The IBM Power Systems S922 server is designed from the ground up for data intensive workloads like databases or analytics. It can support several key enterprise data-intensive scenarios, including mainstream applications, leading-edge HPC workloads and evolving artificial intelligence (AI) projects.
Customers seeking major compute power should know this key fact: POWER9 solutions are the basis of the world’s first and third fastest supercomputers, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Summit and Sierra installations.
IBM Power servers tend to have a higher cost of entry than x86 machines. However, according to a study by Quark + Lepton, IBM Power systems running IBM I software have 60% Lower Total Cost of Ownership than Windows/SQL Server or X86 based Oracle systems. IBM’s pitch is that there are limits to what commodity architectures can do.
However, if you expect surges in demand and don’t have room for downtime, licensing fees, or occasional crashes a more robust enterprise architecture may be required.
The S922 is a 1 or 2 socket server that offers a wide variety of core configurations and up to 4 TB of memory. Chip core speeds on the 4-core are 2.8 to 3.8GHz, on the 8 core are 3.4 to 3.9 GHz and on the 10 core are 2.9 to 3.8 GHz. The single socket version provides up to 6 PCIe ( 2 x Gen4 and 4 x Gen3) slots and the two socket version provides up to 9 slots (3 more Gen4 slots). One slot is used by a mandatory Ethernet adapter. Depending on what is attached, up to three of those slots may be reserved for other purposes. IBM i is only supported on the 6 cores and 8 core processors and is limited to 4 cores of IBM i with a software tier of P10.
Power Systems are known for their RAS (resiliency, availability, serviceability) features. IBM POWER9-based systems are said to deliver up to 10X faster bandwidth acceleration and 50% greater memory bandwidth than comparable x86 solutions. They also support the latest in data transfer technologies, including PCIe 4.0 and novel NVLink and OpenCAPI interfaces. This new server generation comes along with twice the memory footprint than POWER8. Changes in the memory subsystem and the use of the latest DIMMs enhance price/performance.
Number of processors:
Up to 2
IBM POWER9 Scale-Out SMT8 processor (12-core, 10-core, 8-core, 4-core offerings)
Cores per processor:
4, 8,10 cores per socket
Maximum processor frequency/cache:
3.9 GHz/512k L2 and 10 MB L3
I/O expansion slots:
The single socket version provides up to 6 PCIe ( 2 x Gen4 and 4 x Gen3) slots and the two socket version provides up to 9 slots (3 more Gen4 slots). One slot is used by a mandatory Ethernet adapter. Depending on what is attached, up to three of those slots may be reserved for other purposes.
One front USB 3.0 ports – Two rear USB 3.0 ports – Two HMC 1 GbE RJ45 ports – One system port with RJ45 connector – 1x USB 3.0 front, 2x USB 3.0 rear, 2x HMC 1 GB Eth RJ45 ports, one system port with RJ45 connector, 2x High Speed 25 Gb/s ports
Maximum memory/# slots/speed:
up to 4 TB/32 IS RDIMM slots/up to 2666 Mhz
Maximum Persistent Memory:
S922/S924 has two internal direct attached storage connectors, an NVMe card and a SAS card
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“It is a clear choice if you already have an established IBM AIX environment and need to sustain compatibility and maintain performance. There are comparable options now which may be able to get you to 3 nines for 1/2 the costs,” said a Senior Manager of IT in the manufacturing industry.
Key markets and use cases:
IBM Power Systems S922 server easily integrates into an organization’s cloud & cognitive strategy and delivers superior price performance for mission critical workloads.
POWER9 is designed from the ground up for data intensive workloads like databases or analytics
20 core, 512 GB, $37,222. The software is expensive.
“It is a product with high performance, efficiency and economic indices in the IT market,” said an Applications Engineering in the Education Industry. "Deployment is very easy, but took more than three months. It proved inexpensive in the long run.”
IBM Power S922
Max Processor Frequency
3.9 GHz/512k L2 and 10 MB L3
Max Persistent Memory
2 POWER9 Scale-Out SMT8
Top processing power