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The global group of the IBM x86 server company may be prepared below Lenovo’s business business neighborhood. Adalio Sanchez led the x86 server business at IBM and may continue during this capability at Lenovo, as senior vp of business systems, reporting to Gerry Smith. The buy expense is approximately US$ 2.1 billion. approximately US$ 1.eight billion could be paid in cash at closing after estimated changes and approximately US$ 280 million can be paid in Lenovo inventory, in accordance with the closing expense of Lenovo’s inventory on September 26, 2014. The transaction convinced regulatory requirements and conditions, including clearance by means of the Committee on foreign investment in the united states (CFIUS), the ecu fee and the chinese Ministry of Commerce. The transition will begin Wednesday in countries which are part of the initial closing, which includes most primary markets. The transaction is anticipated to shut in most other nations later this 12 months, with the few ultimate countries following in early 2015. ABOUT LENOVOLenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$39 billion personal technology company, the biggest computer business on earth, serving shoppers in additional than one hundred sixty countries. dedicated to constructing specifically engineered PCs and cellular cyber web devices, Lenovo’s business is constructed on product innovation, a particularly-efficient global give chain and robust strategic execution. fashioned by way of Lenovo neighborhood’s acquisition of the previous IBM very own Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets legit, excellent, relaxed and easy-to-use technology items and services. Its product traces include legendary feel-branded industrial PCs and concept-branded customer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family unit of cell cyber web instruments, together with drugs and smartphones. As a global Fortune 500 company, Lenovo has foremost analysis centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more assistance see www.lenovo.com. About IBMFor more counsel about IBM, discuss with http://www.ibm.com
# # #[i] based on IDC, the whole x86 server market should be $42.1 billion in 2014
Mainframes are presupposed to be passe. Yet regardless of a price tag that can head into the hundreds of thousands, they nonetheless represent suit chunk of the desirable end of the server industry. in line with IDC, about they account for 32 % of the excessive-conclusion of the pie.regardless of some assertions, mainframe expertise continues to be alive and kicking. those out there for one of these high-end bins will be complicated-pressed to avoid IBM's device z. The mainframe household strives to be resourceful and cutting edge while last true to its legacy.
IBM, of path, owns well-nigh all of the mainframe market under its flagship gadget z brand. removed from being a stagnant area of the market, IBM (NYSE: IBM) invests heavy R&D dollars into this line.
past this year, it released the zEnterprise mainframe server along with a new programs design that enables workloads on mainframe, POWER7 and device x servers to share supplies and be managed as a single, virtualized equipment.
"This new model is the strongest and energy-effective mainframe ever," talked about Greg Lotko, vice chairman, IBM device z, "it's the most massive programs architecture within the closing two decades."
he's speakme about the new zEnterprise 196 (or z196). It consists of 96 microprocessors, each and every working at 5.2 GHz, and it's in a position to executing more than 50 billion guidance per 2d. utility is harnessed to optimize the performance of statistics-heavy workloads, including up to a 60 p.c improvement in information intensive and Java workloads. moreover, three terabytes of reminiscence is attainable.
as much as 112 IBM BladeCenter PS701 specific blades may also be integrated into the zEnterprise device through zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX). additionally, as much as eight thoroughly configured zEnterprise methods will also be clustered and managed as a single gadget. This totals 768 new zEnterprise microprocessors and any mixture of up to 896 IBM energy or x86 microprocessors that may also be managed as a single equipment.
"Over 100,000 virtualized servers can be managed as a single system in the optimum clustered configuration," pointed out Lotko.
the new gadget presents 60 % greater skill than its predecessor, the equipment z10, and it uses about the identical amount of electrical energy. IBM continues to promote and promote the z10 in a few flavors as proven in the desk beneath. although, it is now focusing on the z196 as its primary mainframe providing. For those settling on Linux on equipment z, a single virtualized server can also be created and deployed for under $1 per day, observed Lotko.
"It expenses 74 % less to run comparative Oracle workloads on the zEnterprise 196 in comparison to x86 programs," he added.
power efficiencies have been finished through advances in microprocessor design, 45nm silicon expertise, and extra productive power conversion and distribution, in addition to superior sensors and cooling handle firmware that displays and makes changes based on environmental elements, comparable to temperature and humidity levels and air density.
A water cooling option is also attainable for the z196 that may cut back power use with the aid of as lots as 12 percent. Lotko trots out the numbers: In a standard statistics center environment, water cooling reduces the required gadget air circulate by greater than 20 %, whereas putting off greater than 70 % of the device air heat load. Water cooling on the z196 connects directly to latest chilled water methods.
