IBM Speeds Up Its Entry-level Unix Server

The eServer p630 is being equipped with IBM's most powerful 64-bit Power4 processor.

IBM is putting its most powerful Power4+ processor into its entry-level servers.

The Armonk, N.Y., company on Friday will announce that it is installing its 1.45GHz Power4+ chip into its one- to four-way eServer p630 systems, the latest step in an initiative to outfit all of its Unix-based servers with the new chip.

IBM installed the 64-bit chip in its eight-way p650 server in November 2002.

"Weve taken that same chip and put it into our entry-level server," said Jim McGaughan, director of IBM eServer strategy. "Weve brought it down [the product line] a little bit, and now are setting new [benchmark] records for four-way systems."

The new chip brings greater speed—the server currently runs the 1GHz Power4 chip—to a system that includes dynamic logical partitioning to enable administrators to run multiple applications and operating systems on the same server, McGaughan said. The server can run either IBMs AIX Unix operating system or Linux.

"We have partitioning with a much, much faster engine," McGaughan said.

The p630 server, which comes in a deskside or rack-mounted configuration, is available now with the new chip, starting at $20,525 for a one-way system running AIX with 2GB of memory, or $19,025 running Linux. The deskside system can run up to three partitions, the rack-mounted system up to four, and can run both AIX and Linux on the same server, McGaughan said.

He said IBM will install the Power4+ into other Unix servers, but declined to say when.