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8/9/2005
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IBM Gooses Grids With LinuxWorld Package Rollout

Looking for a quick-and-easy grid infrastructure? Big Blue delivers with a package of blade servers, enterprise Linux distros, and some big brains to help put it all together -- all priced to get grid off the drawing board and into more data centers.

IBM plans to introduce a new bundle of hardware, software and services to help move grid computing into the mainstream.

The company's new Grid and Grow bundles, to be unveiled at the LinuxWorld expo, held this week in San Francisco, comes as grid computing is starting to mature and appeal to a rising number of businesses, said Juhi Jotwani, director of BladeCenter alliances at IBM.

"We have had over 200 successful grid engagements with customers so far," Jotwani said. "Grid computing is now seen as mature and appeals not just to large customers but also to the midmarket. Grid and Grow is for enterprises and midmarket customers looking to start with grids and that are looking for tools to help them get started."

The Grid and Grow bundles give customers a choice of hardware and software, depending on their needs and platforms.

On the hardware side, customers can choose from IBM's BladeCenter HS20 Intel-based blade servers, BladeCenter JS20 POWER-based models and LS20 AMD Opteron-based models, Jotwani said. They fit in a standard, seven-blade BladeCenter chassis or a full BladeCenter enclosure, she said.

For software, customers can select from a number of scheduling applications to manage grid resources, including the Altair PBS Professional, DataSynapse GridServer, Platform LSF or IBM LoadLeveler. Other software from IBM's Tivoli portfolio--including dynamic server provisioning, software license tracking and grid management--also is available.

In addition, customers can choose from Red Hat or Novell SUSE Linux, Windows or IBM's AIX 5L operating systems, Jotwani said. The products also include services, such as skills transfer, from IBM Global Services (IGS).

For now, IBM and IGS are the primary leads for selling and implementing Grid and Grow, Jotwani said.

However, Avnet Partner Solutions is currently integrating the solution with third-party applications for large IBM solution providers under its Avnet Enablement Services Partnership, and Avnet is getting the skills needed to eventually provide services for such solutions, she said. IBM is in discussions with other distributors as well, she added.

The Grid and Grow offerings start at $49,000. They include a Blade Center chassis, a choice of seven blades, a choice of operating system and grid scheduler software, and IGS services.

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