For two decades, IBM’s Power computing division has occupied that space between System x and System z which was traditionally occupied by the mini-computer. With the sale of the System x business to Lenovo, IBM is repositioning POWER to be a primary processor for those customers who use Linux, especially those who need to compute intensive workloads, such as big data, analytics and cloud.

The announcement by members of the OpenPOWER Foundation that they are building alternatives to IBM’s own hardware, promises a multi-vendor hardware market. This means that Power Systems is no longer an IBM only play, and with Google using POWER to build its next generation of hyper-scale servers that it has designed, now is the time for corporate IT to take another look at Power and what it offers. In this report, we look at what IBM is delivering with POWER8 and the promise of what is to come.