For its part, IBM is offering four new x86 rack servers and blades aimed at reducing energy costs by half with twice the compute power of previous generations in some models. They also support more memory, storage and interconnect capabilities, which Yost said are key factors in such environments as cloud computing.
The new servers include the System x3650 M2 and x3550 M2, the BladeCenter HS22-which offers three times the memory of current two-socket BladeCenter systems and boasts a 9-1 consolidation ratio-and the System x iDataPlex dx360 M2 for data centers that are limited in space, power and cooling capabilities. The system offers five times the density of 1U rack systems and is 70 percent more energy-efficient, thanks to the use of IBM's Rear Door Heat Exchanger water-based cooling technology.
New software support includes Systems Director 6.1, which offers tools for managing both physical and virtual machines; support for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, which Yost called the next generation of BIOS; an Integrated Management Module that combines diagnostics, virtual presence and remote capabilities; and an updated ToolsCenter portfolio.
Dell, which began touting its new server lineup March 25, is offering five new PowerEdge blade, rack and tower servers powered by Nehalem. In addition, the vendor is offering new embedded management capabilities with the Unified Server Configurator Powered by LifeCycle Controller for easier deployment, diagnostics, update and configuration capabilities.
Dell will roll out three more two-socket PowerEdge servers in the coming months.
The systems also feature Dell's Energy Smart technologies that include efficient power supplies and policy-based power and thermal management capabilities.
In addition, Dell officials touted ImageDirect, an online solution that lets users manage, create and deploy virtual and physical images on new Dell servers, which they said can save up to 45 percent of IT staff time.
Appro rolled out its HyperGreen Cluster solution, and officials said all of their servers will support the Nehalem chip.
John Lee, vice president of advanced technology solutions at Appro, said the moves were made to help HPC (high-performance computing) customers deal with the current economic realities.
"One of the bigger concerns is not only the complexity, but also the cost of running these systems," Lee said.
The HyperGreen Cluster, based on Appro's GreenBlade system, offers redundant and hot-swappable components, including cooling fans, power supplies and blades, and can fit up to 80 GreenBlade nodes in a standard 42U rack, which Lee said doubles the density of traditional rack servers.
It also offers up to a 20 percent power reduction per blade as compared with rack systems.
In all, Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manager for Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, said during the Nehalem launch event March 30 that 70 vendors are rolling out hundreds of system designs based on the new chip architecture. These vendors include Cray, SGI, NEC, Penguin Computing and SuperMicro.