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OVH is using the Power8 architecture and OpenStack to stand up its public cloud service

OVH is using the Power8 architecture and OpenStack to stand up its public cloud service

Hosting provider OVH has launched a cloud service based on IBM’s Power8 processor architecture, an open source architecture tailored specifically for big data applications, and OpenStack.

OVH, which serves 700,000 customers from 17 datacentres globally, said it wanted to provide a robust public cloud service tuned for database workloads and has tapped a combination of IBM and OpenStack-based technologies in this pursuit.

The “RunAbove” service uses PowerKVM hypervisor technology and Fedora Linux, as well as IBM’s OpenStack distro for orchestration, and comes in two flavours: one with shared virtual servers on the same Power8-based server, and another with one virtual machine per server for compute-intensive workloads.

“OVH needed a platform that would be able to perform well with specific workloads that would help our clients achieve faster results and manage large amounts of data,” said Maxime Hurtrel, RunAbove marketing manager, OVH. “By providing our customers with a public cloud powered by IBM Power Systems, we are able to offer a service that is designed to handle all types of data workloads while scaling to meet changing needs and development cycles.”

In August last year IBM open sourced its Power architecture for development and announced plans to license Power intellectual property to others outside the industry consortium. It set up OpenPower Foundation, a development alliance of about 60 web-scale companies and research institutions (including Google, Freescale, IBM, Mellanox, Nvidia and Tyan among others) working with IBM’s Power architecture and feeding those innovations back into the architecture.

The alliance intends to build server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology aimed at improving data centre flexibility and scalability for cloud.

As part of the announcement OVH has also joined the Foundation and plans to contribute its own research and deployment experience to help fine tune the architecture.

“The work by the OVH Group to create a cloud service that is architected with IBM Power Systems and their membership in the OpenPower Foundation is another validation of how open architecture is leading to new innovations,” said Doug Balog, general manager, IBM Power Systems.

IBM claims the Power8 architecture offers up to three times the performance on analytical queries running on x86-based commodity servers, and while the Power architecture struggled in the desktop space the company hopes these steep performance gains (and Power’s success in the Unix space) this will be enough to take on Intel and ARM in the race to own the cloud.