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IBM Adds First Dual-Core Blade Servers

The computer maker will add AMD's Opteron chips to its server-cluster platform and offer its first dual-core processor blade servers.
IBM on Wednesday announced that it's extending its server cluster platform to include Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices, and will begin offering its first dual-core processor blade servers.

The Cluster 1350 platform will include support for new Opteron-based LS20 blade servers for IBM's BladeCenter product line, both in single and dual-core versions, says Tim Dougherty, director of BladeCenter for IBM. "We are expanding the choices a customer has when purchasing BladeCenter products," he says. "We have seen significant requests from customers for AMD offerings, so we want to get them into the ecosystem."

In addition to one-, two-, and four-socket versions of the LS20 blade server, IBM will be making the LS20 available as part of its eServer Cluster 1350 platform, which offers both rack and blade versions of servers in preconfigured nodes that include optimized software and switches. The Cluster 1350 platform has previously offered servers based on the Intel Xeon and IBM Power processor architectures.

"We do all the configuration and lab tests [for 1350 clusters] and then ship to customers," Dougherty says. "It's a way for a customer to get a lot of the grunt-work infrastructure provided to them."

In addition to the LS20 blade server, the 1350 also will support single and dual-core versions of the IBM eServer 326 rack-mounted servers with Opteron processors, which were previously introduced.

The LS20 marks the first time that dual-core Opterons have been offered by IBM in a blade configuration, and are also the first IBM blade servers to offer a dual-core option. Dougherty says he thinks the systems will be used primarily with Linux operating systems, as well in Microsoft environments.

The LS20 is available now, with pricing starting at $2,259 for a single-socket server. The new Opteron-based Cluster 1350 offerings will be available in mid-July.