The z196 can also be configured to include up to 80 forte engines to further in the reduction of prices and boost efficiency, together with the gadget z application assist Processor (zAAP) for integrating Java workloads with core business purposes, the system z integrated counsel Processor (zIIP) designed to assist free-up computing ability and lower IT prices, and the integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) to optimize Linux workloads working on the mainframe.
The beginning price for the z196 is barely beneath $1 million.New Design
the new methods design combines IBM's new zEnterprise mainframe server with zBX the IBM zEnterprise Unified resource supervisor -- that allows for it to manage workloads working throughout equipment z, and select POWER7 and device x servers.
"in consequence, consumers can combine the administration of zEnterprise system resources as a single device and lengthen mainframe features, equivalent to governance and manageability, to workloads running on select IBM POWER7 and equipment x blade servers," pointed out Lotko.
zBX supports IBM POWER7 and gadget x BladeCenter programs in addition to blades optimized for certain workloads, akin to analytics and managing web infrastructure.
IBM blade servers inside the zBX integrate with equipment z and might run tens of hundreds of off-the-shelf purposes. Coming later this yr, IBM will carry the zBX with help for IBM POWER7 blades working AIX, IBM's UNIX working system. IBM is also introducing the IBM sensible Analytics Optimizer to speed up the efficiency of complicated analytic workloads at a lower can charge per transaction.
next year, IBM plans to announce additional ordinary-goal blades for the IBM zBX, including opt for IBM system x-based mostly blades operating Linux. extra workload-optimized blades are deliberate to include IBM DataPower for making improvements to net web page and network performance.Unified aid supervisor
Unified useful resource manager is firmware that controls how the hardware capabilities and integrates numerous platform supplies as a single virtualized gadget to supply unified administration for zEnterprise.
"Unified aid manager can establish system bottlenecks or failures among disparate programs," observed Lotko. "If a failure occurs on a device x blade server, it could right away move the affected software to a further device x blade to retain it working."IBM device z, At a glance Server namez196 z10 commercial enterprise categoryz10 company classDescription A zEnterprise is an built-in hardware platform making it feasible to installation and intelligently control workloads across mainframe and dispensed technologies. New, constructed-in capabilities can extend many of IBM's mainframe-like governance and traits of service even additional to really expert utility optimizers and choose POWER7 and IBM x86 blade servers, enabling simplified operations throughout all these software environments. equipment z10 commercial enterprise classification (z10 EC) provides performance and ability for increase and big scale consolidation, more desirable protection, resiliency and availability whereas decreasing both chance and cost. it's designed to cut back energy usage and shop flooring space when consolidating workloads from dispensed servers. strong point engines proceed to assist users expand the use of the mainframe for a vast set of applications, whereas helping to lower the cost of ownership. The IBM system z10 enterprise classification (z10 BC) is designed notably as a midrange mainframe, with extensive growth options, virtualization and consolidation capabilities, and good price/efficiency. costJust under $1 million just beneath $1 million. simply under $one hundred,000
Drew Robb is a contract writer specializing in technology and engineering. at the moment residing in California, he's originally from Scotland, the place he acquired a degree in geology and geography from the institution of Strathclyde. he's the creator of Server Disk management in a windows ambiance (CRC Press).
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In its broadest product launch since acquiring IBM's System x portfolio, Lenovo has gone back to the drawing board and completely redesigned its ThinkSystem servers from the ground up. They deliver a wealth of new features and in this exclusive review they bring you a first look at its ThinkSystem SR650 general purpose 2U rack server.
Support for Intel's Xeon Scalable CPU family is at the top of Lenovo's agenda and the SR650 shows off a new storage design offering more choices. Along with support for up to 14 LFF or 24 SFF drives, the SR650 features embedded NMVe PCI-Express ports as standard, while the AnyBay carriers from previous generations increase storage versatility.
A welcome update for us is Lenovo's embedded XCC (xClarity Controller) chip. Remote server management has been a major weakness of current System x and ThinkServer platforms and the XCC puts it firmly alongside Dell's iDRAC9 and HPE's iLO5 for features.Management
The first benefit of the ThinkSystem firmware became apparent when they powered the SR650 up; boot times have been drastically reduced. Their lab's System x3550 M5 rack server takes a yawn-inducing 6 minutes to go from power on to OS login, whereas the SR650 cut their waiting time to 110 seconds.
