IBM Adds To Its Blade Servers - InformationWeek

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10/8/2004
01:15 PM
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IBM Adds To Its Blade Servers

The vendor says the new offerings reflect customers' growing interest in blade server technology.

IBM on Friday expanded its blade-server portfolio with six new systems, new options for attached-disk drives, and improved power management.

"We believe this set of announcements allows us to push further into the data centers in terms of what applications blades can run," says Tim Dougherty, director of IBM's eServer BladeCenter marketing.

The announcement comes one month after IBM began providing open access to its BladeCenter specification. Since that time, 49 companies have signed agreements to receive access to the specification, Dougherty says. "It's an indication that blades are more than just an interesting new technology," he says. "Customers are now looking at blades as a way to deploy their infrastructure in a new way."

IBM is adding five new HS20 model blade servers based on the Xeon processor with 64-bit extensions, ranging in clock speed performance from 2.8 to 3.6 GHz. The servers will be available Nov. 12; prices start at $2,039.

Two SCSI drives can be added internally to the new models, allowing a BladeCenter chassis to fit up to 14 SCSI-based blades. As result, the SCSI-based blades can provide up to 85% more speed and up to 83% more capacity than previous blades utilizing IDE drives, Dougherty says.

IBM also is introducing a JS20 blade server with a 2.2-GHz Power processor, which provides a more than 37% gain in processing speed over the prior Power-based system, Dougherty says. The new Power system will ship Oct. 29 and starts at $2,699. In addition, the system will be able to run IBM's AIX 5L V5.2 Unix operating system.

A new power-management tool, PowerExecutive, is being added to the BladeCenter management module. The software will make it easier to manage blade server power consumption by evaluating each blade's power usage based on its specific processors and hard drives, Dougherty says. That way, he says, companies can more accurately inventory overall usage.

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