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April2014,IDC#247232

WHITE PAPER
Innovations to IBM Power Systems for the Virtualization,
Multitenancy, and Cloud Demands of the 3rd Platform
Sponsoredby:IBM
MatthewEastwood
April2014
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TheworldofITischanging.WeareintheearlystagesofwhatIDCdescribesasthe3rdPlatformof
computing,inwhichBigData,cloudcomputing,mobile,andsocialtechnologiesarefundamentally
transformingthecomputingandbusinesslandscape.This3rdPlatformisenablingenterprisestofind
newwaysofusingtheirdatacenterstodrivebusinessvalueandasasourceofcompetitive
differentiation.OrganizationsthatdonotincorporatetheuseofBigData,cloud,andother3rdPlatform
technologiesriskbeingleftbehind.
Butleveraging3rdPlatformtechnologiessuchasBigDataandcloudmustbedonethoughtfully.
MaximizingthevalueofBigDatarequirescomprehensivedatamanagementthatallowsdifferent
workloadstobedeployedacrossasinglearchitecturewithanintegratedsetofanalyticand
managementtools.Cloudrequiressupportforvirtualizationandvirtualmachine(VM)optimizationat
theserverlevelandnewlevelsofsecuritytoallayprivacyandsecurityconcerns.AndasBigDataand
other3rdPlatformtechnologiesincreasinglybecomemissioncritical,theyrequireaninfrastructure
withthereliability,availability,andserviceability(RAS)featurestypicallyusedtosupportresource-
intensive,mission-criticalworkloadssuchasOLTP,businessapplications,anddatawarehouses.And
ITorganizationswantprotectionfortheirmission-criticalinvestments,agoalthatisgenerallybest
achievedbyworkingwithvendorsthathavetheresources,scale,andecosystemtoensurethatthey
areinitforthelonghaul.
IBMPowerSystemsserversaredesignedtoaddresseachoftheseneeds.IBMPowerSystemshave
alongtrackrecordofsupportingcomputationallyintensiveapplications,includingenterprisesystems
ofrecord,informationstorage,andretrievalsystemsthatactastheauthoritativesourceofdataforkey
businessapplicationsandservices.IDCexpectsthatwiththePOWER8release,IBMwillcontinueto
supportthetypesofperformanceandRASfeaturesthathavekeptPowerSystemsattheforefrontof
platformssupportingmission-criticalsystems.Inaddition,withPOWER8,IBMisintroducingaseriesof
newinnovationssuchasgreatermultithreading,supportforhigherVMdensityandVMmobility,and
CoherentAcceleratorProcessorInterface(CAPI)accelerationtobettersupport3rdPlatform
requirements.
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IBMclearlyintendsPOWER8toprovidefurtherheadroomforenterprisesalreadyrunningcompute-
intensive,mission-criticalworkloadsonPowerSystemsservers.Inaddition,IBMseemstobefocused
onorganizationsthatarerunning3rdPlatformandotherapplicationsonx86platformsthatneedto
upgradetheirinfrastructurewithbettervirtualization,greaterworkloaddensity,andperformance
accelerationforBigData.AndwithCAPI,IBMisdemonstratingitsunderstandingoftheimportanceof
platformchoiceandecosystemsupportforawidevarietyoftraditionalaswellasnext-generation
workloads.
SITUATION OVERVIEW: THE 3RD PLATFORM AND BIG DATA ARE CHANGING
THE IT LANDSCAPE
Inrecentyears,therehasbeenamajorchangeincomputingmarkedbyanexplosionindevicesand
fundamentalshiftsinthewayusersinteractwithtechnology.IDCreferstothisasthe3rdPlatformof
computing,andunlikethe2ndPlatform,whichwasdefinedbythepredominanceofPCsand
client/servercomputing,the3rdPlatformisbuiltonafoundationofBigData,cloud,mobile,andsocial
technologies.
