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You’ve Heard the News, Now Dig Into the Details: Get up to Speed on the Power10 Announcement

On Sept. 8, IBM announced the new Power10 server, the E1080 (9080-HEX). While much has already been written about the new server, I’m here to share more details. If you take the time to check out even a few of the many links in this article, you’ll soon be up to speed. I’ve also included links to in-depth training, which will be available very soon.

E1080 Facts and Figures

Let’s start with IBM’s updated server facts and features and this new Redbook. You should also watch Nigel Griffiths’s “fast facts” and “10 highlights” videos. Both come in at under 15 minutes.

As you can imagine, Griffiths is a busy guy these days. He’s also doing a live presentation, “Power10 from the Hands-on Experience,” on Sept. 15. He’ll essentially take a new system apart and show you what’s inside. In other words, you’ll get the view that is usually restricted to the CEs who set up and service systems.

For more in-depth information, check out the Sept. 30 Power Systems Virtual User Group presentation, “IBM Power10 Announce,” with Bill Starke and Joe Armstrong. Register here.

Of course you’ll want to explore what IBM is saying about Power10. Start with this easy to remember landing page, this new server data sheet, and this whitepaper. Also check out the Power10 AR experience and interactive demo. Finally, there’s this interesting blog post and this explainer about the significance of a new SAP benchmark:

“Today, SAP published a new SD 2-tier result for IBM’s soon to be announced Power E1080. First the highlights:

174,000 SD Users
955,050 SAPS
120 cores

Wait, almost 1M SAPS with only 120 cores? HPE achieved 670,830 SAPS (122,300 users) with 224 cores on their Superdome Flex 280 with the Intel Xeon Platinum 8380H Processor in January 2021.

This new result is almost 3 times the SAPS/core of HPE’s biggest and baddest system. (Funny note: autocorrect tried to change “baddest” to “saddest.”) This new result is also about 33% faster, on a per core basis, than the previous Power 980 result published at the end of 2018. That is certainly not remarkable since Intel’s per core performance on this benchmark also increased about 69.5%, since 2017 … sorry, missed the decimal, 0.695%. (Comparing two Dell 2-socket results, Intel 8180 & Intel 8380).”

Administrative Changes

AIX admins will notice something new on Power10: It’s much easier to keep track of the status of your software maintenance agreements (SWMA). You’ll find notifications about the expiration of SWMAs in both the error log and on the HMC:

“With the introduction of the Power10 server, IBM expands upon the use of the update access key (UAK) with the addition of an SWMA UAK. This functionality provides proactive notification of AIX SWMA expirations to ensure continued and uninterrupted software support. AIX SWMA UAKs do not limit the operability of or capability to update AIX.”

You should also be aware of changes with the UAKs:

“What do I need to know about AIX Update Access Keys and Power10?

IBM Power10, or later, processor-based servers include technology that helps to manage and keep your SWMAs current so that you can apply AIX updates and receive support from IBM. The server checks for an active SWMA when updating the AIX operating system. The server utilizes an AIX UAK that includes the expiration date for the associated SWMA. Informational messages are generated when the release date for the AIX operating system has passed the expiration date of the AIX UAK and during normal operation. Additionally, the server periodically checks and informs the administrator about AIX UAKs that are about to expire, AIX UAKs that have expired, or AIX UAKs that are missing. It is recommended that you replace the AIX UAK within 30 days prior to expiration.”

Of course you’ll need to run new HMC code to go with your new Power10 server. Now you can get the new virtual appliance or update the code on your HMC hardware, assuming it’s compatible with the new software version.

Also in This Announcement

Along with enhancements to PowerVM and PowerVCPowerSC 2.0 is now available:

“IBM PowerSC 2.0 strengthens and simplifies system security management by combining the capabilities of IBM PowerSC Standard Edition 1.3 and IBM PowerSC MFA 1.3 and adding a major new feature:

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) capability, which includes the following:
Host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS). HIDS analyzes the traffic to and from a specific computer for signs of possible intrusion incidents, violations, or imminent threats. HIDS can also monitor key system files and any attempt to overwrite these files, a function that works in conjunction with file integrity monitoring (FIM). HIDS can do log-based intrusion detection, which overlaps with log inspection functionality, and includes time-based alerting and active response.

Log inspection and analysis. PowerSC 2.0 can identify important security events buried in the OS and application logs and ignore relatively unimportant events.

Event context and filtering. Events are sorted, prioritized, filtered, categorized, and put in context to help identify anomalous activity.

Incident response. This methodology, used to respond to and manage a cyberattack, aims to reduce the damage and help recover as quickly as possible.”

Finally, in case you were wondering, Power10 E1080 servers have a PVU of 120.

There’s a lot here, and yet I can’t say I’ve covered everything. IBM never sleeps, after all. So feel free to reach out if there’s something I’ve missed.