After recently selling off its x86 business IBM is gunning for Intel’s core.
IBM launched the first server based on the technology coming out of its OpenPower Foundation on Friday, claiming it outperforms Intel’s Xeon v3 processor-based systems by 20%.
The Power S824L server is IBM’s first development to come from the foundation it started one year ago, when it sought to build data centre systems that could break free of Intel’s stranglehold on the industry.
Since selling its x86 server business to Lenovo in a controversial – and much prolonged – deal finalised in August, its Power Systems-based server signifies IBM’s attempts to steal business from the datacentre chip giant, which, IBM pointed out, has a closed development model.
Doug Balog, general manager of Power Systems, said: "Our open innovation business model and approach to OpenPower will disrupt technology providers that offer closed, proprietary solutions produced within the walls of one company."
Intel’s data centre development model contrasts that of the OpenPower Foundation, which now has 59 members after starting with five, currently counting Google, Hitachi and Samsung among its number.
Those members are all taking advantage of the Power Systems technology to build alternative data centre systems to those offered by Intel, with Google announcing a Power-based prototype earlier this year.
The Power S824L server is built on IBM’s Power8 processor, which it claims is the first chip optimised for demanding big data workloads, and tightly integrates the chip with tech from other Foundation members – such as Nvidia’s GPU accelerator.
IBM claimed this boosts computing performance to help in a variety of verticals, from banks analysing risks to scientists identify cures for diseases more quickly.
Other new products in the Power Systems portfolio in addition to the server include IBM Data Engine for NoSQL, which uses one Power8 chip instead of 24 Intel-based servers to provide a NoSQL data store, said IBM.
Meanwhile, the E870 and E880 Power Enterprise Systems support up to 1,000 virtual machines each, and are designed to support mission-critical applications running on AIX, IBM i, and Linux operating systems.