IBM has began shipping its next generation of Power Systems servers incorporating IBM's POWER8 processor which is available for license and open for development through the OpenPOWER Foundation.
IBM designed the new servers specifically for a new era of Big Data. According to IBM test results, the IBM Power Systems running BLU Acceleration on Power are capable of analyzing data 82 times faster than a comparably configured x86-based system.
Three out of four of the new Power Systems servers shipping today can run various combinations of Linux, IBM AIX or IBM i operating systems. The fourth model, the Power S822L, runs Linux exclusively.
IBM last year committed $1 billion (USD) in new Linux and other open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. Investments include new products, a network of five Power Systems Linux Centers around the world, and the Power Development Platform, a no-charge development cloud for developers to test and port x86-based applications to the Power platform.
At the same time the new Power Systems were introduced in April, IBM also revealed a new collaboration with Linux distributor Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu with more than 20 million users worldwide. With general availability today, IBM is offering the latest release of Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu OpenStack, and Canonical's Juju cloud orchestration tools on the new Power Systems servers. The availability of Ubuntu on Power Systems complements the existing availability of Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating system distributions.
Another Linux enhancement now available is PowerKVM, a Power Systems-compatible version of the Linux-based virtualization platform KVM, on all POWER8 systems that run Linux exclusively. PowerKVM complements the full open stack of software available to development, run and manage Linux on Power. Further, PowerVC, announced in October, 2013 based on OpenStack, now provides support for the new Power Systems including those running PowerKVM and Linux.