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IBM Delivers a Frictionless Hybrid Cloud Experience With the New Power10-Equipped E1080 Server

Today, IBM announced the new IBM Power E1080 server—the first in a new family of servers based on the new IBM Power10 processor. With the Power10-equipped E1080 server, IBM is providing clients with a frictionless hybrid cloud experience across their entire IT infrastructure.

The Power E1080 server is built around the revolutionary IBM Power10 processor. Designed by IBM and manufactured by Samsung using 7nm EUV process technology, IBM Power10 is IBM’s first commercially available 7nm processor. TechChannel anticipates that the rest of the Power10 family will be announced later this year.

A Frictionless Hybrid Cloud Experience

So what does it mean to have “a frictionless hybrid cloud experience?” As Satya Sharma, IBM Fellow and former CTO explains, “It’s a consistent experience, whether a customer is running on traditional on-prem, or private/public cloud, or IBM Cloud. Regardless of where they are running applications, IBM delivers a consistent experience with no refactoring required.”

This is particularly important given clients’ increased demand for operational agility and flexibility—a need that has come to light over the last few years, and is expected to remain consistent in the future. “We see agility continuing to be a top requirement for customers and we will continue to give them a frictionless cloud experience,” notes Steve Sibley, vice president, Power Systems Offering Management.

Many see the answer to these needs in a hybrid cloud computing model, which combines on-prem resources with cloud-based infrastructure. That’s why hybrid cloud enhancements are top of mind with the E1080, with planned exclusive, by-the-minute metering of Red Hat software (including OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux), 4.1x greater OpenShift containerized throughput per core vs x86-based servers and architectural consistency and cloud-like flexibility across the entire hybrid cloud environment to drive agility and improve costs without application refactoring. “IBM Power E1080 is the best platform in the marketplace to run OpenShift on,” notes Dylan Boday, vice president, Product Management for Hybrid Cloud, Systems and AI Solutions.

This agility is a feature of E1080 that particularly excites Ken King, General Manager, IBM Power. “It’s truly engineered for agility: the scalability, enabling consolidation of workloads; the self-healing capabilities; the highest reliability and availability in the industry. That’s what I’m most excited about.”

New Security Tools: Pervasive Encryption

Hybrid cloud enhancements aren’t all the E1080 provides. With IBM Power10 at the heart of the system, E1080 provides new enhancements for securing consolidated workloads. With new security tools designed for hybrid cloud environments, clients can encrypt their entire system memory with no performance impact and no user action required. This performance mitigation is possible because Power10 has 4x the number of encryption engines per core compared to POWER9—translating to 2.5x faster per core performance for AES encryption.

Quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption also reduce overhead, and computational tasks can be carried out without decrypting data.

IBM is the only vendor that can provide security at every level of the system stack, from the foundational hardware like the processor and memory, to key software like the OS, hypervisor and applications. The E1080 uses IBM PowerVM as its built-in hypervisor, which has significantly fewer Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) than competitive hypervisors.

“We’ve gone beyond confidential computing to deep levels of pervasive encryption improvements,” Sibley remarks.

Enterprise AI Capabilities

The E1080 server and Power 10 also bring new enterprise AI capabilities right to where the data resides on the server with in-core AI inferencing and machine learning. In fact, Power10’s four Matrix Math Accelerator (MMA) engines per core can drive up to 10x improvements for AI inference as compared to the IBM Power E980 server.

But that’s not all. In addition to support for popular AI frameworks and libraries, clients can train AI models anywhere—whether on the cloud, x86, specialized systems or another environment. Once the model is built, IBM can bring that model on Power10. In other words, using the Open Neural Network Exchange, or ONNX, trained AI models using some of the most popular frameworks like TensorFlow, PyTorch, and more can be deployed on the IBM Power E1080 from x86-based servers with no code changes required.

Expanded Ecosystem of ISVs and Channel Partners

As always, the new Power10 family is supported by a range of ISVs, business partners and external stakeholders. If a client has ISV software, it can all be brought over—with a binary capability guarantee. This means that the ISV ecosystem will be able to come forward to Power10.

Leveraging the SAPS Benchmark, which measures performance for key applications like SAP HANA and ERP applications, the IBM Power E1080 has set a record for an 8-socket system. It achieved more than 950,000 SAPs, 30% greater than the closest x86-based platform, which needed 16 sockets for their results. “With the E1080’s record-setting SAPS benchmark score, we look forward to continuing to expand our relationship with IBM to better serve our mutual customers,” notes Lalit Patil, CTO, Enterprise Cloud Services & HANA Enterprise Cloud.

In addition to SAP, several other ISVs that provide a wide range of services including databases, secure medical records processing, security, AI and more have announced support for IBM Power10.

The Hybrid Cloud Story

Ultimately, IBM’s hybrid cloud story behind E1080 and Power10 is a key differentiator. “The hybrid cloud aspect of how Power10 is providing this capability in the market in a seamless fashion. Our hybrid cloud story is quite differentiated in the industry. We are taking this to the next level with this announcement. Our story is becoming mature and impactful in the hybrid cloud space,” Sharma says.

Power10 and E1080 Speeds and Feeds

Here are some exciting statistics for Power10 and E1080:

  • A new world record SAP benchmark for 8-socket systems, achieving over 950,000 SAPs—30% greater than the closest x86-based platform, which needed 16 sockets for their results
  • Power10 has 4x the number of encryption engines per core as compared to IBM POWER9
    • This translates to 2.5x greater per core performance for AES encryption versus x86-based servers
  • E1080 delivers up to 30% more performance per core and over 50% better total capacity at the socket and system level as compared to the previous generation (the IBM Power E980 server)
  • 80% reduction in server energy use and a 70% reduction in per-core software licenses for the customer
  • 4x greater OpenShift containerized throughput per core versus x86-based servers
  • Power10’s four Matrix Math Accelerator (MMA) engines per core can drive up to 10x improvements for AI inference as compared to the IBM Power E980 server