IBM continues to push the merits of its Power processor architecture, claiming that systems based on the latest Power8 chips offer the best performance for the price, especially when compared with commodity systems based on x86 chips.
In a posting on IBM's Smarter Computing blog, Brad McCredie, vice president of Power development and OpenPower Foundation president, disclosed figures to illustrate that Power8 systems offer better performance than Intel's latest processors, the Xeon E7 v3 and E5 v3 families, as measured by the Spec CPU 2006 benchmarks.
"The chart demonstrates that OpenPower offerings provide superior performance per dollar spent. Furthermore, Intel Xeon chips require significantly more cores to equal the performance levels of the OpenPower chips," he said.
"This has a negative cost impact on core-based software licensing models, such as DB2, Oracle Enterprise Edition, WebSphere Application Server, Oracle Web Logic Enterprise Edition and others."
IBM's specific claim here is that Power systems can deliver the same performance using fewer cores, which means that it will cost customers less in per-core licensing costs to deliver the level of performance required to run key enterprise applications.
The firm recently issued similar claims that Power8 systems are capable of delivering a higher overall level of performance, as its latest chips can handle up to eight threads per core and boast a high-bandwidth memory interface that runs at 192GBps per socket, almost three times the speed of a typical x86 processor, according to IBM.
These claims are part of IBM's strategy to fight back against the growing dominance of x86 servers in data centres. The firm is targeting specific market segments where the capabilities of the Power architecture trump the advantages of deploying industry-standard x86 servers.
Typically, these tend to be workloads in high-performance computing, analytics and virtualisation, where the Power8 can handle more virtual machines per socket.
IBM is also attempting to build a broader ecosystem around the Power architecture in the shape of the OpenPower Foundation. Members include Google, Samsung, Nvidia, Rackspace and Tyan, which also offers Power-based servers.
Earlier this month, IBM unveiled SuperVessel, an open access cloud service aimed at students and developers who wish to build applications for the OpenPower ecosystem.
The firm introduced specific Power server configurations last month optimised for running the SAP HANA in-memory database.
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