The primary machine must be in the same enterprise as the CBU system. An activated processor must be available on the CBU server to use the transferred entitlement. Such messages that arise in this situation do not mean you are not in compliance. Before you can temporarily transfer entitlements, you must have more than one Enterprise Enablement entitlement on the primary server and at least one Enterprise Enablement entitlement on the CBU system. You may then transfer the entitlements that are not required on the primary server during the time of transfer and that are above the minimum of one entitlement.

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While the p has grown from a line of earlier p-series enterprise machines, it offers a number of improvements and enhancements, some enabled by the Power6. The processor, meanwhile, stems from earlier Power-series processors, but it is a significant step forward in processor capacity and reliability. I was invited to IBMs Austin labs to get a chance to evaluate the p and the Power6 that drives it.

The p is a modular, dual-processor server that can be expanded to as many as 16 processor cores. Note that each Power6 processor has dual cores, so IBM counts these as two processors each.

Each server uses blade-like modules for functions ranging from carrying the processor cards to handling storage. In addition, as many as four server chassis can be linked to effectively function as a single unit. Some of the ps hardware features, including its Ethernet adapters, have been designed for virtual operations. Dual-port Gigabit Ethernet cards come standard on the p, and a quad-port or 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter can be added.

Each p can support as many as six SAS drives. The p chassis supports redundant power supplies, and the server supports up to GB of system memory. Click here to read the Labs take on the Power6 and quantum mechanics. IBM claims a number of benchmark firsts with its 4. While I wasnt able to confirm any of them eWEEK Labs wasnt given access to the hardware for testing , the servers specifications are certainly impressive.

According to IBM, the new p, which runs only Unix or Linux, uses the same amount of electricity as earlier p-series computers that only ran half as fast.

Company officials say the p can handle data at speeds up to G per second. IBM also claims that the server will be energy-efficient. Still, this is an enterprise-class machine with enterprise-class power needs, running at volts. The Real Star As compelling as the p is as a whole, the real star of the show is the Power6 processor. This dual-core processor includes decimal floating-point processing and a nanometer design. The chip runs internally at 1 volt, although it has active voltage control that will change the voltage supplied to parts of the processor as needed.

To make the processor run effectively at 4. Some of these changes, such as revising the flow of the instruction pipeline, make the processor more efficient. Others, such as adding the ability to locate cached instructions quickly, involve innovative ways of storing information and then finding it again.

And one big change—the ability of the processor to monitor itself for errors in executing instructions and then fix the problem—are unprecedented in small computers.

According to company engineers, technology formerly available only on mainframe computers was brought into the processor design. In short, IBM has basically instrumented everything inside the processor. The Power6 can tell when an instruction isnt being handled properly and re-do the instruction.

In addition, it can keep an eye on heat, oscillator performance, and controller and register operations, and it can monitor its own critical path. The operations checking, which happens every clock cycle, include dynamic bitline repair, failover for oscillators and controllers, cache recovery and, if needed, alternate processor recovery.

This means that if something goes wrong that can be corrected, the processor corrects it. And, if theres a hardware failure that cant be fixed, a new processor or component can be brought in automatically.

Because most of the error checking and recovery happens at the chip level, software running on the server never knows that there was a problem. The server keeps on running without a hitch. And even when theres a non-recoverable hardware error, the processor can bring another core into operation and keep running.

Perhaps the biggest change that software will notice is the ability to handle floating point decimal math using the IEEE r format. IBM officials also claim that server downtime is extremely rare due to factors ranging from the ability of the servers processor to bring spare components online as needed to the support for decimal floating point. Check out eWEEK.


9117-570 (p5 570)



Family 9117+02 IBM Power 570 Model MMA


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