IBM Unveils Telecom BladeCenter Packages

The company is expected to introduce new integrated packages for the telecommunications industry that include Linux and middleware on its BladeCenter T systems.

IBM is expanding its offerings to the telecommunications industry with new integrated packages that include Linux and middleware on its BladeCenter T systems.

At the Supercomm 2004 show this week in Chicago, IBM will announce the eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications, which will include not only the BladeCenter T blade servers—which feature a ruggedized chassis designed for the telecom industry—but also an integrated Linux operating system from Red Hat Inc. or Novell Inc.s SuSE Linux division, said Jim Pertzborn, vice president of eServer telecommunications systems for IBM.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., also will unveil the Integrated Platform for Telecommunications-Extended Offering, which also will include IBMs WebSphere middleware, DB2 database technology, Tivoli management software and software from third parties, Pertzborn said.

"We are a player [in the telecom space] today," he said.

The new integrated offerings come a year after IBM unveiled its BladeCenter T system, whose chassis is compliant with NEBS (Network Equipment Building System) Level 3—a standard that is important for servers that are often housed in more hostile environments than those found in enterprise data centers.

The chassis is also 20 inches long, compared with 28 inches for the regular BladeCenter chassis. However, the blade servers and the switches are the same.

Currently the BladeCenter T system runs blades powered by Intel Corp. processors, but Pertzborn said by the end of the year IBM will enable the system to also run JS20 blades, which run on IBMs RISC-based PowerPC 970 chips.

The BladeCenter T is shipping now, and the integrated offerings are due by the end of June, Pertzborn said.

In addition, IBM also unveiled the x343, a NEBS-compliant, rack-optimized system. The two-way server includes 2.4GHz Xeons from Intel Corp., 12GB of memory and dual hot-swappable Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives. It will be available in August.

IBM also announced that its midrange storage servers, the TotalStorage FAStT600 and EXP700, also are now NEBS-compliant.


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