A twin 'blade and brick' approach will form the heart of IBM's xSeries Intel-based server strategy for 2003, as companies continue to consolidate servers.
The x440 'brick style' server will be the focus for high availability and consolidating large numbers of servers, while xSeries blade servers are aimed at low-cost consolidation.
Additional releases expected this year include blades for network-attached storage, fibre channel and a four-way blade designed by Intel which can be dropped into the BladeCentre blade server.
Tikiri Wanduragala, senior eServer and storage consultant at IBM, said: "There is a large amount of server consolidation, and blade and x440 servers cover 80 per cent of all Windows/Intel and Linux/Intel server requirements."
He added that BladeCenter, released last December, would outsell x440 servers because it is easier to introduce into customer sites.
But fast interconnection between processors, as found in the IBM x440 symmetrical multiprocessor server, is needed for consolidating large numbers of servers, according to Wanduragala.
A 16-processor model is shipping now, and 32-processor systems and 64bit chip-based models will appear later in the year.
Sales of rack-mounted systems have already overtaken tower-style systems, so most smaller xSeries models will now migrate to blades.
The exception is the x345 which will remain a workhorse for smaller companies needing very few servers.
Backing this is more of IBM's autonomic, or self-managing, software including IBM Director which automates event actions in response to alerts.
"The only way to manage a large number of servers in an affordable way is to put intelligence in the machine," said Wanduragala.
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