OS deployment is easier too, as the xClarity Provisioning Manager provides an assisted installation routine. Selected during boot up, it helped us get a RAID array created and Windows Server 2016 loaded with all the correct drivers inside 30 minutes.
There's much more, as the XCC web interface is like nothing we've seen from Lenovo before. It's slick home page opens with a wealth of information about all critical components, quick access to remote control, a rundown on all firmware versions and a set of coloured blocks showing utilization and system wide power usage.
It provides a full inventory of every hardware component and a detailed breakdown of power usage, component utilization, fan and voltage status plus system temperatures. You also have direct configuration access to the RAID controllers, firmware update tools and options to set server, firmware and access security.
After updating the lab's xClarity Administrator Hyper-V host to v1.3.2, they were able to add the SR650 to its console, remotely monitor it and use its image library for centralized OS deployment. They also used Lenovo's xClarity Mobile iOS app on their iPad to remotely access the Administrator host and a new feature for cellular-equipped mobiles is the ability to tether them directly to the ThinkSystem's front USB port for local monitoring.Storage
The server's front panel uses the popular 8+8+8 drive bay configuration, allowing it to support from 8 to 24 SFF drives (HPE's DL380 Gen10 supports 30 SSF drives). The SR650 LFF model has room for up to 12 drives at the front and this chassis also supports an optional two-bay cage fitted at the rear in place of the 3-slot PCI-Express riser.
Lenovo's AnyBay is unique as it supports SAS, SATA, standard SSD or NVMe PCIe SSD interfaces in the same bay. With the appropriate AnyBay backplane factory fitted (and dual CPUs), the SR650 16-bay model can handle up to eight of these bays.
The clincher is the pair of embedded dual-port NVMe PCIe connectors on the motherboard. Other server vendors require you to purchase an optional adapter card for NVMe drives but the SR650 supports four out of the box at no extra cost -- the extra four require Lenovo's optional NVMe switch adapter.
RAID choices are plentiful with the review system including a ThinkSystem 930-8i SAS3 adapter fitted in the dedicated PCI-Express slot in the centre of the motherboard and including 2GB of battery protected Flash cache. Lenovo also offers a dual M.2 SATA SSD enablement kit and two mirrored 128GB modules for only £328.Expansion and power
Internally, the server is well designed with easy access afforded to all major components. The SR650 supports the entire Xeon Scalable family with the price of their review system including dual 8-core 2.1GHz Xeon Silver 4110 CPUs partnered by 32GB of TRuDDR4 memory.
The Xeon Silver CPUs are aimed at entry-level data centre applications with all five models supporting 2,400MHz memory, 768GB per socket plus Intel's HT and Turbo Boost technologies. Their low 85W TDP was reflected in their power tests, and the server drew 80W in idle and a mere 118W under extreme load.
The server was supplied with the full complement of six internal hot-swap cooling fans and dual 750W Platinum hot-plug PSUs. Other PSU options include 550W, 750W Titanium, 1100W and 1600W and all share a common form factor across the entire ThinkSystem range.
Instead of embedded network ports, the motherboard provides a LOM slot which links up with the C624 PCH and supports dual or quad Gigabit and 10GbE cards. Lenovo's Infiniband and 25/40/100GbE cards require a separate riser with an ML2 slot.Conclusion
The ThinkSystem SR650 represent a huge step forward for Lenovo as it's well designed, good value and highly expandable. Support for the Xeon Scalable family allows it to be customized to suit any workload, storage features see big improvement and the new xClarity Controller finally brings Lenovo into 21st-century server management.
(As reviewed)Chassis: 2U rackCPU: 2 x 8-core 2.1GHz Intel Xeon Silver 4110Memory: 32GB TruDDR4 (max 3TB)Storage: 2 x 400GB Lenovo SAS3 SFF SSD (max 24)RAID: Lenovo ThinkSystem RAID 930-8i SAS3/2GB Flash/BBUArray support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 50, 6, 60Expansion: 7 x PCI-Express 3 (6 free)Network: 4 x Gigabit LOMPower: 2 x 750W hot-plug PSUsManagement: XCC Enterprise, xClarity AdministratorWarranty: 3yrs on-site NBDOptions: Dual mirrored 128GB M.2 SATA SSD kit, £328 ex VAT
What are the Foreshadow/ L1TF exploits? Which chips are affected? How to secure your systems.
New exploits have been discovered for modern Intel chips that allow an attacker to bypass protections and harvest sensitive information.
Like the Spectre and Meltdown exploits earlier this year, the new L1TF / Foreshadow vulnerabilities allow for a form of speculative execution attack. Unlike those earlier exploits, these affect modern chips with SGX architecture extensions, designed to protect data and applications from interference.
