IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - January 2018 - 30
Clients new to Linux must
either retrain current IT staff
and/or hire new workers with
Linux skills. "It becomes a more
evolutionary process in your
organization as you're trying to
maintain two different kinds of
environments," Myers notes.
Figure* 6: Are you having ,difficulty hiring employees with
the necessary Linux skills?
Getting the Word Out
One of the challenges for IBM
is educating clients about
the Linux capabilities of the
Power Systems platform. Specifically, POWER8 and POWER9
servers are capable of providing
better price performance and
data throughput than older models, Myers explains.
"For companies that have big
data sets and are looking to do big
data analytics and a significant
amount of data throughput leading up to and through artificial
intelligence and machine learning, the POWER8 and POWER9
servers have significant benefits
above the other competing platforms in the market," he notes.
The POWER9 platform comes
loaded with foundational technologies that aren't available on
x86, such as support for NVIDIA's
next-generation NVLink (ibm.
co/2wmn4Oo), PCI-Express 4.0
and OpenCAPI. These technologies provide a giant improvement
in data transfer capabilities,
Myers points out.
Further, IBM has made it easier
to switch from x86 to POWER by
improving hardware design and
offering software such as IBM
Spectrum Computing software,
which gives clients the ability to
seamlessly integrate IBM systems
into a heterogeneous environment
and do workload balancing with
streamlined user interfaces. "IBM
has a set of end-to-end software
and system features that, in aggre-
gate, give you significantly better
performance in a non-disruptive
fashion," Myers says.
As organizations move into
accelerated computing and
desire to run workloads such as
deep learning to add value to the
business, IBM is seeing upticks
in interest and opportunity for
these workloads, which provide
additional business benefits such
as business insights and using
data to drive better business
decisions. These workloads can
truly be better run on POWER8 or
POWER9, Myers says.
Linux for Data-Intensive
The survey shows that few users
are running Linux solutions on
Power Systems to take advantage
of cutting-edge workloads. Just
12 percent of respondents are
using machine learning,
30 // JANUARY 2018 ibmsystemsmag.com
say they will
number of Linux
partitions in their
11 percent are using artificial
intelligence and about 5 percent
are using deep learning.
More and more data scientists
are driving the move to POWER to
get the capabilities and performance needed to successfully
run these data intensive workloads. "The conflict is between
IT's desire for consistency and
ease of operation and the data
scientist's need for performance,
throughput, capacity to solve a
business problem," Myers says.
"There's an interesting battle
going on when they go to spec
systems for purchase."
Linux is becoming more central
to business operations. As this
happens, clients may take a closer
look at what POWER can do for
their data center's performance.
Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based