Comparing and Contrasting the IBM Power System AC922 and Dell EMC PowerEdge R940

by | Nov 6, 2023

Experienced system administrators and infrastructure managers have witnessed the evolution of data center server technology as it keeps up with the progress and growth of businesses both within and beyond the data center. This article will explore the applicability of two leading data center servers, the IBM Power System AC922 and the Dell EMC PowerEdge R940, in today’s enterprises. By understanding their specifications, benefits, potential drawbacks, and use cases, you will be equipped to make decisions that directly impact the success of your enterprise.

IBM Power System AC922: Master of High-Performance Computing


The IBM Power System AC922 is designed to excel in high-performance computing and artificial intelligence applications. Its robust framework has attracted many enterprises keen on leveraging AI to gain a competitive edge.


The AC922 integrates two Power9 CPUs and up to six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, offering unparalleled processing power. It supports up to 1TB of DDR4 RAM and 44TB of internal storage. Furthermore, it boasts high-speed I/O connectivity, including PCIe Gen4 slots and OpenCAPI.

IBM Power System AC922 Use Case

The IBM Power System AC922 shines in fields where high-performance computing and artificial intelligence are paramount.

AI and Machine Learning

Companies focused on AI development and deployment often utilize the AC922. Its integrated NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and Power9 CPUs are designed to work together, dramatically accelerating machine learning workloads.

Scientific Research 

High-performance computing needs in scientific research, including physics simulations, genomic sequencing, and climate modeling, are well-served by the AC922’s computational power.

Big Data Analytics

The AC922’s ability to handle large volumes of data and complex calculations makes it suitable for running big data analytics applications.

IBM Power System AC922 Case Study

The IBM Power System AC922 has been leveraged extensively in scientific research institutions for high-performance computing tasks. For instance, the US Department of Energy’s Summit supercomputer, one of the most powerful in the world, is powered by these servers. It’s used for complex simulations and modeling tasks, including predicting climate patterns and studying genetic diseases. This utilization exemplifies the strength of the AC922 in handling AI and machine learning operations. However, this also underscores the overkill of its advanced features for organizations with modest computing needs or those not intensively invested in AI applications.

Reasons to Buy

The AC922 stands out for its impressive compute power, especially for AI applications. Its integration of Power9 CPUs with NVIDIA GPUs supports advanced machine-learning models and high-performance computing tasks. Additionally, IBM’s PowerVM virtualization technology enhances flexibility and resource utilization. With live partition mobility, you can move running workloads between servers without downtime, significantly improving service continuity.

Reasons to Avoid

However, the IBM AC922 might not be the best fit for all enterprises. It can be costly, and the focus on AI-specific features might be overkill for businesses not heavily invested in AI applications. Also, enterprises familiar with x86 server architectures may face challenges adapting to the Power architecture, requiring time and resources for skillset development and software compatibility assessment.

Dell EMC PowerEdge R940: A Versatile Powerhouse


The Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 is a workhorse designed to handle mission-critical applications and data analytics. It promises performance, scalability, and versatility – the three critical pillars of modern data centers.


The R940 can accommodate up to four Intel Xeon Scalable processors, 6TB of RAM, and 15.36TB of internal SSD storage. It’s a scalable solution, supporting up to 48 DIMMs of memory and 13 PCIe Gen 3.0 slots for expansive I/O capabilities.

Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 Use Case

The Dell EMC PowerEdge R940, with its scalability and versatility, finds its place in a variety of settings.

Business Data Processing

Enterprises running high-transaction-rate applications, such as financial trading platforms or large e-commerce websites, can benefit from the R940’s robust processing capabilities.

Database Management

The R940 is well-equipped to manage large databases and perform real-time analytics, making it a strong choice for data-intensive sectors like finance, health care, or telecommunications.


With its extensive memory and processor support, the R940 is an excellent choice for virtualization environments. This allows businesses to efficiently manage resources, run multiple applications, and increase overall productivity.

Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 Case Study

A leading financial services firm employed the Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 to host its high-volume transactional databases and perform real-time analytics. This server’s capacity to process large quantities of data rapidly and reliably was crucial in the highly regulated, security-sensitive, and demanding financial industry. Yet, as the firm expanded its infrastructure to meet growing business demands, the scalability of the R940 led to increased costs. While the R940 was versatile and robust enough to meet the company’s diverse needs, it may not be as cost-effective for organizations with a tight IT budget or those that require specialized computing needs, like advanced AI applications.

Reasons to Buy

The R940 shines in versatility. With its extensive support for various processors, memory, and storage options, it offers a flexible platform that can be tailored to diverse workload needs. Moreover, it’s built with automated management features. Dell’s OpenManage system reduces time spent on routine maintenance, freeing IT staff for strategic tasks. The server’s robust security features, including System Lockdown and Secure Boot, provide another layer of protection, helping to safeguard sensitive data and maintain regulatory compliance.

Reasons to Avoid

While the PowerEdge R940 is a versatile solution, it may not meet the needs of companies seeking specialized performance in AI and machine learning due to its lack of GPU integration. Additionally, the R940’s scalability can translate to higher costs as you expand your infrastructure. Even though its automated management is advantageous, organizations that prefer granular control might not find it appealing.


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Closing Thoughts

The IBM Power System AC922 and Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 represent two distinct approaches to enterprise server design. The former is a high-performance, AI-focused powerhouse, while the latter is a flexible, scalable all-rounder.

Choosing between these two will hinge on your enterprise’s unique needs and goals. Remember, a server’s effectiveness isn’t defined by its raw power alone but by how it aligns with your business’s workload demands, scalability plans, and financial constraints.

A sysadmin’s role doesn’t stop at managing servers; they must also be strategic advisors, helping to guide the digital direction of enterprises. ReluTech is here for you when it comes to maintaining these servers or even hardware and part procurement. Contact us today to find what device or data service you’re looking for.



Jason Figliolini is our Marketing Content Manager here at ReluTech. His top priorities are content creation for articles, blogs, and collateral to educate customers about cloud, hardware, and maintenance solutions. Outside of work, he enjoys reading books, attending concerts, and exploring Atlanta’s hidden gems.

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