The vulnerabilties allow data to be read from an area of fast memory known as the L1 cache, which is available to each processor core. An attacker could use the exploits to read any data held in the cache, including protected information belonging to the System Management Mode (SMM), the operating system's kernel, or to other virtual machines (VMs) running on third-party clouds.
In theory, the exploits could be used to steal information from virtual machines running on public or private clouds, as they allow a malicious VM running on the cloud to read memory belonging to the VM's hypervisor or memory belonging to another guest VM. However, for an attack to be successful, the VMs would need to be running on the same processor core.
The three related Foreshadow vulnerabilities are CVE-2018-3615 (for SGX), CVE-2018-3620 (for operating systems and SMM) and CVE-2018-3646 (for virtualization).
As pointed out by TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet, despite the attacker needing to have the ability to run code on the targeted systems to make use of the exploits, the vulnerabilities are serious enough to merit patching immediately, all rating higher than 7 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS).
The exploits have also been used to compromise the protections offered by Software Guard Extensions (SGX). SGX is designed to store data and applications within a secure section of memory, an "enclave" protected from modification or inspection. However, Foreshadow can be used to extract the attestation keys used to verify the identity of a secure SGX enclave, allowing an attacker to trick the system into designating an insecure portion of memory as being secured by SGX.Which processors are vulnerable?
All SGX-enabled Core processors, Skylake and Kaby Lake, while Atom family processors with SGX support remain unaffected.
Affected processors include:
Intel Core i3/i5/i7/M processor (45nm and 32nm)
2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th/8th generation Intel Core processors
Intel Core X-series Processor Family for Intel X99 and X299 platforms
Intel Xeon processor 3400/3600/5500/5600/6500/7500 series
Intel Xeon Processor E3 v1/v2/v3/v4/v5/v6 Family
Intel Xeon Processor E5 v1/v2/v3/v4 Family
Intel Xeon Processor E7 v1/v2/v3/v4 Family
Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family
Intel Xeon Processor D (1500, 2100)
More details on affected Intel processors are available here. Security researchers say they are unaware of the exploits affecting Arm and AMD chips.How can you protect yourself?
While the microcode updates released by Intel earlier this year to patch the Spectre and Meltdown exploits go some way towards neutralizing attacks, PC owners and sysadmins will need to install additional patches from OS and virtualization vendors. In some situations, further steps will need to be taken, such as disabling Hyper-Threading, which will significantly reduce the chip's performance. This is most likely to be necessary in a traditional enterprise environment running untrusted guest virtual machines, according to Red Hat.
Microsoft has updated Windows clients with its ADV180018 fix, delivered as part of the first patch Tuesday of August 2018.
However, due to the complexities of mitigating the exploits in virtual environments, those using the Hyper-V hypervisor or admins of Windows Server may need to take additional steps to safeguard affected machines, outlined in a technical briefing here.
Microsoft says it has mitigated L1TF for Hyper-V on its Azure cloud platform using HyperClear, which it claims has "relatively negligible performance impact" and that is also available for Windows Server 2016 and later.
Oracle has released security patches for Oracle Linux 7, Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle VM Server for X86 products. In addition to OS patches, Oracle is advising customers to run the current version of the Intel microcode. Oracle Linux customers can use Oracle Ksplice to apply these updates without needing to reboot their systems.
Oracle says it's working to implement the "necessary mitigations" to protect customers across "all Oracle Cloud offerings", with its priority being to protect against "tenant-to-tenant attacks".
Red Hat outlines which versions of its OS are affected here, alongside links to the latest updates. As well as applying these fixes, Red Hat says "customers desiring to completely mitigate this issue will need to consider more securely managing and possibly disabling Hyper-Threading to close off all attack vectors".
Google Cloud Platform
Google says it has updated its Cloud Platform to reduce the risk from L1TF exploits for "the majority" of users but recommends updating guest operating systems to reduce risks. Outside of the core Google Cloud Infrastructure however, Google is recommending customers of various Google Cloud Platform services — from Google App Engine Flexible Environments to Google Cloud Composer — take additional steps to protect themselves, which are outlined here.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS says it has "designed and implemented its infrastructure with protections against these types of attacks, and has also deployed additional protections for L1TF", adding "all EC2 host infrastructure has been updated with these new protections, and no customer action is required at the infrastructure level".
However, it says an updated kernel is available for Amazon Linux, ALAS-2018-1058, and recommends that customers use the stronger security and isolation properties of EC2 instances to separate any untrusted workloads.
