POWER9 is here. SUSE is ready!

POWER9_H922H924

IBM POWER9 H922 and H924

They are here! IBM announced the POWER9 servers for small enterprises, which will be available later this quarter.

IBM announced six new servers but the IBM POWER Systems H922 and H924 are of particular interest to SAP HANA customers. These two systems were designed and optimized for Linux running demanding applications like SAP HANA.

The H922 is a 2U system with up to nine PCIe slots. The H924 is a 4U system with 11 PCIe slots. Both systems will support up to 4 x 400 GB M.2 form factor NVMe devices. These systems are excellent choices for customer scale out SAP HANA workloads and provide the kind of performance and reliability customers expect from IBM and SUSE.

SUSE  already delivered POWER9 support including NVMe enablement in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3 (SLES 12 SP3), back in September 2017, so you don’t need to worry about getting started with SUSE on POWER9.

SLES 12 Service Pack 3 also included support for up to 512 TB virtual address space on Power. This ensures memory intensive applications like SAP HANA can fully use the capabilities of these new POWER9 systems.

Because SUSE has thousands of customers running SAP HANA on Power, you benefit from the experience of the market leader for SAP HANA.

SLES for SAP Applications includes many strong features that provide the reliability, performance, and ease of use that customers need when they deploy applications like SAP HANA.

We recently added a new product, Live Patching support for POWER, to provide an even higher level of reliability by allowing customers to avoid planned downtime.

You can manage all of your SUSE Linux on Power environments with SUSE Manager server, that now runs natively on POWER so there is no need to mix architectures just to manage your SAP HANA environment.

SLES_for_SAP_Diagram

We have all been waiting a long time for POWER9, and we are very happy that the latest generation of IBM Power systems will be available for our customers in just a few days.

Come talk to us about SUSE solutions for SAP HANA on Power at the IBM Think conference in Las Vegas in March!

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Posted in AIX & Power Systems Blogroll, Information Technology, SAP HANA, SUSE Linux, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SAP HANA on Power feeling a little cramped? 128TB support for SLES 11 SP4 can help

Squished_server

Memory fragmentation can happen in any operating system, but if you are running a memory intensive workload like SAP HANA, fragmentation can put an upper limit on how long the application can be available before needing to be restarted.

Increasing the amount of virtual address space can alleviate this problem by providing more memory to the application.

SUSE increased the virtual address space available in SLES 12 Service Pack 3 for POWER to 512TB last year to help with this problem.

Unfortunately, many of our SAP HANA customers on POWER started out on SLES 11 SP4 and will be running on SLES 11 for a long time to come. What about them?

Help has arrived: with the kernel-bigmem–3.0.101-108.7.1 update, we now support up to 128TB virtual address space on SLES 11 SP4. This provides the head room to allow customers to run their memory intensive applications, like SAP HANA, for longer periods between restarts.

This capability complements the support for 32TB of physical memory that was introduced with the bigmem kernel about a year ago (Blog: More memory now available for SAP HANA on SLES 11).

For more information, please see the SUSE TID at https://www.suse.com/support/kb/doc/?id=7018408

 

Posted in AIX & Power Systems Blogroll, Information Technology, SAP HANA, SUSE Linux | Leave a comment

Why it is hard to predict the performance impact of Meltdown and Spectre

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One of the key questions about patches to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre is “How is this going to impact my performance?”

Olaf Kirch, Distinguished Engineer and VP of Engineering at SUSE explains why it is so difficult to predict the performance impact of these mitigations and why the only real answer is to do your own benchmarks.

Read his blog here: Meltdown and Spectre Performance

Posted in AIX & Power Systems Blogroll, ARM Processors, High Performance Computing, Information Technology, SUSE Linux | Leave a comment

What will they say about you when you are gone?

dandelion-sunset-flower-shadow-dandelion

Recently I attended the funeral of a colleague, Bill Maron, from my days at IBM. Bill was the quintessential engineer who had overseen many complex projects at IBM. Bill drove the groundbreaking Transaction Processor Council (TPC) benchmarks that helped to catapult the IBM POWER4 UNIX systems to leadership performance and eventual IBM domination of the UNIX market. Bill ran the IBM UNIX performance team for many years and helped to resolve thousands of critical customer performance situations and drove the benchmarking activities associated with launching multiple generations of IBM POWER servers.

Bill fought cancer for several years but continued his work of tackling competitive bids and addressing critical performance issues.  I connected with Bill on one of my last trips at IBM. It was a customer visit for a competitive bid and I didn’t even know that Bill was ill-he just continued on as usual.

The funeral was held in the middle of the day at a funeral home that was not convenient for people coming from IBM. Despite this, his funeral was extremely well attended.

At the end of the service, people were asked to share a few thoughts about Bill. Now, you would think that the remembrances would include lots of things about Bill’s technical accomplishments and war stories about his long career at IBM.

Instead, the comments were about Bill’s unbounded kindness. Over and over we heard about how Bill had been a mentor who sustained careers, how he had guided his people to be better at their jobs, and even simple kindnesses such as swapping seats on airplanes with total strangers in order to make somebody’s day a little better. The remembrances painted a picture of a genuinely kind and thoughtful person.

I was struck by the fact that what people remembered about Bill was not his many technical and professional achievements but instead they remembered was the kind word, the gentle push in the right career direction, and simple acts of kindness.

I didn’t work with Bill closely but when I think of him, I remember most of all his smile and the mischievous twinkle in his eye.

How will people remember you?

