IBM Intros PowerLinux 7R4 Server for Analytics and Cloud

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IBM has announced its latest system for analytics and cloud computing, the new PowerLinux 7R4 server.

Big Blue bolstered its Linux on Power initiative with the new high-performance PowerLinux server as well as new software and middleware for embracing big data, analytics and next-generation Java applications in an open cloud environment.

"More clients are choosing IBM's Power Systems designed to handle mission-critical and complex cloud and big data workloads in an open Linux environment," said Doug Balog, general manager for IBM Power Systems, in a statement. "Responding to this need, we are aggressively investing in our open ecosystem—including new products, applications and collaborations—that support today's emerging Linux workloads."

The new PowerLinux 7R4 server is built on the same Power Systems platform running IBM's Watson cognitive computing platform. Moreover, IBM is expanding the portfolio of software for Power Systems with the availability of the company's Cognos Business Intelligence and EnterpriseDB database software.

IBM said the new model is the high-end addition to its lineup of Power Systems PowerLinux servers running Linux from Red Hat and SUSE. Joining the PowerLinux 7R1 and 7R2, the PowerLinux 7R4 delivers greater performance with up to four sockets and 32 cores. The system is targeted at compute-intensive workloads including analytics, cloud, cognitive computing, database and Web infrastructure, IBM reported.

For users seeking to operate both Linux and IBM's AIX or IBM i operating system software, IBM offers Linux across its entire Power Systems portfolio. And with IBM's PowerVM virtualization tools, users can partition any Power Systems server into separate virtual servers, with some running Linux-based applications and others running AIX or IBM i applications.

Regarding database software, in addition to IBM DB2 database software for Linux, IBM announced that EnterpriseDB's PostgreSQL-based database solution is now available on all Power Systems servers running Linux.

EnterpriseDB's Postgres Plus Advanced Server provides a low-cost database. According to EnterpriseDB, the new product is a fraction of the cost of an Oracle database deployment and enables seamless migration.

"Switching databases has traditionally been costly and risky due to limited application compatibility and lack of comprehensive migration tools and resources," said Ed Boyajian, president and CEO of EnterpriseDB, in a statement. "EnterpriseDB's Postgres Plus Advanced Server and IBM Power Systems solve this problem by providing extensive Oracle compatibility functionality, migration tools and expertise that can deliver significant cost savings while allowing many Oracle-based applications to run virtually unchanged."

Both the EnterpriseDB and IBM DB2 database software can provide IBM Power Systems users with an open-computing platform with the flexibility of Linux combined with the foundation of Power Systems, IBM said.

In addition, Big Blue said Cognos Business Intelligence now joins WebSphere and other IBM software applications currently available on Power Systems running Linux. Optimized for Linux on Power, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence provides an analytics engine that leverages the performance of Power Systems. WebSphere provides a comprehensive portfolio of software to support Java-based applications for Web clients and mobile devices. Other IBM software technologies already tuned for Linux on Power include InfoSphere BigInsights and InfoSphere Streams.

IBM said a growing number of its customers are now running Linux on Power Systems for mission-critical business workloads. For example, GHY International, an international customs brokerage company based in Winnipeg, Canada, uses a Power Systems server running Linux for its custom applications as well as firewall and front-end spam checking.

"When we want to do something new, Linux on Power is one of our go-to platforms," said Nigel Fortlage, vice president of information technology and social business leader for GHY International, in a statement. "The performance, security and cost efficiencies inherent in Power Systems make it a superior foundation for the growing number of Linux-based applications available today."

Meanwhile, IBM officials also touted the company's open-source history, noting that IBM has participated in a wide range of open-source projects since 1999, and today this includes Open Stack, Open Daylight, KVM, Apache and Eclipse in addition to Linux. Hundreds of IBM programmers and engineers around the world are contributing to open source as part of the collection of global open-source communities, including experts working on projects such as KVM and hands-on support for clients, IBM business partners and software vendors interested in running Linux on Power Systems.

In May IBM opened its first Power Systems Linux Center in Beijing, and in June the company announced its intention to open two more centers in New York and Austin, Texas.