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How IBM Power Systems fuel IBM Cognitive Systems for Business

The advent of big data, fueled by low-cost storage, data collection by billions of connected devices (more than 2.5 quintillion bytes every day!) and growing computing power, has created a new paradigm in which processing, analyzing and leveraging data is critical for any business.

Specifically, the analytics revolution, in which data holders dig out much more useful information and create new uses for data, has been running full-tilt for years.

In fact, nearly all companies today must be internet-capable, data-savvy operations or else they’ll quickly fall behind their competitors.

To successfully leverage the potential of big data and analytics, computing platforms need robust processing capability to keep up.

IBM’s Power Systems uses the most advanced hardware and software combination to provide the power that businesses need today, tomorrow and into the future.

Worth pointing out is the fact that the IBM Power team has identified the need for processor acceleration to drive innovation with an open ecosystem of partners. In addition, IBM’s Power Systems are paired with PowerAI, a comprehensive set of tools to develop cognitive, enterprise-level AI applications. 

This new Power Systems solution, now part of IBM Cognitive Systems, provides the computing acceleration that businesses need—on the premises, in the cloud or via Watson. 

High-performance Computing (HPC) and High-performance Data Analytics (HPDA)

What businesses need today are tools to help their teams achieve maximum productivity in whatever area they may be working.

That’s why the convergence of big data, high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performance data analytics (HPDA) is the opportunity that companies have today to game-change their business.


The third generation of IBM’s Power Solutions platform incorporates the highest-speed accelerator interconnects (i.e., NVLink) and coherent architecture (CAPI) in order to share the main memory with the accelerators.

This unique combination of GPU and FPGA power helps businesses quickly achieve maximum performance.

The timing of this roll-out couldn’t be better: executives, engineers, managers and other employees in every organization need timely access to relevant data to make informed decisions with the insight that can be leveraged from data at their immediate disposal.

The volume of data collection is constantly increasing, and the need to scale up computing power to manage that data is constantly challenging CIOs and IT teams.

IBM has been at the forefront of data management and analytics from the start, helping companies and institutions leverage the power of big data with the most advanced tools, such as Watson and the IBM cloud.

The IBM Power platform is the natural evolution of the hardware/software combination to realize the full potential of big data and AI.

Cognitive at the core

This is one of the tenets of IBM, explains IBM CEO Ginni Rometty: “Cognitive is not a feature, it is foundational” to IBM Cloud, “embodied by Watson,” IBM’s AI supercomputer platform.

IBM believes that systems should evolve to a full range of cognitive abilities through machine learning and AI—complete with human-like abilities to see, hear, feel and read. 

The IBM Power platform is the best out there when it comes to cognitive abilities.

That’s because it includes a high-performance core and a large, fast memory system, plus PowerAccel interconnects for Accelerators, which currently use Nvidia GPUs, Xilinx and AMD, to provide the power to leverage the cognitive abilities at enterprise-level big data processing.

Opportunities abound in cognitive, AI and advanced analytics


The cognitive, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics systems business is expected to grow four-fold in three years, from $1.7 billion in 2017 to $6.8 billion by 2020.

“For IBM Business Partners, digital disruptions and data growth create important opportunities,” says Brett Flory, a business unit executive with IBM’s Power Systems group.

More specifically, IBM partners have an enormous opportunity with the IBM Power platform, as they can offer customers a complete set of new AI tools and applications.

Financial institutions can leverage the power of big data and analytics for fraud prevention and detection and for real-time decisions on credit and investment.

Retailers can now tailor offers to customers on the fly and improve sales, using insights from data collected.

Healthcare providers will be able to use AI to help doctors make better diagnoses and apply the best personalized treatments.

These are just a handful of examples of the power of big data and analytics in real-world situations.

The applications of cognitive analysis and AI are limitless, and now IBM partners have the best platform to help their customers realize the full potential of the new paradigm.

To help its partners achieve these goals, IBM has launched a dedicated “in-market” HPC/HPDA sales team and hired a new worldwide VP of HPC/HPDA & Strategic Initiatives and a worldwide VP of Power Channels. 

Businesses need to be proactive rather than reactive

Companies are starting to realize that, in order to stay competitive, they need to get access to the most powerful tools in the market without compromises.

As cognitive and AI platforms are adopted into many corporate systems, anyone without the right tools will quickly fall behind.

Companies can use the power of cognitive and AI to reach other business opportunities.

Kone, a Finnish manufacturer of escalators and elevators who has been piloting a new business unit with IBM for the past two years, has transitioned “from an assets company to a company dedicated to people’s flow and has moved into an entire new market,” says Nicola Villa, IBM Europe's leader of IoT. Using Kone’s expertise, data collection and the power of Watson, the company is now offering its services to a wide range of businesses, analyzing how people move in different areas, such as malls, airports, shared offices, etc.

That information is a gold mine for planners, designers, retailers and government agencies.

“Clients who invest in IBM Power Systems and high-value offerings from the OpenPower foundation could lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) with fewer, more reliable servers compared to alternatives.

More importantly, these customers can accelerate performance and time to insight in their journey to become a cognitive business.” [HPC and HPDA for the Cognitive Journey with OpenPOWER] 

IBM and its partners are in a unique position to help their customers make the transition to cognitive systems and AI, leveraging the new business opportunities and competitive advantage that the IBM Power platform provides.

To learn more about using big data and analytics as a competitive advantage, head to our guide to IBM Server Solutions.

For even more, visit IBM’s Power Systems solutions site. 

Written by IBM BP Network