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  1. Blog
  2. Article

Frank Heimes
on 4 April 2023

IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 brings sustainability and efficiency to the business-class server landscape, fully supported by Ubuntu 22.04


IBM has today announced the latest addition to its IBM LinuxONE server line, the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4. Whereas the recently released IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4 is the perfect fit for enterprise use cases, IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 brings unprecedented flexibility that puts IBM’s world-leading server technology within reach of new audiences.

IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 is designed to deliver sustainability and efficiency without compromising on performance, scale or security. IBM customers can enhance these strengths even further by pairing the new server with Ubuntu, the leading Linux operating system. Ubuntu helps businesses maximise the value of IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 through purpose-built hardware support that enables users to take full advantage of powerful LinuxONE features straight out-of-the-box.

Optimised for sustainability and TCO

As IT evolves, data centres are continuously becoming more and more resource intensive – and the trend is only accelerating with the growth of power-hungry workloads such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. At the same time, energy prices are soaring worldwide, and businesses must always remain cognisant of their impact on the climate.

In light of these factors, it has never been more important for organisations to maximise the sustainability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of their data centres, both in order to control their operating expenses, and to fulfil their responsibility in the face of the global climate crisis. 

IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 was created with these challenges in mind, continuing IBM’s long history of sustainability leadership. 

A single IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 server can support a volume of workloads that would otherwise require hundreds of x86 cores. As such, consolidating Linux workloads onto IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 can help businesses reduce energy consumption, shrink their data centre footprint, and cut CO2e emissions. 

Alongside improved sustainability, IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 also delivers a better TCO by unlocking economies of scale for enterprise software and containerised workloads, and by consolidating per-core licences – especially in combination with Canonical’s unique drawer-based subscription for Ubuntu Server.

IBM’s most flexible LinuxONE server

IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 brings a new level of flexibility to the business server landscape. Not only is IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 available in a standard, single frame 19” rack, it can also be deployed as a rack-mounted system. This latter option makes the server much more accessible to a wider array of businesses, since it can plug into their existing systems and provide seamless colocation with storage, SAN and switches all on the same rack.

Flexible scaling is critical for optimising resource utilisation and energy consumption. With IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, users can effortlessly scale up, scale out, flex capacity on demand, and reallocate resources to align with evolving priorities. Furthermore, there is parallel scalability between both the single frame and rack-mounted versions of IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4.

Maximise value with Ubuntu

IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 empowers users with a range of advanced new IBM features, including hardware-specific facilities, special instructions and special processors. As a result, making the most of IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 requires an operating system that supports these next-generation capabilities. 

Building on the long-standing partnership between IBM and Canonical, Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS was designed in parallel with IBM’s server technology to support the complete range of LinuxONE features. Out-of-the-box support enables Ubuntu users to unlock the full potential of IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 from day one, and maximise resource utilisation for a highly efficient system.

Similarly, combining IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 with Ubuntu can significantly enhance cyber resiliency, since Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS supports the full scope of LinuxONE security features, including:

  • Quantum-safe algorithms that protect data, workloads and infrastructure, both now and in the future
  • Confidential computing (Secure Execution) to protect data in-use
  • Pervasive encryption to protect data at-rest and in-flight
  • Up to seven 9s of resiliency, equivalent to a few seconds of downtime per year
  • Simplified compliance to improve audit readiness

Complementing the flexibility of IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS can be deployed in LPAR, as an IBM z/VM guest, as a KVM virtual machine, and in different container environments such as LXD, Docker or Kubernetes.

Full-stack support

Ubuntu drives further cost-savings on IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 thanks to Canonical’s distinctive pricing model for subscription and support. Whereas most vendors price support exclusively on a per-core basis, Ubuntu Pro is uniquely available with either a per-core or per-drawer pricing model. Given that a single Rockhopper 4 machine contains up to 68 Linux cores, the per-drawer approach offers a highly cost-effective option that users cannot get with other vendors. 

Furthermore, Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure is not limited to just the operating system, it also covers the full infrastructure stack, including OpenStack, Kubernetes, MicroK8s, MAAS and more.

Ubuntu Server 22.04 and IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4

As controlling data centre costs and emissions become increasingly critical for more and more organisations, IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4 and Ubuntu represent an ideal combination for building sustainable, high performance infrastructure with the flexibility to support the widest range of business types, sizes, and use cases.

Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS also delivers the same level of comprehensive, out-of-the-box support for both IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4 and IBM z16. Much like IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, IBM z16 is available as either a single frame or rack-mounted system, and Ubuntu fully supports both versions.

Learn more about:

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is available now. Download it here.


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