Manyoftheoriginalinstancesofthese3rdPlatformtechnologiesweredeployedforconsumer
technologies,butasconsumersgrewtoappreciatetheconvenienceandcontroltheyprovided,they
havebeenincreasinglydemandingthattheiremployersandothercompaniestheydobusinesseswith
supportthemaswell.Today,3rdPlatformtechnologiesarecommoninmostenterprisesandarethe
basisforthenextgenerationofenterprisebusinessinnovationthatorganizationsacrossallindustries
willneedtostayattheforefrontinordertoremaincompetitive.
ButevenaswetransitiontoanewmodelofITdelivery,companiesmustleveragetheirlargeexisting
investmentsincurrent-generationtechnologies.Itisneitherfinanciallynorlogisticallyviablefor
companiestocompletelychangeouttheirITinfrastructure,anditmakessenseforcompaniestomove
tothe3rdPlatforminawaythatbuildsoncurrentinvestments.Tosupportthispoint,IDCworkloads
researchindicatesthatthecorehigh-valueworkloads 45%ofallserverspend remain
predominantlyonestablishedreducedinstructionset(RISC),typicallyUnixenvironments,and
completeinstructionset(CISC),typicallySystemzserverenvironments(seeFigure1).Itisimportant
tounderstandthatBigDataisorthogonaltoabroadsetofworkloadsrunninginatypicalenterprise
datacenterandnotinandofitselfinclusiveoftraditionaldatawarehousinganddataanalytics.IDC
notesthatasignificantpartofinfrastructurespendingforhigh-valueworkloadslikethoseinFigure1
alsocovers3rdPlatformneedssuchassecurity,privacy,compliance,RAS,andvirtualization.
2014IDC #247232 3
FIGURE 1
Business Processing, OLTP, Data Warehousing, Data Analytics, and Application
Development and Deployment: High-Value Workloads and Their Server Platforms,
20122017

Note:High-valueworkloadsincludebusinessprocessing,OLTP,datawarehousing,dataanalytics,and
applicationdevelopmentanddeployment(AD&D).
Source:IDC,2014

Supporting Big Data Workloads


BigDataisoneofthefourpillarsofthe3rdPlatform.Itistransformingtoday'senterpriseandthewayit
interactswiththemarketplace.Everyyear,thevolumeofdatathatenterprisesmusthandlecontinues
togrow,withIDCdatashowingitisdoublingevery18months.ThisiscreatinghugechallengesforIT
organizations,notjustintermsofhousingallthisdatabutintermsofputtingtherighttools,
technologies,andprocessesinplacetouseiteffectively.
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
CISC
RISC/EPIC
x86
$25.8B
Customer Spending (%)
45%
2014IDC #247232 4
ITinfrastructureisseparatedintothreetiers:edge,application,anddatabase.BigDataincludes
structureddata,whichishousedonsystemsofrecordinthedatabasetierusuallyonverylarge,high-
endservers,aswellasunstructureddata,whichistypicallykeptonscale-outservervolumes.While
organizationshavedeployedanalyticsapplicationsdesignedtoaccessthedataintheserepositories,
itisimpossibletotakeadvantageofthedatainameaningfulwayunlessyoucaninformreal-time
businessdecisionsdifferentlythanyoucouldwithoutit.TrulyleveragingtheseBigDatasystemsand
providingthisreal-timeresponserequirestagingdataappropriatelyandhousinganalyticsapplications
likeHadoopclosetothesystemsofrecordandnotdownloadingthedatatobeanalyzedonseparate
siloedserversinadifferentportionoftheorganizationorinfrastructure.Thisinturnrequiresa
comprehensivedatamanagementsolutiontoallowthesedifferentworkloadstobedeployedacrossa
singleplatformarchitecturewithanintegratedsetofanalyticanddatamanagementtoolsonasystem
withsufficientscalabilityandthroughputtohandleverycomputationallyintensiveworkloads.
Supporting Cloud and Virtualization
Anothermajorpillarofthe3rdPlatformiscloudtechnologies.Cloudistakingtheplaceofthe
traditionalITservicedeliverymodel,providesorganizationsgreaterflexibilityintheirITspendingand
deployments,andoffersthepromiseofgreaterscalabilityandagility.Cloudoffersamodelfornew
serviceplatforms,marketplaces,anddevelopercommunitieswherethemostsought-aftersolutions
willlive,andthechoiceofcloudplatformswilleitherexpandacompany'sabilitytofindandleverage
thebestnewsolutionsorconstrainit.
