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IBM Launches Low-Power Servers

IBM introduced a half-dozen low-power BladeCenter and System x servers that combine the latest energy-efficient technology from Big Blue and chip makers AMD and Intel.

IBM on Thursday introduced a half-dozen low-power BladeCenter and System x servers that combine the latest energy-efficient technology from Big Blue and chip makers Advanced Micro Devices and Intel.

The BladeCenter HS21, and the System x3550 and x3650 are available with an Intel Xeon 50-watt, quad-core processor. In addition, dual core Xeon processors, which are available in 35-watt and 40-watt versions, are available in select models of the BladeCenter HS21.

On AMD chips, IBM launched the BladeCenter LS21 and LS41, and the System x3655. The servers are available with Dual Core AMD Opteron processors, which run on 68 watts.

In addition, IBM is selling a 4-Gbyte Flash Drive option for the HS21 XM, a blade server that has up to 32 Gbytes of internal memory and up to eight I/O ports.

The servers combine the low-power chips with IBM's own technology to maximize efficiency in the new products. Intel's latest chips save up to 60 watts of energy per blade, according to IBM. For its part, IBM has added its own proprietary technology for regulating air intake and circulation, and software that lets IT meter, control, and cap power consumption across servers.

With rising energy costs and concern over global warming caused, in part, by carbon dioxide generation at power plants, companies are looking for servers that use less energy and also run cooler, which means less money spent on air conditioning for the data center.

The Flash-Drive option for the HS21 XM reduces power by directing use away from traditional spinning hard drives, which use far more power than the solid-state devices. The flash-memory option can be used as a Linux boot device, and as a storage device for lower bandwidth applications to complement share storage architectures, such as network attached storage or storage area networks.

Pricing for the new products was not immediately available.

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