A number of trends are shaking the foundations of the enterprise computing landscape. The rise of mobile computing demands access to enterprise resources any time, from anywhere; social applications generate mountains of unstructured data and create new ways to interact with colleagues and customers; Big Data analytics applications require ever-faster, ever-more-powerful compute platforms; and, perhaps most significantly, cloud computing has become a new, flexible architecture for scalable enterprise solutions.
These technologies make up what research firm IDC calls the 3rd Platform of computing, in contrast to the 2nd Platform dominated by PCs and a client-server architecture. This 3rd Platform is allowing enterprises to drive business value and competitive differentiation by leveraging their data centres; companies that won’t risk being left behind.
But these 3rd Platform technologies must be deployed systematically over an infrastructure that supports their unique needs. Big Data applications require a comprehensive data management framework so workloads can be deployed across a single architecture with a unified set of analytical tools; cloud computing demands support for virtual machine (VM) optimization and powerful security. As these 3rd Platform technologies become mission-critical, IDC says, they will require an infrastructure with the same reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) as existing mission-critical workloads like online transaction processing (OLTP), enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and data warehousing.
IDC believes that the next generation of IBM Power Systems computers, Power8, will provide the performance and RAS features to support such mission-critical applications. Enhanced features such as increased multithreading, support for higher virtual machine density and mobility, and a Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) will help better serve 3rd Platform applications.
As the delivery model for IT resources continues to evolve, Linux has expanded more quickly than traditional enterprise operating systems—its free-license model provides the scalability to spin up new instances when required in a cloud or Big Data environment. Running Linux on an IBM Power Systems server infrastructure also allows enterprises to reap other benefits:
- 47 per cent lower system costs and twice the throughput than a comparable, commodity x86 platform;
- CAPI technologies that accelerate key data centre workloads;
- Expanded I/O and memory capabilities to move data in and out of systems more quickly;
- Greater speed and efficiency do to a higher number of processor cores and a doubling of the number of simultaneous threads per core.