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  • #21
    Originally posted by NobodyXu View Post

    Banks require extra reliability and robustness while still requiring low latency for their customers.

    Imaging if your bank lost a record because one machine/cluster fails, or a transmission error, or the data being corrupted.
    That is absolutely going to be a nightmare for them.

    Also, if your transactions (such as shopping) takes more than a few seconds to submit and process, customers will be annoyed and just leave them.
    Bank must use IBM AS400 or IBM power is result of FUD done by IBM.
    Telco realtime billing systems runs on x86 server though handling much more transactions and each of them are more complex than bank transactions.
    Even with that load, x86 based telco realtime billing can provide millisecond response time.

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    • #22
      this new chip is manufactured using samsung 7nm.
      ibm is being cheapskate apparently.
      definitely amd zen3 (tsmc 7nm) is much better.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by zamroni111 View Post
        Bank must use IBM AS400 or IBM power is result of FUD done by IBM.
        I'll admit I'm no expert on mainframes, but it's rare to see a machine where you could do things like hot-swapping RAM. Their level of fault-tolerance & online maintenance is truly above and beyond anything else.

        TBH, as technically impressive as it is, that feels like the past, to me. The way of the future seems to be building fault-tolerance systems atop (mostly) commodity hardware. I think that's the cloud's answer to mainframes.

        I expect new businesses are adopting the new way, rather than embracing legacy mainframe hardware & software. That's got to be causing the pool of mainframe customers to shrink almost year over year. Eventually, the market will lose critical mass and it will no longer be economically viable for IBM to build proprietary CPUs for them, especially when some x86 CPUs offer a significant subset of the same RAS features.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by zamroni111 View Post
          this new chip is manufactured using samsung 7nm.
          ibm is being cheapskate apparently.
          It seems like the value proposition of POWER is tenuous. I'd be sad to see another ISA fall by the wayside, but I wonder if POWER will be the next victim of ARM and RISC-V.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by zamroni111 View Post

            Bank must use IBM AS400 or IBM power is result of FUD done by IBM.
            Telco realtime billing systems runs on x86 server though handling much more transactions and each of them are more complex than bank transactions.
            Even with that load, x86 based telco realtime billing can provide millisecond response time.
            "Needs" is always relative. The fact is, most banks - especially larger ones - have an institutional investment in mainframes, and IBM (and the other remaining mainframe vendors, which at this point essentially means NEC and Fujitsu) attempt to provide them with performance growth over time. The same goes for the folks running large-scale OLTP apps on Power.

            I don't actually even really like the Z ecosystem; I like Power somewhat better, but I really come from HP Integrity Land - but the time I've spent using it makes me greatly admire the performance and engineering quality offered by both Z and Power. (IBM's operating systems terrify me, though.)
            Last edited by Dawn; 13 July 2022, 11:53 PM.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by coder View Post
              It seems like the value proposition of POWER is tenuous. I'd be sad to see another ISA fall by the wayside, but I wonder if POWER will be the next victim of ARM and RISC-V.
              I can't imagine a single possible Power->RV competitive takeout, where Power is defined as the IBM CPU family rather than the PPC ISA family as a whole. Even Power->ARM is difficult to imagine. Almost all migrations off Power are to x86, whether on-prem or cloudy. A few are to Z. Once upon a time, quite a few went to the other RISC/UNIX vendors, but IBM is effectively the last company still doing R&D in that space.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by coder View Post
                I'll admit I'm no expert on mainframes, but it's rare to see a machine where you could do things like hot-swapping RAM. Their level of fault-tolerance & online maintenance is truly above and beyond anything else.

                TBH, as technically impressive as it is, that feels like the past, to me. The way of the future seems to be building fault-tolerance systems atop (mostly) commodity hardware. I think that's the cloud's answer to mainframes.

                I expect new businesses are adopting the new way, rather than embracing legacy mainframe hardware & software. That's got to be causing the pool of mainframe customers to shrink almost year over year. Eventually, the market will lose critical mass and it will no longer be economically viable for IBM to build proprietary CPUs for them, especially when some x86 CPUs offer a significant subset of the same RAS features.
                The system is usually redundant with primary and secondary server, so those ram hot swapping is almost unused feature.
                Eventhough using IBM power, many banks still has daily downtime at midnight (can't do transfer, etc.).
                Meanwhile x86 based telco realtime billing never needs such planned outage.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Dawn View Post
                  I can't imagine a single possible Power->RV competitive takeout, where Power is defined as the IBM CPU family rather than the PPC ISA family as a whole.
                  Well, I was trying to look further out. You make a worthwhile distinction between POWER and PowerPC, where I believe PPC has some established share of the embedded market that's perhaps more immediately under threat from RISC-V.

