IBM Expands System p Offerings

The IT giant also announced that a program called Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise will now be available on Power architecture as well as x86 servers.

IBM is expanding its System p with new virtualization and operating system features.

The Armonk, N.Y., company announced at the LinuxWorld OpenSolutions Summit in New York City on Feb. 14 that it would begin to offer the System p5 560Q server, which will use an IBM Power5+ processor that runs at 1.8GHz.

By using IBMs quad-core module Power5+ processors, which will allow the server to scale up from four to 16-cores. This will allow up to 80 cores in each rack, according to IBM.

In its presentation to the show, IBM officials touted the new Power5+-based server as an alternative to x86 servers that use virtualization technology. By using IBMs Advanced Power Virtualization, which allows for 10 virtual images per core, officials said that 320, x86-based Linux Web servers installed across eight racks can be reduced to one rack of five 560Q servers.

The 560Q server can handle up to 160 virtual server images at one time, according to IBM officials.

IBM also announced that its System p system will now come with the Integrated Stack for Novells SUSE Linux Enterprise.

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The software bundle combines SUSE Linux Enterprise Server software with both open and proprietary server software from IBM, including the WebSphere Application Server Community Edition with Web-tier clustering support, and IBMs DB2 Express-C, a version of Big Blues database software.

In addition, the suite will also use Centeris Likewise Management Suite, which will allow management of Linux servers from within an existing Microsoft Windows server environment.

Previously, this integrated bundle of software was only available in IBMs x86 servers. This combination of software will allow a business to have its file, print, Web application and database functionality in one software suite.

IBM is specifically targeting small and midsize businesses with this new product and software offering.

The System p5 560Q server can run either IBMs AIX 5L operating systems—the companys version of Unix—as well Red Hat Enterprise and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux operating systems.

The 560Q is one of three products in IBMs Web-tier package. This portfolio also includes the BladeCenter JS21 for Web Server Farms. The JS21 is a BladeCenter chassis with 14 JS21 blades, and it also includes IBMs virtualization technology.

IBM also offers a 1U (1.75-inch) System p5 505 Express or the quad-core System p5 505Q are part of this Web-tier portfolio.

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"The BladeCenter JS21 for Web Serving Farms solution and the System p5 505Q Express can now be used with Novells new Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise (ISSLE) for System p, which was also announced today," an IBM spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.

The IBM System p5 560Q will be available starting on Feb. 23 with a starting price of $43,800. The Web Serving Farm solution with a BladeCenter H chassis and 14 blades has a starting list price of $38,835. The System p5 505 Express has a starting price of $3,717 and the quad-core System p5 505Q Express has a starting price of $5,505.

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