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3/17/2010
12:03 PM
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IBM Revamps Intel Server Lineup

Big Blue adds new rack, tower, and blade systems to its portfolio of Xeon-based servers.

IBM introduced seven new servers in its System x line to complete a refresh of its Intel-based roster that started earlier this month with the debut of its memory boosting eX5 chipset technology.

IBM servers introduced Tuesday include two rack servers--the x3650 M3 and the x3550 M3. IBM said the M3 systems offer 50% more memory capacity and 60% more internal storage than their predecessors. The x3650, in particular, is 50% more power efficient, according to the company.

IBM also announced two new enterprise tower servers—the x3500 M3 and the x3400 M3. Both models feature twice as much storage capacity as their predecessors and significantly lower power consumption.

IBM's new lineup also includes the BladeCenter HS22 and the BladeCenter HS22V. The latter is optimized for virtualization and allows users to add 30% to 50% more virtual machines on a single blade compared to the HS22. The HS22V also runs Java apps up to 43% faster than previous generation technology, IBM said.

Finally, IBM unveiled a new addition to its line of iDataPlex modular servers—the dx360 M3. It boosts computer performance by 50% for HPC (high-performance computing) workloads and can achieve 3,000 operations-per-watt, according to IBM.

All the new servers run on Intel's Xeon 5600 processors. Earlier this month, IBM debuted its eX5 chipset at the CeBIT industry conference in Hannover, Germany. The technology promises to reduce the number of servers required for a given workload by 50%, cut storage costs by 97%, and lower licensing fees by half, IBM said.

eX5-based servers will incorporate Intel's 45-nm Nehalem processors.

The company said eX5 systems' ultra-efficient memory use affords extreme virtualization that will deliver 30-times better database performance than current systems, 99% better performance-per-watt, and the ability for companies to run 78% more virtual servers for the same licensing cost.

IBM also claimed that its eX5 architecture can cut the cost of running an Oracle environment by 66% and increase SAP performance three-fold.

IBM's share of the x86 server market increased 3.5% over the past year, and now stands at an industry leading 20%, according to research group IDC.

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