IBM details the Power E1080, its next-generation server

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IBM today unveiled the Power E1080, the first in a family of servers based on the company’s recently announced Power10 processor. IBM says it is designed specifically for hybrid cloud environments, combining on-premises resources with cloud-based hardware and software infrastructure.

Organizations around the world continue to adapt to unpredictable changes in consumer behavior. According to IBM’s 2021 Institute of Business Value study, when asked what they will pursue over the next two to three years, 56% of CEOs see tremendous value in improving business. operational agility and flexibility. A hybrid cloud computing model can provide this flexibility, at least compared to a public cloud-only approach. But not all hybrid cloud models are created the same.

Software and scaling

IBM says the Power E1080 offers a superior hybrid model, with an exclusive per-minute measurement of Red Hat software, including OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. When configured with a virtual server platform in a hybrid cloud format, the server, which is designed to be installed on-premises, can scale up and down with unused processor capacity as needed. .

Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president of platform business at Red Hat, says there is real and current demand for these types of hybrid setups. LogicMonitor predicted that 22% of enterprise workloads will depend on hybrid cloud adoption by 2020. And according to Flexera, the hybrid cloud strategy grew from 51% to 58% between 2018 and 2019, with 45% of companies prioritizing some kind of hybrid solution in 2019.

“Red Hat and IBM are at the forefront of hybrid cloud innovation,” Chiras said in a declaration. “To help customers embrace a frictionless hybrid cloud experience, we are offering IBM Power users new ways to access Red Hat software to help them explore new avenues for their digital transformation, such as Red containers. Hat OpenShift, Red Hat Ansible, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and more. “

Beyond that, the Power E1080 has “bring your own model” capabilities for AI and machine learning-driven workloads. Using the Open Neural Network Exchange, or ONNX, trained AI models using frameworks like TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc. can be deployed to the Power E1080 from x86 servers without code changes.

The Power E1080 also offers performance improvements over its predecessor, the Power E980, with four times more matrix math accelerators and encryption engines per core. According to IBM, the E1080 is up to 50% better overall and achieves 10x faster machine learning inference performance, as well as 2.5x faster AES encryption than the Power E980.


The Power E1080 is built around the Power10, a processor designed by IBM and manufactured by Samsung using 7 nanometer EUV processing technology. This is IBM’s first commercially available 7-nanometer processor, and the company claims it can deliver up to 30% more performance per core and 50% more total capacity at the socket and of the system.

On the security side, the Power10 supports transparent memory encryption protocols, which aim to simplify end-to-end security without affecting performance. Additionally, it powers IBM’s PowerVM hypervisor technology, a technology that IBM says has fewer vulnerabilities and exploits than competing hypervisors.

Above: a photo of IBM’s Power10 processor, which powers the new Power E1080 server.

Image Credit: IBM

The Power10 also features dynamic runtime registry control, which means users can design applications that are more resistant to attack with negligible performance loss. Additionally, it comes with what IBM calls “memory creation”, which allows any Power10-based system in a cluster to share memory with other systems.

Like previous Power processors, the Power10 is open for licensing and modification by the more than 250 members of the OpenPower Foundation, including Google, Nvidia, Mellanox, and Tyan.

“When we were designing the E1080, we had to be aware of how the pandemic was changing not only consumer behavior, but also the behavior and needs of our customers of their IT infrastructure,” said Dylan Boday, vice president IBM’s product management for AI and hybrid cloud. in a press release. “The E1080 is the first silicon-engineered system for hybrid cloud environments, a tailor-made system to form the basis of our vision for a dynamic and secure frictionless hybrid cloud experience. “

IBM is taking orders for the Power E1080 starting today and shipments are expected to begin before the end of September. Along with the E1080, the company is introducing a new service program called Power Expert Care, which offers a tiered approach with add-ons such as hardware and software system health checks and security updates. regular.


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