2 TB of industry standard memory; has 4 PCIe slots; has 4 storage bays supporting up to 40 TB of HDD or 15 TB of SDD; and is NVMe Gen3 enabled with a special backplane. The LC921 Power System comes with 3 years of 9x5 IBM maintenance.

  • The LC922 (model 9006-22P) is a 2U server with higher internal storage capacity for data-oriented applications. This Power System also contains the SMT4 POWER9 processor with up to two sockets of the 16-core 2.9 Ghz processor, the 20-core 2.9 Ghz processor, or the 22-core 2.6 Ghz processor (with two sockets this is 32, 40, or 44 STM 4 cores). There are 6 PCIe slots supporting Gen4 and CAPI 2.0 and 12 storage bays supporting on a single server 120 TB of HDD, 46 TB of SSD and can support 4 NVMe Gen3 drives. The LC922 Power System comes with 3 years of 9x5 IBM maintenance.

Key features of IBM Power System LC921 and IBM Power System LC922

  • Superior compute and scaling capabilities
  • Industry leadership in IO
  • Exceptional performance for less
  • Ideal for data lake deployments
  • Dense computing design
  • Next Gen PCIe leadership
  • Superior data throughput
  • Data center efficiency

These systems are highly capable of being clustered (hence the LC… Linux Clusters) to support large data platform requirements for big data insights (the LC922) or for computational clusters needing maximum density (LC921). With the low cost and high performance, these IBM Power Systems will offer industry leadership for emerging Linux workloads, based on open source applications including the new OSDBs (Mongo, EDB, Casandra, Progres, etc.) and computational insights into new data sources via deep learning, machine learning, and AI frameworks.

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