IBM Introduces Workload-Optimized Data Center Systems - InformationWeek
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IBM Introduces Workload-Optimized Data Center Systems

The zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension adds functionality to IBM's mainframe system, allowing integration and management of Power 7 and x86 blade servers.

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IBM on Tuesday introduced three systems for easing workloads in overtaxed data centers.

The latest technologies include a new offering for the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX), the Storwize Rapid Application Storage, and a pre-configured eX5 Blade System for database applications. IBM said the systems bring more efficiency to the data center to help improve systems management and achieve quicker response times for critical workloads.

The zBX is used to add functionality to IBM's zEnterprise System mainframe, which was introduced in July 2010. In general, the zBX enables Power 7 and x86 IBM System x blade servers to be integrated with and managed from the mainframe.

The product adds support for IBM's WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance X150z to a zEnterprise System. The appliance helps in application communication between different servers and platforms. This is accomplished by processing XML and Web services protocols, so that data can be understood by the different platforms. The appliance complements other zBX system, including Power7 blades and IBM's Smart Analytics Optimizer.

On the storage side, IBM announced integration of its Storwize V7000 with its Tivoli management software, particularly the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center and Storage FlashCopy Manager. Storwize is a midrange storage product that allows customers to mix hard disk drives and solid-state drives of different capacities. IBM introduced the system in October 2010.

IBM channel partners are selling the Storewize V7000 packaged with the Tivoli software, which helps simplify administrative tasks, such as setup and management.

In addition, IBM launched the pre-configured eX5 Blade System for database applications; particularly those associated with healthcare and the financial services industries. The system offers additional memory, solid-state drives, and other features for transaction-oriented workloads. The eX5 blade fits IBM's x86 server, the System x.

IBM on Tuesday also unveiled two top-of-rack Ethernet switches from Blade Network Technologies, a company that IBM acquired in October 2010. BNT specialized in switches and software that route data and transactions to and from servers, storage, and networks.

In providing servers, storage, and switches, IBM joins rivals HP and Cisco in bundling all three products into a single package. "That's part of the reason why we bought BNT," David Gelardi, VP of sales support of IBM's system and technology group, said in an interview.

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