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  • While Intel (INTC) has stopped trying to maximize CPU clock speeds in favor of adding cores and improving efficiency, IBM is still at it. The next CPU to go into IBM's system Z mainframe line will have a clock speed of 5.5 GHz., and Big Blue's Power7+ CPUs (to be used in high-end UNIX/Linux systems) will have cores that surpass 4.5 GHz. IBM's chip division is struggling, but in this case, its efforts help differentiate a profitable server/mainframe business that in turn drives lucrative services deals.  [View news story]
    Well, Alsabawi and AM1000 make valid points in the context of their point of view.

    I think water cooling is irrelevant to the point here which is why rather than how this is done. Also I think you will find that machines using these chips are in large commercial rather than large research facilities. The fact is that clouds depend on virtualization consolidation for their effectiveness. Virtualization consolidation effectiveness depends on thread capacity which is a combination of thread speed and cache per thread. If you build more cache you have less design space for threads, if you have fewer threads it is worth more to have faster threads.

    The second point I would like to make is that higher thread speed is required when code contains serializations. Code which shares data or resources inherently contains serializations. This will vary with the work to be done. Blue Gene, Watson, Pure, and Sysplex are all parallel clustering solutions. There is very good reason for the differences in the way the machines are designed. Otherwise, no one would buy them and IBM would have been out of the hardware business a long time ago.
    Aug 4, 2012. 04:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Global server sales fell 1.8% Y/Y in Q1, Gartner estimates - better than Q4's 5.4% drop, but nothing to brag about. A 6.4% Y/Y drop in Western European shipments took a toll. IBM's share, hurt by mainframe weakness, fell 160 bps Y/Y to 28.1%, while H-P's (HPQ), hurt by its Itanium decline, fell 240 bps to 27.8%. Dell's (DELL) share held steady at 14.9%. The share of non top-5 vendors rose 410 bps Y/Y to 18.3%, as Internet giants continue to opt for inexpensive, low-power, home-grown servers.  [View news story]
    You should also consider the cyclic nature of mainframe sales. Every end of cycle down turn since the late 90's has been attributed to other "industry trends", yet the cycle has always returned. The biggest factor in the long term downward trend in hardware sales is most likely the capacity of the machines growing faster than the demand for capcity in businesses. We sell more capacity every year but less physical stuff to supply that capacity.
    May 31, 2012. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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