Thereareseveralmodelstodeploycloudpublic,private,orhybridandwhetheryouarean
enterprisedeployingaprivateorhybridmodeloracloudproviderscalingyourpubliccloudofferings,
thechoiceofunderlyingtechnologiesiscriticaltoyoursuccess.Theplatformsyouchoosemustbe
cloudenabledwithsupportforlargenumbersofVMs,applicationisolationformultitenancy,workload
density/utilization,andtheabilitytoscalerapidly.Organizationsarealsolookingtofurtherdefinetheir
datacenterenvironmentsbyusingasoftwaremodelthatheavilyleveragesopensourcecloud
frameworks.PowerSystemsincludeacommitmenttoanumberofimportantareasofopensource
innovationincludingKVMandOpenStackaswellasexpandingsupportforadditionalLinux
distributionsaroundtheglobe.Thesetechnologieshelpenterprisesachievethedisaggregationof
softwarefromhardwarenecessarytopursueprivate,public,andhybridcloudcomputinginitiatives.
Alleviating Operating Costs
IDCdatashowsthatinrecentyears,IToperatingcostshaveskyrocketed.Whilethecostfor
computingisdecliningdroppingby50%everytwoyearsothercostfactorsareontherise,suchas
datavolumes,whicharedoublingevery18months,andthenumberofapplicationsITmustsupport,
whichisdoublingevery4years.
TheneteffectisthatopexcostsforITorganizationshavebeendoublingevery8years.In1995,theratio
ofITopextocapexspendingwas0:5.Thisratiogrewto1:5in2005andisprojectedtogrowto3:9by
2015(seeFigure2).Thegrowthinopexspending,mostofwhichisrequiredsimplyto"keepthelightson,"
iscrowdingoutIT'sabilitytospendonnewinnovationsandtosupportnewinitiativesintheorganization.
Thismakesitevenmorecriticalthatorganizationsmaximizetheuseoftheirexistinginvestmentssothat
themaximumavailablebudgetcanbespentonnewinnovationsandstrategicinitiatives.
2014IDC #247232 5
FIGURE 2
Workload Growth and the Consequent Customer Spending on Servers, Server
Administration, and Power and Cooling: 19972017

Notes:
Weexpectcapexserverspending,asapercentageoftotalspendingonserverinfrastructure,todropfromover65%in1997tojust
under20%oftotalspendby2017.
Workloads,asmeasuredbythenumberofinstancesorvirtualmachines(VMs),willhaveincreased24timesbetween1997and
2017.
Source:IDC,2014

Tocombatthistrend,ITorganizationsareunderintensepressuretoreduceoperationalcosts,
includingITstaffcosts,managementandmaintenancecosts,andthecostsofunplanneddowntime.
Someofthemostcommon,andeffective,cost-reducingstrategiesareconsolidation/virtualization,
automationandintegration,andcloudsourcing.Infact,inIDC'sServerVirtualization2013Study
(December2013),datacentermanagersindicatedthatinitiativescenteredonthesecost-containment
strategiesarethehighestsinglesetofprioritiesinITorganizations,rankingaheadofinitiativestogrow
thebusiness,supportbusinessinnovation,andmanagerisk.
Consolidation,virtualization,andprivatecloudinitiativesenableorganizationstoreducetheirserver
footprints,whichcanyieldsignificantIToperatingcostreductions.Therearetwoprimaryinfrastructure
strategiesforcustomerslookingtoefficientlyachieveconsolidationinthedatacenter.Oneislarger
SMPsystemconfigurationsthataredesignedtosupportmixedworkloadsandhavetheabilityto
$0
$50
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$250
$300
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$400
1997 2002 2007 2012 2017
Power & Cooling
Server
Administration
Server Spending
Customer Spending ($B)
19% 24% 34%
44%
67%
Workloads (M of OS Instances)
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0
Workloads
2014IDC #247232 6
manageworkloadpeaksefficiently,whichoffercustomersincreasedinfrastructureflexibility.The
secondareaoffocusforcustomersseekingefficientlyconsolidatedenvironmentsiscapacity-on-
demand(COD)capabilities,whichallowdynamicexpansionandcontractionofresourcepools.
