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Power Architecture in enterprise datacenters





For raw data processing, we use the power7 system with AIX to run an AS400 at my work.

We have one of these systems in each distribution center, of which there are 20, and each and every $BigPharmaRetail store has there own much smaller version.

Our particular system was upgraded with a data shelf of ~30TiB 10K SAS drives with SSD caching.

We have all this mostly because mainframes have really good uptime and ppc64 arch is more efficient when compared for x86 for our specific workflow.


Damn, I thought this was about power architecture in datacentres not Power Architecture in datacentres.


Just to add another industry. Security products with cloud deployments in every region as well as on prem. We use only Intel chips top to bottom.
While I disagree nothing is compiled for power, their market share in my industry is non existent. Even our customers I have yet to come across one.


I think it makes more sense because it takes time to retool everything for epyc, that and those are general purpose CPU’s. ppc is more specialized I think.


Maybe we need a parallel thread?


Lol hasn’t this happened twice?


How is POWER not an enterprise datacenter product?
The whole point of OpenPOWER (as I see it) is to increase the user base of POWER chips beyond big enterprises that run primarily AIX or IBM i with only maybe a bit of Linux running on top of PowerVM.
From what IBM will sell you for POWER9 or POWER8, there is only machine of each that comes as a tower rather than a rack-mount server.

The usage as I see it:

PowerVM - big bad serious business stuffTM like SAP HANA
PowerVM WTF - for some reason we need a 16 core server rack with N TiB of RAM that acts like one machine
OpenPOWER IBM - we want a cheaper IBM Linux server
OpenPOWER AC922 - supercomputer dev or AI training
OpenPOWER Barreleye - hyperscalers, currently Google + Rackspace
OpenPOWER Talos - PowerPC + free/libre/open software nerds unite!

Of these, only the Talos crowd would not be using POWER9 in a server setting, and apart from that and Barreleye, everything else is marketed toward enterprise.


ummm AIX?

RHEL supports Power PC
Few other distros keep PPC ISOs around.


Also… IBM has blades designed for Linux on Power.


My work has/is used/using IBM Power servers for Oracle databases on AIX and Intersystems Cache .


Ahh yup. Fucking Oracle.


Can you give any more detail as to what type of security customers these would be?

Do any of them already use me_cleaner?
Are these more like AV vendors, who (in my opinion) would be more willing to trust proprietary code?
Or something more like an HSM manufacturer? Or a Certificate Authority?

My opinion on security companies is pretty much “snake oil until proven otherwise”, so I would be curious what your experience with them is.


As someone who has run POWER (an IBM p5-550 if I remember correctly) in the DC, I have trouble seeing why anyone would see it as inappropriate for the DC. For i-Series (AS400) workloads, there’s not a lot of choice, and for long-running jobs that require a very reliable host to run on, POWER is probably a better choice than x86 - hot pluggable processors and memory for a start.

Some specific points :-

  1. Everything is compiled for x86. If you’re talking about Linux, then almost everything in a Linux distribution is available for POWER (and z-series, ARM).

  2. Out of the top 10 list of supercomputers, 1 and 3 are POWER-based (and all of the top 10 run Linux).

  3. POWER isn’t a general purpose processor. Since when?


From tests I have seen the DBAs do ( cisco UCS M4 vs Power 7 )

SIngle threaded performance is much better on the power 7.


[drooling] I want that so bad (but definitely can’t afford it)

How does something like that work, anyway? Do you have to tell the OS, “hey shift everthing off of chip N” and then just pull it out?

You would never want to do it, since it’s in no way designed for it, but I wonder if the capability is still there, could you theoretically hot swap the modules in a Talos II?


Last I checked a datacenter works in complete storage, not so much in general compute, which is whder I think POWER fits. I also thing POWER would work in consumer products if the 4 and 8 core stuff was a bit more power efficient. The problem is convincing companies that people would have an interest, and thats where stuff like the TALOS comes in, but also future AmigaONE machines, and I do see a lot, A LOT, of energy for PPC and POWER on the archlinux, gentoo, and Void linux channels on IRC. Almost evey night 2 weeks ago I was talking to people who were working with POWER machines at their work, had POWER based desktops at their desks that they wanted at home, but had little incentive to drop 4000 dollars minimum on one of the IBM provided POWER6 or 7 machines that were being sold to other companies.

POWER has a lot of potential, but using it in a storage environment and only in servers / workstations… Mmmmm, not so much.


To anyone interested in general discussion about POWER or PPC, have a thread.


All datacenters are different. It really depends on the application. My company’s datacenter uses a lot of compute. More so than storage (if you were to assign a dollar figure to everything), so it really stands to reason that POWER would do well in it.


Eh, I see differently. But I’ve only done so many things.

POWER has more use than servers. People just need to actually try using it, and most wheeze over some shitty dual core laptop instead of something that would stomp it to dust.