IBM is to launch an exceptionally slim blade server and new xSeries system to capitalise on the market for server consolidation.
Available from the beginning of February, the eServer BladeCenter HS40 uses Intel Xeon 2.8GHz MP chips, with up to seven four-processor blades stacked in the 7U (12.5in) chassis.
IBM is also emphasising the space saved with the latest model in its Intel Linux range, the 3U high (5.5in) rack-mounted eServer xSeries 365, also four-way and available immediately.
"A lot of customers are starting to standardise on blades and they want to get four-way," Steve Edwards, IBM xSeries new products manager for EMEA, told vnunet.com.
Arch-rival Hewlett Packard could only put two four-way ProLiant blades into its 9U chassis, so the HS40 has three times the processing power in three-quarters the size, according to Edwards. Each blade holds 16GB of memory.
The xSeries 365 takes up a third less floor space than equivalent systems from Dell and HP, or houses 40 per cent more processors in the same space.
Iain Davie, xSeries and Linux business development manager at IBM reseller Morse, said that the company had seen a lot of growth in the four- and eight-way market, especially in the past quarter.
"Customers want to push forwards with more processors on Intel platforms, for instance for server consolidation. So the more strings we have to our bow the better," he said.
The market is moving towards blades and the mix of IBM PowerPC and Intel options on BladeCenter is attractive in allowing users to put all their IBM processing flavours onto blades, explained Davie.
Edwards said that the xSeries 365 is aimed at customers wanting to consolidate a large number of servers, or with big databases where connectivity and expansion are important.
Blades are not suitable in these situations because they have limited expansion with few PCI slots, while not everyone wants external storage, he said.
The xSeries 365 provides six internal hard disk drives with a total storage capacity of 876GB, or four disks and DDS format tape backup.
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