POWER8 Enterprise – Power E870 First Look!

2014년 11월 28일 | 하드웨어 |

손진성 Datacenter Specialist

기업의 과거와 현재 그리고 미래의 중심이 되는 데이터센터를 디자인하고 구축하는 일을 전문으로 하고 있습니다. 아이웍스에서 ICT사업팀을 리드하고 있으며, Smarter IT Infrastructure 솔루션을 발굴하고 공급하는 일을 하겠습니다.

빅데이터에는 빅메모리가 필요합니다. 빅데이터에 맞게 설계된 첫 번째 프로세서인 POWER8로 빌드된 Power Systems Enterprise E870 의 모습을 공개합니다. (동영상, 약8분)


These pictures were take by Gareth Coates and the machine installed by: Clive Benjamin, Mike Pearson, Emily Barrett, Martin Wells, Gareth Coates and myself (Nigel Griffiths).   Below click on the pictures for a larger image.

Here is what the front of the new Power E870 – 64 POWER8 CPU cores and 4 TB of memory looks like with two POWER8 I/O Drawers above it and the SAS disk drawer on top:


From the top

  1. Top 2U SAS Disk Drawer FC5887 – with loads of 2.5 inch SAS disks
  2. Two 4U POWER8 I/O Expansion Drawers for 12  PCIe adapters each – four bright LEDs and two less bright LEDs on the left
  3. First 5U POWER8 E870 CEC node with POWER8 CPU, memory and 8 high speed – five bright LEDs and four less bright
  4. System Control Unit 2U  – with duplicate System Clocks, duplicate Service Processors, Ops panel (operator panel for the LED coded while starting up)  and a single DVD on the front – Only used for initial boot up, VIOS install and diagnostics.
  5. Second 5U POWER8 E870 CEC node with POWER8 CPU, memory and 8 high speed – five bright LEDs and four less bright
  • Note: CEC is a Central Electronic Complex – main CPUs, memory and I/O drawers. Also called a CEC node or CEC Drawer. The Power E870 has one or two CECs but the Power E880 up to four (2 only in 2014).

With the covers off the front looks like this (reminder click the picture for a larger image):


Above we see the System Control Unit in the middle. This is powered by the two CEC Nodes.  The CEC nodes  have four power supplies each with the power cords running through a tunnel from the back. Each CEC node has five fans and the System Control Unit only four smaller fans.


IN the picture above we show the POWER8 I/O Drawer which we mounted above the Power E870 with the covers off thus showing two power supplies and four fans on the fount.

Round the back is where all the real action happens – We find all the connections to make this into one computer:


First (above), the Clock cables running from the System Control Unit to each CEC so every thing is in sync


Second (above), the power cables delivering electricity from the CECs to the System Control Unit in the middle


Third (above), the the Service Processor cables


Four (above), the SMP cables between the CECs to join up all the POWER8 processors and their memory in to one large machine. Note that are thick copper cables with a braided outside for robustness and they get fairly near the rear door. We recommend the 8 inch read rack extension if you need extra cabling room.

Finally (below), the PCIe adapter in the CEC node is used to support the POWER8 I/O Drawer via special “chunky” optical cables. One adapter runs one cable pair to half of a I/O Drawer.


Here is the final picture with it all powered up and the redundant power cords added (of course):


Note: this machine was field integrated (built from parts in London but most machines will be delivered pre-built in a IBM T42 Rack = ready to rolled in and powered up in minutes. This machine is positioned at the bottom on the rack (as our cables run in from the ceiling but factory integrated pre-built machines will be a few U higher in the rack to allow cable runs under the floor and even higher if it could be upgraded later to four CEC Drawers in the case of a E880.

Given the value of the machines one per rack makes a lot of sense.

Now lets take a look inside:

Below is the Blind Swap Cassette for the CEC nodes – This is not a full hight adapter and not full length either but then modern high speed adapters are generally smaller. Lower the orange handle and the pull out from the machines. Push the button and you can open it to remove or insert the adapter


Below is a single 64 GB Memory card. A single CEC node takes 32 of these and with four CECs in a E880 in 2015 and the new 128 GB memory cards it takes us to 16TB of memory.  These are Enterprise memory RAS and very high speed. Four POWER8 chips have 2 on-board memory controllers each so its just four memory cards per memory controller – this means lots of concurrent memory transfers at the same time.


Below has the tops of the CEC removed to show the four heat sinks on top of the four single chip processor chips modules and with the blue handles the Voltage Regulator Modules (VRM) that smooth out the electricity and keep the POWER8 chips safe from spikes.


Below is the CEC node before we placed it in the rack. From top to bottom

  1. Adapters slots (underneath the metal cover) as they slide out the rear:
  2. Four POWER8 CPU heat sinks with four VRMs
  3. 32 Memory Cards all in a row
  4. 12 more VRMs
  5. Five Fans and underneath them but not really visible the four Power Supplies


Below, Emily checks the CEC node being slid into the T42 Rack – Warning: it is seriously heavy – hence the recommendation to have it pre-installed and delivered in a new T42 Rack. Please follow lifting instructions careful and use the new IBM Lift Tool to raise it ans place it in the rack. Dropping it could seriously damage your back, toes and wallet.


Left to right Clive Benjamin – Principal Engineer (PE) and Power Systems Advanced Technology Support (ATS) = Gareth Coates and Nigel Griffiths. All unashamedly & proudly wearing our brand new POWER8 T-Shirts.  Sorry they don’t come with the machine.


More pictures and lots more information can be found in the currently Draft Redbook for the Power E870 and E880

For the rPerf and CPW performance numbers and lots of information

 – – – The End – – –


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