Takingmaximumadvantageoftheseinitiativesrequiresenterprise-classserversthatofferflexible
licensingmodels;providelarge,flexibleresourcepoolsthatcansupplycapacityondemand;andcan
supportmixedworkloads.
3rd Platform Workloads Combine Reliability, Availability, and
Serviceability Requirements with High Degrees of Scalability
Traditionally,someofthemostdemanding,mission-criticalworkloadsthatITorganizationshavehad
tosupportaretransaction-orientedworkloads.Fortheseworkloads,ITorganizationsareinvestingin
solutionsthatremovesinglepointsoffailure.Thisincludeshigh-reliabilityinfrastructureandhigh-
availabilityarchitectureandsoftwaresolutionstoensurecontinuousdelivery.Thisalsoincludes
choosingserverswithspecificRASfeaturesbuiltintothemtosupportgreaterlevelsofresiliency,fault
tolerance,andautomatedserviceandsupport.
Withthe3rdPlatform,anincreasingnumberof3rdPlatformworkloadsarecrossingintothe"mission
critical"category.Asaresult,moreofthesetechnologiesnowrequirethesamelevelofRAS,security,
andperformancethatwaspreviouslyreservedonlyfortransaction-orientedworkloads.More
organizationsarelookingtodeployBigDataandcloudworkloadsonenterprise-classsystemswith
robustRASfeaturesbutthatstillofferthefeaturestoscaleoutandsupportlargeVMenvironments
suchasmultithreadedprocessorsandhighworkloaddensity.IBMPowerSystemscontinuetoimprove
thesecapabilitieswithfeaturessuchasEnterprisePoolsandthePowerIntegratedFacilityforLinux
(PowerIFL).Additionally,3rdPlatformworkloadsstandtobenefitfromaccelerationtechnologiessuch
asGPUs,field-programmablegatearrays(FPGAs),andflashcache,whichallowCPUstosecurely
anddirectlyaccessmemoryasifitwereastandardCPUcore.Mobile-basedtransactionsarealso
increasingrapidlyanddrivingtheneedforinfrastructurethatcanmeetgreaterworkloaddemands,
includingincreasedperformancefordata,scalability,security/privacy,andhighdegreesofavailability
(assystemsmustnowbeabletoprovidesupporttousers24x7).
IBM POWER8
WithPOWER8,thesuccessortoPOWER7andPOWER7+,IBMwillnowbeincreasinglyfocusedon
supportingLinuxinadditiontotheinstalledbaseofIBMAIXUnixandIBMionIBMPOWER8
Systems.Thiswillenableittosupportmoreopensourceworkloads,includingOpenStack-basedcloud
workloads.IDCnotesthatmanyofthePOWER8capabilitiesincludingscale,performance,RAS,
security,andvirtualizationareavailableinPOWER7+.Thatsaid,POWER8includessignificant
enhancementstothesecorefeatures.

2014IDC #247232 7
POWER8 Feature and Performance Improvements
ChiefPOWER8featuresincludethefollowing:
12coresperPOWER8chip,comparedwiththe8coresusedinPOWER7and
POWER7+(POWER8ismanufacturedusinga22nm[nanometer]process.)
EightthreadspercoreinplaceofthefourthreadspercoreinPOWER7+
OptimizationsforgreaterVMdensityandforpowerefficiency
Acceleratorsformemoryexpansion,encrypting/decryptingcode;transactionalmemory;VMM
assistandVMMobilitytoimproveandsimplifythedevelopment,porting,andoperationof
mission-critical,demandingapplications
Largercachingstructures,with96MBintheL3cacheand128MBintheL4cache,forhandling
databaseandanalyticsworkloadsbystaginglargerchunksofdataclosertothechipfor
processing
Memorybufferchip,whichimprovesend-to-endprocessingacrossPOWER8;sustained
memorybandwidthreaching230GBpspersocketcomparedwith86GBpsonPOWER7+
processors
CoherentAcceleratorProcessorInterface(CAPI)includesanacceleratorfeaturethatallows
PCIedevices,suchasGPUs,FPGAs,andflashcache,todirectlyandsecurelyaddress
memoryasifitwereastandardCPUcore.)
