How Does Power Systems Fit In My Organization?

Besides overseeing the core information technology (IT) infrastructure, the CIO is also a visionary; one that needs to catapult the company to the forefront of the competition by deploying the latest technologies and the best of breed solutions, making sure that IT technology aligns with the visions and business objectives.  The CIO is the vital link in bridging the gap between IT and the rest of the senior executives in the enterprise.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and other senior executives in the company may not fully comprehend the core technologies that drive the company forward.  Especially when discussing the IBM Power systems solution, many have the conception that the Power System is a dated system that trails behind other advanced technologies.

The following is an approach to present a high availability (HA) hybrid cloud Power solution to senior executives, highlighting the financial and technology engines of the Power system in propelling the company ahead of its competitors.  Strategic requirements of the company include the need to modernize the legacy applications and integrate Linux applications with AI analytics on Big Data.

The solution

The current hybrid cloud solution consists of an on-premises Power System, an IBM FlashSystem, a virtual tape library (VTL) for backups and a HA system hosted in the iTech’s i-In-The -Cloud (IITC) running HA replication software on both the on-premises and hosted Power systems in the IBM i environment.

The financials: CAPEX and OPEX

Separating the capital expense (CAPEX) and the operating expense (OPEX) is paramount in working with the CFO to meet the corporate financial objectives.  CAPEX includes the cost of all hardware and software; OPEX is the cost of hardware and software maintenance plus services to install and implement the solution.  CAPEX and OPEX generally come in two different budgets and the CFO will need to know the CAPEX to determine the asset depreciation schedule.  The solution is financed with a 5-year IBM Global Financing Full Payout Option (FPO).

The following table highlights the layout of the solution components in CAPEX and OPEX format.

The financials: Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of ownership (TCO) is still the best and proven way to justify the solution.  Total cost of acquisition (TCA) accounts only for the initial cost of a system.  TCO reveals the true cost of the solution, looking beyond just the initial hardware and software purchase.  This approach also helps to dispel the argument that the Power system is more expensive than x86 platform.  Matching to the organization’s criteria of evaluating an IT solution, the TCO will take into consideration of the following criteria:

  • Initial hardware and software acquisition cost.
  • 5-year hardware maintenance cost and continued software and user or processor cores license cost.
  • Environmental – power and space utilization in the data center.
  • Cost of IT staff to run and maintain the infrastructure and solution.
  • Cost to the business should the systems are not available.
  • Savings from current hardware and software maintenance, especially savings from aged Power systems and increased costs of software maintenance on discontinued IBM i licenses.

The OS reliability is rated number one at 99.999% by ITIC(1), this equates to 5.26 minutes of per server per annum downtime, and the POWER9 server accounts for only 1.75 minutes of downtime per year.  According to the IDC Enterprise Infrastructure Market Pulse 1Q 2019 Vendor View study(2), “Reliability” and “Performance” are ranked the top of all criteria that matter IT the most, with 32% ranked “Technology Innovation” as the next most important criteria in choosing a server.  The Power system has a proven rock-solid history of reliability and performance for over 30 years.

The technology

The Power system is no longer the grandfather’s AS/400.  Since its launch on June 21, 1988, the system has grown and evolved to the present day best-of-breed technology platform.  Amazingly, applications written with the PRG programs are still running strong today on the latest POWER9 and Power10 processors, thanks to the incredible TIMI – Technology Independent Machine Interface.  There are still POWER6, POWER7, and POWER8 systems running core business applications for many clients today.  Power system also embraces the latest development both in hardware and application programming, and operating systems, including AIX and LINUX, all in one integrated system.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux V8.4 is supported in both POWER9 and Power10, providing flexibility and growth for the business while minimizing system complexity and cost.

The CIO also highlights the following technology advancement in the presentation to the senior executives in the company, showcasing the reliability and longevity of the system portfolio.

Proven technology innovation and roadmap

No other platform demonstrated performance and innovation like the Power Systems family.  Since the architecture of AS/400 was developed in 1970 by Dr. Frank Soltis, the platform underwent many developments and evolutions.  From the first introduction of the AS/400 B models in 1988 to the C models in 1990, the D models with the N-way processor with V2R1 in 1991; the AS/400 Advanced Series with the 64-bit RISC based processor, V3R1, in 1994; the AS/400e Series, V4R1 in 1997; the eServer iSeries in 2000; and with the POWER4, V5R1 introduced in 2001, and the rest is history.

The following is the processor roadmap for the Power Systems through recent years.

The IBM i Operating System, as shown below, also demonstrates IBM’s long-term development and commitment to the platform.  No other platform has a roadmap that extends beyond 2030.  The Power System is here to stay.

New development and innovations

The family of POWER9 and Power10 systems lead the industry in multiple performance benchmarks.  Multiple operating systems can run on the same system in different isolated and secured logical partitions (LPARs), meeting the company’s requirement to run applications under different operating systems.

The right solution for current and future applications

  • Power Systems run the world’s most critical workloads in the Fortune 500.
  • IBM i, the integrated platform with robust architecture, offers exceptional security, and resilience.
  • Linux, an open operating system built by the open-source community, offers flexibility, speed, and inherent security, providing a viable platform for future applications.
  • Big Data Crushers with the POWER9 LC922 and LC921 servers for future applications:
    • 2X price-performance advantage for data-intensive applications such as MongoDB.
    • 59% improved Spark price-performance for efficiency across AI data for large amounts of concurrent Spark queries.

The right platform for hybrid cloud deployment

  • On-premises Power portfolio is easily extensible to the cloud with the same Power infrastructure in either a private cloud or public cloud.
  • Red Hat Runtimes enable the development of new applications on Power Systems.
  • POWER9 and Power10 are fully enabled for modernization with OpenShift and related Red Hat technologies.
  • Red Hat OpenShift is a managed platform to facilitate application deployment across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, satisfying the strategic needs of the company.
  • IBM i applications are no longer restricted to on-premises systems and IT can deploy new cloud-native container software by leveraging Red Hat OpenShift.

This is a high-level overview of a hybrid cloud solution presentation to senior executives by the company CIO.  Both POWER9 and Power10 systems are the platform of choice for clients across the country with a broad range of industries.  iTech Solutions is committed to helping with all your Power system needs.  We take a proactive approach in working with your executive team to understand the visions and strategies of your company.  The Sales Executive team is here to help you lay out the CAPEX and OPEX of the acquisition and cost justify the solution.  Our technical team has the expertise to implement the solution for you and resulting in the utmost customer satisfaction.


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