IBM is rolling out the latest server based on its X3 architecture, a system that can scale from four to 32 processors.
The x460, announced Wednesday, is powered by Intel Corp.s Xeon processors that can run both 32- and 64-bit applications. The system will enable customers to build the system as their needs grow and to pay only for what they need, said Jay Bretzmann, vice president of eServer products for IBM, of Armonk, N.Y.
"It provides complementary technology for customers who want an end-to-end solution," Bretzmann said.
IBM in February introduced its X3 architecture, the next generation of its Intel-based xSeries systems, and a chip set code-named Hurricane, designed to bring mainframe technologies such as virtualization and faster I/O to the volume system space.
IBMs first X3 system was the x366. The x460 will offer greater scalability with Xeon chips than is offered by Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., Bretzmann said. Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, is focused on one-, two- and four-way systems. HPs largest systems are being standardized on Intels 64-bit Itanium chips.
St. Paul Travelers Insurance Co. Ltd., in Redhill, England, has brought in an x460 for evaluation and expects to get the system into production this month, said Matthew Barlow, infrastructure development manager. St. Paul currently runs an x445 for an environment supporting virtual machines from VMware Inc.
Barlow said the ability to grow the system incrementally is attractive to a rapidly expanding company like St. Paul.
"This offers a far, far more flexible way to grow our business," Barlow said. "We didnt want to have a lot of eight-ways and then have to jump to a 16-way. We can grow as our business grows."
The x460 will be available in the middle of this month.