SAN JOSE, Calif. – A low-power server company debuts on Tuesday (Oct. 23) with systems based on the IBM Power processor architecture. So far, few details are available about how the systems from Servergy Inc. (McKinney, Texas) will compete with existing x86 servers and a gathering storm of ARM-based servers.
Servergy will debut its products this week at the Power.org conference in Shanghai, China. Along with IBM, Servergy is the only company currently making Power-based servers.
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The startup is led by Bill Mapp, a former principal in IBM’s services group, who claims he once snagged a $3.8 billion deal for the computer giant. The company’s Web site lists its other top managers, including former executives from companies such as Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard.
Servergy describes its products in general terms as Linux servers running on Power architecture processors. The company did not respond to questions.
The startup's Web site lists four systems--single, dual- and quad-socket servers in a 1U pizza box along with a fully configured rack. The single socket systems measure 14 x 8.5 x 1.75 inches. . Servergy claims the large racks offer “industry leading performance per watt.” The single-socket servers offer “up to 80 percent less power and space,” but fail to provide comparisons or other specifics about performance.
It’s not clear whether Servergy designed its own Power processor or is using an off-the-shelf chip. Managers listed on the Web site do not include anyone with a background in microprocessor design, yet analysts said they are unaware of any company making merchant Power chips for servers. One possibility is the company could be using a chip derived from an existing IBM chip design.
Depending on what one wants to do with such a server, getting software stacks to run on it is important. For example, Oracle doesn't compile Java for PowerPC/Linux (no surprise there), one has to get the IBM J9 version. As long as one is using mostly Open Source software, it should be possible to build a version for PowerPC, but commercial software may be harder to find for PowerPC/Linux.
When people release new product lines based on PowerPC these days, it's news.
Personally, I'm glad to see PowerPC still going strong. IMO it's a much better instruction set than x86 or ARM. Now we just need a development board with Raspberry Pi pricing.