Having gained 13 points of UNIX server revenue share in the past 5 years, according to the IDC reports(2) IBM expects the new systems will extend its leadership over competitors.
IBM also announced a major advance in virtualization: IBM Tivoli® Usage and Accounting Manager (UAM). UAM allows IT departments and outsourcing vendors to accurately monitor and bill for individual usage of server resources, like utility companies charge for electricity and water.
"The new system is the first to combine immense power and linear scaling with the ability to create virtualized environments that map business functions with IT assets," said Ross A. Mauri, General Manager, IBM System p. "This is a powerful combination that helps make the concept of the virtualized data center into a reality."
Owning the number one position in five key benchmarks(3), the new IBM System p5 595 is designed to help companies improve IT operational efficiency while cutting overall infrastructure costs. The bigger of the two IBM servers, the 64-core p5-595 running a single instance of the IBM DB2® 9 data server on the AIX 5L operating system and using IBM System Storage DS4800, processed 4,016,222 transactions per minute on the TPC-C benchmark -- 3.2 times better than the HP Integrity Superdome. The p5-595 offered 38% better price performance than the HP machine -- $2.98 per transaction versus $4.82 per transaction.(1) The TPC-C benchmark is an industry standard for measuring the ability of a system to process complex online transactions and large volumes of business data. The TPC-C benchmark is unique in the way it exercises all components of a system, including processors, memory, networking, storage, operating system and database software, demonstrating total system performance in a way that many of the other benchmarks touted by some competitors do not.
The new systems leverage IBM's leadership Virtualization Engine technology offerings to accommodate up to 10 virtual servers -- or partitions -- per processor core, enabling clients to consolidate multiple systems and distributed applications -- even entire IT infrastructures -- on a single box.
Dual Stress Technology -- From Gaming Consoles to Servers
One of the most significant processor breakthroughs in recent years -- called Dual Stress -- is driving the dramatic leap in server performance. Developed by IBM initially for state-of-the-art video gaming consoles introduced late last year, dual stress solves a fundamental conundrum of physics that had vexed processor designers since the dawn of the semiconductor industry. The scientists discovered a method of simultaneously stretching and compressing the silicon to deliver a dramatic surge in system performance and power efficiency. The breakthrough process is designed to result in up to a 24 percent transistor speed increase, at the same power levels, compared to similar transistors produced without the technology. Dual Stress can also be used to lower power consumption.
Faster, more power-efficient transistors are the building blocks of higher performance, lower power processors. As transistors get smaller, they operate faster, but also risk operating at higher power and heat levels due to electrical leakage or inefficient switching. IBM's strained silicon helps overcome these challenges.
Dual Stress enhances the performance of both types of semiconductor transistors, called n-channel and p-channel transistors, by stretching silicon atoms in one transistor and compressing them in the other. Dual Stress technique works without the introduction of challenging, costly new production techniques, allowing for its rapid integration into volume manufacturing using standard tools and materials.
Balanced System Design
IBM's attention to balanced system design helps transmit and magnify the performance boost provided by Dual Stress at the processor level all the way to the system level. The speeds of components of the new systems, including processor-to-processor interconnects, processor to cache speed, all chips and buses, have been scaled up from previous systems to help maintain balanced system performance
"IBM's microprocessor leadership -- our chips power everything from gaming consoles to supercomputers -- is key to our server leadership," said Mauri. "But equally important is our unmatched success in designing total systems, including software that can take advantage of processor improvements. For the future, IBM is committed to extending our lead in processors, matching it every step of the way with substantial innovations at the system level. The unparalleled scalability of AIX 5L and DB2 9 complement the hardware to produce a superior overall system solution."
IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager
IBM's new Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager ("ITUAM"), available on the new systems, enables clients to measure for technical resources usage costs in a virtualized environment and integrate them directly into an organization's accounting structure -- by application, business unit, division, department, cost center, or project. ITUAM collects information from operating systems, databases, networks, storage systems, applications and virtualized environments and "understands" which part of an organization consumes each of these resources, enabling administrators to charge the appropriate department for such resource usage.