NativesupportforthePCIeserver/IOinterfacestandards;supportforPCIeGen3
POWER8hasfastersingle-threadprocessingthantheearlierPOWERchips,withprocessingupto1.9
timeswhatitwasinPOWER7.IDCexpectsthatatmaximum,thePOWER8corewilldelivertwicethe
overallprocessingpowerofPOWER7.IDCalsounderstandsthatPOWER8willimproveVMdensities
andwillbemoreefficientthanearliergenerationsofPOWERtechnologyvianewhardware
virtualizationassists.
POWER8alsoprovidesimprovedsupportforIBMDB2withBLUAcceleration,anewgenerationof
in-memorydatamanagementtechnology,whichtypicallydelivers8xto25ximprovementsinanalytic
reportingand10xstoragespacesavingscomparedwithDB210.x.Basedonthesenewcapabilities,
organizationsshouldbeabletosignificantlydecreasetheirserverfootprintforequivalentcomputing
performance,reducesoftwarelicensingcosts,andimprovesinglethreadperformanceand
virtualizationdensity.
Designed to Bring Performance and RAS to 3rd Platform Workloads
WithPOWER8,IBMappearstobepursuingastrategyofbridgingthegapbetweentheneedsof
traditionalOLTPworkloads,withhighdegreesofreliability,accessibility,andsecurity,andtheneeds
ofthe3rdPlatform,withsupportforvirtualization,VMmobility,andCAPIacceleration.IBMhasalso
emphasizedthecentralityofBigDataanalyticsworkloadsinitsdesignwithincreasedparallelism,
highermemory,andI/Obandwidth.InadditiontotraditionalscalableUnixworkloads,POWER8isalso
designedtoprovideanattractiveandcost-effectivealternativetox86,wheretheorganizationhasa
scale-outstrategy,wheredata-centricapplicationperformanceisthemostimportantcharacteristic,or
wheresmallx86clusterscanbeconsolidatedintoasingle2-socketPOWER8boxforefficiency.
2014IDC #247232 8
Assuch,IBMistargetingPOWER8toprovideenterprise-classcharacteristicstoworkloadsthatwere
oncethedomainofscale-outserversthatofferlessrobustRASandsecurityfeatures.Atthesame
time,itisdesignedtoremainaviableinvestmentwhereyouneedmaximumefficiency,maximum
RAS,aplatformtosupportabroadmixofmoretraditionalUnixapplicationswithaneedforshared
resourcesdeliveredviaascalablesinglesystemimage,orlarge-scaleconsolidation.
Push for Linux and Open Standards
WhilePowerSystemsprocessorshavesupportedLinuxforsometime,withPOWER8,IBMis
supportingabroadinitiativeaimedatexpandingthenumberofPowerSystemsshippingwithLinuxas
theprimaryoperatingsystem.Further,newPOWER8featuresinstantiatedinfirmwarewillallowmore
codetorunonPowerSystemsthanbefore,whichcouldexpandIBM'sfootprintinLinux-based
computingandhelpthecompanygainagreaterfootholdincloudcomputingandBigDataHadoop
analytics.IBMplanstosupporttheopensourceKVMhypervisor,inadditiontoitsownPowerVM
hypervisor,whichIBMisusingasanotherwaybothtocompetemorestronglyagainstx86where
scale-outistheprimarydeploymentmodelandtocompetemorestronglyintheenterprisesegments
wherePOWERisthehighestlogicalunitbutscale-outhasbeenonx86.
Totapthisopportunity,IBMhasannouncedthatitisspending$1billionoverthreeyears.That
investmentincludestheopeningofanumberofPowerSystemsLinuxCentersworldwideincluding
sitesinBeijing;NewYorkCity;Austin,Texas;andMontpellier,France.
