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10/7/2008
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IBM Unveils Servers, Storage For Midsize Companies

The systems carry IBM's "Express" brand, indicating that they are faster to deploy than enterprise-level servers and contain a number of automated management features to simplify maintenance.

IBM on Tuesday introduced rack and blade servers, storage, and a new version of the WebSphere application server for midsize companies.

The latest offerings carry IBM's "Express" brand, which indicates that the systems are faster to deploy than enterprise-level servers and contain a number of automated management features to simplify maintenance. "IBM's new IT optimization solutions give midsize companies maximum performance and efficiency at an affordable price, offering a robust infrastructure platform that can quickly and easily accommodate growth," Marc Dupaquier, general manager for IBM global midmarket, said in a statement.

The Power 560 Express 4U rack server runs on from four to 16 Power6 processor cores, making it a candidate for companies looking to consolidate Unix, IBM i, and x86 Linux servers to reduce footprint and power consumption within a data center, IBM said. The Power 560, which has a maximum memory configuration of 384 GB, is also built to run midsize to large database servers.

The BladeCenter LS22 Express and LS42 Express blade servers are powered by quad-core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices. The LS22 is a two-socket server aimed at financial services firms, universities, and research labs, and oil and gas companies. The LS42 is available in either two- or four-socket configurations, which makes for easier scalability within the same blade chassis. The new blades are available with solid-state drives as a more reliable option for traditional hard-disk drives, IBM said. SSDs also save up to 20 watts of power per blade, but are considerably more expensive than HDDs.

IBM also launched the BladeCenter S Express with shared storage that ships with software for easier setup and maintenance than larger systems. The BladeCenter S comes with two optional disk storage modules capable of holding up to six 3.5-inch SAS/SATA HDDs each. In addition, the system supports up to six BladeCenter HS20, HS21, HS21 XM, HC10, LS20, LS21, and LS41 blades.

The new version of the WebSphere application server, Express V7, is a "ready-to-go" technology for running and managing Web sites and applications, IBM said. The software server includes an application deployment environment with capabilities for transaction management, security, and scalability.

Meanwhile, IBM also introduced entry-level automated backup for midsize companies' rack systems. The System Storage TS2900 Tape Autoloader Express features up to 7.2 TB of capacity for rack systems, and the System Storage 7214 Tape and DVD Enclosure Express is a 1U low-cost system for IBM Power Systems.

All the new systems are available now, with the exception of the BladeCenter S with shared storage, which ships in volume later this month.

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