The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: April 2008

IBM revs power systems, unifies systems

April 2008
Jason Stamper

IBM has announced a new generation of its venerable Power Systems, giving System i and System p users what it described as 'a unified line of servers with simplified pricing, increased application choice and reduced energy and administration costs'.

The new Power Systems servers from IBM will incorporate POWER6 processors, and support Unix, Linux, and i applications simultaneously on a single server system.
IBM said existing System i customers can increase performance and energy efficiency by moving their mission-critical applications to new systems, including cost-effective new blade options, using the same i applications and operating system they have depended on for two decades.
It said the first products to debut in this new line are designed for small and medium businesses. The i Edition Express for BladeCenter S, IBM Power 520 Express, and Power 550 Express are targeted at the budget constraints and limited administrative assets of SMBs.
I Edition Express for BladeCenter S starts at about half the price of non-blade configurations with the same processing capacity. Three years worth of maintenance is included which IBM said means the lease price could be less than what many i customers pay today.
The IBM Power 520 Express is described as an affordable server for businesses running distributed applications, databases, and core business solutions. The Power 520 Express is available in AIX, Linux and i Editions.
Finally, it said the IBM Power 550 Express demonstrates outstanding performance in a mid-sized database server, 'delivering outstanding capacity and continuous application availability'. The Power 550 is also available in AIX, Linux, and i Editions.
Clients will also have access to POWER6 EnergyScale Technology, which offers energy control features to help manage energy costs. The new Power Systems also feature PowerVM virtualisation technology that enables clients to create up to 80 virtual partitions in a single system, which can dramatically improve the utilisation of the servers.
"The newly unified IBM Power Systems product line brings tremendous value and investment protection to our clients," said Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM Power Systems. "Over the last few years we have been sharing more and more technology between System i and System p in preparation to enable clients to leverage the same platform. This unification, embodied in the first in a new generation of power systems will create additional opportunities for our clients to optimise their IT infrastructures."

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