Building the POWER8 Ecosystem
IBMplanstoleverageitsPowerSystemsinvestmentsintoawiderecosystemencompassingLinux,
IBMAIX,andIBMiandincludingabroaderportfolioofLinuxandopensourceworkloads.One
exampleistheOpenPOWERFoundationforwhichIBMisworkingwithGoogle,Tyan,NVIDIA,
Mellanox,ResearchInstituteofJiangsuIndustrialTechnology,Samsung,andotherstoenablea
varietyofworkloadsonPOWER8technology.
TheOpenPOWERFoundationwillallowmemberstobuildserver,networking,storage,and
GPU-accelerationtechnologybyleveragingIBM'sPOWERarchitecture.Muchofthisworkwillfocus
onhyperscalecomputingdatacenters,suchasthoseusedbycloudserviceproviders(CSPs).Open
sourcefirmwarewillbemadeavailabletoOpenPOWERmembers.
Inaddition,inFebruary2014,IBMlaunchedaLinuxonPowerdevelopmentcloud.Aimedatprogrammers
anddevelopers,thisisafreecloudserviceprovidedandsupportedbyIBM.Itwillsupportbuilding,porting,
andtestingofLinuxworkloadsonPowerSystemsandwillalsoallowprogrammerstotestworkloadsfor
IBMAIXandIBMi.Initsannouncements,IBMhasnotedthat400ISVs,withmorethan1,000Linux
applications,arecertifiedforuseonPowerSystemsservers.IBMwillbetargetingarangeofapplications,
includingtheOracleandSAPapplicationecosystems,torunonPowerSystems.
Importantly,throughtheOpenPOWERFoundation,organizationswillbeallowedtolicensePOWER
intellectualproperty(IP)fromIBMforuseinsystemstargetingarangeofnewworkloadsformobility
andcloudcomputing.ThefirstproductsfromalliancepartnersleveragingOpenPOWERwilluseIBM's
POWER8technology,whichisexpectedtoshipin2014.
2014IDC #247232 9
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
IBMhasalonghistoryofinvestmentinstrategicecosystemenablementforitstechnologies,andthe
PowerSystemsecosystemisalsobenefitingfromtheseinvestmentsintwoimportantareas.First,IBM
announceda$1billioninvestmentinenablingadditionalLinuxonPowerbyworkingcloselywith
independentsoftwaredevelopersaroundtheworldtoincreasethenumberofapplicationsoptimizedto
runonPower.Second,IBMannouncedthecreationoftheOpenPOWERFoundationinAugust2013.
Themembersoftheconsortium,includingGoogle,NVIDIA,andMellanox,havecommittedtowork
togetherandbuildserver,storage,networking,andGPUaccelerationtechnologiesthatleverageIBM's
POWERmicroprocessortechnology.ThisconsortiumwillbeabletolicensePOWER8intellectual
propertyfromIBMforuseinsystemstargetinganumberofrapidlyemerging3rdPlatformworkloads
spanningmobile,cloud,andBigDataanalytics.
IBMhasinvestedbillionsofdollarsonthedevelopmentofthecorePOWERmicro-architecture,
associatedsoftware,andsiliconfabricationcapabilities.IDCseesanumberofopportunitiesand
challengesforIBMasitrollsoutitsnewPOWER8offerings.Opportunitiesinclude:
RefreshopportunitieswithintheIBMPowerSystemsinstalledbase.Withitsimproved
performanceandscalability,POWER8presentsanopportunityfororganizationsalready
runningperformance-intensive,mission-criticalapplicationsonthePowerSystemsplatformto
extendthelifeofthoseapplications.NewperformancecapabilitieswithPOWER8alsoenable
smallersystemstorunmorediverseworkloads,enablingsmallerbusinessestoleverage
Powerfor3rdPlatformworkloadsmoreefficiently.
