Power4+ Powers IBMs Latest eServer

The eServer p615 will be the last of the Unix-based pSeries systems to be equipped with IBM's Power4+ chip.

IBM on Tuesday rolled out the eServer p615, the last of the Unix-based pSeries systems to be equipped with the Armonk, N.Y., companys Power4+ chip.

With the 64-bit 1.45GHz Power4+ processor, the one- or two-way p615 offers many of the same capabilities as the high-end p760 and p690 and the midrange p630, p650 and p655 systems, said Jim McGaughan, director of eServer strategy at IBM. That includes such features as chip kill memory and bit steering to circumvent faulty memory and dynamic processor reallocation on the two-way system, McGaughan said.

The only feature the p615 lacks that the others offer is logical partitioning, he said.

"Theres no real demand for it [at that level]," McGaughan said. "We packed everything we humanly know to pack into this."

McGaughan said the p615, which will replace the current p610, signals a new push by IBM into the entry-level Unix space. Currently Big Blue ranks third in the space behind Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., he said, but the p615 offers performance that supersedes the 64-bit offerings from those competitors, he said. It offers up to 1TB of internal disk storage and six PCI slots. It also can be monitored and managed remotely. In addition, it is in line with what IBM offers in its Intel-based xSeries of systems, which run Windows and Linux.

"Time to market ... is really the absolute here," he said. "If you look at what goes on in the Unix area, usually theres a mad dash to get the product out."

Another key is that it brings all systems in line in anticipation of the release of the Power5 chip next year. "It obviously sets the table for the next-generation [chip]," he said. "Were completely compatible with the next generation."

The entry-level system is the last to get refreshed by IBM. Currently, the p610 is powered by the Power3.2 chip, McGaughan said. "Its been a little long in the tooth," he said.

Available in either rack-mounted or tower configurations, the p615 is available immediately, with a starting price of $5,745, which is a one-way system with 1GB of memory. A one-way with 8GB of memory starts at $11,895. A two-way with 2GB of memory starts at $9,995, while the largest two-way, with 8GB of memory, starts at $15,600.

Latest IBM News:

Search for more stories by Jeffrey Burt.