For example, a financial services company's commercial loan business might involve thousands of employees using dozens of applications running across several virtual servers. ITUAM will report total IT costs charged to the commercial loans unit and allow the company to drill down to see how much of the total is spent on databases, email, printing, servers, and all other resources. Amazingly granular in the reports it generates, ITUAM can break down database statistics, say, by mainframe, UNIX and Windows®, Linux®, etc. The database costs can be further parsed by server, giving the client specifics on the individual resource level for each server.
Combining the functionality of the IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager with the existing AIX 5L technology offered by System p servers provides clients a proportioning capability with unsurpassed flexibility, which helps them to accurately anticipate and meet their resource demands. The two features together allow virtually instantaneous creation, deletion and movement of partitions as well as workload reallocation.
IBM Usage and Accounting Manager's simple GUI enable changes to be easily made in real time and often automatically, helping users realize greater efficiency and resource usage.
IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems on System p
IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems will be included on the new System p servers as a no-charge, preinstalled product. The security software helps to defend against many of the top internal and external security threats facing enterprises today such as insider threats and identity theft. The security software helps prevent unauthorized access to valuable customer, employee and business data and facilitates compliance with corporate security policy and regulatory requirements.
IBM Server Consolidation Factory for System p
The combination of Usage and Accounting Manager with the virtualization capabilities of System p servers creates a powerful opportunity to consolidate customers currently using large numbers of smaller, less efficient servers, which in aggregate can consume vast quantities of floor space and electricity in addition to being hard to manage. To that end, IBM is launching the IBM Server Consolidation Factory for System p. The Factory delivers a complete solution including hardware, middleware, consulting and deployment services, together with financing to help customers move to a virtualized environment on System p. The Factory can also mitigate risks to IT operations both during and after the deployment. The result is a data center where all elements are configured to be reusable, shared and optimized.
IBM System p5 590 and 595 Designed for Scalability
The new servers are built with 16-core units called "books," each containing two 8-core multichip modules (MCMs) with four dual-core POWER5+ processor chips. Processor clock speeds available on the 64-core p5-595 are 2.3 GHz or 2.1 GHz, while the 32-core p5-590 offers 2.1 GHz processors. Each processor chip contains 1.9MB of Level 2 (L2) cache and an integrated memory controller. In addition, the MCM contains 36MB of L3 cache per dual-core processor chip, for a total of 144MB L3. Each book provides 16 memory card slots, allowing 8GB to 512GB of high-speed 533 MHz DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory per book. So a p5-590 can scale up to 32 cores and 1TB of memory, while the p5-595 goes all the way to a 64-core system and an amazing 2TB of total memory capacity.
IBM SPEC results were submitted to SPEC on 7/25/06.
All competitive benchmark results current as of 7/25/06.
Source of TPC-C results is http://www.tpc.org.
Source of SPEC results is http://www.spec.org.
Source of SAP results is http://www.sap.com/solutions/benchmark/index.epx
(1) IBM TPC-C result of 4,016,222 tpmC, $2.98 on a 64-core (32 processor chips, 128 threads) 2.3 GHz POWER5+ System p5-595 (configuration planned to be available 12/20/06) running DB2 9.1 on AIX 5L V5.3 vs. HP TPC-C result of 1,231,433 tpmC, $4.82/tpmC on a 64-core (64 chips, 64 threads) 1.6 GHz Intel® Itanium® 2 Integrity Superdome (configuration available 6/05/06)
(2) Based on IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, 1Q06, issued on May 24, 2006
(3) IBM TPC-C result of 4,016,222 tpmC, $2.98 on a 64-core (32 processor chips, 128 threads) 2.3 GHz POWER5+ System p5-595 (configuration planned to be available 12/20/06) running DB2 9.1 on AIX 5L V5.3 using IBM System Storage DS4800;