IBM confirms Q2 release date for OpenPower servers in Softlayer

IBM Softlayer users will soon have access to OpenPower-based bare-metal servers for data-heavy workloads

IBM has confirmed OpenPower-based bare-metal servers are coming to the Softlayer cloud during the second quarter of 2015.

This means users will soon have a wider range of bare-metal servers to run their workloads off, which – in time – should be deployable to any IBM Softlayer datacentre.

As it stands, the service will be made available first to IBM Softlayer users in the US, whose services are run out of the firm’s Dallas-based datacentre. This will occur during Q2, but the service will be expanded to other territories thereafter, IBM said.

The move is intended to make it easier for IBM Softlayer users to manage data-heavy workloads and run Linux-based applications. The hardware underpinning it is based on technology made by members of the OpenPower Foundation.

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OpenPower Foundation

The consortium of large technology companies – which counts IBM, Google and Nvidia as members – set up in August 2013 to provide developers of hyperscale and cloud datacentres greater control over their facilities, through the deployment of new server, networking, storage and graphics technologies.  

IBM worked with fellow OpenPower Foundation members Tyan, a provider of server platforms, and Mellanox Technologies, who make Ethernet and Infiniband products, to develop the bare-metal servers, which feature IBM’s POWER8 processor technology.

IBM has been pushing the server architecture since around the time of the OpenPower Foundation’s launch as a viable alternative to Intel’s x86 server range.

Access to bare-metal servers in Softlayer has been offered as a configuration option for some time now, but typically based on Intel’s technology.

“The offering allows Softlayer to deliver a higher level of performance, predictability and dependability not always possible in virtualised cloud environments,” said Softlayer CIO Sonny Fulkerson.

IBM has yet to announce pricing and configuration details for the OpenPower servers.

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