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IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4: Sustainability, Security, Flexibility

The IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4 server introduced today (September 13, 2022) is designed to help IT professionals address some of the most pressing issues facing the industry today. The new product increases efficiencies, reduces energy consumption, improves security and provides flexibility in a highly scalable infrastructure. Emperor 4 will be available at the enterprise level on September 13, 2022, and entry and midrange systems will follow in 2023.

According to IBM’s annual CEO study, 48% of CEOs from a variety of industries list increasing sustainability as a high priority in the next two to three years, but only about 40% have even identified how they will close sustainability gaps or the drivers for change. Many challenges exist. Lack of data, unclear return on investment and technology barriers are just a few of the barriers to improving sustainability.

“CIOs and CTOs are being pulled in more directions than ever,” says Marcel Mitran, CTO of the the Cloud Platform, IBM LinuxONE. Digital transformation, data intensive AI workloads and security are just a few of the issues in addition to improving sustainability that IT leaders are grappling with. Although 86% of respondents from the study have a sustainability strategy, only 35% say they have acted on it. Furthermore, “Only 21% of IT leaders are fully confident of their ability to meet the growing application workload demands and 83% have had more than one security breach,” says Mitran, adding, “These issues are forcing IT leaders to go in many directions.”

Approaching the problems facing CTOs and CIOs separately complicates everything, and Mitran notes that those survey respondents who are trailblazers in the area of sustainability are also innovators. Embracing sustainability, modernization, security and the other problems facing IT together leads to better results.

IBM can help in many ways:

  • Intelligent asset management for green energy consumption and reducing carbon
  • Supply chain management
  • Cocreation of roadmap and strategy
  • Reporting and risk management

Today’s announcement focuses on infrastructure and how it can play a key role in addressing sustainability.

Improving Sustainability and Security

Data centers are energy intensive, making them an area to make tangible progress in improving sustainability. The greater efficiency of Emperor 4 means that it can run tens of thousands of workloads. “CTOs and CIOs get more bang per square foot than with other systems,” says Mitran. With improved efficiencies, less infrastructure is necessary, so dependencies on supply chains are reduced as well.

Along with needing both less space and less energy, Emperor 4 also improves security. It’s a quantum-safe system that allows clients to protect their data and it protects its own firmware with quantum safe cryptography. It’s also designed for high availability with self-healing memory and fail-over cores. “It’s technology that allows an integrated experience for fail-over between data centers,” says Mitran.

Mitran says that Emperor 4 is unique in that it’s a scale-out-on-scale-up system. That means clients can run workloads at high density for sustained periods and increase capacity by turning on unused cores—but without increasing energy consumption.

A Comprehensive Modernization Approach Helps

Thinking of modernization and sustainability as two separate issues creates needless barriers. Emperor 4 is both more efficient and more secure than other servers. The increased efficiencies reduce dependencies on supply chains, which have been volatile in recent history, and the improved security features provide an extra layer of protection even in the face of a changing threat landscape. The resiliency features are designed to deliver 99.99999% availability, adding further protection in the event of unforeseen events such as weather disruptions or natural disaster.

Mitran believes that this new server can change how IT leaders approach the problems they are currently facing. “Emperor 4 is changing the paradigm, allowing IT leaders to address all of these dimensions in a single server. It’s a server that can reduce pressure from physical and power perspectives, and that can help improve data privacy and security while simplifying regulatory compliance.”