Posted in Random Thoughts | 1 Comment

SUSE Linux Enterprise HPC Module: November 2017 Additions and updates

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SUSE continues to deliver on our commitment to make HPC easier to implement by adding additional packages to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) HPC Module.

When we introduced the HPC Module to SUSE Linux early in 2017, we laid out a strategy to make High Performance Computing adoption easier by providing a number of fully supported HPC packages to our SUSE Linux customers.

The key value of the HPC Module is to provide commonly used HPC packages as a fully supported component of SUSE Linux. These packages have been built and tested by SUSE and are provided at no additional cost with the SUSE Linux support subscription. All of the packages included in the SLES HPC Module are open-source and many are based on packages from OpenHPC.

SUSE provides the HPC Module for customers using the X86-64 and ARM hardware platform. Other than a few hardware specific packages, all the packages are supported on both platforms. If you haven’t tried the HPC module yet, here are instructions on how to access it.

In this release, we added a number of additional packages as well as updates to existing packages.  The new packages include several libraries such as fftw, OpenBLAS, and petSc, I/O packages such as hdf5 and phdf5, and performance tools such as mpiP and tau and many more.

We also updated slurm and pdsh packages to the latest levels.

SUSE Linux HPC Module package levels conman cpuid fftw hdf5 hwloc lua-filesystem lua-lmod lua-luaterm lua-luaposix memkind mpiP mrsh munge mvapich2 netcdf netcdf-cxx netcdf-fortran numpy openblas openmpi papi pdsh petsc phdf5 powerman prun rasdaemon ScaLAPACK slurm

SUSE HPC Module package levels November 2017

We also added two packages of interest to HPC customers, robinhood and singularity to SUSE PackageHub. PackageHub is a SUSE curated repository for community supported, open-source packages that provides SUSE customers with easier installation. Help for using PackageHub can be found here.

We hope that our customers will find the HPC Module useful. Let us know how we are doing via comments or email.

Jay

 

 

 

Posted in High Performance Computing, Open Source, SUSE Linux, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When they build it, SUSE will be ready

Field_of_DreamsSLES 12 Service Pack 3 for ARM is done. Now what?

SUSE has finished up SLES 12 Service Pack 3 and it is available to our customers. Inside SUSE, Service Pack 3 was labeled a “Consolidation” release. This type of release is intended to focus more on stability than on new features. This gives the Engineering team the opportunity to fix lower priority bugs and pay back technical debt introduced by new features in previous releases.  This is particularly true for legacy SUSE platforms like x86-64.

Service Pack 3 gave us the opportunity to make ARM a full member of the SUSE Linux family. We integrated ARM into the normal engineering and test environments that we already use for other platforms. I won’t bore you with all the details, but this infrastructure enablement is necessary for SUSE to provide the foundation for future success with ARM. Ultimately, we made the investments to complete this infrastructure work and ARM is now a regular hardware platform for SUSE Linux.

What’s happened with ARM servers since Service Pack 2

Last year, when SUSE became the first commercial Linux to support 64-bit ARM, we enabled a fairly limited set of ARM System on a Chip (SoC) processors for the server market. Of that group, only the Cavium ThunderX and Applied Micro XGene-2 systems had performance approaching what was needed for traditional server workloads. The other processors enabled in Service Pack 2 were better suited for niche and embedded workloads. But boy sure it is fun running SUSE Linux Enterprise on the Raspberry Pi!

We have seen a lot of changes in the ARM server industry, with some SoC vendors scaling back their investment in ARM server platforms and other vendors expanding their investment. We have also seen many vendors working on the second generation of ARM server processors – with enough potential performance to become a viable alternative the legacy systems in most data centers.

The first real appearance of prototype second generation ARM systems made their debut at the ISC high performance computing conference in Frankfurt in June. Having real hardware on the show floor made the rumors of impending ARM entry into the HPC market much more real. Hints about the expected performance of these systems piqued the interest of potential users. And some independent hardware vendors started revealing future systems based on the next generation of ARM server chips.

SUSE Linux enablement for the next generation of ARM server processors

There’s no question that the market is very interested in the next generation of ARM servers. SUSE has already done its part to enable these servers by including enablement for Cavium ThunderX2, Qualcomm Centriq 2400, MACOM/Applied Micro XGene-3, HiSilicon Hi1616, and other ARM processors in SLES 12 Service Pack 3.

SUSE and our ARM partners have been working a long time to enable enterprise deployments of 64-bit ARM servers, but now it’s a question of “when” rather than “if”.

The time for ARM servers is coming soon. SUSE Linux is ready today..

SLES12SP3_ARM_list

Posted in ARM Processors, High Performance Computing, Information Technology, Open Source, SUSE Linux, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SAP HANA 2.0 now certified for SLES 12 Service Pack 2 on IBM POWER8

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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2) for IBM POWER is now certified by SAP for SAP HANA 2.0

SLES 12 SP2 runs on IBM POWER8 hardware in little-endian mode (ppc64le).

Currently supported SAP HANA releases available for IBM POWER platform:

SAP HANA 1.0 on IBM POWER Servers (ppc64) big-endian

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 11 SP4

SAP HANA 2.0 on IBM POWER Servers (ppc64le) little-endian

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 12 SP1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 12 SP2

Full details are available in the SAP Note 2235581: SAP HANA Supported Operating Systems SAP Note: (SAP access required) https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2235581

Posted in AIX & Power Systems Blogroll, Information Technology, SAP HANA, SUSE Linux | Leave a comment