Many businesses today continue to run critical applications and store important data in RISC/Unix silos. Aging RISC/Unix-based servers don't provide the flexibility or agility to support today's business needs, or a path to cloud computing.

The acquisition cost of RISC/Unix systems has always been high, and over time, the operating costs of these legacy systems have continued to escalate. Maintaining the hardware and applications and finding skilled support resources to help manage service-level agreements (SLAs), all contribute to exorbitant ongoing costs.

In many cases, a legacy environment doesn’t align to long-term business strategy, which requires doing more with tighter budgets and relying on highly flexible, scalable and adaptable solutions in a smaller, more efficient footprint. Unix, the core server operating system in enterprise networks for decades, now finds itself in a slow, inexorable decline.

In the Network World article titled The Last Days of Unix, the author makes the below observations about Unix.

  • IDC predicts that Unix server revenue will slide from $10.2 billion in 2012 to $8.7 billion in 2017, and Gartner sees Unix market share slipping from 16 percent in 2012 to 9 percent in 2017.
  • Jean Bozman, research vice president at IDC Enterprise Server Group, attributes the Unix decline to platform migration issues; competition from Linux and Microsoft; more efficient hardware with more powerful processor cores, which is less expensive and requires less maintenance; and the abundance of Unix-specific apps that can now also run on x86 servers.
  • Errol Rasit, research director at Gartner, concurs that the primary cause of Unix weakness over the past decade is migration from the RISC platform to x86-processor based alternatives, which can run many Unix workloads, usually at attractive price/performance ratios. Today, x86 technology attracts most new deployments and innovation, such as cloud computing and fabric-based computing, which further validates the technology as a preferred platform.

Reasons to Migrate from RISC/Unix Platforms to x86 Servers

Cost Reduction

  • IT budget constraints
  • Increasing project cost
  • Support and maintenance costs

Demand for Agile Performance

  • New projects
  • User growth
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Greater total capacity

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Server utilization
  • Space and consolidation
  • Power and cooling
  • Hardware, OS and application refresh

Platform Strategy

  • Standards-based architecture
  • Broadest solution portfolio
  • Leading platform for innovation

Lenovo x3850 X6 and x3950 X6 – the Logical Alternative to RISC/Unix

Migration from RISC/Unix systems to Lenovo X6 servers running Linux or Windows operating systems can help businesses improve reliability and uptime, reduce costs and realize the performance benefits that users require.

The Lenovo X6 servers provides clients a high-value, high-availability and high-performance alternative to legacy Itanium systems.

For more information, read the blog Do I need a 4 Socket Server?.

Both Lenovo X6 servers are designed for maximum usage, reliability and performance for compute-intensive and memory-intensive workloads. With the Intel Xeon E7-4800/8800 processors,  X6 can deliver up to 12 TB of memory and 144 cores of processing power. Armed with these capabilities, data center leaders can host essential business-critical applications, implement large virtual machines or run sizeable in-memory databases without compromises in performance, capacity or scalability.

The X6 servers deliver mainframe-like RAS because they integrate across the hardware and software stack. Through differentiated X6 self-healing technology, X6 maximizes uptime by proactively identifying potential failures and transparently taking necessary corrective actions. These built-in technologies drive the outstanding system availability and uninterrupted application performance needed to host mission-critical applications.

For more information, read the blog The Only Good Downtime is NO Downtime.