IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - July 2017 - 27
platform runs SAP HANA and
open-source databases with ease,
providing formidable competition
to x86 for these solutions.
"We have more than 600
clients who have moved from x86
to POWER for their SAP HANA
solution," says Garvin.
In his analysis, Garvin found
clients in the first two categories
chose x86 expecting the new
solution would cost much less,
embrace open standards, and
still provide the performance,
reliability and scalability to meet
the client's current and future
business needs. Clients were
willing to accept a "good enough"
system even if performance
and other attributes were
Garvin's research found when
a client was unsatisfied with its
x86 solution, no matter why it was
chosen in the first place, "the client
moved to the POWER platform for
one simple reason-the x86 system
didn't work," he says.
availability and scalability didn't
matter until they weren't there,"
Garvin says. "Choosing a system
based largely on cost may not
be the best decision. Low-cost
solutions don't always save
money, and, in many instances,
will end up costing you money."
The need to standardize on
open-source software, to run SAP
HANA and to employ OSs such
as Linux* are other reasons cited
for choosing x86. But x86 isn't
the only game in town anymore.
IBM is a champion of open source
and Linux. The POWER platform
is well positioned to help clients
achieve their goals because of
IBM's investments in open-source
technology and the OpenPOWER
Given the POWER platform's
reliability, availability and
performance, clients gain superior
performance with fewer servers.
Clients find POWER8* with Linux
gives them a robust platform for
Many people use the Linux;
Apache Webserver; MySQL
or Maria; and Perl, Python or
PHP (LAMP) stack to gauge the
openness of a system. The LAMP
stack is used to run dynamic
websites and servers. It's
considered to be the best platform
for development and deployment
of high-performance web
applications. The components
work off each other and are
server agnostic. A LAMP stack
run on POWER provides a level
of performance, reliability and
scalability that can't be matched
by x86, Garvin says.
Further, many companies
are looking to make their data
centers more environmentally
friendly by lowering energy costs
and reducing the footprint of
the data center. It takes fewer
POWER servers to run the same
amount of data processed on
hundreds of x86 servers, helping
clients achieve green goals.
"Green initiatives are always at
odds with x86-based solutions,"
Clients from many industries are
turning to the POWER platform to
solve their performance problems.
The four following use cases are
a small part of Garvin's analysis.
In each of the four, the POWER
platform proved to be the better
choice due to its infrastructure,
performance, reliability and
availability. It's very cost
competitive as well.
Earth Signal Processing provides
onshore, high-resolution 2-D and
3-D seismic data processing for
the oil and gas industry. Oil and
gas companies need fast seismic
results to enable them to prepare
found a 2U
to complete a
job a 21U Xeon
bid strategies for exploration
parcels. Calgary, Alberta-based
Earth Signal discovered the
POWER processor enables it
to do more with fewer servers
compared to x86.
With demand for its services
rising, Earth Signal faced a
dilemma. Its x86 servers were
maxed out and there was no
more room in the data center for
additional servers. Expanding
the data center wasn't an option.
The company decided to look at
POWER as an alternative.
Earth Signal did benchmark
comparisons between x86 and
POWER8. The company found
one POWER8 processor could
outperform multiple x86-based
Xeon* processors. Further, a 2U
POWER8 system took just 60 hours
to complete a job a 21U Xeon
system needed 100 hours to finish.
The POWER8 system, with more
threads per node, eliminated the
need to move data between nodes,
saving 18 hours of processing
time. With x86, the company spent
nine hours moving data to each
node and another nine hours to
copy it back.
Convinced the switch to a
POWER platform was needed,
Earth Signal chose to deploy
IBM Power Systems* S822L
servers and Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 7.1. With POWER8, Earth
Signal achieved 40 percent faster
processing and 40 percent lower
energy and cooling requirements.
Plus, the POWER servers used
1/20th the space in the data
center that x86 servers used.
A few years ago, a low-cost regional
airline began to revamp its business
to become an online travel agency.
The company's online booking
application is the primary source
of revenue and must be available
at all times. This system had been
running without incident for
several years on Power.
ibmsystemsmag.com JULY 2017 // 27