IBM has started shipping two 'big iron' high-end servers pitched at the ebusiness market.
The company has made available the next-generation IBM eServer z900 mainframe and an enhanced version of the Shark enterprise storage server.
Both embrace open standards, with the z900 running Linux and Shark connecting to multiple computing platforms as the centrepiece of an open storage network.
Although described as 'not cheap' by some analysts, the servers, and their predecessors, are regarded as perhaps the most reliable in the world and "pretty much the only option" for high-end ebusinesses such as banks or major ecommerce websites.
Phil Payne, an analyst at Isham Research, said: "The predecessor [the G6] was one of the most reliable ever shipped.
"The major change is 64bit real storage addressing [available in March], which removes all limitations to configuring the machine to achieve maximum performance. IBM has also made the terms and conditions more flexible - they call it pay for what you use.
"With an entry-level cost in the millions, the machines are not for everyone, but they are the number one choice for high-end ebusinesses - and ebusinesses should be looking very seriously at them."
IBM claims customers making the transition from the IBM S/390 G5 or G6 may save up to thousands of dollars a month in software fees, depending on their configuration. The 64bit z/OS operating system will be available from 31 March 2001.
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