Platformmigrationfordemandingworkloads.IDCresearchshowsstabilizationinthepaceof
migrationofmission-critical,transaction-orientedworkloadsawayfromtraditionalUnix
servers.IBM'sPowerSystemsremainanattractivelandingplaceforUnixworkloadsrunning
oncompetitiveplatformsfromHPandOracle.IBM'scommitmenttotheplatform,coupledwith
theecosystemdevelopmentinvestmentsnotedpreviously,helpsensurethatPowerSystems
remainoptimizedforawiderangeoftier1mission-criticalworkloads.Forexample,Power
Systemsservers'multithreadedcoresandRASfeaturescouldsupportdatabase,transaction,
andBigDataanalyticworkloadsastheymoveontoahighlyvirtualizedandmanagedplatform.
Supportforcloudcomputing.Whetherforrunninganinternalcloudorforcloudservice
providers,POWER8supportforvirtualizationatthechiplevelenablesserviceorganizationsto
spinupmultiplevirtualmachinesquicklywhilereducingtheperformanceoverheadassociated
withtypicalvirtualmachineinstances.
EnablingreducedIToperatingcoststhroughserverconsolidation.Housingboththe
applicationandthedatalayeronasinglePOWER8systemenablesreductioninthehardware
footprint,enablingenterprisestoachievehigherITstaffproductivity,increasedresource
utilization(CPU,memory,andnetwork),reducedsoftwarelicensingcosts,reducedenergy
consumption,reducedITinfrastructurecosts,andextendeddatacenterlife.IDC'sBusiness
Valueresearchshowsthatconsolidatingworkloadsontofewerhardwaresystemscanreduce
IToperationalcostsforITstaffby50%+,power/coolingupto20%+,anduseofdatacenter
realestateby30%+,freeingupspendingformorestrategicinvestments.Whileconsolidation
isattractiveonPOWER7+systems,newcapabilitiesonPOWER8extendthesebenefitstoa
broadersetofcustomersandworkloads.

2014IDC #247232 10
Challengesinclude:
AbilityofIBMtoexpandacomplexecosystem.Systemsofrecordandsystemsofengagement
requiredeeplevelsofinvestmentandintegration.Tohaveviability,ahealthyecosystem
requirescommitmentfromotherpartnersISVs,systemsintegrators,andVARstosupport
andextendtheirowninvestmentsdeeperintotheenvironment.IBMhasbeeninvesting
heavilyinitsPOWERarchitectureandhasmadeanumberofinvestmentsintendedto
expandthePowerSystemsecosystem,whicharenotedpreviously.However,IBMwillface
achallengetobuildthecriticalmassnecessarytofullyrealizetheexpansionofthe
PowerSystemsecosystemamongotherpartners.
Investmentsinopenstandardsmaynotgenerateintendedreturns.IDCbelievesIBMis
makinganumberofcriticallyimportantinvestmentsintendedtoexpandthePOWER
architecturedeeperintoopencomputingenvironments.Theseinvestmentsincludethe
creationoftheOpenPOWERFoundationaswellassignificantexpendituresdesignedto
expandtheLinuxonPowerecosystem.IDCnotesthattheseinvestmentscouldface
headwindsinthemarketprimarilyfromthex86ecosystem,whichintendstocontinuetomove
upmarketanddeliverricherenterpriseservicesintotheLinuxandUnixservermarket.
IDC OPINION
IBMandOracle/FujitsuaretheremainingservercompetitorsinvestinginRISCprocessorswiththeir
POWERandSPARCprocessors,respectively.BothPOWERandSPARCrunUnixoperatingsystems,
whichiswhatmakestheircontinuedhead-to-headcompetitioninRISCprocessorssoimportantforthe
Unixserverspace.ThiscompetitionintheRISCserverworldwillprovidecustomerchoiceandwill
continuetospurnewfeaturesandcapabilities.However,itisimportanttonotethatRISCprocessors
suchasPOWERarewellsuitedforworkloadsrunningonLinuxandIBMi.TheLinuxecosystems
continuetorepresentacatalystformarketgrowth,andIBMhasmadesignificantinvestmentsaimedat
drivingadditionalLinuxworkloadontoPowerSystems.IDCalsonotesthatARMprocessorsaform
ofRISCareenablingmostofthesmartphoneandtabletdeploymentsintheworld.Therapid
expansionofthisARMmobileecosystemshoulddrivetheneedformoredatacentertransactional
capacity,furtherbenefitingLinuxandtheserverarchitecturesthatarebestoptimizedtosupportthis
workload.Thiscouldplaceadditionalchallengesonthex86ecosystemgoingforward.
