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Open POWER for the data center

IBM's POWER (Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC) architecture is known to run mission-critical applications and to provide bank-style "RAS" (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability) features since 1990. Opening the architecture in 2013 enabled other vendors like Tyan or Rackspace to build servers based on the current POWER8 edition of this architecture. The current POWER8 CPUs provide up to 12 cores with 8x Simultaneous Multithreading - leading to 96 threads per CPU. Up to eight memory channels enable up to 230 GB/s memory bandwidth per CPU. Increased L1, L2, L3 and new L4 caches help to boost the performance of memory-bound applications like databeses, by providing more than 1 TB/s of bandwidth. In this talk Werner will give an overview of the architecture and show the performance possibilities of POWER8, using the PostgreSQL database as an example. By comparing PostgreSQL 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6 benchmarking results he will visualize the increased efficiency thanks to PowergreSQL's optimizations for POWER over the last years. Finally, he will outline one other benefit of OpenPOWER systems: from the very beginning (the first instruction to initialize the first CPU core, long before DRAM, firmware management or PCIe works) up to running your Linux OS and application like a database, only open source code gets executed.

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