IBM High Availability Server Plays to Midtier

With its latest iSeries systems, IBM brings high availability and disaster recovery help to midsized users.

IBM is rolling out newly configured servers designed to give midsized iSeries system users high availability and disaster recovery help.

"Businesspeople in general are concerned about business continuity, making sure their businesses are available to customers 24-by-7," said Ian Jarman, iSeries product manager for the Armonk, N.Y., company.

IBM on Friday is announcing an iSeries for High Availability server designed to be used for replicated backup, Jarman said. Enterprises can use the system to replicate transactions from the main servers to protect their data from hardware failures.

"If you have a system failure, youll know exactly where you were at a transaction level," Jarman said.

The system uses transaction-level clustering software from DataMirror, Lakeview Systems and Vision Solutions to enable the replicating. He said such replicating is commonplace in the mainframe world, and bringing it to the iSeries is a continuation of IBMs efforts to cascade mainframe capabilities and benefits into its other systems.

The high availability server also offers IBMs On/Off Capacity on Demand feature, which enables users to ramp up or scale down processor power as needed, and pay only for what they use.

The iSeries for Capacity Backup can be used by businesses to protect themselves from such disasters as power outages, floods and hurricanes, Jarman said. Enterprises can put the backup server at an off-site location, then switch to it if for some reason their main systems go down.

Jarman said it also offers the capacity on demand feature, carrying up to six processors but initially only having one turned on and keeping the others on standby. If a business main system goes down, it can switch over to the backup system and bring up as many processors as it needs for no charge for 90 days.

"People want to switch to a different site for their disaster recovery locations," he said. "The challenge is that, for the majority of the time, they dont need that extra processing power all the time. … The quicker you can get their businesses up and running, the better."

Both server offerings come as a specifically configured i825, i870 or i890 server, all of which are powered by IBMs Power 4 chips and run OS/400, Linux and Microsoft Corp.s Windows operating systems, and Linux, Java, Windows and Unix applications. The i825 is a three- to six-way system, while the i870 runs eight to 16 processors and the i890 16 to 24 chips.

"Were trying to provide solutions for customers running transactions, and the zSeries and iSeries are our primary transaction servers," Jarman said.

The systems will be available Sept. 12. The high availability i825 starts at $205,000, the backup—with one to six processors on—$150,000. That compares with the enterprise versions of the i825, which starts at $330,000.