IBM'scharterforPowerSystemsincludesdeliveringinnovationsthatmatter,aswitnessedbyIBM's
recentannouncementofreal-timeanalyticsandWatsonnaturallanguagelearningonPowerSystems.
IBMclearlyremainscommittedtoPowerSystems,andwithPOWER8,itisdoublingdownonthat
commitment.Its$1billioninvestmenttobuildanopenplatformbasedecosystemisahighlycredible
signalthatIBMtakesPowerSystemsveryseriouslyandexpectsthearchitecturetobearoundfor
technologygenerationstocome.
PowerSystemsfitsquarelyintoIBM'scommitmenttodeliveringinnovativesolutionstothemarket,and
withitsincreasinginvestmentinaLinuxopenplatformbasedecosystem,IBMclearlyrealizesthatthe
successoftheplatformhingesnotonlyonbuildingtheunderlyingcoretechnologiesbutalsovery
muchonshapingtheusecasesandecosystemsaroundPowerSystemsservers.Withthese
investments,IBMislookingtoimprovethechoicesforitscustomersandbettersupportmembersof
theOpenPOWERFoundationthatarelookingtodeployhyperscaleLinux-basedcloudservices.
2014IDC #247232 11
IDCexpectsthatwiththecomingreleaseofPOWER8,IBMwillcontinuetodeliveronPowerSystems
corestrengthsofprovidingahighlyreliable,scalable,availableplatformtohousemission-critical
businessapplicationssuchasERPandOLTP,butwithnewinnovationsincludingimproved
multithreading,greaterVMdensitysupport,andCAPIacceleration,IBMisnowextendingPower
Systemstoencompassthescalabilityandmultitenancyneedsofthe3rdPlatforminparticularBig
Dataanalyticsandcloud.WiththeseinvestmentsandadvancesinitslatestgenerationofPOWER
technology,IBMclearlyintendstocontinueitspositioningasa"safe"technologybetfordatacenter
infrastructurewellintotheeraofthe3rdPlatform.
CONCLUSION
Thedawnofthe3rdPlatformhasbroughtanumberofnewchallengestoITorganizationsacrossa
widevarietyofindustriesnotleastofwhichisputtinginplaceinfrastructuretosupportit.
OrganizationsaremovingrapidlytocloudenabletheirenterpriseapplicationsandsupportBigData
initiativesandrequiretherightplatformsforthem.Andorganizationsthathavetraditionallyused
enterpriseserversleveragingRASfeaturesformission-criticalapplicationssuchasOLTPmustnow
figureouthowtomarrythoserequirementswithclouddeployments,especiallyas3rdPlatform
technologiesbecomemissioncriticalandincreasinglyrequirethesameRASfeaturesalongwiththe
scale-outandvirtualizationfeaturesrequiredforthe3rdPlatform.
IDCexpectsthatwiththeupcomingPOWER8release,IBMwilladdressmanyofthesechallenges.
WhilebuildingonitsenterpriselegacyofprovidingRASfeaturesformission-criticalOLTPandERP
applications,POWER8alsocontainsinnovationstobettersupportvirtualization,multitenancy,and
cloudnecessaryforthe3rdPlatform.IDCexpectsPOWER8tocontinuetobeaviablechoicefor
transaction-oriented,mission-criticaldeploymentsaswellasBigData,cloud,andother3rdPlatform
technologies.

About IDC
InternationalDataCorporation(IDC)isthepremierglobalproviderofmarketintelligence,advisory
services,andeventsfortheinformationtechnology,telecommunicationsandconsumertechnology
markets.IDChelpsITprofessionals,businessexecutives,andtheinvestmentcommunitymakefact-
baseddecisionsontechnologypurchasesandbusinessstrategy.Morethan1,100IDCanalysts
provideglobal,regional,andlocalexpertiseontechnologyandindustryopportunitiesandtrendsin
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