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IBM Exec: Power10 Servers Proof To Partners Of New ‘Integrated’ Big Blue

‘IBM is more integrated than ever before,’ Steve Sibley, vice president of project management for IBM Power, tells CRN in an interview, ‘in our strategy and how we‘re working together, building on this Red Hat platform side of things and the ability to sell more capability to our customers to enhance what they have -- it’s really a great opportunity for our customers.’

IBM has launched its Power E1080 server, the first in a line of servers built around its 7nm IBM Power10 processor and designed for hybrid cloud environments. IBM executives told CRN in an interview that the new servers present a new “opportunity” for partners to introduce customers to a “more integrated” IBM that is putting its artificial intelligence, security and hybrid cloud capabilities at the processor level.

Steve Sibley, vice president of project management for IBM Power, told CRN in an interview before IBM’s Wednesday announcement that Big Blue incorporated capabilities from its Red Hat subsidiary to improve infrastructure automation, deliver more flexibility and agility.

“IBM is more integrated than ever before,” Sibley said, “in our strategy and how we’re working together, building on this Red Hat platform side of things and the ability to sell more capability to our customers to enhance what they have -- it’s really a great opportunity for our customers.”

[RELATED: IBM: Power10 CPU’s ‘Memory Inception’ Is Industry’s ‘Holy Grail’]

For the thousands of IBM partners that service the company’s Power install base, the servers are a chance to add new offerings in private cloud computing, hybrid cloud computing, artificial intelligence, security and Red Hat products, Todd Grube, IBM vice president of global partner sales, told CRN in an interview.

“This announcement, in my opinion, becomes one of the first really big proof points of our bigger IBM strategy,” Grube told CRN. “Our partners have an opportunity like never before to weave together solutions that our customers are looking for without having to replatform, without having to do a lot because the Power10 platform is providing innovations and opportunities like never before.”

Shipments for the servers are expected to start before October, according to the Wednesday statement.

Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM partner, told CRN that IBM refreshes are “always a good business time.”

“Typically, they come out when customers have increased the workload or where they need to increase the horsepower behind it,” Wyllie said.

He told CRN that he’s particularly excited for the servers’ machine learning capabilities and the security offered by new encryption capabilities. Flagship is investing its own resources in growing its cybersecurity, data analytics and Red hat offerings through hiring new employees and training.

“All of those are hitting the mark in terms of the concerns or requirements that customers have and are going to need to have as they go forward,” he said.

The servers come with security enhancements and Red Hat hybrid cloud capabilities, according to a statement Wednesday. The servers are meant to respond faster to business demands, protect data from core to cloud, streamline insights and automation and maximize availability and reliability.

Power10 has four times the number of encryption engines per core compared to Power9, meaning 2.5 times faster per core performance for AES encryption.

The servers have a pay-per-use consumption model, instant scaling, support for Quantum safe cryptography, advanced protection for return-oriented programming (ROP) attacks, in-core AI inference and machine learning where data resides, and advanced recovery, self-healing and diagnostic capabilities reducing application downtime, according to the statement.

Using an IBM Power10-based server with IBM’s cloud-based Power Virtual Server in a hybrid cloud format should save users costs and time spent on refactoring by creating architectural consistency across resources, allowing for mission-critical applications on-premises to move into the cloud as workloads and needs demand, according to the statement.

The E1080 can scale with Power Private Cloud for Dynamic Capacity so users can scale unused CPU capacity as needed and only pay for the additional resources used, “bringing a cloud-like payment model to the datacenter,” according to the statement.

The E1080 is the first on-premises system that can support metering by the minute for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red hat OpenShift.

And for artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the E1080 supports IBM Auto-AI and no-code tools and the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), according to the statement.

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