IBM Upgrades pSeries Servers

The new systems will feature greater speed and disaster-recovery capabilities as well as enhanced I/O and RAID.

IBM Corp. is bringing greater speed and disaster-recovery capabilities to its line of eServer pSeries systems.

The Armonk, N.Y., company also is upgrading the I/O and RAID capabilities of the servers in a series of moves announced Thursday designed to meet the key demands of customers, according to Jim McGaughan, director of eServer strategy at IBM.

Key among those enhancements is the introduction of Capacity Backup Systems for the companys high-end 16-way p670 and 32-way p690 servers. The servers, with IBMs On/Off Capacity on Demand capabilities, are similar to the iSeries for High Availability system introduced in September. IBM also has offered similar backup capabilities for its zSeries mainframes for several years, he said.

The replicated p670 backup comes with four active and 12 inactive 1.45GHz Power4+ processors that can be activated if the main system goes down, McGaughan said. The p690 comes with four Power4+ chips active and another 28 inactive. Those chips can range in frequency from 1.3GHz to 1.7GHz, he said.

The systems also are priced lower than the main servers. A fully configured p670 backup costs bout 38 percent less; a p690 backup 52 percent less. If enterprises need to turn on inactive processors, they pay only for the power they use, McGaughan said.


In addition, IBM is offering its two-way p615, powered by a 1.45GHz Power4+, in Express Configurations—one for AIX 5L and another for Linux—to simplify the order process, he said.

IBM also is offering Ultra320 SCSI support via adapters, disk drives, backplane support and external storage subsystems for the pSeries as well as the Intellistation Power 275 workstation, which McGaughan said will improve the data exchange rate.

The company also is enhancing pSeries systems high performance computing support. IBM rolled out the pSeries High Performance Switch, designed to give greater bandwidth between processors in its eight-way p655 and 32-way p690 systems, when being used in an eServer Cluster 1600 Unix environment.

"Now you can slam information much faster between nodes," McGaughan said.

The interconnect switch, designed for tasks that call for a lot of computations and memory bandwidth, currently supports up to 16 p690s or p655s, but that will grow to 64 of either by mid-2004, he said.

IBM also is upgrading its Cluster Systems Management software. Previously it would run on an eServer Cluster 1350 xSeries configuration running Intel Corp. Xeon chips and Red Hat Inc.s Linux operating system and AIX 5L on pSeries, it now can run SuSE AG Linux Enterprise Edition 8 on pSeries systems.

The software provides for remote hardware management, software updates across clusters, cluster-wide monitoring tools and alert capabilities.

Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.