IBM is bashing out a set of go-faster POWER9 servers in the face of mounting competition from Xeon SP systems.
After unveiling its glam AC922 AI server back in December, Big Blue has released six bread-and-butter POWER9 CPU-based 2U and 4U servers with one or two sockets. They have twice the memory, in general, of their POWER8 forebears, faster internal interconnects, and are pitched at three different OS/system software environments:
|Server||Cores||Form Factor||Base SW||DDR4 Memory||PCIe|
|L922||8/10/12||2U 1-2 socket||Linux||4TB||5 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 4 x PCIe G3|
|S914||4/6/8||4U 1 socket||AIX, IBM i, Linux||1TB||2 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 6 x PCIe G3|
|S922||4/8/10||2U 1-2 socket||AIX, IBM i, Linux||4TB||5 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 4 x PCIe G3|
|S924||8/10/12||4U 2 socket||AIX, IBM i, Linux||4TB||5 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 6 x PCIe G3|
|H922||4/8/10||2U 1-2 socket||HANA (25% AIX/IBM i)||4TB||5 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 6 x PCIe G3|
|H924||8/10/12||4U 2 socket||HANA (25% AIX/IBM i)||4TB||5 x PCIe G4 (4 CAPI 2.0), 6 x PCIe G3|
With the H922 and H924 products, a quarter of the cores can be assigned to AIX or the IBM i OS.
The PCIe gen 4 links double system IO over PCIe gen 3, and cabinet size affects the number of the links as it does the storage capacity:
- L922 – 8 x SFF drives
- S914 – 12 or 18 x SFF drives
- S922 – 8 x SFF drives
- S924 – 12 or 18 x SFF drives
- H922 – 8 x SFF drives
- H924 – 12 or 18 x SFF drives
Apart from the L992, the other five are capable of including internal RDX media, and support 4 x 400GB M.2 NVMe flash drives. The S914 comes in a tower form factor as well as 2U rackmount box, and its core count can be factory deconfigured if fewer cores are needed.
IBM POWER9 S922 server box
S924 server box
There's no obvious way of relating these servers to mainstream Xeon SP-based ones. No doubt benchmarks will emerge later this year.
Get copious IBM documentation, such as that for the H924 and S922 by Googling "IBM + <servername>" – that's much faster than trying to navigate Big Blue's opaque website for specific product information. ®