IBM Power7 Express Servers Designed to Cut Costs

IBM is rolling out new Power7 Express servers for smaller enterprises and cost-conscious businesses.

IBM is rolling out a new line of entry-level servers based on Power7 processors that are designed for small enterprises and businesses with IT budget constraints. IBM announced the Power7 710, 720, 730 and 740 Express servers on Sept. 22.

These four new IBM servers are based on the Power7 chip architecture that the company announced in August.

These IBM Express servers, available through IBM Business Partners, promise high computing capacities for an affordable price tag: They start under $6,500 and, depending on actual financing rates, a 36-month lease of the Power Systems Express server model 710 can come to a mere $188 a month, according to IBM.

Capable of running up to 30,000 different applications, the systems are designed to help businesses consolidate their hardware within the data center. By getting rid of excess machines, businesses can reduce their overall IT bills and conserve energy. IBM has claimed energy reductions of up to 75 percent of equivalent performance capacity.

Designed to be scalable and flexible, the servers will be tailored by IBM's channel partners for workload-intensive industries such as health care, mobile telecommunications and transportation.

IBM said in the announcement, "These high-density and cost-efficient servers minimize complexity" and offer "the memory capacity, internal storage options, I/O expandability and RAS features needed ... in today's high-growth, midsize business. The Power 710 and Power 730 are ... in 2U [3.5-inch], one-two-socket rack packages."

The Power 720 and 740 4U (7-inch) servers come in both the rack and tower configurations. The two systems offer "large memory capacities and internal storage," which solution providers can use for "distributed applications, midsize databases and consolidation."

IBM has said in the past the Power7 technology supports four times as many processor cores as prior systems and uses the latest PowerVM virtualization software to enable customers to run more than 1,000 virtual servers on a single physical system.

The Power7 Express servers are part of IBM's latest line of affordable technology for midsize businesses. The company announced both high-end and entry-level Power7 systems on Aug. 17, such as the high-end IBM Power 795 system and a Power7 processor-based workload-optimized Smart Analytics System that helps businesses draw real-time information from large amounts of data.

IBM is working to grab more market share in the $14 billion Unix server space from Hewlett-Packard and Oracle. HP and Intel have the next-generation Itanium processor and Oracle gained Sun's market share as part of the acquisition.

The company said solution providers can also sell "four new IBM i Solution Editions based on these new Power7 Express servers. These solutions are integrated and optimized for rapid ERP deployment, featuring software from SAP, JD Edwards, Lawson and Infor."

With the integrated solution packs, IBM said providers can reduce the time required to implement and deploy complex ERP and other applications for customers.