Supporting Linux and AIX alike, IBMs new AIX 5L operating system and p660 and p620 servers are part of the companys ongoing push to take over the Unix market lead through a combination of direct sales and partnerships.
IBM VP Mike Kerr thinks that IBMs just released midrange SMP servers, bundled with AIX 5L, will play mainly in existing AIX environments where IT staffers want to experiment with emerging Linux apps on the side.
Other AIX servers have run Linux before. However, the new pSeries servers add SOI (silicon on insulator technology), adopted from IBMs higher-end zSeries servers, for faster chip performance.
IBM expects to release TPC-C benchmarks this week, showing better results on a six-way p660 system than on an eight-way Sun UltraSparc 3.
On the scalability side, AIX 5L contains elements of Project Monterey, an earlier joint venture between IBM and Santa Cruz Operation (SCO).
To support 5L, IBM has added several hundred new direct salespeople. The company will attack the enterprise market directly, and the small to midrange market through resellers and integrators. ASPs will also be a target for the p660 rack-mount system.
Darren Shallcross, VP of business development for Big Blue partner Solution Technology Inc., says his midmarket corporate customers will try out Linux e-mail, Lotus Notes and firewall systems.
Caldera will also be entitled to sell AIX 5L after its SCO acquisition goes through. As insiders see it, though, more of Calderas energies will go to selling its own UnixWare 7, also containing Monterey elements.