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IBM Adds Power7 Servers, Software, Services

Big Blue's latest offerings include blades and management tools designed to help enterprises increase datacenter performance and cut IT costs.

IBM Power7 Blades
(click image for larger view)
IBM Power7 Blades
IBM unveiled a number of additions to its lineup of Power7-based servers and related software and services.

The PS700, PS701, and PS702 BladeCenter blade systems employ IBM's recently unveiled Power7 chip architecture and feature four, eight, or 16 cores per blade.

That, IBM said Monday, makes the new systems suitable to a range of tasks—from running Web sites to handling SAP applications and distributed databases.

IBM cited benchmark tests by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation that show the PS702 Express outperforms Oracle's Sun Blade T6340 by 225% and provides a 188% performance boost over the HP Integrity BL860c Blade.

IBM also launched new Systems Director software that allows datacenter managers to provision and deploy Power7 blades in minutes, and a new remote implementation and migration offering from IBM Global Technology Services that can reduce installation costs by 25%, according to the company.

IBM unveiled its first line of Power7 servers in February. The Power 780, Power 770, Power 755 are enterprise systems, while the Power 750 Express is for mid-market customers who don't need the horsepower and capacity of the higher-end models.

All are based on the new Power7 processor. Power7 chips can run 32 simultaneous tasks thanks to an 8-core architecture and four virtual cores, or threads, per core.

That's 4-times the maximum number of cores found in Power6 systems and 8-times the number of threads. Power7 also features TurboCore mode for intense database and transactional environments such as those found in Wall Street trading firms.

TurboCore shifts resources from non-active cores to active cores on-the-fly to increase memory, bandwidth and clock speed. Power7's "Intelligent Threads" technology also affords dynamic resource allocation depending on workloads, while Memory Expansion uses compression technology to virtually double the amount of physical memory available to an application.

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