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The logo for the Foreshadow vulnerabilities.
Lenovo has stated it will turn its acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business into a $5bn profitable business within 12 months.
Through the $2.1bn deal – expected to be closed on 1 October 2014 – the Chinese PC giant will take over the global team of the IBM x86 server business, which will be organised under Lenovo’s Enterprise Business Group.
Former IBM server chief Adalio Sanchez – who led the x86 server business at IBM – will become senior vice-president of enterprise systems, reporting to Gerry Smith, Lenovo’s president for the North America region.
Lenovo has big plans for the enterprise market, according to Smith.
"Over time, they will compete vigorously across every sector, using their manufacturing scale and operational excellence to repeat the success they have had with PCs," he said.
Among the areas the company will need to address is the decline in IBM’s x86 server revenue, as a result of its competitors aggressively targeting customers since the deal was announced in January.
As Computer Weekly previously reported, Gartner's figures for the second quarter of 2014 show HP achieved 7.3% year-on-year growth to achieve a 34.7% server revenue share for the three-month period. Meanwhile, IBM saw its server revenue shrink by 14.9% for the same quarter.
The company will also need to address the range of enterprise services it offers to customers globally.
While it has 17 four-hour response centres in the UK, there are only three across the whole of the southern hemisphere, and none in Africa or India. This could be a risk to global businesses that require fast turnaround on their Lenovo servers in these regions.
Commenting on the limited geographic spread of four-hour support contracts, Smith said: "IBM’s services team is the best in the business. Customers will be able to leverage the IBM support structure. The same service they get today, they will get around the globe."
Another issue for datacentre managers is long-term server support contracts, which is far from clear.
While it is possible to buy five years of extended warranties on rival HP ProLiant and Dell PowerEdge x86 server families, head of server and storage at Lenovo UK Tom Goodwin said at a recent briefing: "We will support existing Lenovo ThinkServer and xServers for 18 months."
Clearly this is a gap Lenovo will need to address if it wishes to be successful in the enterprise, where servers may have a lifespan of three years or more.Can low cost fit with enterprise design?
The general consensus among analysts is Lenovo will repeat the success it had with the 2005 acquisition of the IBM PC business and aggressively grow its marketshare. However, it may be challenged in selling the technical merits of more expensive commodity servers from the IBM x86 server portfolio.
In the Enterprise Workloads on The IBM X6 Portfolio report published earlier this year, IDC analyst Jed Scaramella noted the IBM x86 server platform falls in the higher end of the x86 systems market, which has been traditionally dominated by lower-cost servers.
"Some customers still perceive a price premium with four-socket servers, where much of the rationale on x86 server procurement still centres on capital expenditure," he said.
"IBM will have to demonstrate the operational efficiencies and business benefits that a higher-end x86 system can deliver versus a low-cost volume server."
With Lenovo taking over this product range, it will have to prove these products still justify a premium over its own ThinkServer family.
For competitors such as Dell and HP, this deal could mean stronger competition in SME environments
Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC
With IBM’s team of System x engineers, developers and support personnel moving to Lenovo, analyst TBR said in April that the team – combined with efficiencies and scale – would enable the business to quickly become a credible and competitive force in the datacentre.
"The success of a similar transition between IBM and Lenovo in 2005 suggests the two suppliers will once again drive synergies for the 2014 x86 server transition, resulting in improved acquisition costs, on-going product quality and strong services and support that come together to create increased value for customers," the analyst noted.
Yet its success will depend on how quickly Lenovo is able to win business outside the core Chinese market.
The company will also be taking over IBM’s Flex and x86-based PureFlex integrated systems. Further, it will resell IBM’s entry and mid-range Storwize storage product family, Linear Tape Open (LTO) products, IBM Flash storage arrays and elements of IBM’s system software portfolio, including SmartCloud, General Parallel File System and Platform Computing system.
All of this points to high-end, enterprise computing, with potentially high price tags. This is unless Lenovo can somehow change the dynamics of the enterprise server market dramatically and sell cheap enterprise-class computing.
Arguably, it is in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market which offers the most potential for Lenovo, and most closely fits with the success it has had with ThinkPad laptops, when it acquired the IBM PC business.
In an article covering the announcement of the IBM x86 server acquisition, Europe research manager for servers at IDC Giorgio Nebuloni noted: "For competitors such as Dell and HP, this deal could mean stronger competition in SME environments, where IBM had been less aggressive in the past, especially given that Lenovo has experience in building and growing an acquired business in the form of IBM's PC business."
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