                  Originally posted by Dawn View Post
                  Even Power->ARM is difficult to imagine. Almost all migrations off Power are to x86, whether on-prem or cloudy.
                  Noted, but ARM's ascendance in cloud is eating directly into x86's share of that market. It's hard for me to imagine it's not going to be eroding POWER's share, as well.

                  Originally posted by Dawn View Post
                  A few are to Z.
                  Wow. So, you're saying there are customers migrating from POWER to Z? Interesting.

                  Originally posted by Dawn View Post
                  Once upon a time, quite a few went to the other RISC/UNIX vendors, but IBM is effectively the last company still doing R&D in that space.
                  In specifically what space? You mean non-Linux, UNIX operating systems on non-x86 HW? If so, I'm curious why someone would adopt a proprietary UNIX, in this day and age.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Dawn View Post

                    No. z/OS runs on z, not Power.

                    There are a few kinds of Power customers.

                    Some are running i, IBM's unique object-
                    oriented operating system. There are a lot of i sites (over 100k) but most of them are smaller (sometimes as small as one core activation) and upgrade infrequently. These sites typically have apps in RPG, often with Java or PHP on the side. These sites are often running inventory management or payroll apps.

                    There's also the traditional RISC/UNIX market - in which IBM is the last player actively doing R&D since HP/Intel and Oracle/Fujitu threw in the towel. These users stick with Power and AIX because of very high per-core performance (which determines licensing costs on things like Oracle DB) and high scalability in a single monolithic system (Power10 can scale to 16 sockets.) These users tend to be larger - banks, governments, factories, etc - and willing to pay a premium for Power value-adds.

                    Lastly, there is also a smattering of Linux. Some are HPC users that took advantage of the ability to direct-attach NVlink graphics. Some just have demanding apps that benefit from Power's high memory bandwidth or unique cache hierarchy.
                    Oracle at least has long since moved away from strict per-core licensing. You can look up "Oracle Processor Core Factor Table" but the gist of it is that running Intel or AMD is much cheaper on a per-core basis.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by coder View Post
                      Well, I was trying to look further out. You make a worthwhile distinction between POWER and PowerPC, where I believe PPC has some established share of the embedded market that's perhaps more immediately under threat from RISC-V.
                      The truth is, embedded PPC has been imploding for a while. Nobody has a serious long-term commitment to it at this point except IBM themselves in stuff like the CryptoExpress card. NXP still uses e200's for a bunch of auxiliary things, but less and less of that is even really customer-visible. LSI is long gone. Applied Micro is too. I think PPC is a first-rate embedded ISA, and I'd like to see a renaissance for it, but I don't think it's going to happen; that ship sailed at least five years ago, before RV was really even in the picture.

                      Wow. So, you're saying there are customers migrating from POWER to Z? Interesting.
                      Yes. Usually not greenfield Z, though it probably happens, but you absolutely see things like "company with Power and Z consolidates the Power AIX workloads onto z/Linux and abandons Power." I have serious doubts about the economics of z/Linux, but there it is.

                      In specifically what space? You mean non-Linux, UNIX operating systems on non-x86 HW? If so, I'm curious why someone would adopt a proprietary UNIX, in this day and age.
                      It happens, even now - usually competitive takeouts from HP-UX stragglers or from Solaris who have unique requirements or have some institutional objection to Linux. It's important to remember that relatively recently - 2008, for instance - the server market looked like this:

                      https://img.hexus.net/v2/channel/new...slide1-big.jpg

                      IBM, HP, and Sun/Oracle were actively poaching each other's UNIX customers well into the early 2010s with proprietary UNIX offerings of their own, and to some extent, IBM still is. It's a portion of what drives Power growth today. Having used AIX, I admit I don't understand the appeal, but there it is. It might even be accelerating a little, with the impending HP-UX EOL. There's also a few who go from Linux/x86 to Linux/Power (probably justifiable with per-core licensing charges, depending on the workload), Linux/x86 to AIX/Power (huh?), or Linux/x86 (or even Windows/x86) to i/Power (well, i is actually kinda cool, but I don't envy their software licensing charges. This is usually places that already have a bunch of IBM software kool-aid being consumed, not just random "hey, let's host our LAMP website on i!")

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